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No water to Sprinkler valves

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  1. #1
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    Default No water to Sprinkler valves

    Now that we are into spring, I decided to try out the sprinkler system of the house we moved into recently. We honestly didn't even realise the house came with it as it was never advertised as such. But we thought it was a nice bonus to have.

    However when I tried to make it work, there seems to be no water passing through the main sprinkler control valves. I have done some research into how these function, and typically you can manually activate each sprinkler by turning the solenoid on the valve. But this does nothing. I can hear no water running through the pipes. (The solenoids still function electronically though as I have tested them to work)

    Am i missing a crucial step in activating the valves? It's almost as if I need to 'turn on' the water that leads to the valves, but there is no such thing I can find to do that. Water to the rest of the property is working as normal.

    Here is a photo of the system:


    Here is the water mains that controls the water to the rest of the house. This doesn't seem to affect the sprinkler valves. It is right beside the sprinkler valve box.


    And when I first opened the sprinkler box, I found this cut off pipe just laying in there. I have no idea what it was part of.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20220920_165452.jpg   20220920_165512.jpg   20220920_165534.jpg  

  2. #2
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    I bet the cutoff pipe was the sprinkler isolator. I suspect that when it was sold it was found to not have a backflow preventer and rather then go to the effort of fitting one they just isolated the sprinklers.

  3. #3
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    Whats under the block of wood ?, there should be a manifold to supply water to the valves.

    With the flared brass tee fitting and gate valve and pvc after I bet it was a tapping off the main supply to the manifold.

    And what’s inside the other pit, maybe that is where the gate valve was accessible from.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by droog View Post
    Whats under the block of wood ?, there should be a manifold to supply water to the valves.

    With the flared brass tee fitting and gate valve and pvc after I bet it was a tapping off the main supply to the manifold.

    And what’s inside the other pit, maybe that is where the gate valve was accessible from.
    20220920_181223.jpg

    Under the pit on the left is only the the 6th valve.

    The block of wood is fixed, and actually extends beyond the housing of the box. So there's no way to easily budge it.

    Inside the pit on the lower right is nothing. Just an empty hole of mud.

  5. #5
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    Pit on the lower right is more than likely where that offcut was install, right next to the supply main and the gate valve would have been accessed from that pit.

    Suspect the feed manifold to the valves is just below the main pit, horizontal from the empty pit at the lower right.
    Looks like the supply main was either replaced or modified and the feed to the watering system removed.

  6. #6
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    What you describe makes sense. I wonder why the previous owners chose to disconnect it? A major fault in the system causing the sprinklers to not be worth using?

    Is it best that I get a plumber to inspect and possibly reinstall the system then?

  7. #7
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    I would dig down and see if the rest of it remains, you could always use the tap that is there and connect the system with a hose to see if the rest of it works.

    Might be a case of easier to start afresh if there are lots of breaks in the system.

  8. #8
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    I'll take a look tomorrow and see if there is anything to salvage. Thanks

  9. #9
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    20220927_102603.jpg

    I have dug down enough to uncover the the existing PVC pipes connecting to the valves. It's clear to me that is where the offcut pipe is from, as I can match the seam where it was cut. While I am not yet prepared to do a full 'excavation' of the area, I can already tell however that the PVC is caked in mud, at least at the opening. Who knows how far deep it goes.

    I imagine that I would need to clean out, or better yet replace the pipe system before re-establishing the water flow.

    It seems like a fair bit of effort involved to get the whole system up and running again. Perhaps I need to get a professional to do a better job at it.

  10. #10
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    What's under the piece of timber?

  11. #11
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    The block of wood is fixed, and actually extends beyond the housing of the box. So there's no way to easily budge it.

    But it looks like its the black tubes that run from the valves to the sprinklers.

  12. #12
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    Looks like it will be a complete rebuild. I installed mine 25yrs ago and it was similar. I got about 15 yrs out of the thin walled PVC before it got holes in it and the fittings coming apart as well I had my valve manifold like that and the valves went out of production and I wanted to change one and it was impossible so I rebuilt the system using PVC pipe and the valve manifold was rebuilt so the solenoids and be removed easily.

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