Heads only pop after second attempt

larrymulApril 22, 2013

I have replaced an existing above ground/surface system with all in-ground heads, 8 zones, existing one inch main, 1/2 inch funny pipe to heads. Irritrol Rain Dial-R controller, Toro TPV series zone valves. I don't see any pressure reducing devices in the system and zone valves do not appear to be adjustable.

Plenty of pressure, dedicated City irrigation system. Nine times out of ten, when activated either by timer, manual at the controller or at the valve, heads will pop an inch or so and dribble. Turn off and restart them, they pop with lots of pressure and stay on normally. This happens with Orbit spray heads in 7 zones and my RainBird impact sprinklers in another. Age of the system is unknown, home is new to me last December and irrigation system was just activated this week by the City. Previous owner is not available.

I re-made all wire connections at the valves, clean and tight.

Any ideas? Thanks!

This post was edited by larrymul on Mon, Apr 22, 13 at 21:34

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Picture of the two style valves I have, can anyone identify them for me? If I were to need solenoids I need a model number for each type.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 4:01PM
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This is the second type in my system, I can't post two pictures in one post...

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 4:02PM
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Step # 1, I would check all connections at the valve solenoids and replace screw caps with waterproof ones. Redo the connections in the controller to make sure of good contact. JMHO Aloha

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 11:32PM
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Thanks lehua, I have redone all connections and gone through the controller already. Again this morning same problem, just a trickle, turn off auto start, restart each valve again then pop and lots of pressure.

Can anyone identify the two types of valves? I'm thinking of changing solenoids if I can find what these are.

I'm anxious because I just had my entire property hydro seeded, which requires frequent watering, like every two hours for 15 minutes each zone, 8 zones.

I don't get it, the part time operation. Yesterday they cycled and ran just fine for six start times.

I checked voltage at the controller, 26 VAC to the valves. Is it possible the solenoids aren't opening fully at the first hit and the second try opens them further? Just thinking outside the box...

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 11:48AM
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is this on a recycle water city system? Sounds like the solenoid valve bypass line has slight blockage intermittently.
If the water is not potable quality then you may try filtering before the valves and see what the filter catches. The solenoids are all generic for all valves. But I believe it is not the solenoids. If it were the valve would not open. Check your pressure. Too high a pressure causes problems as well. Aloha

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 6:37PM
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Last night I changed all of my sprinkler heads to Hunter MP Rotators, the system ran at all zones, plenty of pressure. This morning my first cycle started, about 55 pounds system pressure, the heads in several zones would not pop, they raised about an inch and puked water, no spray pattern, and system pressure dropped to about 20 pounds during the tries. When I shut the zone off at the controller, system pressure jumped back to 50 - 55 psi.

Yesterday I closed all heads off and activated the zones, one at a time, pressure remained high, around 50 psi, never changed, and no leaks came to the surface.

By bypass valve I assume you mean the bleeder screw? There is no bypass on these valves, just the solenoid and a bleeder screw.

I'll disassemble the valves this afternoon to see if there are any stoppages or debris.

After that, I'm at a total loss!

Thanks for the reply lehua.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:16PM
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I just now started that same zone manually at the controller, 50-55 psi when off, heads all popped up, sprayed normally and pressure only dropped to about 40-45 psi.

Man, I'm destroying my hydro seed tending and adjusting/changing these heads!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:48PM
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Back to the same old crap at my 6 o'clock run time.

I do not understand how I can have pressure to the sprinklers one time with steady system pressure, to zero pressure when the heads pop up. Turn the system off, on again and every zone works while the system maintains 50 psi.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 11:23PM
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non-potable water for irrigation does not have to be as clean as drinking water. Minutes pieces of material or sand particles can clog the very small by-pass line that opens when the solenoid's plunger moves. that water equalizes the pressure on both side of the valve and allows the valve blade to open fully. If that line is plugged or partially plugged that blade will not open or partially open and become a pressure regulator restricting flow and pressure to the system. You then have two choices. Replace the valve or filter the water if it has turbidity (not clear). You did not respond to my previous questions so I am speculating on most of this. Maybe have an irrigation specialist look at what is going on. Nothing beats boots on the ground to dispel the mystery. JMHO Aloha

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 8:45PM
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