I've been trying to set up a drip irrigation system in my small backyard. I bought a 3-outlet orbit irrigation timer, and have been trying to get it hooked up to a drip irrigation kit. I already had vacuum breakers installed on my outdoor faucets. When I connect the orbit timer to the vacuum breaker outlet and turn on the faucet, I get a small leak at the connection. Because of the leak, I can't leave my faucet turned on, and hence can't really use the timer. Does anyone here know what to do? I found this resource.

The image there recommends this set up:

enter image description here

Unlike this image, my vacuum breaker is before the timer. Is that an issue? If so, do I need to remove the old vaccum breaker and then install a new one after the orbit timer?

  • 2
    it's always the washer in these cases. use donut-shaped ones instead of flat ones and it should be fixed. might need a new one every year or two, depending on your water supply.
    – dandavis
    May 27, 2022 at 19:30
  • Yeah, I would suspect the faucet washers.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 21, 2022 at 3:35
  • Does anyone have a set that doesn't leak? I have tried virtually all brands, they all look like toys. And they start leaking very soon after installing. @dandavis , good point , I will replace mine with Owings. Dec 21, 2022 at 18:47

2 Answers 2


Per the data sheet you linked us to it states: "Backflow Preventer: The backflow preventer is designed to release water when the watering cycle stops or the system is turned off, so you should see dripping from it at system shutdown; it should not be dripping constantly." If it is the connection to the faucet you need a new washer. In either case I suggest you follow your link and see what the instructions are telling you and follow them. They appear well written and fairly completer. Also if you comment tell us what connection we are talking about, I assumed it was the timer.


Unlike this image, my vacuum breaker is before the timer. Is that an issue?

Yup. A vacuum breaker is designed to let water escape, preventing freeze damage. Put it after the timer.

  • 2
    that's not the purpose of a vacuum breaker ... its purpose is to let air in if the supply pressure drops ... that prevents contaminated water from being sucked into the water supply ... it does not prevent frost damage
    – jsotola
    May 28, 2022 at 1:23
  • Is that how they're used in this case?
    – isherwood
    May 28, 2022 at 3:09

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