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Cannot find irrigation water source and need to replace valve

5 months ago

Had an interesting morning. It was pouring down rain and the sprinklers were running across multiple zones at the same time. One of the zones had a blown head in it that I was going to replace this weekend when everything was dried out, and I had that zone disabled as a result on the meter.

Well I guess my 11 year old control box decided today would be the day to die. So I had no way to shut off the zones that had become possessed.

What followed was a saga of me digging out all the meters I could find on the street and turning them off without effect. I shut off power to the house, no effect. Finally, I ripped out a ton of 11-year old landscaping to dig out the valve boxes. All the zones except one could be shut off at these valves. The last one (and by some horrible misfortune the one that has the blown head) continued to stay on. The solenoid knob was loose and it looks like the plastic is shot. I still managed to get that zone to turn off by lifting the solenoid off completely and using just the metal pin. No idea how long that will hold?

Anyway, the county utilities emergency services finally showed up (two hours after the call). He checked all the meters and confirmed that none of them are feeding the irrigation system. We are next to the community greenspace area and he thinks we must be tied in there. In short, we cannot find a way to shut the water off, and apparently have been getting our irrigation for free all these years.

I need to replace the top of that one valve and I’d love to install my own master shutoff valve for the irrigation system to make this way easier for the future. I assume there’s no way to do this without figuring out where our water is coming from to shut it off?

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