Author Topic: Broken AWS Pressure Regulator  (Read 4888 times)

EarthBoxAdmin

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Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« on: July 07, 2017, 08:45:03 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, jeffsui. This was originally posted on April 26, 2013.

I just inherited a 2 year old AWS system from my father.  I tried to set it up today and it seems like the regulator is broken.

There is a constant stream of water that shoots out the little hole in the top (as seen on the picture on earthbox site).  For some reason the forum is telling me I can't post links - but if you look at the picture under the website you'll see the hole i'm talking about.
Any ideas?

Also - what is this little hole for?  My dad suggested we apoxy it but I'm assuming there is some reason there is this tiny hole. 

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Re: Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2017, 08:46:45 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, potatohead. This user is located in 9A Desert Southwest. This was originally posted on April 26, 2013.

I had the same thing happen to me last year on a less than one year old system. I called EarthBox customer service and was told that it just happens. Something inside breaks and it is not reparable. They told me I had to buy a new pressure regulator. I think it's about $14.00 for that part (plus shipping) and you can order it in the EarthBox store. I never tried the epoxy and I am not sure what the hole is for.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 08:59:21 am by EarthBoxDD »

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Re: Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2017, 08:47:26 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, jeffsui. This was originally posted on April 26, 2013.

Thats kind of frustrating.  21$'s every 1-2 years... How long did your replacement last?

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Re: Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2017, 08:49:41 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, potatohead. This user is located in 9A Desert Southwest. This was originally posted on April 26, 2013.

I am about to hook my system back up so I will see if the replacement regulator from last year will still work. It was working at the time that I took it down right before the cold weather hit and it's been stored for the last 4 months inside, same as last time. I think with our high UV index and hot temperatures in the summer it probably weakens the plastic parts inside, and then the sudden exposure to the water pressure upon hooking it back up again made something inside break. Last year, I bought 2, so I am prepared to use another new one if I need it. Some suggested on here getting a brass pressure regulator from a plumbing supply company, which I did get, but then the problem arises of getting the proper connectors to convert it to use with the AWS (which uses non-standard size hoses). I spent many hours searching for connectors, buying some, trying to hook them up to the system, and failing, so I gave up. I am sure there is a way to do it but I was spending so much time on it I just gave up and bought the plastic part and figured I might have to replace it every year. When I get motivated and have some more time, I might try it again with the brass regulator. I don't care too much about spending the $14.00 for the plastic regulator as having the watering system work is far more valuable to me than $14.00. It's just a pain if you need it right away and you have to wait for it to be shipped to you (which is why I bought the extra one last year).

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Re: Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2017, 08:55:14 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, jeffsui. This was originally posted on May 1, 2013.

So I took the whole thing apart and put it back together and oddly enough it seems to be working ... (go figure).  I'll give it a shot tomorrow and see if that's still the case.

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Re: Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2017, 08:57:36 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, minov. This user is located in Central Connecticut - Zone 6. This was originally posted on May 2, 2013.
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, jeffsui. This was originally posted on May 1, 2013.

So I took the whole thing apart and put it back together and oddly enough it seems to be working ... (go figure).  I'll give it a shot tomorrow and see if that's still the case.

let us know how it goes.

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Re: Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2017, 08:58:52 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, jeffsui. This was originally posted on May 2, 2013.

So yesterday as far as i could tell it works.  I attached a sensor and a single tube and using a bucket of water it seems to turn off the flow and not leak. 

I did have to take everything apart (i have a picture but its on my phone) and I also had to add a washer between the hose bib and the regulator (it didn't seem to have one).

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Re: Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2017, 09:01:51 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, potatohead. This user is located in 9A Desert Southwest. This was originally posted on May 2, 2013.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, jeffsui. This was originally posted on May 2, 2013.

So yesterday as far as i could tell it works.  I attached a sensor and a single tube and using a bucket of water it seems to turn off the flow and not leak. 

I did have to take everything apart (i have a picture but its on my phone) and I also had to add a washer between the hose bib and the regulator (it didn't seem to have one).

Between the hose bib and the regulator you should also have a filter. Try to read all the threads that you can about hooking this up and you will see the different recommendations for that. I use one from DIG.

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Re: Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2017, 09:05:05 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, movrshakr. This user is located in Zone 10a - near Cape Canaveral. This was originally posted on May 2, 2013.


Some of us have the regulator UPSTREAM on the filter because the filters are not rated for constant pressure.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 09:06:56 am by EarthBoxDD »

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Re: Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2017, 09:06:27 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, potatohead. This user is located in 9A Desert Southwest. This was originally posted on May 11, 2013.

I have some updates to my AWS situation. I hooked it back up a few days ago and there is a leak in regard to my added filter, which I need to address, and the AWS regulator seemed to be ok at first. Then, overnight, the hole in the regulator began to leak and drip water, but slowly and not shooting out. All of the sensors seem to be fine and working correctly. I have been watching the leak and have noticed that it only drips in the mornings, when it?s cool out. Once the temperature starts to heat up, the drip stops. It makes me wonder if it has to do something with if no flow is occurring through the sensors (when it is cool out) does perhaps pressure build up inside the regulator and the water escapes to relieve the pressure? I called EB CS to ask them and they were not sure the reason for what I was observing. They did acknowledge that this leaking seems to be a problem that many have complained about and they are working with the manufacturer of the AWS for a solution. Evidently it is not supposed to ever drip. They offered to send me a new regulator if the dripping got worse and they said just let them know. They even suggested the putty in the hole idea. I asked them, doesn't the hole serve a purpose (pressure relief, etc.) and wouldn't it be bad to plug that up? They were not sure what the hole is for so they were not sure how to answer my question. So plugging it still makes me uneasy. Today, I saw no drips at all from the regulator. I plan just to keep watching it and if water starts to shoot out then I will replace it with my back up one.

jeffsui, is yours still working ok?

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Re: Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2017, 09:09:53 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, Jobalternative. This user is located in Pueblo, Co, Zone 5, 4500 ft. This was originally posted on May 13, 2013.


I've had problems with the regulators every year for the last four years.  My system uses three regulators. Every year at least 2 out of the three leak. I've ordered extra every year. This year I am switching to timed drip systems. Between the regulators leaking and cleaning stopped up sensors, it's too labor intensive.
The idea of the is good and when it works its great.

I got into ebs because of the ease of use. I love the boxes. I've set up boxes for a local nursery, so that have a demo garden.  I talk them up anytime I can.

 The aws doesn't seem to fit ease of use for me.  It was hard to assemble. Having to use boiling water to fit the hoses on the fittings. You are not alone with a leaking regulator. Good luck

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Re: Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2017, 09:10:54 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, potatohead. This user is located in 9A Desert Southwest. This was originally posted on May 14, 2013.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, Jobalternative. This user is located in Pueblo, Co, Zone 5, 4500 ft. This was originally posted on May 13, 2013.


I've had problems with the regulators every year for the last four years.  My system uses three regulators. Every year at least 2 out of the three leak. I've ordered extra every year. This year I am switching to timed drip systems. Between the regulators leaking and cleaning stopped up sensors, it's too labor intensive.
The idea of the is good and when it works its great.

I got into ebs because of the ease of use. I love the boxes. I've set up boxes for a local nursery, so that have a demo garden.  I talk them up anytime I can.

 The aws doesn't seem to fit ease of use for me.  It was hard to assemble. Having to use boiling water to fit the hoses on the fittings. You are not alone with a leaking regulator. Good luck

The AWS is definitely a double edge sword. I love it when it works and I hate it when things go wrong. I visited the EarthBox research center a few months ago and was surprised to see that they use drippers for all of their boxes instead of the AWS, even though they sell the AWS parts in their store on site. I tried the drippers and just could not get it quite right. The only way I could make sure all of the boxes got full was to waste some water because some would overflow before the others were full. I tried all different emitter combinations and even tried the adjustable drippers and just could not do it without wasting water. Water is a very precious commodity here in the desert and it is very frowned upon to ever waste any. I know I could put pans underneath the ones that drip first but that would not work when I go away on vacation.

I got my leaky filter fixed and as I was turning the water back on to it, I very slowly turned the knob until I could just hear water rushing back into the system. I had only turned the knob about a 1/8 of a turn. It then occurred to me that perhaps I should not turn the water to the AWS full blast. I checked all the sensors and they all still worked. Does this make any sense to do? I always up until this point had the water on full blast. But is that perhaps a bad thing? Is there any disadvantage in trying to keep the water from blasting into the system? Or is it better to have the water full blast? And why?

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Re: Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2017, 09:13:16 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on May 14, 2013.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, potatohead. This user is located in 9A Desert Southwest. This was originally posted on May 14, 2013.
I got my leaky filter fixed and as I was turning the water back on to it, I very slowly turned the knob until I could just hear water rushing back into the system. I had only turned the knob about a 1/8 of a turn. It then occurred to me that perhaps I should not turn the water to the AWS full blast. I checked all the sensors and they all still worked. Does this make any sense to do? I always up until this point had the water on full blast. But is that perhaps a bad thing? Is there any disadvantage in trying to keep the water from blasting into the system? Or is it better to have the water full blast? And why?

I don't know what the spigot water pressure is, but my thought is to get a regulator to reduce the pressure to a level that the AWS regulator can handle... maybe a 20-25 psi with a flow rate high enough to satisfy the AWS
requirements.

What I find confusing is every regulator I've looked at says it's not to be kept under constant pressure. So, with the AWS, the supply is always on, therefore downstream devices are under constant pressure. I'd like to know how the designers of the AWS can explain this situation.

From the Drip Store at http://www.dripirrigation.com/drip_irrigation_categories/163/drip_irrigation_families/187

"Note: A common misconception is that turning a valve or faucet down will reduce the downstream pressure, but this is incorrect; turning the water down only reducers the flow, not the pressure. The pressure remains high."

Mickie

« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 09:17:29 am by EarthBoxDD »

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Re: Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2017, 09:20:26 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, cushman350. This user is located in Tomato Hell, Wichita Falls, TX Zone 7b. This was originally posted on May 15, 2013

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on May 14, 2013.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, potatohead. This user is located in 9A Desert Southwest. This was originally posted on May 14, 2013.
I got my leaky filter fixed and as I was turning the water back on to it, I very slowly turned the knob until I could just hear water rushing back into the system. I had only turned the knob about a 1/8 of a turn. It then occurred to me that perhaps I should not turn the water to the AWS full blast. I checked all the sensors and they all still worked. Does this make any sense to do? I always up until this point had the water on full blast. But is that perhaps a bad thing? Is there any disadvantage in trying to keep the water from blasting into the system? Or is it better to have the water full blast? And why?

I don't know what the spigot water pressure is, but my thought is to get a regulator to reduce the pressure to a level that the AWS regulator can handle... maybe a 20-25 psi with a flow rate high enough to satisfy the AWS
requirements.

What I find confusing is every regulator I've looked at says it's not to be kept under constant pressure. So, with the AWS, the supply is always on, therefore downstream devices are under constant pressure. I'd like to know how the designers of the AWS can explain this situation.

From the Drip Store at http://www.dripirrigation.com/drip_irrigation_categories/163/drip_irrigation_families/187

"Note: A common misconception is that turning a valve or faucet down will reduce the downstream pressure, but this is incorrect; turning the water down only reducers the flow, not the pressure. The pressure remains high."

Mickie



How does one keep the crud out of a regulator unless it IS under constant pressure?

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Re: Broken AWS Pressure Regulator
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2017, 09:21:56 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, Donald1800. This user is located in Fontana, CA Zone 8. This was originally posted on May 15, 2013.
For those who have a problem with filters and/or regulators working under constant main water pressure, there IS a compromise - use a timer WITH your AWS.

First, it only takes ~1/2 hour to fill a completely empty EB reservoir, and during the peak daily temps. and max. fruiting phase, I would suspect that an absolutely maximum number of reservoir fillings spaced during the day would be five.  So, I would suggest that the timer be set for five 1/2 hour daily watering periods of 8am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm.  This should give every EB five full chances during the peak heat and fruiting periods to keep the reservoir filled, yet the regulator and filter is exposed to main pressure for intermittent 1/2 hour periods - a win-win - and a good compromise in equipment stress relief and a full demand reservoir water supply for the plants.

Donald1800