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How to Troubleshoot a RainBird Valve

If you have a RainBird irrigation system, you may need to troubleshoot the irrigation valve from time to time. While the timer acts as the “brains” for the system, the RainBird valve provides the water to your lawn. If the timer and irrigation valve become out of sync, you may have a non-functioning system. Fortunately, RainBird valves are relatively trouble free to start with and are easy to return to operation if a problem develops. The key to troubleshooting a RainBird irrigation system is to understand how it works so you can quickly pinpoint the problem and solve it.

Flush debris from the entire line if this is a new installation. Older irrigation systems can benefit from periodic flushing as well. In order to operate properly, the RainBird valve must not have any debris in the water line nor should it have any debris lying on top of the valves.

Check for adequate water pressure to the irrigation system. Even if there is enough pressure when you check the system, household appliances that draw water affect the pressure to the irrigation valves. Broken or leaky pipes, along with too many valves on one line, can also affect the amount of water pressure available to the system.

Check the master shut off valve and make sure it is in the open position. The flow control valve must also be open.

Use an electrical tester to make sure there is power to the timer. The RainBird valves can’t work properly if the timer is malfunctioning.

Watch the valves to make sure they turn off properly. It’s normal for seepage to occur for a short time after operation. If the leak continues, make sure the valve is opening and closing properly. If it’s not, change the O-ring, for a tight closure. Other causes of the valves not shutting off properly may include a bad solenoid. It may be dirty and need cleaning or it may not be getting electrical power. Turn off the electricity before checking the solenoid.

Repair any cracks in the RainBird valve by replacing the casings. Cracks can allow water to leak out of the system and reduce pressure.


Always turn electrical power off to the RainBird valves when you work on them.

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