Author Topic: Watering system didn't work on reinstall this Spring  (Read 603 times)

dave k

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Watering system didn't work on reinstall this Spring
« on: April 15, 2022, 09:09:19 am »
Just want to share something that may save someone some headache and expense.

I had put my earthbox watering system into storage (kept all the sensors/feedertubes/tubing/regulator connected) for the winter, and pulled it out recently to hook it up for springtime.  But the system wasnít feeding water through it, or there would be but a faint trickle, not enough to keep the boxes watered.  Called customer service who suggested I take apart the sensor (three #1 phillips screws) and clean out any crud which may have accumulated around the sensor diaphragm.  Did that, didnít help.

The problem I deduced was that some very small crud had gotten into the lines in the process of uninstalling/reinstalling for the wintertime, and that had clogged the tubing somewhere.  What I finally figured out to do Ė worked like a charm:

With system pressurized, unscrew the screws on the back of the regulator.  There will probably be no water coming out or else just a faint trickle.  Cut the small diameter feeder tube which goes into the sensor close to the sensor, and you should get a gush of water.  (If not, your problem is further upstream, but I didnít have to get into that.)  The key step:  take the gushing tube, put it onto the little (pointed) nub inside the sensor which feeds water into the sensor and REVERSE FLUSH it, so that a good stream of water is coming out of the end you just cut.  Depressurize the system, clean out any crud around the diaphragm, pull the old tubing off the sensor and attach the fresh cut end to the sensor.  (Use a match to soften the tubing to help it go on securely and, in some cases, to remove the old tubing.)  I then turned on the water just to verify that a good stream (a nice little jet) is coming out of the little nub end.  Turn off the water, assemble it all, then do the standard test : the assembled sensor and tube should give a good flow from the top, which then should shut off when you put the lower end (the one that goes into the earthbox) into a glass of water (simulating shutoff when the earthbox is filled).  Takes about 10 minutes per sensor. 

Buying new sensors at $15 a pop would also have done the trick, provided that the old tubing got flushed out before the new sensor was attached.