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Back yard zones working; front yard zones suddenly stopped

Posted by ElGrecus (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 27, 13 at 21:34

We have a system with about nine zones all on the same controller. The five in the back yard are working fine as scheduled. The four in the front yard have suddenly stopped working.

I can manually turn the valves on the back five zones and they start irrigating. However, if I manually turn the zones on the front yard, nothing happens. I have no idea what to look for to troubleshoot the situation as I am an irrigation novice. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Back yard zones working; front yard zones suddenly stopped

I imagine you live in a warmer climate, since you can still run your system in December. When you manually turn your zones on, is it from the controller? Have you tried turning them on manually directly from the automatic valves? Aloha

RE: Back yard zones working; front yard zones suddenly stopped

Hello Lehua13,

We live in Los Angeles, so yes, we run the sprinklers all year. I have tried turning them on manually from the valves. I hear a subtle hissing sound, barely audible, but no water.

It may be completely unrelated, but recently the ice maker in our fridge stopped working. It is located not too far from the valves. Could it be that something has clogged the water line that serves that area? Sounds crazy but the thought did occur to me. I've never seen a water supply line get clogged, only a sewer line. The house was built in 2004 and although we have a lot of minerals in the water here, I don't know if there would be enough buildup to clog the line.

RE: Back yard zones working; front yard zones suddenly stopped

Not knowing your house water system layout and how you have done your irrigation take off from it, I could only makes a guess as to what is happening. The refrigerator ice maker is usually tapped onto a copper waterline stub coming from the wall behind the refrigerator. It should be part of the line that your outside house faucet line comes from. Are your front yard and backyard on two different water sources. I would expect you to have problems with other appliances and faucets in your house. Are you experiencing more air in your water? My recommendation at his point is to have a plumber/irrigation installer or anyone that can troubleshoot your water system. I would end up recommending something they would do very quickly but you may find difficult. I would take pressure readings at different points in your system. You may have a defective pressure regulator. Has the pressure at at your indoor faucets and washing machine gone down? Remove your irrigation connection and test the pressure and flow from that point. Remove the closest head to the each front yard zone valve and turn on each front zones. Listen and observe what happens at those removed irrigation heads. A slight hissing noise can either be a suction or too much air in the water. Either way it bodes that there may be a leak before the valves. The main idea I am trying to say is to check your water mainline sources. Your house is not old enough to have serious constriction of your waterlines from calcium build up. Hope you solve your problem and have a Happy New Year. JMHO Aloha

RE: Back yard zones working; front yard zones suddenly stopped

Hello Lehua,

We haven't experienced any other problems with our plumbing fixtures, nor have we noticed any air. I can't say if the front and rear zones are connected to two different water supply lines. I think it is time to call a plumber since I doubt it is something I can troubleshoot myself. Thank you for your help and happy new year to you as well!

RE: Back yard zones working; front yard zones suddenly stopped


Good choice nothing beats boots on the ground. Happy New Year and may your plumbing problems disappear. Let us know it turns out. Aloha

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