So we had a leak on the lowest sprinkler, and it was my goal to get the rest of the irrigation working right.
I got a quote from a local sprinkler company and the price just seemed too high for what we were doing. So I decided to ask around about timers. I kept losing out on the lowest priced Rain Bird ESP-4M 4-Station Sprinkler System Controller along with a RAINBIRD ESP Modular-Expansion Module on Amazon for the 5 zones we need watered, so I figured lets buy something in the meantime. I ended up buying the cheapest controller that could work with 5 zones or stations, Rain Bird SST-600I Simple Set 6-Station Indoor Automatic Sprinkler System Timer.
This controller took no time at all to setup. I took each of the wires from the now broken Irritrol controller and put them into the Rain Bird SST-600I. Plugged in the unit and everything was a go. The best part was how easy this was to setup. I guess the negative is that each zone and time you setup the controller won’t just go to the next zone so many minutes later. You get to do a little math. So if zone 1 starts at 10:00pm and goes for 10 minutes. Zone 2 needs to be setup for 10:11pm and so on. Not too much hassle but I guess this unit get negative reviews because of that. On each zone you will click the button next to each day to tell the unit which days you want watered. The rest of the setup is very easy and once you do this once, you won’t forget how to change anything without the instructions. Manual watering is also simple. Just turn the knob to the zone you want and hit auto. Simple simple simple. The Irritrol we had before was confusing to use.
So now that I can now control what’s going on the next step was to figure out why the Rain Bird Maxi-Paw sprinklers were not working right. I learned from a youtube video that the way to control their areas of spray is by adjusting a spring inside the unit. So I turned on the zone and starting to move the springs around until I got the pattern right. The other Maxi-Paw was shooting 360 degrees. That was as easy as flipping up the spring that travels between the springs that get moved. Now the zones are being watered correctly. Easy enough!
Now to the part that gave me a headache. I tried to replace the diaphragm in one of our Superior 800 3/4″ brass valve adapters that was causing the leaking sprinkler. After unscrewing the part that looks like a UFO, I tried to twist the adapter off the pipes. I used all my muscle and heard a snap. I thought I broke the unit free, but I actually snapped the PVC pipe going to the sprinklers.
I didn’t want to mess with this any longer and called a plumber out. The plumber mentioned that I had just about got everything apart, but that putting the valve in a vice grip was almost necessary to get the unit apart. The plumber said the valve adapter was put on with He-Man force. He also mentioned if I broke off any more of the PVC pipe that the rest of the PVC pipe being encased in concrete would have been a big problem. So I let the pipe dry over night and we now once again have working sprinklers. And no more leak!