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braves57

sprinkler system/dirty water

16 posts in this topic

Anyone know why the water in my house would look "dirty" any time my sprinkler system is run? It started happening last year, didn't happen the first three years.

One compnay I called blamed it on the changes in water pressure when the system is run, stirring up sediment in the water lines...

The toilet water looks real dirty and the faucets look cloudy...

Any experts on here?

Thanks!

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City water or well water, is their any backflow preventer on the irrigation system or is it piped directly to your water main.

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city water. There is a backflow preventer outside the house...

It clears up after the sprinklers are off and the water has been run for a little while, or 6/7 flushes...

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With city water you should not notice a pressure drop when the system turns on. You have me scratching my head, older house with galvanized water lines?

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House was built in 1997. The water itself is pretty rusty even with the softner rust deposits want to form pretty quick around the drains, so I'm not sure if it's rust getting worked up in the line? I called the place that installed the system (before I lived there) and he guaranteed me there is no way that water from the lines could get past the backflow preventer. But he said that over the phone wihtout looking at anything.

I just think its odd that it didn't happen the first 3 years I lived there, but the last two it is... hmmm...

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Yeah still scratching my head you have me stumped, you could try shoking your water system with clorine tablets and letting it sit for 24 hours that would take care of any bugs in your water but for dirty water it would not help. I guess if I was in your shoes I would drain the whole house down chlorinate let sit for 24 hrs and flush the system out if the problem still happens it's in your sprinkler system. I drive past lino every day for work if our times work out maybe I could stop and take a look. Matter of fact I will be shooting trap leages at metro in blaine tomorrow night give me a call 612-396-2705

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It is possible to get dirty water from the city if there is a huge draw pulling more volume through the line and stirring things up. It totally depends on your irrigation system, but that would seem unlikely since its never happened before.

I would most likely check the backflow preventer. They "should" work, but they can fail and need to be rebuilt or replaced. That would be the first thing I check.

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Had this happen to me a couple years ago....Put a new backflow preventer on and problem solved.

Good luck,

Folke

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I guess I don't understand why the backflow preventer would be an issue when the sprinklers were on - there shouldn't be any backflow then should there? Both systems are under pressure so no back flow. If somehow there was still pressure in the sprinkler system and not in the house plumbing then maybe. Could someone explain how this works please?

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If the backflow preventer is faulty it is once the system shuts off it causes the water to backfeed into the potable water system especially if it was not installed higher than the highest head wich causes head pressure on the system and that is why by code the backflow preventer must be located 1 foot above the highest sprinkler head.

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Like sniper said, if the BP is faulty than water will flow back into the house once the system shuts off. If the BP is mounted low enough then the pressure in the yard can push back enough to drain into a basement, which will be lower than the main yard.

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If the backflow is below the highest head, someone did not know what they were doing.

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I've seen systems with BP's mounted 3-4' above the foundation of the house and I've seen them barely above the ground level. Even if the yard slopes away from the foundation completely, there is still the possibility of water flowing back in after the valvle shuts otherwise a BP wouldn't be needed.

Sprinklers are something that can be a DIY job and so can the repairs so unfortunately you never know if things were done properly.

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I was just at a house last week where the back yard has a sharp hill and they have sprinkers. The installer put the BFP right under the soffit. was the funniest thing I seen in a while.

They do make BFP valves that are designed to be lower than the highest head, but I beleive they also cost 2-3 times more and have to be rebuilt every year or two.

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Muleshack, you are right. They are called RPZ's and have to be tested every year and rebuilt every 5 in MN, not sure about surrounding states.

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And you have to submit the paper work to the city if you do not follow the test every year and rebuild every 5 and the city remembers thay will come out and shut your water off if it is city water.

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