How to Locate Hidden Sprinkler Valves
Do you need help locating the valves of your irrigation system? Don't worry; we've got you covered! This complete guide will walk you through finding those elusive sprinkler valves. You can quickly track down that valve box with our expert tips and techniques. Say goodbye to the frustration of hidden valves and hello to a smoothly operating sprinkler system.
Understanding Sprinkler Valves
Before we dive into the search process, let's first understand what sprinkler valves are and how they work. Sprinkler valves are an essential component of any automatic irrigation system. They control water flow to different zones or sections of your lawn or garden. These valves are typically made of plastic for residential and most commercial applications, while heavy-duty sites like golf courses and municipal pumping stations use metal valves.
Sprinkler valves can be installed individually or grouped in manifolds. It's crucial to bury the valves inside a plastic irrigation valve box to protect them from the elements. Never bury a valve directly in the ground, as this can lead to damage and make repairs difficult.
The Challenges of Hidden Sprinkler Valves
Locating sprinkler valves can be a daunting task, especially when they are concealed or buried. Over time, valve boxes may become covered by mulch, grass can become overgrown, or valves might even be buried directly in the ground without a valve box. Finding a malfunctioning sprinkler valve becomes even more crucial when a valve replacement or tune-up is needed.
But fret not! We have compiled helpful tips to guide you through locating those hidden valves on your property. Follow these steps, and you'll be on your way to solving the mystery of the hidden sprinkler valves.
Start in the Most Likely Places
To begin your search, focus on the areas most likely to house the sprinkler valves. Probe the soil in the irrigation valve area, sifting through the specific section of your property. However, be cautious when probing the ground, as it can damage the solenoid, valve wires, or irrigation system pipes. It's only recommended if you're confident that a valve box covers the lawn irrigation valves.
Another helpful technique is to look for valve box covers. If valve boxes were installed when the system was set up, chances are they are just beneath the surface. Check for any indications of valve box covers and carefully remove the covering material to access the valves.
Consult Blueprints and Permits
When in doubt, seek assistance from the install company or the city permitting office. The irrigation system permit application often includes an irrigation blueprint indicating the irrigation valve's location. Contact the install company or the city permitting office to access these blueprints, as they can serve as valuable resources in your search for hidden sprinkler valves.
Conduct a Click Test
Turn on the zone or section of your sprinkler system that you suspect contains the hidden valves. Observe which sprinklers are the earliest to pressurize. These are typically the ones closest to the irrigation system valve. When you turn on the valve, pay close attention to any clicking noise at the solenoid. You can even use a mechanic's stethoscope on the ground to listen for the buzzing solenoid or the sound of water flowing through the valve.
Utilize a Wire Locator
If the previous methods have not yielded results, it's time to bring specialized equipment. Consider using a valve-locating device to track the wires from the controller to the valve site. This device comprises a transmitter, a receiver, lead wires, and a grounding stake. Transmitting a beeping signal along the wire helps you locate the hidden irrigation valves without causing any damage to your lawn.
You can also use a wire locator known as a wire tracer device to trace the wire path and pinpoint the valve solenoid precisely. Some tool rental places cater to professional contractors and offer wire tracers for rent. These devices allow you to follow the path of the wires from the controller/timer to the valve, aiding in your quest to find those elusive sprinkler valves.
Seek Professional Assistance
If all else fails, don't hesitate to call in the professionals. A professional sprinkler company has the expertise and specialized equipment to effectively locate and repair hidden sprinkler valves. They have the knowledge and experience to tackle even the most challenging valve-finding tasks. By enlisting their help, you can ensure your sprinkler system is in top-notch condition and functioning optimally.
Locating hidden sprinkler valves may present challenges, but you can conquer this task with the proper techniques and tools. Whether you opt for DIY methods or seek professional assistance, remember that maintaining and servicing your sprinkler system is vital to its longevity and efficiency.
Following the steps outlined in this guide, you'll be well-equipped to find those hidden valves and ensure that your irrigation system keeps your lawn and garden lush and healthy.
Remember: Your satisfaction is our top priority. At Big Frog Supply, we are committed to providing you with the highest quality products and expert advice to meet all your sprinkler system needs. Shop with us today and experience the difference!