Sprinkler System Start-up

stop and waste access

The stop and waste access is often hidden by the grass growing over it.

ball valve

This is a regular ball valve that is located in the crawl space of a home. It is shown here as an example that all systems are not installed with a stop and waste.

PVB backflow preventer

If there is a backflow on the property, I will generally shut it off before I turn on the stop and waste or main shutoff. The two handles on this backflow are the #1 and #2 shutoff. If the handle is pointing the same direction as the pipe, the valve is open. Alternately, if the handle is turned so that it faces across the pipe, the valve is closed.

stop and waste being turned on

Slowly turn the water on by twisting / turning in a counterclockwise direction. Note, a stop and waste only turns 1/4 turn.

backflow preventer test cock

Use the first little valve (called a Test Cock) to flush any debris from the line so they do not get caught in the backflow. You open the test cock using a flat head screwdriver.

Turning on PVB backflow preventer

Turn the #2 shutoff slightly on, so the system can fill slowly.

sprinkler valve box

Locate the sprinkler valves / sprinkler boxes on the property.

Sprinkler hose bib

Shut off any open drains or open hose bibs.

sprinkler valves shut off

Set all the valves on the property to the closed position. This is done by turning the solenoid (Yellow arrow) and the bleed valve (Red arrow) clockwise until they are snug. Be careful not to over tighten these as they are just plastic threads and are prone to breaking if over tightened. Be patient, it may take a few seconds or up to a minute for all the valves to shut down.

If you prefer, you can shut all of the valves down first. It is simply my preference to shut the valves down after I start charging the system. This comes from my experience with large sprinkler systems, allowing air to escape the system before pressurizing.

sprinkler valves flow control

On most valves the center stem is actually a flow control, it is not intended to be used to turn the valve on or off. This is used to reduce or control the amount of water flow Through the valve.

backflow preventer open all the way

Once the system is fully pressurized, open the #2 shutoff fully, and leave it in the open position for the remainder of the watering season.

setting sprinkler timer to run

Set the sprinkler timer to the Auto position. The sprunkler timer will likely need to be adjusted as well.