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Sprinkler Valve Troubleshooting Guide

Post questions and info about pneumatic (compressed gas) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about valves, pipe types, compressors, alternate gas setups, and anything else relevant.
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Sprinkler Valve Troubleshooting Guide

Unread postAuthor: noname » Sat Jun 16, 2007 12:15 am

Sprinkler Valve Troubleshooting

This is a guide to sprinkler valve problems. Before creating a new topic to ask questions on why your valve isn't working, take a look in here and save the forums from more clutter.

This topic will cover:
Your valve won't seal around the top
Your valve honks
Your valve leaks air out the barrel
Your valve won't seal while you're pressurizing the cannon
Your valve won't fire; air just leaks out of the pilot
Your solenoid won't actuate the valve
Your sprinkler valve has a guide rod and you don't know where to mod it from
How much pressure can my valve take?

Make sure you scroll down and read through the section of help you need, before starting a topic. This topic will be updated if there are any other problems brought to mind later.
"P" stands for "problem", and "A" stands for "answer."

P: Your valve won't seal around the top.
A: Make sure all the screws are in and tightened down. It should seal. If it doesn't take it back and E-mail the manufacturer.

P: Your valve honks.
A: You need a better pilot valve. For small sprinkler valves, a blowgun is usually enough. For larger valves, a 3/8" or 1/2" vall valve should suffice.

P: Your valve leaks air out the barrel.
A: You may have a defective diaphragm, or it may be dirty. I have found the diaphragm would not seal when wet either. Take the valve apart, wash the diaphragm with mild soap, then dry it thoroughly. Use grease (white lithium grease is perfect) on top of the valve and as lubricant. The valve should seal. If it doesn't, and the diaphragm is defective, contact the manufacturer.

P: Your valve won't seal while you're pressurizing the cannon.
A: You may have an equilization hole that is too small. You may also have a leak in the top of the valve, so the valve is constantly being piloted. You can expand the equilization hole with a needle or a tiny drill bit. If there is a leak in the top of the valve, use sealant or epoxy to seal it. You may need to create a vacuum in the cannon to suck in the sealant. Your valve may also be on backwards. Check that the arrows point towards the barrel. Also, the manual bleed switch on the solenoigh may be up or partway up, keeping the valve from sealing.

P: Your valve won't fire; air just leaks out the pilot.
A: Your equilization hole may be too large, or the diaphragm may have a hole in it. This would cause air to leak through the diaphragm and make it keep equilizing. If there is a hole in the diaphragm, throw it away, or make your own diaphragm for it. If the equilization hole is too big, plug part of it or cover part with epoxy or other strong material.

P: Your solenoid won't actuate the valve.
A: The solenoid may not be able to vent the valve fast enough. Modify the valve to fix it.

P: Your sprinkler valve has a guide rod and you don't know where to mod it from.
A: You can usually put the brass fitting into the valve next to the guide rod. A few members have modified the valve where the guide rod is, and have bent the guide rod so the diaphragm doesn't fly off.

P: How much pressure can my valve take?
A: I have pressure tested the Orbit WaterMaster to 250 psi, water pressure. Using air pressure, the diaphragm ripped at around 200 psi; and the valve body was not damaged.


Thanks to those who have read through this whole topic, or have realized that you don't need to create a topic to answer your question.
~Tim C
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Unread postAuthor: sandman » Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:21 am

i request that this be stickied

great Q&A, lol i wish i had it to troubleshoot my cannon
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Unread postAuthor: spudthug » Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:32 am

good job no name :wink:

i only have one sprinkler valve and it worked like a charm the first time i modded it...

i request that this be stickied


i second that!!
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4" piston valved cannon-half done..( i spilt my cement...)

Hybrid- 75% done. need to build propane holder and drill/tap sparkplug hole..
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Unread postAuthor: noname » Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:35 am

I'm tired of hearing the same questions asked by different people 2 weeks apart, and I've been meaning to make this for quite some time, so I just sat down and did it.
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Unread postAuthor: potatoflinger » Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:54 pm

Thanks, this helped a lot with my valve, it was leaking air out the barrel and I had no idea what to do, so I took it apart and cleaned it , then added lithium grease, and it worked perfectly. Thanks a bunch.
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Unread postAuthor: mtronic » Thu Aug 02, 2007 7:50 pm

Hi, I just got myself a sprinkler valve and was wondering if the US guys knew if the brand HR are any good or not. It USA made, its grey and its code is HR25FC and takes up to 230 psi, although I think thats water pressure and not air?

Any thoughts would be appreciated before I take it apart.
Thanks
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Unread postAuthor: noname » Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:34 pm

This topic is for informational purposes, not for asking unrelated questions in. If there isn't a problem with your valve (yet), please don't post here.
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Unread postAuthor: mtronic » Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:28 pm

hey noname, sorry about posting in the wrong spot before :oops: my valve works fine, thanks for the troubleshooting guide it helped a lot :)
I shall post it in the showcase as soon as I'm finished it.
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Unread postAuthor: CannonCreator » Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:45 am

Dude great job on this it basically hit all my questions! I finally have learned how to use the search :blob6:
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Unread postAuthor: watto » Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:23 am

I have a problem that after every shot the diaphragm gets stuck in the up position, could this be because the thread of the pipe tap is poking through a little bit and causing it to get stuck on an angle, if you know what I mean? Or do you think some grease on the guide pin would help?

Thanks
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Unread postAuthor: Marco321 » Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:40 am

Do you have a spring in the diaphragm or did you remove it?
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Unread postAuthor: watto » Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:41 am

the spring is still inside it
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Unread postAuthor: Marco321 » Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:24 am

Hmmm maybe it is the thread knocking the phram.... Try and fix it?

EDIT: i always say, the more things you find it isn't, the closer you are to finding what it is
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Unread postAuthor: watto » Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:33 am

Yeh theres not much room for the thread I think I'm pushing it as it is. Maybe I'll screw it out a bit and see if it leaks. It's not that bad tho I spose u just gotta blow down the air trigger to pop it back into place.
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Unread postAuthor: el matt2003 » Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:53 am

I've looked around here, and asked several people, and I can't find my answer. I followed noname's instructions for super-modding my valve, now it doesn't fire. It holds plenty of pressure, and I can actually feel the bottom of the new diaphragm pressed firmly against the valve. Before I 'super-modded' it, it worked just fine, now, not so much. Any ideas?

Matt
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