It happens. You don’t make it a habit to keep your irrigation system well maintained and soon, it gets covered in soil, buried under tufts of grass or hidden beneath overgrown shrubs. This can become a problem, especially when you find you have to locate hidden valves.
Learning the common installation locations of irrigation valves and searching those areas can allow you to find the valves you may need to service. Another, more work-intensive method is to trench around a sprinkler supply line and follow water pipes to their source.
If you have electric valves, South Austin Irrigation suggests you do the following:
Step 1: Find low voltage wires
Search around the electrical sprinkler timer’s control panel for low voltage wires. Low voltage wires are usually thin, multi-colored, braided wires similar to thermostat wires. Find the exit point, knowing that timers mounted inside garages and sheds penetrate through a wall to a building’s exterior.
Step 2: Follow wire path
Once you’ve located the exit point of low voltage wires, follow their path along the ground. If the wires are buried, find the wires’ path along the ground. If the wires are buried, find the path by digging around with a shovel.
Step 3: Locate solenoids/power source
Follow the wires to the solenoids, which are typically thick, black cylinders OR until they enter a concealed irrigation valve box. Insert a screwdriver into the valve box’s removal slot. If necessary, use a screwdriver to pry the box lid from the body.
If you have manual valves, try the following:
Step 1: Do an exterior search
Walk around the outside of the home or building, searching the ground at the perimeter areas for protruding cylindrical valves, valve handles or irrigation valve boxes.
Step 2: Expand ground search
Go to the perimeter of your property, scanning the edges for valves, valve handles or valve boxes. If you step on a hard surface, check with a shovel to see if you actually hit against plastic. If you do, dig around it to reveal the hidden irrigation valve box.
Step 3: Clean up exterior (if necessary)
If your property is overgrown with weeds, grasses and shrubs, trim everything back. Afterwards, scan the perimeter of the building for ground surface anomalies such as depressions or hard spots. Inspect areas by gently probing them with a screwdriver or shovel. If you find either metal or plastic, dig around the area to reveal hidden valves.
South Austin Irrigation is here to help you with all your watering system needs. Contact us today!
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