I’ve recently run into this problem lately both in my day job as a landscape contractor and in email questions from subscribers, and that is a lot of homeowners do not know where where the valve is to shut off there sprinkler system. This is not only a little inconvenient for me when I am there to work on their sprinkler system, but it could be costly for the homeowner if a sprinkler line breaks or if a valve starts leaking. I had one customer that flooded a basement because they didn’t know where the shut off valve was. They had a break in the supply line of the sprinkler and the water ran into a window well and then into the basement.
Where I live most sprinkler valves are stop & waste valves. They are usually buried 3-5′ deep and require a 5′ meter key to turn them on and off. The valve usually has a stand pipe that is 2″-4″ in diameter and goes from the top of the valve to flush with the surface of the ground. The top of the pipe has a removable cap to provide access to the valve with the key I mentioned earlier. In the spring the valve is turned on to supply the sprinkler system with water, and in the late fall the valve is turned off to stop the supply of water to the sprinkler system. There is a drain port in the side of the valve that drains the water from the supply side of the sprinkler system out the port of the valve when the valve is shut off. This keeps the piping and valves in the system from freezing and breaking. Some of the sprinkler systems I encounter have the valve in the basement of the house with a drain port in the valve there to drain the water out when shut off.
So, my tip of the day is to locate the shut off valve for you system and make sure it works just in case “Murphy” comes for a visit and you need to shut down your sprinkler system until you can get a contractor do the repairs or you can find the time to do the repairs yourself.
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