I am turning on my sprinkler system for the year and I am very unfamiliar with this setup. The system was winterized by a professional last year and I am not sure what all was turned off, opened, etc.

So far I have: closed the backflow valve (as to not spew water everywhere), attached my pump (no leakage and turns on), and turned on the sprinkler system at the control panel computer and verified each zone works and each sprinkler works.

However, I noticed that after the sprinkler system is turned off, one of the green access panels in the ground was flooding with water. After further investigation, it appears that there are several "valves" and each is spraying water - even when the system is turned off. I have turned off the water to the sprinkler to avoid a costly water bill. I am not sure if these valves (included in the photos) are "opened" to bleed water and allow air or if there is another component that is faulty. This mostly stems from me not knowing what these valves are.

tl;dr: What are these valves and how can I keep them from spraying water?

Valve View 1

Valve View 2


They look like valves for a drip watering system that brass fittings on small hoses thread into. Each is a ball or plug valve, all that are shown are in the "off" position. I suggest carefully digging out of the box they are in to see what is there. Somehow these valve boxes always gradually fill with soil over the years. I have installed my own rather complicated system and concluded a sprinkler system is more like a journey than a destination.


HOLD ON! If you paid for winterization of your irrigation system, 100% of the time that includes recharge in the spring! THEY have to be responsible for winterization and that has to include the recharge in the spring to INCLUDE fixing any leaks, replacing heads you pay for the heads and they install and check coverage. It makes no sense to blow out an irrigation system and not come back in the spring; sometimes to primer pumps of separate systems, check the timer and what those timers are watering adjust for spring...show you how to adjust for summer, repair broken pipes as they should have gone through your entire irrigation system zone by zone to check for bad, cracked heads or leaks before they blew the water out of your system.

You should not be messing with this system unless you know what you are doing. Or want to learn the hard way, grins. Go check out your agreement with this company. It is far easier to hire a professional at this point and keep them on your payroll. As much as you are able, however, get the company to teach you everything about your system. Get your money's worth for sure!

  • Thank you for the recommendation, I definitely was planning on having them come out to check on everything (which usually is a few weeks out). Do you know what the "valves" are? It almost looks like they can be tightened from the top (like a nut). – SyntaxLAMP May 7 '18 at 4:31
  • They look like hose bibs. A place to screw hoses onto...weird. Is this your city water box? Is there a backflow device? Are there small round green plastic covers around your yard for zone control? Where is your irrigation control box? No notes? I actually installed a few irrigation systems, mostly repaired and taught customers how to time the zones, how to check how much water was being delivered. Maybe someone else on our team will recognize these connections. I have never seen the like...looks like hose bibs. Do you know how to turn the water off to your home and property? – stormy May 7 '18 at 6:00

It turns out they are some kind of backflow valve with a ball-valve that can be opened and closed by turning the screw. They were opened during the winterization and just needed to be closed.

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