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Old 05-20-2010, 06:09 PM   #1
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Rainbird Valves Don't Shut Off


I turned my underground sprinkler system on for the first time yesterday and have come to find that 2 of my 8 valves do not shut off. I have above ground anit-siphon like the one below. I can use my timer to turn zone 1 on, but it will not shut off when I shut the system off or go to the next zone.It stays running until I manually close the valve all the way (the black part of the solenoid is the manual override and the gray ring underneath is the flow control). My zone 2 also does not shut off all the way; water leaks out of the lowest sprinkler. This will be the 3rd summer of using the system (which I installed myself if that matters).

Are the solenoids bad? They are not readily availble in my area so I would have to order them in. It seems that this is an old vale style. Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:01 PM   #2
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Rainbird Valves Don't Shut Off


The first test would be to disconnect either wire going to the solenoid after turning off that zone and the water is still running. IF the water continues to run after disconnecting either wire, then the problem is in the control valve, not the solenoid.
The black cylindrical thingy is the solenoid, the gray ring under that is the flow control, yep. The black part under the gray ring which is somewhat "upside-down funnel shaped" contains the actual valve which controls water "ON/OFF". On yours, after shutting off the electrical power, and main water supply to the sprinkler system, does this black funnel shaped part unscrew? IF SO, after removing it you should see a metallic cylinder (pilot valve) shaped device with probably a spring on top of it. When the solenoid energizes this pulls the pilot valve up to allow water to flow. Sometimes the seat which this pilot valve seats into gets a little piece of debris in it and does not allow the pilot to seat properly, therefore water leaks by proportional to the size of the debris. Some of these units can be taken apart for cleaning, some are glued together. If you can take yours apart, and with all removable parts in your hand, turn on the water supply just a little and let this wash out the valve body. Good Luck, David
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Old 05-22-2010, 02:15 PM   #3
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Rainbird Valves Don't Shut Off


You could simply have some debris in those two solenoids.

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IF the water continues to run after disconnecting either wire, then the problem is in the control valve, not the solenoid.
Last year at startup, I had two zones that would not cut off even with the control box turned off. Both solenoids were bad.
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Last edited by downunder; 05-22-2010 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:54 PM   #4
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Rainbird Valves Don't Shut Off


Well, zone 1 is back up and operating correctly now after a flush out. Zone 2 still lets water through even is the solenoid is shut off and the flow control is bottomed out. I flushed it out to start, I disconnected one lead on that slenoid and water still leak through the valve. I found an extra valve that I had boughten so first thing I swapped out was the solenoid...no go as water still kept coming through the valve. Next I swapped out the on/off plunger assembly...still no go. I am running out of ideas on such a simple unit. Oh, and by the way, I did not leave myslef enough room from the PVC distribution that connects my inlet on my valve to change out the entire valve assembly......Ideas?
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Old 05-24-2010, 04:06 PM   #5
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Rainbird Valves Don't Shut Off


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Oh, and by the way, I did not leave myslef enough room from the PVC distribution that connects my inlet on my valve to change out the entire valve assembly......Ideas?
Dig it up, move it over and re-connect it. It's just one little hole.

I'm still thinking that you have either something cracked and leaking or some kind of obstruction that prevents the valve from seating all the way.
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Last edited by downunder; 05-24-2010 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:34 PM   #6
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Rainbird Valves Don't Shut Off


Believe It or Not, sometimes getting even the smallest little piece of hard debris, such as sand or some type of grit, can create a very tiny little nick/cut in the seat of the valve. These little nicks can let a lot of water by even though the plunger will be seated properly. A good inspection of the seat of the valve is in order here. David
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:00 PM   #7
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Rainbird Valves Don't Shut Off


First disassemble the top of the valve from the body and remove it from the hole.

Remove the solenoid and either blow through the port or use a pipe cleaner to clear it.

Second, pull the diaphragm and feel it. If there are deformities (which is likely if you fully cinched the flow control, you will need to replace it. Also hold the diaphragm up to a light, there could possibly be a very small (and I mean small) pinhole that is allowing water to pass.

If you are tight on space to completely replace the valve then go buy a new valve (same type) and swap the tops including solenoid, diaphragm and anything else that is included in the top of the unit.

If that doesn't work you will have to replace the entire unit since the problem is isolated to the bottom half of the unit. Go buy whatever pvc fittings you will need and also get a couple of slip-fixes, huge time saver and makes the process easier.

Hope it helps.
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:47 PM   #8
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Rainbird Valves Don't Shut Off


Well, just to update this thread; I replaced the entire valve body, which had all the old parts put into it from swapping parts around....must have been a small crack in the valve body; I still can't see it. Either way its working again. Thanks for all that helped!
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:35 PM   #9
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Rainbird Valves Don't Shut Off


Those little buggers are sneaky, aren't they!
Thanks for the update.
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