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What is this and why is it leaking

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rsdalntx

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Hello Plumbers,

I recently broke an irrigation pipe while digging up some dirt. I recently removed landscaping and found everything you see in the picture below buried under 6 inches of dirt. After repairing it and letting the glue set over night I opened the (red knob) valve to turn the water back on and the water started leaking out of this port (circled in red). It wasn't leaking before the pipe was broken. What is it and why is it leaking all of a sudden. My guess is some kind of anti-back-flow valve. Will it reset after water flows for a while and builds up pressure?

Also, what is the black box to the right of the knob? It says "Valve Box" but there is no valve visible. Is there some kind of secondary shutoff valve buried in there for shutting off water to the house?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Irrigation.jpg
 

FishScreener

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Looks to be a compression fitting for a poly sprinkler or drip irrigation feed with a screen in it. And, the poly pipe has broken off at the fitting. You could try removing the nut, and seeing if you can match it with a cap. Or, you could just remove it.
 

rsdalntx

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FishScreener, Thanks for the quick reply. I should have mentioned water is spraying out of the screen. Not sure why it wasn't leaking before the break but I will take your advice and remove/cap.
 

rsdalntx

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I just removed it. I still think it's some kind of relief valve. There another screen and when I shake it it sounds like there is a ball bearing or something inside.

valve.jpg
 

FishScreener

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Sound more like a one way or check valve. I’d check and see if I could find a plug to fit.
 

Jim Jensen

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auto-drain valve....has check valve in it, when pressure goes to VERY low, it opens and lets water in the sprinkler lines drain out, to prevent freeze damage in winter.... (my guess)
 

Jeff Handy

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It’s probably there for a good reason, so I would not just plug it.

It does seem like a vacuum breaker or anti-siphon dealio.

I know that on a hose sillcock, they often piss water unless the sillcock is turned to close to fully open.

And they can jam up or freeze, or little springs or seals can poop out.

A replacement must exist, scour Google for it.
 

Jeff Handy

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Maybe that valve box cover is supposed to be fitted over the area in your picture?

And it got removed and left off?

Or was never custom fitted in the first place, it would need cutouts made to drop onto all those pipes.
 

rsdalntx

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This looks like a similar type of air valve, but in plastic.

Maybe it will help your search.

Thanks for the additional info. It is currently plugged so I can have irrigation. Living in North Texas we rarely get long periods below freezing these days. Didn't have time (or stamina) to dig up the valve box. Will probably get to that this weekend. And I will check out the link you provided and install a replacement if possible.

Also planning on covering that area with a large box. Problem is that stuff is buried pretty deep but I think HD had a very tall large box that would cover everything.
 

rsdalntx

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I would just like to add the the person who installed the drain valve put on one of the highest spots in the irrigation system which from what I've read make it useless.
 

Jeff Handy

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Not useless, it is letting air into the lines, once the water pressure is stopped.

So the sprinkler heads can dribble drain by gravity.
 
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