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Troubleshooting

Head Assembly
Most of the problems with head assemblies have to do with installing components in the wrong order, with wrong thread combinations or because the component was installed backwards and the water flow direction is wrong. Of course there is always the chance of a defective product. If you check all of these things you can figure out most of the problems yourself pretty easily.

  1. Pressure Regulators
    Pressure regulators seem to have only a few things which happen to them. The reason there are not many is because of the high quality components we stock. We have seen lesser quality products with many more problems, which we refuse to sell.
    Breaking: This can happen if you try to screw the preset regulator on really tight, don't! The regulator is made of two pieces that are sonically wielded together. If you try to tighten a preset regulator too much it will crack, that's it, no doubt about it! So don't use tools only tighten the pressure regulator with the strength of your hands.
    Leaking: There is a small hole in the side of the preset regulators which is needed for the unit to work properly. Sometimes you will see a little water drip out and this is normal. If you get a steady stream out of this hole try to seal it with your finger then let go. Do this a few times and see if it stops it. Most times this will work; it is just the new diaphragm seating with a little help from you. Also try turning on and off the system a few times. If you cannot get the leak to stop check the water flow direction! If the water flow direction is correct and the above tricks do not work contact us because it is defective. Take note: defects are far and few between! One of the solutions proposed above will likely solve the problem.
  2. Backflow Devices
    The backflow could have some water leak out of it during normal operation; once again it should not be a large amount or a steady stream. If this happens try turning the system on and off. Also check for the correct water flow direction. Be careful when you install the backflow because if you try to tighten it too much it will crack, too!
    Take note that when the system is turned off and the pressure drops the backflow will open up and release water. If your system tubing is above the level of the backflow then you will get quite a bit of water coming out of it. This is how the backflow works and is part of the normal operation.
  3. Filters
    Filters should have no problems just be sure to use enough Teflon tape on the threads for connections to components which DO NOT have "O" rings or rubber washers. Three to four wraps of the Teflon tape should work but a few more, if needed, are OK too. Just try not to overdo the tape as an excessive amount can cause the components it is screwed into to break. Be sure to keep the tape out of the water passages as they can break free over time and plug the filter.
    Once again make sure the water flow direction is correct! If the filter leaks from the center of the body, try to tighten it by screwing it together. If this does not work open it up and check to make sure the large "O" ring is installed. If the cap on the bottom leaks, try to tighten it and also look for a washer in it.
  4. Valves
    As always check the water flow direction. This is the most common mistake made. There should be an arrow molded into the body of the valve on the outside of the threads.
    Also check the section below for controllers.
    If you have leaks at the water connections try using a little more Teflon tape and always make sure you are using a component with pipe threads! Be sure to keep the tape out of the water passages as they can break free over time and plug the valve.
  5. Polytube Connectors
    Be really careful that you are using the correct thread combination here; this is a common problem because of the different types of polytube connectors. Remember there is hose thread and pipe thread connectors.
    Also make sure the compression end is the correct size for the polytube you are using. We carry multiple tubing and connector sizes so match them up correctly. All fittings are rated by the outside diameter of the polytube. If you need help feel free to contact us!

Filtration
Filters should be checked and flushed on a regular basis. How often you should do this depends on how much debris your filter takes out of the water, in other words how dirty your water is. When your system is new, check after running it a few days to see what kind of dirt has been caught in the filter. If there is really nothing, go ahead and check again in a month or two. Just make sure to take out the screen and rinse it out under clean water when it needs it. This will keep your system running smoothly for a long time. Remember filtration is one of the most important parts of a drip system, treat it as such!

Drippers
Drippers really do not need any kind of regular maintenance. There are models which come apart and can be cleaned. To do this take them apart and rinse under clean water. For stubborn dirt use an old toothbrush.
Sometimes drippers will just get clogged up with hard water deposits or dirt and it is almost always is easier to just replace them than to clean them. Most drippers will give you a few years before any kind of problems arise. For example, we have very hard water here in San Diego and in our experience we have had drippers working for 6 years or more!

Microsprinklers
Microsprinklers are like drippers as they do not require any special maintenance unless there is a problem. One of the things you will run into most often is the need to adjust the spray direction if they have moved. The other thing may be hard water deposits on the deflectors or nozzles. On some sprinklers you can clean this off and others may need to be replaced occasionally. Occasionally does not mean every year or even two, it all depends on your water quality. Just check how they work every once in awhile.

Controllers
Controllers need very little beyond taking them inside during the winter and checking the condition of the batteries. We suggest replacing the batteries every year just to make sure they will always be good. It is worth the small investment!

Valves
Valves can be affected by debris in the water which could collect over time. This can be fixed by disassembling the valve and cleaning it. All the valves we sell can be taken apart and cleaned. We do suggest to use the "blow-a-part" drawing in the instruction manual or to find the information page for the valve you purchased. This will show you the way the parts go back together. BE CAREFUL!! There are some very small parts and all of them are needed to make the valve work correctly.

Fertilizer Applicators
We will be the first to admit that we are not 100% up on all the troubleshooting techniques for the fertilizer applicators and will be working with the manufacturer to expand this listing.
Most of the information which will help you is in the instructions provided with each unit. Comparing how you have installed your unit with the instructions should be your first step in troubleshooting. Just remember the fertilizer is released very slowly.

Soaker Tape & Dripper Line
Soaker tape should not have many problems; the biggest thing is good filtration to keep the drippers from clogging. The drippers cannot be replaced and nothing can be inserted into the tape walls. The most common problem with tape is with longer single lines. Here there is a tendency for the line to "Snake". This is where the line will be laid out straight and then after a day or two the line is not straight but curvy with drippers no longer next to plants. This is caused by the expansion and contraction of heat and cold. To keep this from happening place a wooden stake about a foot past the end of the row and use twine or string to tie the end of the tape to the stake. This will hold the line in place. Be careful how tight you make this. If done when it is hot the tape will be at its longest and when it gets cold the tape will shrink. If it is tied too tight the contraction of the tape can pull the main line toward the stake. Use a happy medium and think about having the mainline staked down also.
Dripper line can have the same "Snakeing" problems which can be solved the same as the above solution for soaker tape. We would suggest that with dripper line you look into using one of the flush valves to keep fine sediment from building up in the lines.

Misting
We have not had much experience with the misting products yet so our troubleshooting tips are few at this time. We would suggest looking through the information provided on the individual product pages. This information will provide most of the information we now know. As we use our own systems and come up with any information we will add it here.
The best piece of advice we can offer is to make sure and use a 200 mesh filter for the misters. The water outlet orifices are very small and need good filtration. If you do have a problem with a mister clogging the misters can be taken apart and cleaned.