will capping off sprinkler head increase water pressure of system

EileendfMay 16, 2013

I'm making a huge mess converting part of our sprinkler system into drip. I had a fully functional sprinkler system but decided to convert part of it to drip to save water. So I capped off some sprinkler heads and converted two into drip. I converted one with a riser connection kit (http://www.rainbird.com/homeowner/products/drip/RiserConnectionKit.htm), and the other with a simple manifold.
After that, I noticed that some problems appeared that could be due to having high water pressure, such as sprinkler misting/fogging. Tubing popped off from the one that was converted with the manifold once. The But just a moment ago, one sprinkler cap popped up, shooting high water stream into the sky, which made me decide to investigate. I was lucky that I saw it happen. So my question is, would I have increased water pressure to the system by capping off some of the sprinkler head? Or is it possible that I had high water pressure to begin with but just didn't notice it? How should I reduce the pressure?

I would really really appreciate any advices. I heard that converting sprinkler to drip is a simple DIY project, but now I regret that I had done it. I'm really scared that I might have messed up my sprinkler system, which may cause big problems such as pipes breaking/leaking in the near future.

Thank you very much!

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Where does your irrigation system connect to? Is it a exterior house hose faucet or a direct tee connection to your mainline that feeds the house from the street. One will be street pressure (higher) and one will be house pressure (lower). Let us know that first and then we can go from there. Aloha

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 6:29PM
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Thank you very much, Lehua! I'm not sure where the water's from. From the outside, I see some pipes coming out of the ground. I attached two pictures. I think the ones with valves are for the sprinkler, but not sure.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 5:48PM
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here's another picture of the left part of the first picture

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 5:49PM
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For most systems, capping off some sprinkler heads will make the operating water pressure higher.

The right way to build a system is with a pressure regulator before the valves, but that can add almost $100 of cost so most people skip it.

Without the regulator, pressure will depend on the flow. Most water mains exceed the recommended water pressure for sprinklers. Mine comes in at about 110 PSI. Sprinklers like to run around 40 or 25 PSI.

The reason it usually works is there are so many heads on a zone that the valve restricts the flow and brings the pressure down. When you cap off some heads, the pressure goes up.

Many valves have a flow control option and if yours does, you can adjust it to bring the pressure back down to the optimal level. If your valve does not have flow control, you can implement your own with a gate valve in series with your sprinkler valve.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 5:37PM
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