Sprinkler Valve will not close

renniepJanuary 24, 2006

I replaced two solenoids that were rusty with new ones and I cannot now get the sprinkler valves to close. The system I have installed is a Richdel and it would be approximately 17 years old. The solenoids that I purchased are made by Lawn Genie (L10000) and appear to fit okay. I have checked the electric and each solenoid is being energized when the start and stop commands are received from the control box. I also replaced the diaphrams in each of the valves.

I have tried everything to get the valves to close to no avail. Looking for any suggestions especially if I have chosen the incorrect solenoid as a replacement.

Many thanks.

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waterwiz(9 FL)

Those old richdels are very particular about how you place the diaphrams. verify that the holes are lined up exactly and there is no dirt in the valve and tighten evenly. If you are in Florida you may even be able to buy the same valve and replace the top and internals it's an Irritrol now and you can buy them at Florida Irrigation Supply or North South. Hope Helps honestly if the valves are easy to get too buy new name brand replacements and save the headache.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 10:44PM
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van027(z8 TX)

I've repaired a good many Richdel valves in the ground, both 8-screw and jar top, and on too many occasions the valve wouldn't close when I was done. As Waterwiz says, the 8-screw repair is a precise operation, but there are other possible mistakes. Diaphragm installed upside down. Or without the spring. Or with the spring under instead of over the diaphragm. Maybe there's dirt or damage to the valve body where the diaphragm seats.

I don't know about Lawn Genie parts, but Irritrol replacement solenoids come with a white plastic ring that holds in the plunger and spring in. Depending on the configuration of the solenoid port (whether there is a rubber "O" ring, whether the the seat is flush or sticks out to meet the plunger), I've sometimes had to remove the retaining ring (it pops out with a small screwdriver). Sometimes I have to take out the "O" ring to make the solenoid seat properly. Of course, any time the plunger can't seat properly, the valve will stay on. And look for dirt or blockage of the solenoid port.

In the future, you may be able to get the whole comparable Irritrol valve for little more than the cost of a diaphragm and solenoid. Do what Waterwiz says and replace the entire top half of the valve at one time. There's minimal chance of contamination or mistakes.

Good luck. Tell us how it turned out.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 10:07AM
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frustrated9

I'm very interested in this thread as I have the same problem. I have a Richdel 204AT-Jar Screw. At first, the timer would not turn it on so I replaced the solnoid and that solved the problem - for awhile. Now the timer will not turn the value on even though the solnoid is energized. I have just replaced the diaphragm and that only taught me how to take the valve apart. it still does not work. I've followed VAN027's suggestions, but with no success.
1. Is there a special way to seat the diaphragm?
2. does the solnoid have a different buzz/vibration when it is energized and there is water actually going thru than when the solnoid is energized and no water is going thru?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 12:12PM
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waterloggedtoolong

I have an old richdel valve system with 4 zones. The 4th zone won't open. I replaced the solenoid with a lawn genie replacement. Now not only does the zone not open but,if I manually open the valve with either the center knob or the smaller knob on the diaphram cover, I get water leakage from the 2 sprinklers on that zone when I close those bypass knobs, and have to completely turn off the sprinkler water supply in order to stop the leakage. Help!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 7:47PM
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fauxpaw_comcast_net

Kudos to van27 for his suggestion to pop out the retaining ring in the replacement solenoid. My old Lawn Genie valves have a flat area around the hole where the plunger seats, and the retaining ring was preventing the plunger from seating flush over the hole.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 4:00PM
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van027(z8 TX)

To frustrated9: 1) I just press the new diaphragm neatly into the valve body, put in the spring, replace the bonnett and tighten securely. 2) Don't know about whether the solenoid sounds different with or without water flow.

To waterloggedtoolong: A Richdel valve that stays open even after the bleed screw is turned off usually indicates a bad diaphragm.

To fauxpaw 10: Thank you for the kind words.

I'm starting to understand why irrigation repair people prefer to cut out and replace valves. I still feel that in-the-ground repair is a good value for my customers.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 4:49PM
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blowfish

Hi,

I have the opposite: my valves do not open at all although I hear the siren (or whatever you call) when the valves are activated by the control box. Where I should start my troubleshooting?

Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 11:47PM
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jimmanzie1

Can anyone tell me what the star shaped metal piece that turns on the top of my zone valve is? I have a champion system. Also what is the screw that turns via a flat screwdriver that is on the valve too? My problem is not enough pressure getting to the sprinkler heads on one valve line. Regards Jim

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 7:28PM
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lehua49

Hi Jim,

Could you post a picture of what you are describing?
Aloha

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 8:18PM
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all_wet(MagnoliaTx)

Chances are the "star" shaped thing is the flow control for the valve. It needs to be open (counter clock wise...lefty loosey) all the way to get full flow through that valve.
I think the screw you refer to is the manual bleed screw which is used to open the valve manually. It will bleed water when opened and doesn't need to be fully removed to manually operate the valve.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 11:02AM
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bryan_platt_bannerhealth_com

Hi,
I have a similar issue, I have a lawn genie valve L7034, the diaphram is bad. I bought a whole new valve assembly @ home depot, replaced the diaphram, but the valve still stays open. The guy @ HD said they changed the daiphram a few years ago and I should go to Sprinkler Word (of coarse there closed all weeekekend for the holiday)I know the diaphnram is at least part of the problem since it was very old and torn. but I have been looking around here and I don't see anyone with simillar issues. Is this true or was that Home depot guy full of it? even @ lawn genie.com they only list 1 dipahram available.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 4:57PM
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lehua49

Hi Bryan,
Why buy a valve assembly and do all that very precise work and be frustrated in the end because it doesn't work right or doesn't work for long. Take the advice of the thread comments above and just buy a new valve and replace the broken one. Unless you enjoy believing sales people that may or may not be able to help you. Sounds like the HD guy was somewhat more knowledgeable and more helpful than most. I wonder why he didn't suggest just replacing the valve with a new one? Aloha

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 2:39PM
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gcarmona66

Although it is a little more involved having to dig and cut out a bad valve, I would follow the above advise and just replace the entire valve.

I had two Richdel 205SF valves that seemed to be blocked/not opening with enough pressure to operate the sprinklers. I started out by doing the easiest thing which is replacing the solenoid in one of the bad valves with a solenoid from one of the good valves. That didn't help. I then took off the bonnet/top half of one of the bad valves, removed the diaphragm, and replaced it with a diaphragm from one of the good valves. That didn't work either and I ended up messing up a third valve.

So I went to Home Depot to look for a new diaphragm but wasn't able to find the exact diaphragm or valve and at the time I didn't know the brand of the valve since it isn't visible from the top. I noticed that the Lawn Genie looked similar so I bought one, took it apart, and tried using its internal parts in one of my bad valves. That almost worked, i.e. the valve would open and close fine with the timer, but there was a slight leak at the valve while in operation. I tried it with and without the O ring around the solenoid port. I tried unscrewing the bonnet and carefully screwing it back in place to make sure it would seat properly. The valve still leaked ever so slightly while in operation.

So, I ended up cutting out the bad valves and replacing with new Rainbird valves. I've done two so far and the sprinklers are now working like new. I do have one more valve to replace, but now that I know the brand, and trying to avoid the digging and cutting, I thought I'd look around the net and see if I could find a place that sells Richdel brand valves locally in San Antonio, Texas. Any one knows? And any one have any other suggestions on what else to try for in-the-ground repair?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 1:52AM
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mycophile(z10 Florida)

Compare your new solenoid valve with your old one. Could not get my valve to close after replacing solenoid. Tried replacing nearly everything. Problem was white retaining ring on the "action" end of the solenoid. pulled the ring off and everything works like a charm.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 7:22PM
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JUSTJAYH_AOL_COM

WHAT HAVE I DONE? ZONE 7 ON MY SYSTEM STUCK ON AFTER YEARS OF FLAWLESS OPERATION. BEING THE HOARDER THAT I AM I WAS ABLE TO DIG THROUHG THE GARAGE AND FIND A REPLACEMENT SOLENOID.I INSTALLED IT. THE VALVE STILL WOULD NOT CLOSE. I TRYED A SECOND NEW SOLENOID. SHE STILL NO WORK! I THEN REMOVED ALL THOSE DANG SCREWS AND CHECKED THE DIAPHRAGM AS WELL AND LOOKED FOR DEBRIS OF THE ANY KIND IN THE VALE. ALL SEEMED OK SO I REASSEMBLED AND TESTED AGAIN AND SHE STILL NO SHUT OFF. SO I TURNED TO THE CONTROLLER. I SWAPPED ZONE 1 FOR ZONE 7. THE PROBLEM STAYED WITH THE VALVE. SO i REPLACED THE VALVE WITH A NEW ONE FROM HOME DEPOT TWICE! YES TWO NEW VALVES AND STILL SHE NO CLOSE. NOTE: TURNING OFF THE SYSTEM DOSE NOTHING i MUST UNPLUG TO GET THE VALVE TO CLOSE. WHAT HAVE I SCREWED UP?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 3:12PM
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lehua49

J,

IreallydislikereadingallcapsbutIguessitmeansyourreallyfrustrated.Iwaskindaoutabreathjustreadingyourpost.Hereismy$0.02,haveyoutriedcheckingallyourwiringconnectionsandmakingsureyoudonothaveashorttothesolenoid.aloha :)

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 10:55PM
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Hakim1

My zone 1 of my Sprinkler system stays on all the time. This make the other zones working with a less ater pressure. What is the ppossible problem ? Thanks

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 4:27PM
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bodhisattva

The diaphragm has a small brass bushing that slides on the valve tube thru the center of the diaphragm. Look at the underside of a new diaphragm, and you will see it - it is the only metal in the diaphragm. An old, worn out diaphragm can separate from this bushing, causing the valve to remain open. Also, removing the old diaphragm can leave this small bushing on the tube inside the valve. This will prevent the new diaphragm from seating and closing the valve. Take a look down into your valve with the diaphragm removed. If you see a small (6-8 mm long) brass bushing on the brass tube, remove it and your problems will be solved with a new diaphragm.
Cheers.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 6:38PM
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harkerr

I had the same prolem with My Richdel Lawn genie "bottle top" valve. The small brass bushing had separated from the diaphragm and remained on the vertical tube. This prevented the new diaphragm from seating and the valve would not fully close. I removed the small bushing and put the valve back together and it WORKS... THE LITTLE BUSHING IS HARD TO SEE UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR. I almost cut out the valve!!!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 1:26PM
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