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  Welcome to the Action Irrigation Help Center. Here you will find tutorials, manuals, and other general information about your sprinkler system.  
 

Sprinklers wont shut off? Read our help article below. Remember if you have trouble don't hesitate to call us 24/7 at 904.779.7799

 
   
   
     

My System Keeps Running When It's Not Supposed To...

When a part of the system stays on well after the scheduled shut down time, you know you have a problem. Sometimes the problem is an error in setting up the watering schedule in the irrigation controller. In other instances, there is a mechanical problem and you will need to manually turn off the water.

There are two places to turn off the sprinkler system: the system controller and a shut-off valve at the water source.

Turning Off The System At The Controller

Sprinkler System Controller

Every irrigation controller has an OFF position. Depending upon the model or manufacturer of the controller, the OFF setting can be called RAIN OFF, RAIN, or simply OFF. In each instance the switch or dial position does the same thing; it shuts off the system electrically.

If you turn the switch or dial on the controller to the OFF position, you have done all you can do at the controller. You can un-plug the unit at the wall, but in most cases, that won’t get you any further. (Note: un-plugging the controller could result in the loss of the watering program and require re-programming to reactivate the system.)

If the water is still running after you set the controller to the OFF position, this indicates that there is a mechanical problem with your system that will require you to manually turn the water off at the source.

Turning Off The System At The Water Source

To turn the system off at the water source, you will need to locate the MAIN EMERGENCY CUT OFF for the sprinkler system. This will turn off the sprinkler system water without turning off the water to the entire house or building. 
 
  The valves on your back-flow prevention device can act as the easiest to locate EMERGENCY CUT OFF. To assist you in locating the back-flow device and correctly operating the valves, we are including pictures and information below and to the right.


 
The back-flow device is usually located near the street in a rectangular box with a concrete and metal lid. Older devices can be in a oval shaped box. In most cases the box sits inside the property line near the water meter. It may be difficult to see, since grass may have grown over the cover!

In most situations back-flow devices are located above the ground. On older systems you may find them buried in the ground in a rectangle valve box. Normally has a green lid.

Once you have located the device, turning it off is the next step. Each back-flow device has two cut off valves, each does the same job. They turn off the water at the source without turning off the water to the house.

Ball Valves: Modern back-flow devices are equipped with "ball valves". Each has a handle that appears as a "T" shaped lever on the back-flow device. Rotate either of them in a clock-wise direction to shut the flow of water. When completed, the "T" will be positioned across the flow of the water through the pipe and you should see the flow of water stop.
(There may be a good deal of resistance in moving this handle, the device may have been in service a long time and the valves may have never been turned.)
 

Gate Valves: Older devices have "gate valves" with handles that look like faucet handles. Rotate either one in a clock-wise fashion until the water in the system is off. (There may be a good deal of resistance in moving this handle, the device may have been in service a long time and the valves may have never been used.)

The handles of these devices are notorious for twisting off due to corrosion.
Be careful when forcing these handles, they can cause a nasty cut if broken off. You may want to wear some leather gloves!


ONCE THE SYSTEM IS OFF, CALL ACTION IRRIGATION REPAIR TO LOCATE THE PROBLEM AND REPAIR IT!  904-779-7799
We also offer 24/7 emergency repair service!

 

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shutt off water meter

 

 

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Sprinkler System Valves

 

Irrigation System Valves

My System Is Using Too Much Water…

Excessive use of water, or large jumps from your normal usage can sometimes be an indication of irrigation problems. Over watering, inappropriate scheduling, malfunctioning equipment and broken water lines can all lead to an unnecessary overuse of water.
However, in many cases it can be easy to blame the sprinkler system when another water usage problem may exist. Here is a simple check list to help determine if the sprinkler system may be the culprit:
 

Check the Watering Program in the Irrigation Controller. Was the program set-up correctly? Has someone re-adjusted the watering schedule? (With some controllers extended-watering cycles designed for drip irrigation, it is possible to water one zone for up to 10 hours.)

Walk Around the Yard Do you find "wet spots" where water is collecting? Do you see signs of excessive dampness in any low areas that could be caused by seepage? Do you see any signs of erosion or holes that could be caused by a broken pipe?

Operate the System Look for geysers, or water boiling out from under heads that could be broken off below the ground.


Call your Water Utility JEA and other local water utilities may assist you in determining if you have a leak.
They will only check as far as the meter, but will help in determining if you have a leak on your side of the meter. To request assistance for a leak problem, contact  
JEA: (Duval County)904-665-6000 
CCUA (Clay County) 904) 272-5999
(St Johns County) 904-209-2700 or 904-209-2745


Call American Irrigation. If you have located a broken pipe or sprinkler in your walk through, notify the service technician. We always provide a more thorough check of the system and let you know if the system is causing excessive water use.

Wet Spots or Slow Leakage Out of Sprinklers When System is Off…

The goal of an irrigation system is to evenly apply water in a desired manner on a scheduled basis. Areas that are continuously wet or excessively wet after or between watering cycles should be addressed immediately. Several factors can result in "wet spots", here are a few common causes:

Leaking Zone Control Valves: The individual valves in your system are essentially like faucets, they turn on and they turn off. Like a faucet, they can leak. Leakage can be caused by something caught in the mechanism that operates the valve or it can also be a sign that the valve is old and may need a replacement part installed. The most visible symptom of a leaking valve is water continuously coming out of a head long after the system has shut off. (Be careful, this can also be a symptom of low head drainage, which is described below.)

SYSTEM ZONE CONTROL VALVES SHOULD ONLY BE SERVICED BY A LICENSED IRRIGATION TECHNICIAN.

Low-Head Drainage: This problem is caused by water siphoning out of the lowest head in a sprinkler zone after watering is completed. When the water flow to the zone has been shut off at the end of its cycle, the remaining water in the lines will drain downhill to the lowest point. If a sprinkler head is located in the lowest part of the system, water will flow out of that head until an equilibrium has been reached or all of the water has emptied out of that zone’s pipes.

Low head drainage can be a problem if the water collects in a low area of the yard and makes a puddle, or if it flows across a walk or driveway.
This normal process is caused by gravity flow and water attempting to reach its own level and is typically not considered a problem. If it becomes a problem it can usually be corrected by adjustments to the system or installation of devices, called drain check valves, that can prevent low head drainage.

CONTACT A LICENSED IRRIGATION CONTRACTOR IF
LOW HEAD DRAINAGE BECOMES A NUISANCE.

Broken Pipes: "Wet Spots" can also be caused by broken pipes in the system. There are two types of lines in irrigation systems where pipe breaks can occur: Main (Constant Pressure) Lines and Lateral (Zone) Lines. In order to assess your situation, you will best be served by determining which type of line is broken.

Main (Constant Pressure) Line: This pipe that leads from the back-flow prevention device to the individual zone control valves and supplies the system with continuous water pressure. If you break or have a leak in a main line, the water will flow continuously whether the system is running or not. The flow may be large enough to erode a hole in the soil or cause a continuous leak or wet spot.

IF YOU HAVE A MAIN LINE LEAK YOU WILL NEED TO TURN THE WATER OFF IMMEDIATELY

Lateral (Zone) Lines: These pipes feed the various individual zones of the sprinkler system that are under pressure only when the system is actually running. A lateral line break can be hard to spot because it only leaks while that particular zone or station of the system is active. No matter whether it is a small leak or a large break, it will eventually erode the soil and create a hole in the lawn or bed.

Line breaks waste water and can cause damage by erosion or over watering. Both Main Line and Lateral Line breaks should be repaired by an irrigation professional. Contaminants (dirt, rocks or mulch) could enter the line during repairs and clog or permanently damage downstream sprinklers and other components.

IF YOU HAVE A LATERAL LINE BREAK, YOU CAN CONTINUE TO OPERATE THE SYSTEM BY TURNING OFF THE ZONE THAT CONTAINS THE BREAK UNTIL THE REPAIR IS MADE. THIS WILL LIMIT DAMAGE TO THE LANDSCAPE.

Available 24/7 at 904.779.7799
 
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