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Sprinkler valve & manifold redo - Suggestions needed

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Andy01DblCabTacoma, Oct 6, 2023.

  1. Oct 6, 2023 at 12:42 PM
    #1
    Andy01DblCabTacoma

    Andy01DblCabTacoma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I thought there was a Home Improvement sub forum, but I couldn't find it.. not sure if this fits there anyway..

    I am going to be re-working my sprinkler system. In this valve box, I am going to be replacing all the existing valves, updating a manual valve to an automatic valve, and adding an additional valve (for the veggie garden). The manual valve fills the pool (no float, just manual turn it on) and I would like to use my Rachio smart controller to fill the pool a few times a week rather than 40+ minutes every weekend... the existing valves next to it all leak. :facepalm:

    Current situation:
    upload_2023-10-6_12-21-14.png

    I am not a novice when it comes to PVC and sprinkler valve work- but.. does anyone have any suggestions for squaring this mess up? It's a cluster fuck- I don't know why everything is at a angle.. I mean, I know whoever did this just threw it together, but come on.

    The best I can think of right now, is to dig the lines back further and bend some PVC lengths with hot sand.

    I know the "U" trick, but I would like to avoid adding unnecessary fittings / complexity. I could rationalize the u trick in conjunction with adding a shut off and one way valve on the supply line... but not all the individual feed lines.

    Home Depot sells a 18" flexible patch segment, but the reviews on them are terrible. I obviously know not to put them on the supply/manifold side under constant pressure. But I would hate to have to dig this up again to find out one had burst in a few years.

    I am going to be running a whole new cable as well. The current one is also a mess- it goes underground, up a water spout, across the patio roof (in the sun, so the insulation is all rotted away), back on top of the ground for awhile, and then tucked behind a door frame to make it's way into the garage. I have some nice 8 position terminals to make a common bus bar, etc..

    Also have some 3/4" PVC unions to make the new valves changeable in the future.
     
  2. Oct 6, 2023 at 1:22 PM
    #2
    pastoreater

    pastoreater doesn't know

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    I'm not experienced with irrigation and after trying to fix / adjust stuff a few times I just started watering by hand while drinking beer / coffee and staring numbly. I dislike things that break or are fussy to maintain, also sprinklers spray up and my hose sprays down. I was amused when my ruptured soft line was spraying into my neighbor's porch. Good luck.
    IMG_8552.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2023
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  3. Oct 6, 2023 at 1:45 PM
    #3
    Andy01DblCabTacoma

    Andy01DblCabTacoma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    @pastoreater :rofl:Thanks. Not really the approach I was looking for here. For sure don't have time to manually water everything.
     
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  4. Oct 6, 2023 at 5:05 PM
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    theesotericone

    theesotericone Well-Known Member

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    The only way you'll clean that up is with additional fittings. Bending the pipe is gonna take you way longer then just adding some 90's. I'd cut the supply line and add a coupling then extend it to where needed. Put a 90 facing up on the supply then a street 90 aimed where you think "square" is. That will give you a straight supply line. Then you do the exact same thing with all the other zone lines. When you put a box over it it will look straight and tidy if done correctly. Google "swing joints" and you'll get the idea.
     
  5. Oct 6, 2023 at 6:03 PM
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    MGMDesertTaco

    MGMDesertTaco Come on, live a little...

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    I was looking at those Rachio smart irrigation controllers last year. I ended up just paying someone to dig out and replace a couple of irrigation valves and replace the existing rain bird control timer box with a new one.

    Curious to hear how you like it once up and running.
     
  6. Oct 7, 2023 at 7:51 AM
    #6
    Andy01DblCabTacoma

    Andy01DblCabTacoma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    ah- swing joints are what I was referring to as the U trick.

    I'll probably do that on the supply line. But still leaning towards digging it back a bit further and doing some nice bends. I know they will take longer, but I am ok with that. I am only going to do this once... Also going to do a custom valve box with river stone in the hole, etc.. I can have nice things.. even sprinkler valves :rofl:
     
  7. Oct 7, 2023 at 7:56 AM
    #7
    Andy01DblCabTacoma

    Andy01DblCabTacoma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have had the 12 zone Ranchio for a few years now. I got it at the last house I was long term renting. The controllers are awesome and open up so many more possibilities than the standard Toro / rainbird controllers. They have really indepth settings if you really wanted to go as far as calculating water usage per zone based on number of sprinkler heads, etc... I didn't do any of that though. The big thing for me was setting up different schedules for different zones (ie, the grass and flower beds might be on the standard every other day with rain skip, which is an awesome feature, but the veggie garden is on a every day for a few minutes schedule).
     
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  8. Oct 7, 2023 at 7:19 PM
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    rtzx9r

    rtzx9r Well-Known Member

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    If it were me I’d try digging back a bit more on the pipes so you can bend the valves into a more aligned order. Then place a box over all of them similar to this.

    https://www.amazon.com/NDS-D1000-SG...efix=irrigation+ground+bo,aps,105&sr=8-3&th=1

    734E5829-6E08-46C1-AF11-EDC4552AFC66.jpg
    As for the Rachio… got one maybe 7-8 years ago and love it. Think it’s an 8 zone and has been flawless for all this time. Love checking the zones via phone in the yard. Super easy.
     
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  9. Oct 8, 2023 at 8:20 AM
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    Andy01DblCabTacoma

    Andy01DblCabTacoma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yeah- already have one of these. The interior and exterior design coordinator and approver of project funds does not like "things that stick out like a sore thumb", so I am going to make a custom cedar box to go over the river stone.
     
  10. Oct 10, 2023 at 5:10 PM
    #10
    rocknbil

    rocknbil Well-Known Member

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    Lived in this house 4 years now and know more than I want to know about sprinkler systems, not an expert by any means. I've taken out over 120 feet of sprinkler lines to get them away from the f'n house, add concrete all the way around, and eliminate some watered areas. Water is the house water and expensive as hell to keep it green, so I've been ripping out side yards and filling with drain rock.

    First question: are you in a freeze zone, do you have to do annual blowouts for winter? The reason I ask is that looks like PVC pipe, probably the worst choice for in-ground sprinklers, it is stiff and cracks and even in a temperate zone will eventually give you issues. I see a lot of it, it seems quite common so it's not a huge concern, I've just never figured out why they use PVC.

    There is a flexible black pipe (can't recall exact name) that is far easier to work with and better suited, and can withstand winters longer. The best part, no glue, anywhere, it's all clamps and fittings. If you're down for a full line replace, that's the way to go.

    Second, is a backflow system in place and do you need one? We get tagged annually to have it checked, if we don't they just shut the f'n water off until we do.

    I would set up a proper manifold something like what's pictured below. (I believe this one is an orbit.)

    [​IMG]

    What you don't want is glued joints, note the above are all unions. Yes, more expensive, more potential for leaks but can be fixed, if you ever have to service something you're not cutting pipe and hoping the glue cures properly.

    [​IMG]

    I'd go with Rainbird controllers. At first I thought "oh. cheap crap" - and they are cheap - but here's the thing: you want something that is still compatible in a decade. This house was built in 1995 and a controller head stuck one spring (always on.) All the solenoids ($14.95) were sold out, I had to buy a whole unit (I think it was around $25) and I was able to unscrew the top of the unit off and put the new one on, perfect fit. Rainbirds tend to keep their fittings compatible, you just need to ensure you get the right size (1", 1 1/2", etc.) Next season another solenoid went out, just screwed a new one on, never had to remove the unions and the whole unit.

    Wire routing generally goes under the house if you need to cross the house, it sucks but that's the best way. Don't strap it in, let it lay on the vapor barrier/ground. Ours came out of the garage, was buried, then under the house. I put a fat PVC pipe in the concrete to run the wires through, it was a total mess as well but now if I have to change out wire I **should** be able to knot the new wire on the old one, and with someone helping be able to pull it through to the other side of the house without venturing into the spider land underworld.

    Not sure if any of that is helpful, just think forward, "what happens if I need to take this apart again?"
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2023
  11. Oct 10, 2023 at 5:28 PM
    #11
    Andy01DblCabTacoma

    Andy01DblCabTacoma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the detailed reply.

    We don't live in a freeze zone. Might get some frost on the grass every once in awhile, but nothing that warrants doing anything about it.
    I am not planning on replacing the existing pipe (other than to tidy up the mess).
    I already have the valves, and unions. I didn't get the pre-assembled unions. I am ok with gluing up my own manifolds.
    Also already have the Ranchio controller- as I mentioned above, it's great. If for no other reason, it's worth it to be able to turn a valve on with your phone. No more yelling across the yard at the SO to turn something on/off.
    Wire yeah- got the new wire. Can't go under the house (slab on grade). The previous owner ran the cable up and over the patio cover for some reason, when there are really easy/shorter routes along the ground to take.

    Every project the previous owner did is a shit show. Some of their "electrical" was just bad. Exposed copper wiring in the wall bad. I don't know how this place didn't burn down.
     
  12. Oct 10, 2023 at 6:11 PM
    #12
    bkhlrTaco's

    bkhlrTaco's viewer discretion advised

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    My Hunter setup with 12 zones and 52 sprinkler heads has 1 backflow preventer on the side of the house on the supply line.
    It looks like you're using 4 that are all below ground.

    Note: If the backflow preventer is lower than your highest sprinkler it isn't going to work.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2023
  13. Dec 15, 2023 at 2:10 PM
    #13
    Andy01DblCabTacoma

    Andy01DblCabTacoma [OP] Well-Known Member

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