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Turn Your Irrigation System Off In An Emergency

August 23, 2016
Author:
Brad Bippus

Oh no, there is a leak in your irrigation system! Now you need to turn your irrigation system off for this emergency.  Before you panic, try to turn your irrigation system off at the easiest point. That is going to be at the backflow. See picture below.  On the back flow there are two ball valves. Generally these ball valves have blue, yellow, or red rubber handles. Try to turn one of these valves clockwise 90°. If that doesn’t work try the other ball valve. (See photo below showing where the ball valve is)   You will find a video link to explaining all of this and how to turn your irrigation system off at the street later in this post.

Turn Your Irrigation System Off In An Emergency

Turn Your Irrigation System Off In An Emergency

If the leak is before these ball valves, you’re going to have to use a water key for this procedure. First you want to try to find the isolation valve for your irrigation system. In Flagstaff the normal and standard procedure is to bury this isolation valve in the ground. They will be a brown or green valve box or a another pipe sticking up out of the ground, usually near the water meter.  It all depends on where the cross connection is for your irrigation system.  If you’re lucky enough, you can see the stop and waste valve or isolation valve down at the bottom of the stand pipe.  You’ll need to stick your water key down into the pipe and onto the top of the metal valve. If you’re not able to see the valve, then you will have to use your artistic talent to get your water key to match up with the top of the stop and waste valve. Now, if your water is still leaking the break is before this irrigation stop and waste valve. At this point it is an emergency and you will need to turn the water off at the water meter by the street.  In Flagstaff this water meter is owned by the city. Anything after the meter is the responsibility of the homeowner.  Most breaks are after the water meter but every once in a while the city side is leaking.

 

Turn Your Irrigation System Off In An Emergency

Turn Your Irrigation System Off At The Street

Now you have to use the same procedure as turning off the isolation valve that is described about or just watch the video.  Again you’ll need to use your water key and connect with the valve for the water meter and turn it clockwise 90°.  Once you have shut this off, the water should not be leaking and the gauges on the water meter not moving.  If that is not the case and the water is still spilling out then the City needs to be called and they will come out and fix it ASAP.  But if the leak is after the water meter then a plumber will need to fix it.  Landscape contractors can only work on irrigation lines, they are not allowed to work on any house water lines.

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