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What Causes Rain Bird Sprinkler Valves to Leak?

By Heath Robert ; Updated September 21, 2017
Rain Bird sprinkler valves can leak at several points.

Rain Bird is a major manufacturer of irrigation supplies and has a reputation for making durable and long-lasting valves. But like any product, Rain Bird valves are not immune to damage or faulty connection points. Understanding more about the locations and causes of leaks in a Rain Bird system will allow you to diagnose and repair the leaks before they get worse.

O-Rings

All Rain Bird sprinkler valves contain an O-ring, a rubber ring that sits between the top and bottom halves of the valve and seals the connection. Over time, this rubber seal can become worn out or cracked. A faulty O-ring will likely cause water to spray out from the seam between the two pieces of the valve. O-rings can be replaced by loosening the screws on the valve, pulling the two pieces apart and replacing the old ring with a new one.

Manifold Connection

Via male pipe threads, Rain Bird valves attach to the sprinkler manifold, or the control pipe. These threads allow you to attach a valve by simply screwing the valve into the pipe opening. However, Teflon tape is required to lubricate the threads and make the connection watertight. If your valves were not installed using Teflon tape, or if the tape has worn out, water may drip from the connection between the manifold and the valve. Adding new Teflon tape to the valve pipe threads will likely stop the leak.

Supply Line Connection

Some Rain Bird valves, such as the DVF series, connect to the supply pipe via a PVC tube and a worm-drive clamp, which is placed over the pipe and over the connecting nipple on the valve. The clamp is tightened using a screwdriver to seal the connection. If this clamp becomes loose or broken, water may spray from the pipe at the connection point. Tighten the worm drive clamp with a screwdriver if you are experiencing a leak at this point. Clamps are inexpensive to replace if yours is broken or faulty.

Solenoid

Company brand solenoids are a feature of all Rain Bird sprinkler valves. The solenoids sit on top of the valves and use an electrical signal from the sprinkler timer to activate the switch inside the valves, releasing water and shutting it off as needed. The solenoids are also designed for manual operation by loosening them from the top of the valve. However, a solenoid that is loosened too much can leak from the connection point between the valve and the solenoid. Ensure the solenoid is tight when being used with an automatic sprinkler timer.

 

About the Author

 

Heath Robert has been a professional writer since 2001. Covering news, politics and local communities, he has worked for daily newspapers across Colorado, including the "Columbine Courier" and the "Colorado Statesman." Robert holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and political science.