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View Full Version : Not a pro - 73 year old trying to troubleshoot my problem-


tbmann@comcast.net
05-23-2012, 11:21 PM
Retired 10 years ago from GM - air conditioning & refrigeration operating engineer.

Approximately 90 feet of Rainbird 1800`s (10 heads). The 2 corners are 45 the 8 others are 90 heads. The first 45 pops up and seems normal. The second (90) head seems to be spraying way more than normal (higher pressure)? As it goes down line the next two pop up all the way but don`t seem to have normal coverage. After that the rest of the heads only pop up slightly - maybe two inches and very low pressure or coverage.
System installed in 1998 - professionally, worked perfectly till this year. This is zone 4 of 8 all other zones working normally. I have just replaced the last 5 heads with new heads because they were all lower than normal so since I had to dig them up to raise them to a proper height.

Don't know anyone else to ask.

Tom Mann

Steve
05-24-2012, 11:28 PM
Could you draw out a quick diagram? I think that might help nail down an answer.

tbmann@comcast.net
05-25-2012, 08:48 AM
Could you draw out a quick diagram? I think that might help nail down an answer.

5216 Diagram as requested.

Thanks,

Tom

tbmann@comcast.net
05-25-2012, 08:47 PM
5216 Diagram as requested.

Thanks,

Tom

Important revision: 30 year old maple tree in zone 4 located near heads 3 & 4..

Steve
05-28-2012, 09:02 AM
Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I do wonder if the other zones have the same amount of sprinkler heads. If they have less, that could effect the pressure in the line. Also, we don't know if there had been a decrease in pressure in the neighborhood over time (possibly due to more water use in the area).

I would think it is a pressure issue. The lack of pressure is going to effect the ability of the sprinklers to pop up and cover the desired area.

What if you capped the first couple of sprinkler heads, you could then see if the increase in pressure is effecting the other heads down the line. Or you might still have low pressure and it could be a leak in the line causing the decrease in pressure?

Keep us posted.

tbmann@comcast.net
05-31-2012, 11:05 AM
Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I do wonder if the other zones have the same amount of sprinkler heads. If they have less, that could effect the pressure in the line. Also, we don't know if there had been a decrease in pressure in the neighborhood over time (possibly due to more water use in the area).

I would think it is a pressure issue. The lack of pressure is going to effect the ability of the sprinklers to pop up and cover the desired area.

What if you capped the first couple of sprinkler heads, you could then see if the increase in pressure is effecting the other heads down the line. Or you might still have low pressure and it could be a leak in the line causing the decrease in pressure?

Keep us posted.

All the pressures in all zones are great. With no water from the zone 4 (off at the controller) what I did today was cut into the MAIN 1" line at head 3 - inserted an elbow with 1" slip fitting to 3/4' thread. So this left the left side open. Now, I Hooked my garden hose to the 3/4 coupling turned the hose on and BINGO - all heads to the right 4 -10 POP'ed full up with full coverage....! This at least now shows me that the problem is to the left with 3 heads to deal with.

Next I'll inject the hose into the left side where I cut the main and see what that does. I maybe able to insert a 1/4" drain auger, not trying to cut through anything, just to see how far it goes in toward the left. I just have a feeling the 30 year old maple tree roots may have pinched down on the main pipe somewhere in the left area.

Steve
06-01-2012, 10:20 AM
That is some great investigative work! Nice job! Take some pictures as you go. I'd love to see what you find. Also keep us posted on what you find next.

tbmann@comcast.net
06-05-2012, 04:47 PM
That is some great investigative work! Nice job! Take some pictures as you go. I'd love to see what you find. Also keep us posted on what you find next.

Found a pinched line. This helped some but did not solve problem completely. Because the roots were now soooo big - I finally called a sprinkler service that used a "TRENCHER" to cut a 20 foot trench next to the original main. Replaced the main and connected it to my original cut point and FINALLY - problem SOLVED!!! At my age I could not have cut through all of the roots for 20 feet!!!!

tbmann@comcast.net
06-05-2012, 08:15 PM
Found a pinched line. This helped some but did not solve problem completely. Because the roots were now soooo big - I finally called a sprinkler service that used a "TRENCHER" to cut a 20 foot trench next to the original main. Replaced the main and connected it to my original cut point and FINALLY - problem SOLVED!!! At my age I could not have cut through all of the roots for 20 feet!!!!

Sorry I forgot to include some pictures....

Steve
06-06-2012, 11:37 AM
WOW! Ain't that something! You just never know for sure what is going on with those lines until you dig them up like that!

Very fascinating!