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  1. 1. 4/21/2011 Irrigation Trouble Shooting and Problems Be prepared!!!!• Before problems occur develop a plan.• Have an inventory of parts on hand.Including: • Electrical from DBY’s to solenoids, fuses, receivers, wire, etc. • Piping- couplings, pipe, tees, Teflon tape. (Include the “big stuff” that is hard to acquire locally) • Extra sprinkler heads and nozzles • Extra electric valves, solenoids and pilot valves1. Have a map on hand and highlight isolation valves. (Can be laminated and placed in the pump house, office, and club house for quick retrieval.2. Have a list available with measurements to pin point locations in time of crisis.3. Make sure isolation valves can be seen on the course. Cut turf away, and install medal washers in covers to help location with medal detectors.4. Take time to train assistants, mechanics and staff how to read the map and how to shut down zones.5. Have the proper tools on hand (Have a tool box just for irrigation repair)6. Electrical – volt/ohmmeter, wire stripper and cutter7. Pipe saws, screw drivers, valve keys, Allen wrenches, specialized head tools etc. 1
  2. 2. 4/21/2011 Simple basics before you begin to trouble shoot1. Is the controller turned on or receiving power?2. Is water present at the valve?3. Is the gate valve open?4. Is sufficient water pressure and flow available?5. Is the pump working?6. Is the flow at the backflow sufficientElectrical- with field controlled systemsBasics as previously discussed•Power to main controllers you need 120 volts•Controller converts main power from 120 to24 volt by transformer•Wires from controller to solenoid valvescarry 24 volts•Solenoid activated with 24 volts Central120volt 120 volt Common 24 volt 2
  3. 3. 4/21/2011Example 1Head will come only by manual switch or key –evident that an electrical problem.1. Check to see if field controller is receiving a signal.If yes then; 1. Check power at the field controller for 120 volts. 2. If power, then check for 24 volts out to sprinkler (with volt ohmmeter) • If less then 24 volts (to wires) then problem at controller may be: • Blown fuse (check fuses and breakers) • Bad transformer • Bad connectionIf station is sending 24 volts to field, then problem is withwires or solenoid. •At sprinkler you register 24 volts (from the wire) then you have a bad solenoid •At sprinkler you check wires and find you register less than 24 volts (from the wire before the solenoid). Then one of three problems may have occurred: •Shorted wires – two wires come in contact with each other. This will allow both heads to come on at once and the short (usually blowing a fuse or tripping a breaker) •Bad splices in grounds or commons and moisture. This can lead to similar results as above make sure to “seal” all connections with DBY’s or “King Coil connectors??? •Broken common or control wires 3
  4. 4. 4/21/2011Ghost starts often due to:Low voltage to from central – most oftencaused by electrical strikes, vandalism,rodentsNOTE*Broken underground wires can be located withspecialized equipment. There are companies(irrigation contractors etc.) that will locate bad wires. PIPINGLocation of breaks:• Large leaks will simply show up in the form of“geysers” or turf raised into a “bubble”• Monitor the site (i.e. wet areas on slopes, sandy soil, occurring during drought etc.• Slight reductions in pressure may be noticed 4
  5. 5. 4/21/2011Small leaks cause:•Wet areas•Erosion•Increased costs•Unplayable conditions•Can and will lead to larger leaksIrrigation breaks may occur from:•Improper winterization•Lawn mowers•Age•Improper assembly or gluing•Excessive pressures i.e. lack of thrustblocks•Vandalism (commercial properties)•Weeping valves•Freezing and thawing•Excessive pressuresPipes breakage may also be due to:• Tightening fittings to tight• Air in system• Surge or water hammer• Temperature changes• Improper pipe alignment• Excess sealant• Excess Teflon tape – can put addedstress on the fitting 5
  6. 6. 4/21/2011Repairing breaks or fittings:For PVC•Use a rated PVC glue•Be sure to use a primer beforegluing•Cut PVC evenly•Remove all burrs•Use thrust blocks on non-gluedfittings•Make sure pipe or fittings are dryand clean before applying glue•Flush lines after repairs aremadeFor Poly Pipe• Clean all burrs on pipe before assembling• Use stainless steal clamps to hold pipe to fittings• Flush lines after repairs are made 6
  7. 7. 4/21/2011 Trouble shooting and Irrigation Auditing•Operate your system periodically under yourwatchful eye.•Don’t water by time alone know yourprecipitation rates!!! Not 20 minutes a night foreverything!! Trouble Shooting1. Dry or wet areas may be the result of any of the following not operating correctly (some information below derived from Kah and Willig golf course irrigation Jan-Feb 1994) Problem Correction•Improper pressures Adjust flow or pressure regulation•Poor sprinkler spacing Replace or re-space heads•Mixed equipment Standardize equipment•Be sure heads and zones pop up Observation•Nozzles clearing obstructions? Clear obstructions/raise heads•Are heads rotating? Check rotation and arc.•Shut down time Observation•Nozzle operation is correct ObservationOperation of a sprinkler or valve may be O.K. anda simple nozzle change can correct the problem.Often resizing may be done to offset problemsresulting from:•Soil type•Slope•Wind•Grass species etc.•Different microclimates 7
  8. 8. 4/21/20112. RunoffProblem CorrectionCompaction AerateThatch De-thatchSlope Reschedule controllers Vary nozzlesLow head drainage Checkomatic® heads3. Overspray and pressure problemsProblem CorrectionPoor sprinkler location Relocate and testIncorrect sprinkler Install proper sizesizing nozzle or sprinklerImproper pressures Flow control pressure regulationPressure problemsLow Pressure •Large droplet sizes •Throw distance decreases •Heads malfunction •Donut pattern SLIDE - IRRIGATION ASSOCIATION EDUCATION FOUNDATION 8
  10. 10. 4/21/2011 SLIDES - IRRIGATION ASSOCIATION EDUCATION FOUNDATIONTest operating not static pressure •Use a Pitot tube inserted into the nozzle streamIRRIGATION ASSOCIATION EDUCATION FOUNDATION IRRIGATION ASSOCIATION EDUCATION FOUNDATION EWINGLow pressure• Check valves to make sure fully open• Test backflow equipment• If pressure reducing valves in system makesure they are not set to low or are malfunctioning• Water meter is not restricting flow• Is booster pump needed• If pumping, is suction line restricted? Are allvalves at pump fully operational?• Redistribute flows for smaller pressure losses• Designed properly? Remember elevation 1 psiper 2.31 ft 10
  11. 11. 4/21/2011High Pressure •Use pressure-reducing valves4. Wind DriftProblem CorrectionImproper pressures Flow control / pressure regulationIncorrect equipment utilize low trajectory nozzles Rackliffe Photo 11
  12. 12. 4/21/20115.Too much water use Problem CorrectionPoor practices Knowledge of plant needsImproper scheduling re-set schedulesController failure Check timing mechanismsIncorrect equipment install correct equipmentPoor design Audit irrigation systemAuditing (Paul J. Roche, Golf Course Mgt. May 2004)Detailed audit --- Hire Consultant Detailed looks at: • Water supply/source quality/recharge Pumping system • Flow capacity • Repair history • Operating pressure • Pump sequencingAuditing continued: Piping • Material • Existing sizing • Condition and repair history Valves • Materials • Quality • Degree of system isolation Specialty valves 12
  13. 13. 4/21/2011Auditing continued: Sprinkler • Types • Spacing Controllers • Control flexibility • Data capabilities • Wire and condition • ET data? • Grounding Management practices Water distribution • Actual field testing 13