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anku 06-25-2009 03:45 PM

One zone/station not working. Help !

I just noticed that one (of total 7 zones) sprinkler zone/station has stopped working. Does anyone has any suggestion about what could be wrong or how do I go about finding the real issue ?

Also I have no idea where control valve is in the back yard (where I have the issue). I tried to look around and can't find. Any suggestion how do I find a 'control valve' for a zone.

Appreciate any help/comment..

downunder 06-25-2009 05:23 PM

If your control valve is not in a box, it was poorly designed and/or installed. If that is the case, I feel for you. You might could find it with a metal detector. The box should be similar to where you water service meter is, only probably round, about six inches diameter.

Find the valve and you can (should be able to) open it manually. If the heads activate, the problem could be in the valve or the solenoid that controls it.

Just to ask, I presume the zone is programmed to come on?

anku 06-25-2009 09:24 PM

Yes, zone it programmed to come on. I also checked at the controller and I see 24VAC at the zone terminal in question.

downunder 06-26-2009 03:41 PM

Is there a way to activate the zone manually?

anku 06-27-2009 04:16 PM

>> Is there a way to activate the zone manually?
I am not aware of it, if it exists.

Now I am thinking about renting a valve locator. I wish there was some other simpler way. I contacted one of the local irrigation supply company and he mentioned rental runs at $85 a day.

Any suggestion ?

downunder 06-29-2009 06:09 PM

On the systems that I'm familiar with, the control valve has a needle screw in the top of the valve. Very similar to a carb adj screw. If you open the screw, actually it looks like a thumb screw instead of a regular screw head, a couple of turn the zone will come on. Hold on to it, because if you turn it out too far, the pressure will send it out of your hand. Or, the valve itself- that the screw is in, can be opened by simply turning it as if opening a jar. This basically controls the water supply. Think of it as a cut off at a sink. It should be about the size of a baby food jar lid, 1 1/2- 2 inches diameter. You can turn it all the way in to close the zone, open it halfway for the solenoid to operate it, or open it most of the way out to open the zone manually. I usually turn the needle screw out. That way you don't mess with the water supply getting closed too far in or out.

anku 07-02-2009 11:33 PM


Here is a follow up post to my original problem (in the hope that it might benefit someone else with similar problem).

My first problem was to locate sprinkler valve. We had a thunder storm and after that one zone stopped working. I checked controller/clock was working fine and sending 24VAC to the zone in question. I tried to probe around in the yard with a screwdriver but was not successful. Since valve was broken, chatterbox instrument was going to be of no use. At this point I started to look for instrument called 'valve/cable locator' (it can locate buried valve/cables).I check with HomeDepot and Lowes rental department and none of them close to me rent it. I was able to find them with 'irrigation supply' stores near by. In my area they rent it for anywhere from $50 to $125 per day. Finally I was able to find an irrigation company who was willing to take this task for $50 per hour. I decided to go with one company. He was able to locate all 5 valves without 30 minutes for me.

My valve is 'Rain Bird DV 100'. I was able to open it manually by turning a small screw type knob anti-clockwise 1/2 turn(you want to turn it slowly or it will come off very easily). Rain Bird web site said I needed solenoid repair kit 208588-01. After that I went to Home Depot to look for it's solenoid, only to find they do not sell Rain Bird solenoid part. I was able to find Rain Bird solenoid in Lowes (it was not the same part number but looked very similar) for $6.18.

I turned off the water supply. Turned existing solenoid anti-clockwise and it came off very easily. I put the new solenoid in it's place. Turned on the water to test the zone and it worked like a charm. At this point I put waterproof wire nut(it's a silicon type material filled wire nut for outdoor use) on the wire splice and I was done. Now all the zone are working properly.

Kap 07-03-2009 12:29 AM

Good job!!

downunder 07-03-2009 10:42 AM

Just out of curiosity, did the zone come on when you open the control valve manually?

Hutchg 07-03-2009 05:15 PM

Rainbird DV 100

Excellent write-up.

One question please: what was the part number at Lowes? I'm in exactly the same position.


anku 07-03-2009 11:20 PM


Originally Posted by downunder (Post 296676)
Just out of curiosity, did the zone come on when you open the control valve manually?

Yes, it did come on. My initial problem was not knowing where valves were in the yard. After locating them I was able to turn them manually.

anku 07-03-2009 11:25 PM


Originally Posted by Hutchg (Post 296786)

Excellent write-up.

One question please: what was the part number at Lowes? I'm in exactly the same position.


On the Lowes sales receipt it says '17958 SOLENOID REPL KIT' (cost $6.18). There was a Rain Bird paper tag on the solenoid, it says 'Rain Bird Replacement Solenoid, Fits all current rain bird residential valves, SRK'. Number below the bar code is 7798599930.

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