Turned on Rachio; Bell valve immediately burst


#1

I’m by no means a plumbing expert, but I can’t see how the two would be related. Just in case, I thought I’d still run this problem by you guys.

I installed the Rachio, and then turned on zone 1 manually just to test it out, and immediately heard a crazy noise and went outside to see my bell valve gushing water into the air.

Could the Rachio somehow operate so differently from my old controller that it would lead to too much water pressure going through the pipes or something? Or is there something I could have possibly done wrong installing it? (I doubt that…I have 6 zone wires and a Com wire…pretty easy.)

OR…is it just a massive coincidence that this problem happened at that exact moment?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on the matter.


#2

Bell valve? Ball valve, as in a shut off ball valve?

Either way, completely a coincidence if all you did was swap controllers. All Rachio does is send a signal to the solenoids to open and close the sprinkler zone. It does nothing to adjust or throttle flow.


#3

@cutaia Sounds like a coincidence to me too. If you do have high pressure, enable Rachio’s water hammer feature. It may give your system come relief as the valves close.

Do you mean ball valve or control valve?


#4

I guess the part is actually called a bonnet and poppin for the backflow preventer seen here:

I assumed as much. Good to hear from people who know more than I, though. I went ahead and replaced that part and just tested the Rachio again. So far, so good.

Should I still look into the water hammer feature, though? What is that exactly?


#5

Interesting. I just looked into the water hammer and maybe that will be a good idea.

Technically when I blew the bonnet and poppin, I had just turned the sprinkler off after testing it for a few seconds. So maybe that abrupt shutoff, coupled with old hardware, led to my issue.


#6

Some irrigation valves are not designed to operating at standard “street” water pressures. Almost all should be protected by a pressure regulator in line before the valve bank. Check the rating of your irrigation valves.

Even if the valve can take pressures up to 150 psi, the spray heads, etc. do not do well at high pressures, causing aerosolization of spray with resulting evaporative and wind loss of irrigation. Most drip irrigation cannot tolerate pressures over 40 psi without increased problems. If you don’t have a pressure regulator on the valves, then you should be checking the downstream water pressure and reduce by turning back the “flow rate” adjustment on the valve.