rainbird sprinkler diaphragmIrrigation valves generally sit below ground in a box and sometimes end up submerged in water. It’s no wonder they don’t last forever. Occasionally, you may find that a sprinkler valve won’t fully shut off. It’s time to investigate.

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Pop the top of the irrigation box and determine which valve is running. You can usually do this by feeling the valve. You will feel for a small vibration in the valve…it will also be the coolest as fresh water is constantly running through it.

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It may be that there is debris in the valve which is preventing the valve from operating properly. To check, unscrew the series of screws that hold the top of the valve to the bottom of the valve and carefully lift off the top. You will see a gasket between the two pieces. There will be a rubber diaphragm in the center of the bottom half of the valve. Look for dirt or debris around this area. You should also look at the general condition of the diaphragm. Look for damage or small holes or tears in it. You can buy a replacement or just reinstall the old one if it looks good.

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Once you reassemble the valve, turn on the water and test for leaks and check to make sure it actually shuts off the water correctly.

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