Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Normal static pressure, but low flow outside!? Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Normal static pressure, but low flow outside!?

    I recently noticed that my sprinklers were not throwing water nearly as far as they used to when connected to either outside water faucet. I used a pressure gauge to check the water pressure and got 60 pounds of pressure at each faucet; the same as my neighbor. I attached my sprinkler to his faucet and it works fine. The water pressure is normal at all of the indoor water faucets. If the static pressure is normal, what could be causing the low flow? Our house is 3 years old in a new development with no large trees. The water line enters the house, goes through the meter, and the outside lines split off and run under the basement floor to the faucets. Meanwhile I'm runnng my sprinklers off of the laundry tub faucet. Thanks!

    Dan O

  • #2
    Your hose bibs may be clogged with debris/sand/ dirt, etc. Just for shits and giggles (this will be censored, but you know what I mean), try this:

    1) Shut off your water.
    2) Remove a hose bib.
    3) Open the water again and let it blow for about, I don't know, about three minutes.
    4) Install a NEW hose bib.
    5) Try your sprinkler.


    If there is no change repost.
    the dog

    Comment


    • #3
      did both hose bibbs go bad at the same time?

      are the hose bibbs the frost proof style?

      do they have vacuum breakers on them?

      what is the pressure while running the sprinkler?

      it should be easy to narrow it down if you fill in the blanks for us.

      is it possible that the outside hose bibbs are on a separate line that is not on the whole way

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by otter
        I recently noticed that my sprinklers were not throwing water nearly as far as they used to when connected to either outside water faucet. I used a pressure gauge to check the water pressure and got 60 pounds of pressure at each faucet; the same as my neighbor. I attached my sprinkler to his faucet and it works fine. The water pressure is normal at all of the indoor water faucets. If the static pressure is normal, what could be causing the low flow? Our house is 3 years old in a new development with no large trees. The water line enters the house, goes through the meter, and the outside lines split off and run under the basement floor to the faucets. Meanwhile I'm runnng my sprinklers off of the laundry tub faucet. Thanks!

        Dan O
        is the irrigation / hose bibbs on a separate meter? or is the whole house on the same meter?

        rick.
        phoebe it is

        Comment


        • #5
          See Attached Pics

          wow... thanks for the responses so far.
          Originally posted by plumbdog10
          Your hose bibs may be clogged with debris/sand/ dirt, etc. Just for shits and giggles (this will be censored, but you know what I mean), try this:

          1) Shut off your water.
          2) Remove a hose bib.
          3) Open the water again and let it blow for about, I don't know, about three minutes.
          4) Install a NEW hose bib.
          5) Try your sprinkler.


          If there is no change repost.
          This was my first though too. Not long after I first built the house I had zero water coming out of the spigot, when I removed the hose, it was packed full of sand. So I let it run for a while and this solved the problem until now. If this is the cause, what could be the source of the sand? No sand comes out now, and I can't figure out how to remove the bib; it's some kind of funky frost-free thing. It just keeps rotating when I try to unscrew it.
          Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK
          did both hose bibbs go bad at the same time?

          are the hose bibbs the frost proof style?

          do they have vacuum breakers on them?

          what is the pressure while running the sprinkler?

          it should be easy to narrow it down if you fill in the blanks for us.

          is it possible that the outside hose bibbs are on a separate line that is not on the whole way

          rick.
          - Yes, both outside bibs seem to have the same low flow.
          - They are frost-proof (so I'm told, you can probably tell better then I from
          the pic)
          - I don't know about vacuum breakers.. how do I tell?
          - I've only tested the pressure with the gauge screwed on the bib on place of the hose, and it measures 60 lbs. How do I test it with the sprnkler running? I have have a Y adapter, do I put the sprinkler on one, and the gauge on the other?
          - Every spigot in and out is after the meter, I've checked the valve handles and they are all full ON(I had them shut off for the winter)
          Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK
          is the irrigation / hose bibbs on a separate meter? or is the whole house on the same meter?

          rick.
          - I only have one meter Here's a pic that might help:

          Thanks for the help so far!

          Dan O
          Attached Files
          Last edited by otter; 07-09-2006, 11:28 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            dan o. a picture is worth a thousand words

            looks like you have vacuum breakers and the hose bibb is not a frost proof style.

            i think that the vacuum breaker is at fault. you can easily remove the valve bonett/ stem. shut off the ball valve at the block wall in the basement for the 1 hose bibb. remove the stem assy. by unwrenching the hex nut below the handle. the upper hex is the packing nut, the lower hex next to the valve is the stem / bonett. make sure to keep the handle in a half open position when unwrenching and reassembly.

            with the stem out, have someone turn on the ball valve in the basement. this should flush out lots of water. if you have lots of flow, then the vacuum breaker at the end of the faucet is to blame. you might be able to drill out the set screw. personally you would be better with a dedicated 3/4'' line for your sprinkler with an anti-siphon valve on it. this will flow a whole lot more water than a hose bibb. with a separate shut off in the basement you could make it frost proof in the winter.

            the vac. breaker is very prone to boogering up. it has rubber parts and springs. it is very restrictive as an assy.

            if you can unwrench the entire hose bibb without breaking or twisting in the block wall, you can perform the same test. then you can eaisly extend a separate tee for the new full flow sprinkler line and anti-syphon valve.

            hope this helped and didn't confuse you more

            rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Plumber Rick,
              As you suggested I removed the valve bonnet and turned on the water, there definetely seems to be plenty of pressure, the water was hitting the side of the neighbors garage just under the eave 20' away! So it looks like you have me on the right track. Here's the problem though (I think) It doesn't appear that I can replace the anti-siphon valve without unsoldering the conduit inside the wall. One spigot is on the other side of an unfinished wall, so this wouldn't be a problem, the other is behind a finished wall. Am I correct that the anti-siphon can't be removed outside the house? Thanks again!

              Dan O

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree with Rick, most likely the vacuum breaker is plugged up with crud.

                If the set screws on the vac breaker were set (as they should have been) then it will be difficult to remove it w/o damaging the threads on the hose bibb, not impossible though.

                If you take the stem out of the hose bibb open it half way before you break the bonnet and be sure it is somewhere near this position when you put it back together. This will allow the bonnet to seat on the valve body without the stem bottoming out in the seat. It this happened and you continued to try to tighten the bonnet you could damage the seat or the disc.

                A frost proof hydrant has the vacuum breaker built into it and is installed through the wall so that the water is shut off on the inside of the wall. This helps protect the water from freezing. Me, I have a ball valve installed 3 feet in from my hydrants and I close that in the winter and drain that last 3 feet of pipe for the winter.
                ---------------
                Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                ---------------
                “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                ---------
                "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                ---------
                sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Also, I want to make sure that I understand you correctly about the full-flow line...
                  The line to the spigot is 3/4", but the anti-siphon reduces or restricts the flow? If I Y it inside the wall I can bypass the anti-siphon valve and have way more pressure? Will this meet code then? If so, can I just remove the anti-siphon and have full flow without Y'ing it?
                  I'm only temporarily running my sprinklers like this, since I installed an underground sprinkler system. I'm just waiting for the the plumber (neighbors dad) to return to fix his solder connection at the anti-siphon valve. I was to chicken to do this myself since it was in close quarters in the ceiling of my basement, so I let the supposed pro do it.. and it leaked! The only other plumbing experience I have is when I installed my water softener. This was my first time soldering conduit... and everything worked the first time so I had to give the "pro" a hard time! I do a lot of soldering for my job, but it's audio connectors and circuit boards and stuff like that, but I understand the concept.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OK, if I can drill out the set srews I can replace the anti-siphon externally? How do I go about this? Is there a "best" assembly I can replace this with that you guys would recommend?

                    Dan O
                    Last edited by otter; 07-09-2006, 01:18 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      dan o. if you can drill out the set screw, then you can replace the vac. breaker. personally the vac. breaker has always been a royal pain in the butt.

                      a sprinkler system does require an anti-siphon valve. these are much simpler and better flowing than a vac. breaker on a hose bibb. you would be better off with a tee connection inside the wall feeding a new anti siphon valve for the sprinkler system.

                      by the way it look like the vac. breaker you have in the photo is a self draining style. chances are that if you can remove he old one, you can easiely repair or replace it. most likely full of debris.

                      pss. copper pipe is actually tubing. conduit is an electrical term.
                      the "dog" is gonna bite you for this

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dan O, a PVB (Pressure Vacuum Breaker) is the recommended protection in most cases from residential irrigation systems. A lawn sprinkler system is considered a high hazard cross connection regardless of whether you inject chemicals or not.

                        Also, a PVB should be installed OUTSIDE and should be mounted so the Critical Level (usually marked on the outside of the device) is at least 12" above the highest sprinkler head. This is so backpressure can not overcome the PVB as PVBs only protect against back-siphonage. If back-pressure is also a concern then you need to go to a RPZ (Reduced Pressure Zone assembly) which is more buck$. A PVB in 3/4 or 1" size should be in the $120 to 150 range, an a 3/4 or 1" RPZ would be about $275 or more. Both require testing after installation to ensure they are working properly per the manufacturer and by most state plumbing codes.

                        For a PVB You're looking for a Watts 800M4FR Freeze Resistant Pressure Vacuum Breaker (or equal)

                        To replace you existing hose vacuum breaker look for a Watts NF8 or equal.
                        ---------------
                        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                        ---------------
                        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                        ---------
                        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                        ---------
                        sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK
                          pss. copper pipe is actually tubing. conduit is an electrical term.
                          the "dog" is gonna bite you for this

                          rick.
                          Haha... thanks for setting me straight on this.... it's kind of like how block layers hate it when you call them brick layers, or how it irritates me when the electrician calls my LCD projectors cameras!?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bob D.
                            Dan O, a PVB (Pressure Vacuum Breaker) is the recommended protection in most cases from residential irrigation systems. A lawn sprinkler system is considered a high hazard cross connection regardless of whether you inject chemicals or not.

                            Also, a PVB should be installed OUTSIDE and should be mounted so the Critical Level (usually marked on the outside of the device) is at least 12" above the highest sprinkler head. This is so backpressure can not overcome the PVB as PVBs only protect against back-siphonage. If back-pressure is also a concern then you need to go to a RPZ (Reduced Pressure Zone assembly) which is more buck$. A PVB in 3/4 or 1" size should be in the $120 to 150 range, an a 3/4 or 1" RPZ would be about $275 or more. Both require testing after installation to ensure they are working properly per the manufacturer and by most state plumbing codes.

                            For a PVB You're looking for a Watts 800M4FR Freeze Resistant Pressure Vacuum Breaker (or equal)

                            To replace you existing hose vacuum breaker look for a Watts NF8 or equal.
                            Bob, sorry, I didn't mean to confuse the issue... the underground sprinkler system is a separate issue. I do have a Watts PVB installed (it was $125) outside for the underground sprinklers, there is a shut-off just inside the house for it which happens to be in the drop-ceiling of the lowest basement (it's a 4-level split walkout) It's even been inspected, even though it leaked, they just wanted to see it in place! The PVB is split off right before one of the outside spigots. The problem is, it leaks after the shut-off valve... I'm afraid to solder it myself since it's wet now, and it's against the wall and under the subfloor. WTF... maybe I'll start another thread and give it a shot since you guys have been so helpful.
                            Last edited by otter; 07-09-2006, 09:44 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Problem resolved! Sprinklers shoot 30'!

                              Oh yeah... BTW I was able to solve the low flow issue. Y'all were 100% correct that the anti-siphon valve was clogged (with big flakes of solder). The thing that was confusing the hell out of me all this time was that there was no flippin set screw on the valve! What I finally did was unscrew the two screws that went into the side of the house, then I wrench on it to try to unscrew it, apparently it was soldered on because I broke the valve off where it attached to the bibb! Before, I couldn't get it to come off, it would just turn and turn and turn... and there was no set screw, not even the broken remnants of a set screw. After I broke it off, you could see that it was threaded on, and then a lip was crimped over and there was a large spring inside the assembly... so the bibb and the anti-siphon valve were one piece! Nobody I talked to at the BORG had ever heard of this style, and judging by your responses it must not be very common... I can't understand why they would manufacture these like this if they often clog, because you cannot remove it to clear or replace it without breaking it off; plus it's soldered inside, so you can't unscrew the bibb to replace it... what a flipping PITA.
                              Anyways... thanks for all the help!!!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X