When Your Sprinkler Valves Won’t Close

water conservation south austinThe official start of spring is just a few weeks away. If you’ve winterized your sprinkler system or kept it off for an extended period of time, you may find that your sprinklers will keep running after you turn the timer unit off. What should you do?

This problem has one of two possible causes: the valve has air trapped in it or doesn’t have enough pressure differential to operate properly. You can usually resolve the issue by using a few simple techniques. Be aware, though, that you may need to try several of these methods before you hit on the one that works for your system.

If the problem stems from trapped air, then the first thing to do is turn on the main water supply. Go to the individual valves and use the manual open and close control to set the valve open. After a few seconds, set it to closed. If the valve doesn’t respond within a minute or so, repeat the procedure. Sometimes, it may take more than a single try to get the air bubble to come out.

If manually opening and closing a valve doesn’t help the situation, you can almost always force the air out using the manual flow control on the valves. Go back to the valves and try completely closing and reopening the manual flow control on each one. Unless your valves do not have a flow control, you should be able to release the trapped air.

It’s possible that your valves may need to be throttled in order for them to automatically close. Check to see if your valves have a flow control adjustment feature on them. If they do not, you will need to replace the valve with one that has flow control. If they do, use the manual flow control on each of the valves to close them. The main water supply should be on but the valves should not be permitting any water to get through.

Go to each valve and rotate the manual on/off lever to the on position. At this point, open the manual flow control knob as far as it will go. The valve should come on and sprinklers start to run. Rotate the manual on/off lever under the solenoid until it’s closed. If it doesn’t shut, then repeat the process. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to throttle valve.

Throttling the valve entails partially closing the flow control knob. Turn it one full revolution clockwise and weight for the valve to close. If it doesn’t, turn the handle another half revolutions clockwise. If the valve still doesn’t close, turn it again another half turn. Continue to do this until you hear the valves close. Remember that it can take between 4 to 6 turns before this happens.

If after all of your efforts your sprinkler valves still won’t close, then it’s time to call South Austin Irrigation. Chances are that your valves may be broken and will need repair or replacement. Our technicians will assess the situation and offer you the best, most cost-efficient solutions for your sprinkler system. When you need help with your landscaping needs, contact us: we’re Austin’s irrigation experts!

Call South Austin Irrigation at (512) 534-7449 to find out more.