Sunday, February 5, 2017

Mystery Solved

For several years, #16 green has been notorious for poor irrigation pressure.  Running two or more sprinklers at once has been a problem, so some further investigation was in order.  We weren't able to take the valve apart in the ground, so the decision was made to replace it.

Once the old valve was removed, our suspicions were confirmed.  The gate which should rise and fall as the valve is opened and closed, was stuck and open only about 25%, severely restricting water flow to the green.

With the valve placed in a vice, it's easy to see the gate was only slightly opened.
How it should look with the gate out of the way.
In addition to the gate not operating, the wheel handle had rusted and fell off the stem.

The tricky part when replacing components on our system is that virtually all of the pipe is gasketed--that is, basically just pushed together, and held in place by the weight of the soil over top of it.  Because of this, we had to make sure that there was no gap between pipes when the repair coupling was installed, and be certain that the pipe couldn't move at all.  Had there been any gap, the feed for the greens loop could easily have popped out of the Tee fitting it was in.
Concrete and rebar on both sides of the valve should prevent any pipe movement.

The only downside to making repairs such as this in the winter is that it will be at least six weeks until we pressurize the system and get to find out if the repair was a good one.  With any luck, we'll find that the sprinkler performance will be greatly improved on this green going forward.

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