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Irrigation/Mystery Rain Bird valve



Firstly, thank you for your time! I'm a new home owner and there was a sprinkler system already installed. All 3 valves, which are over 2 feet high out of the ground. I'm assuming that's because of backflow and the fact that my property slopes slightly. The valves are in the middle of my lot, against the back of the house. The valve to the left turns on for the front lawn, the valve on the right waters the back. The one in the middle, however, does nothing but leak water when I turn the valve on manually. What purpose does it serve? How can I tell where the water is going? Is the fact that it sprays water out when I turn it on mean that it's been capped for some reason? Why would they install it if it's closed off? The real estate agent said it was for ground water or some such nonsense. Can you please offer some clarity?

Thanks again

Hey James, first question, ( what purpose does it serve?) since you see no water coming out, I would have no idea. second question (How can I tell where the water is going?) I would suggest digging down to the pipe and see what direction it is going. Then go out about 2 feet in the direction it is heading, and dig a hole, and see if it keeps continuing, this is called potholing. As soon as you can no longer follow the pipe, go back to the last hole you have dug, and dig along the pipe. This way you can see what the pipe is doing, where it is going, and if indeed it is capped off. Third question, just because it sprays water, doesn't neccesarily mean it is capped. fourth question, sometimes people install an extra valve for future projects, maybe it was put in for a future garden or flower bed, or etc. The best advice I can give you, is #1 make sure the valve is indeed working and is indeed running water into the lateral outlet pipe. #2, if it is working, follow the pipe by potholing it, to see where it is going, and if indeed it is capped off. Unfortunataly people do all kinds of crazy things when they install their own sprinklers, there is no telling where, what, or why this valve was installed. Good luck and have a great day.


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Jim Schaefer


Any question regarding sprinking systems,installation,repair, and trouble shooting.


I have been installing and repairing sprinkling systems since I was 15 years old. Have owned my own sprinkler system contracting business for over 26 years. It is basically the only job I've ever done, except for being a paper boy when I was young.

High School diploma and 3 years college credits.

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