Sprinkler Valve Stuck Open

turbo3September 16, 2010

I was testing my system this morning when I heard a scary noise. I noticed an immediate pressure drop on Zone 5 and then realized why, Zone 2 was stuck open. I unplugged my controller, but it was still open. I opened the valve box and noticed water leaking from the zone 2 valve. After shutting off the main valve and removing the solenoid and valve I noticed a big crack. The system is about 10 years old and the part number is 100 DVF-A. The problem seems to be not many stores seem to carry this part.

Some photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/106652854665747662908/Rainbird100DVFA?authkey=Gv1sRgCPOVwY_L1tO3XQ#

Now for my questions.. I assume the solenoid is still good and the crack in the valve is why it stuck open. Any suggestions here would be helpful. I plan to only install the top part of the valve (cracked part). and keep the base as otherwise I would need to unscrew it, which I"m unsure about. Is this ok? Finally, when I turn on the solenoid, nothing moves, so I'm not sure how this works. I removed the zone3 solenoid and it doesn't move either, so I'm guessing that since zone 3 works, they both work, somehow. Thanks.

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The pressure loss in an automatic solenoid valve is the energy source used by the valve to open and close the valve. If the valve doesn't have enough pressure loss it will not have the energy needed to close by itself. Most electric irrigation valve are "pilot operated". The design is made so that water pressure and a spring work together to keep the valve closed. The solenoid opens a small "pilot" passage to relieve the water pressure in an area that is keeping the valve closed allowing the spring to open the valve.

There for the cracked top is acting like the pilot valve and relieving the static pressure that keeps the valve closed. Replace the cracked portion or the whole valve(less problematic).

Also check your pressure. The reason for the crack may be water-hammer from having too high a pressure in your system. Do you have your irrigation off a faucet(house pressure side) or Teed from your house water mainline before the house water pressure regulator(high pressure side)? Aloha

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 9:02AM
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Hi, Sorry for the late reply. I'm not getting email notifications for some reason. I purchased the part off ebay and replaced it myself. We have very high water pressure (house has a pressure reducer but not irrigation) but the system has been running for 10 years so 1 failure is probably not bad for a consumer quality (plastic) valve.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 10:17AM
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Looking on the "Glass half Full" side. Good. FYI, your chances of water hammer and damage to the old valves and old pipelines( more brittle with age) increases if you have high pressure(How High?) and small mainlines (1/2" or 3/4"). This causes high velocity in the pipes. This also causes more noise in the system from the valves and heads. Your coverage distance from the heads will be excellent though. Also the number of heads per zone would be higher. The normal optimum operating pressure from the street should be 60 to 80 psi. Most irrigation designers utilize this as an advantage if they can, but usually means longer mainlines and extra valves which increases the overall cost of original systems. JMHO Aloha

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 11:57AM
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