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Old 06-18-2016, 12:24 PM   #1
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How to turn on sprinkler system?


I moved into home with a sprinkler system and I am having trouble operating this system as this is my first home with a sprinkler system. I tried to select 'All Stations ON' from the control unit but nothing happened so I assume that it must be turned off somewhere. I have taken pictures of the backflow preventer and the in-ground box, so I am hoping that someone can instruct me on how to turn on my system. Currently the in-ground valves are turned to the off position but even when I turned it to the 'On' position the sprinkler system would not turn on. This is my first time working with a sprinkler system so any help/advice is greatly appreciated. Thx


https://www.dropbox.com/s/v0ho21pxa8...22801.mp4?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/q8z3rgpk8l...22342.mp4?dl=0

Last edited by shovad; 06-18-2016 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:37 PM   #2
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Re: How to turn on sprinkler system?


Can't see the videos, but anyways, get the name and model of the controller and Google search for the instruction manual.

Of course you must first turn on the water supply. You won't have enough water supply to run all the sprinkler heads at once, so you have a bunch of "zones". Each valve is a supplies a zone, and will feed 3-6 sprinkler heads. When you run "all zones", the controller will first run zone 1 for the programmed time, then run zone 2 for the programmed time, etc. So you also need to program in how long each zone should run ( this should still be in there from the previous owner ). Yes, some controllers can be not at all obvious on how to run them --- that's why you need the instruction manual.


My current controller you put it to "run" then hit the arrow key to run all stations. My previous controller, you moved the dial to "run all stations" for a few seconds, and then moved the dial to "run". As I said, not at all obvious -- that's why you need the manual.

Last edited by SPS-1; 06-18-2016 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 06-18-2016, 05:48 PM   #3
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Re: How to turn on sprinkler system?


I appreciate the reply. When I get a chance I will retake the video of the in ground system-- it was shaky and vertical. Just to clarify when starting the sprinkler system I should do the following---


1) identify the main water valve to the sprinkler system and switch on
-I looked for the shut off valve to the sprinkler system next to the main water valve in my garage but I could not find anything, where else should I look for this valve?

2) After turning this on, make sure backflow preventor is open

3) turn on the valves in the in ground box

4) switch on from control station

-- Am I missing anything or am I on the right track?

Last edited by shovad; 06-18-2016 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 06-18-2016, 06:20 PM   #4
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Re: How to turn on sprinkler system?


Shut off valve to sprinkler system could be located about anywhere. But they would want as big a supply pipe as possible, so it would be tapped off from close to the main supply.

You don't have to turn on the valves manually. Valves are electric. There is a manual operator on the valves that allows you to manually force them on, but they are not normally forced on when the system is functioning. Again all valves are different, you need to find identification on them, and Google the instructions on how to force them on (normally rotating a part of the valve). If you have figured out how to force them on manually, but still not getting spray, it means the valves are not getting water.

Edit --- ok read your first post again, seems you have figured out how to manually force the valve open ---- then you are not getting water to the valve.

Again, find the instruction manual on the controller.

Broken wires or connections can happen, so if one zone won't start, try the next.

Problem with the videos is not the link. I just don't have Flash on my computer. Its a potential security issue.

Last edited by SPS-1; 06-18-2016 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 06-18-2016, 06:31 PM   #5
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Re: How to turn on sprinkler system?


FYI -- if you live in a part of the country where it freezes over winter, you will have to call in a landscaper/sprinkler outfit to blow out your lines when in starts getting cold.
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Old 06-18-2016, 06:51 PM   #6
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Re: How to turn on sprinkler system?


Looked at your videos. The valves on the backflow are on. The inground valves are made by Rainbird.
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Old 06-18-2016, 08:07 PM   #7
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Re: How to turn on sprinkler system?


Quote:
Originally Posted by djlandkpl View Post
Looked at your videos. The valves on the backflow are on. The inground valves are made by Rainbird.
OK Dan thanks for the info, I turned on the inground valves and tried to run the system but nothing happened. It seems it must be off at the main shut off valve but I am having trouble locating this. Any idea on where they usually install this? Is it possible it is installed in my crawlspace?
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Old 06-18-2016, 08:55 PM   #8
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Re: How to turn on sprinkler system?


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Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
FYI -- if you live in a part of the country where it freezes over winter, you will have to call in a landscaper/sprinkler outfit to blow out your lines when in starts getting cold.
Hi SPS-1, I stay at Charlotte,NC so I don't think its necessary to blow out the lines, correct? So will turning it off at the main irrigation shut off valve be enough or should everything be shut off including the backflow preventor and the in ground valves? Or can leave everything open throughout the year?

- I still don't know where my main irrigation shut off valve is located but I am guessing it is in the crawlspace-- will check it out morrow. Hopefully that will solve my problem.

- Just to clarify, are you saying that the 'in ground valves' are opened automatically when the 'main irrigation valve' is switched on? When switching off the main will the 'in ground valves 'close automatically?

Last edited by shovad; 06-18-2016 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 06-18-2016, 09:18 PM   #9
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Re: How to turn on sprinkler system?


Valves are spring loaded closed. Open when the controller gives them 24 volts (or manually forced open).

Charlotte, possibly don't have to blow out lines in winter, but check with neighbors who do have sprinklers.
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Old 06-18-2016, 10:02 PM   #10
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Re: How to turn on sprinkler system?


Quote:
Originally Posted by shovad View Post
OK Dan thanks for the info, I turned on the inground valves and tried to run the system but nothing happened. It seems it must be off at the main shut off valve but I am having trouble locating this. Any idea on where they usually install this? Is it possible it is installed in my crawlspace?


The main valve could be anywhere. Follow a straight path back towards the house and water line. You might find it in the crawl space.
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:42 PM   #11
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Re: How to turn on sprinkler system?


Ok I will check it out morrow. What is the procedure for preparing my system for winter-- I don't believe I need to blow out the valves since I am in Charlotte. So for the winter should I just shut off the main shut off valve?
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:38 AM   #12
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Re: How to turn on sprinkler system?


Quote:
Originally Posted by shovad View Post
Ok I will check it out morrow. What is the procedure for preparing my system for winter-- I don't believe I need to blow out the valves since I am in Charlotte. So for the winter should I just shut off the main shut off valve?
Take SPS-1's advice and check with your neighbors. You backflow sticks out of the ground with copper pipe. If the temp gets below 32 degrees you run the risk of damaging the backflow and the piping.

If you don't need to blow it out, turning off the main is all that's needed.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:42 AM   #13
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Re: How to turn on sprinkler system?


Yes, you should definitely winterize the system in Charlotte.

There could/should be a shut off inside, and there could/should also be a air admittance valve somewhere so you can blow the system out for the cold weather.
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