How to get the most out of your Irrigation System with Control Valves
There are many parts in an irrigation system. When any part of the system is not working correctly it can adversely affect the even distribution of the water throughout the system.
Begin with understanding the function of control valves
Key components of a drip irrigation system are the block control valves. If not operating properly these valves can create issues within the system and can wreak havoc in the field.
Some common control valves include:
- Pressure reducing
- Pressure sustaining
- Pressure relief
- Water level control
- Pump control
- Flow control
Most irrigation systems will have one or more of these valves built into the design. If one or more of these valves are not working properly they can affect the operation of the whole system.
Control valve issues include not opening or closing, not reducing or sustaining, not reacting quickly, and not relieving pressure properly. To diagnose the source of these issues you need to know the following:
- What is the valve function? (pressure reducing, pressure sustaining, etc.)
- What is the flow rate through the valve?
- What is the system pressure? (upstream and downstream of the valve)
- What accessories /parts have been added to the valve?
Steps for troubleshooting control valve issues
Using the information above, we can take the following steps to diagnose the problem:
- Check to make sure the valve is plumbed correctly
- Make sure the valve is operating within the designed flow rates
- Make sure the valve is operating within the designed pressure range.
- Confirm that the accessories on the valve are working correctly.
- Manually open or close the valve using the manual 3-Way selector
- Manually activate or deactivate the solenoid to check if the valve opens or closes
- Screw the pilot adjustment screw in or out and watch the pressure gauge to see if there is any response.
The issue can be something as simple as a plugged finger filter. The finger filter is screwed into the valve and connected to the beginning of the control loop. Clogged finger filters will cause the valve to react slower than normal and could also cause the valve to not work.
Written by Guest blogger, Justin McBride, A.R.I. USA
If everything seems to be in order and there is no obvious reason why the valve shouldn’t be working correctly, consult with your irrigation dealer or Rivulis representative.
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