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View Full Version : To plug or cap, that is the question


Critical Care
03-19-2006, 12:34 AM
Different strokes for different folks?

A situation has appeared as if one zone at a location will need to be capped off, or plugged, because of a demand for more parking. Surely no biggie, and the easy route out is to just remove the heads and screw threaded caps onto all of the ½” or ¾” MPT fittings. But does logic say to remove the funny pipe or swing pipe all the way back to the lateral line and then insert a threaded plug? Or would some of you cut the lateral upstream and glue on a cap? What saith thou?

sheshovel
03-19-2006, 12:38 AM
I would remove the heads and cap them.

Dirty Water
03-19-2006, 01:08 AM
Depends on if the lateral is going to be driven on.

I usually just just cap the heads, but if its going to be used as parking, I'd cut the lateral.

Grassmechanic
03-19-2006, 08:19 AM
In this area, because of freezing temps, we cut back to a lateral or the last head. Don't need a leak forming under a parking lot later on.

Mdirrigation
03-19-2006, 09:58 AM
Go back to the valve and cap it near the box. then unhook wires from the valve and disconnect in the controller

Flow Control
03-19-2006, 10:21 AM
Go back to the valve and cap it near the box. then unhook wires from the valve and disconnect in the controller

I second that

SprinklerGuy
03-19-2006, 11:00 AM
Yep..cap it as far back as you can..the fewer points for leakage the better....

I have fixed many a head that was capped.....I have fixed many a leak that turned out to be a head with the radius adj screw on the nozzle turned all the way in....

Do your client and the next repairman a favor and cap the pipe....and measure to the cap from 2 or 3 objects that will be there awhile...so you can find it or the next guy can find it....just to be a nice guy :)

PurpHaze
03-19-2006, 11:35 AM
We do this all the time for new features and/or buildings. Each one is different but I'd go back as far as necessary and cap lateral(s) that will be in the way of the new parking lot. If the whole zone is affected and it won't be revamped at a later time then go back to the valve and cap the main lateral coming out of the box. I'd also disconnect the wiring either at the valve or at the controller.

Critical Care
03-19-2006, 11:59 AM
That all makes sense. Sheshovel just has a thirst for gore, you know, that innate hunger for removing heads. Yikes.

Grassmech Mike… it certainly freezes here, and the truth of the matter is that we just can’t get away from it. Hey, I just had a $2500 expense to my diesel because of this stinking freezing weather. But you guys are right and it does make sense to cap the line off as far as possible, though I may not be able to go back as far as the valve box since the latest word is “lets meet and discuss some landscape options.” Hmm… that sort of sounds like capping, rerouting, digging, planting, and who knows what else… all in rock hard frozen ground. Gawd when is spring going to be here!

So, no plugs, eh? Bet some of you could count on one hand the number of times that you’ve used plugs.

PurpHaze
03-19-2006, 12:02 PM
So, no plugs, eh? Bet some of you could count on one hand the number of times that you’ve used plugs.

Plugs yes... but caps are a whole different thing. Lost count of them years ago. :laugh:

PurpHaze
03-19-2006, 12:05 PM
But you guys are right and it does make sense to cap the line off as far as possible, though I may not be able to go back as far as the valve box since the latest word is “lets meet and discuss some landscape options.” Hmm… that sort of sounds like capping, rerouting, digging, planting, and who knows what else… all in rock hard frozen ground. Gawd when is spring going to be here!

Cap or reroute only what is necessary so the parking lot is built. DO NOT let them talk you into revamping a zone to certain dimensions prior to or during lot construction. It'll all have to be done over. :dizzy:

BSME
03-19-2006, 12:51 PM
I'd add automatic drains to that zone on the dead ends so that they can drain and not freeze if you are going to disconnect it at the controller..

if you are never going to turn it on again then I guess it doesn't matter if the line has leaks in it... but if it somehow gets turned on at the controller again you're going to have problems

BSME
03-19-2006, 12:55 PM
also... Wetboots is killing me...

he hasn't posted in two weeks and is at 999 posts!

PurpHaze
03-19-2006, 12:59 PM
also... Wetboots is killing me...

he hasn't posted in two weeks and is at 999 posts!

I noticed that also. Maybe he went south on vacation to get away from the cold? Maybe he's afraid (like Y2K) of what happens when 1000 posts is reached? :laugh:

sheshovel
03-19-2006, 01:09 PM
I forgot about the parking part?

SprinklerGuy
03-19-2006, 02:29 PM
I have used many many threaded plugs.....in the rare case that heads did need to be capped....in Arizona all heads are on poly nipples..that is just the way they are installed...many guys capped the nipples w/ threaded caps...and I have fixed many split risers because of that. So...I always removed the nipples and plugged the fitting with a threaded plug...so NO. I cannot count on 2 hands or feet how many I have used.

As for the drain on the capped laterals...my bad..I didn't look at your location..good idea...a cap will not allow you to blow that out, so I would put a drain on it as well.

Dirty Water
03-19-2006, 03:30 PM
I have used many many threaded plugs.....in the rare case that heads did need to be capped....in Arizona all heads are on poly nipples..that is just the way they are installed...many guys capped the nipples w/ threaded caps...and I have fixed many split risers because of that. So...I always removed the nipples and plugged the fitting with a threaded plug...so NO. I cannot count on 2 hands or feet how many I have used.

As for the drain on the capped laterals...my bad..I didn't look at your location..good idea...a cap will not allow you to blow that out, so I would put a drain on it as well.

Poly nipples, Threaded poly? What?

SprinklerGuy
03-19-2006, 07:08 PM
A poly nipple is a soft nipple.....err..riser....not a sch 80 riser but a black poly riser....

Most systems in arizona are 3/4 pvc run down the middle of the yard with 3/4 tees running to 3/4 x 1/2 slip x thread elbows with a close poly riser/nipple and then the head...

Strange eh?

Dirty Water
03-19-2006, 08:09 PM
A poly nipple is a soft nipple.....err..riser....not a sch 80 riser but a black poly riser....

Most systems in arizona are 3/4 pvc run down the middle of the yard with 3/4 tees running to 3/4 x 1/2 slip x thread elbows with a close poly riser/nipple and then the head...

Strange eh?


Like a cutoff riser?

Is Arizona a decade behind everyone else? Or is there one installer (hopefully not you) that has a huge monopoly?

koster_irrigation
03-19-2006, 08:28 PM
exactly my thoughts, things tend to get torn up if your not the last guy on the jobsite.....
Cap or reroute only what is necessary so the parking lot is built. DO NOT let them talk you into revamping a zone to certain dimensions prior to or during lot construction. It'll all have to be done over.

ESprinklers
03-19-2006, 10:44 PM
I agree with the majority here, cap it at the valve and remove the wiring at the controller. There really isn't any reason to undo the wiring at the valve too though. It's not going to operate if it's been disconnected at the controller. Remove the heads and use as spares. Plug or cap the ends, doesn't really matte either. You're just trying to keep debris from getting into the pipe in case you ever need to use that zone again. If it's capped at the valve, there's no chance for a leak anyways at the heads. Also, if they are going to grade up the area and pour concrete or something for the parking lot, then I wouldn't worry to much about what goes on at the heads. Chances are the grader is going to kill all your piping anyways.

SprinklerGuy
03-20-2006, 12:34 AM
Just the way they are done....I repaired systems there and installed there for 15 years or so...I am in Colorado Only now...just haven't changed my sig line...

The guy who bought my company actually uses swing joints, premanufactured swing joints instead of risers. But that is just a regional thing, it is the way it is done...no poly, all pvc, no funny pipe, all risers.....

I think you will find that it is that way in a lot of the warm western states...

I didn't know what the frig poly was until I moved to Colorado 4 years ago...DanaMac showed me how to repair it....I was clueless.

sheshovel
03-20-2006, 12:59 AM
That's the way it is he's right.

Critical Care
03-20-2006, 06:39 PM
Well, I'm still waiting for a call back so I can meet with one of the owners, however I'm fairly certain that this zone will still be used in one fashion or another, but in all honesty I’m glad this zone is getting revamped. The spray heads watered a lot of bark, and cars would often cut across a section of this area.

I think that I’ll push for a drip/microspray idea where I can utilize some existing pvc lines. But for the time being, I could always cap off the zone's main line, and then later stick in a regulator and filter – if it goes that way.

Tony, so now that you’re in a new world you know what poly is, eh? But can you go as far as saying that your new world also includes running poly the whole distance? Haven’t seen anyone pull poly out here… yet, and if you would ask me to go out and get a plug or cap for 1” poly I’d have to do a little head scratching.

Dirty Water
03-20-2006, 06:41 PM
Almost all domestic lines up here are poly, so I'm pretty used to working with it.

That said, I don't like it much.

SprinklerGuy
03-20-2006, 06:42 PM
Yep...poly everywhere here. I had trouble my first 2 or 3 service calls...and I called DanaMac all the time....just to tell him what I had seen. There are PVC systems here also....with funny pipe to the heads.

I must say, if I ever go back to Arizona....I would love to find out why no poly there.....and if I installed PVC systems...I would probably use saddles and run funny pipe to the heads...it is so much easier and cheaper and easier...did I mention it was easier?

As for poly caps...they make em....except they are plugs ;)

Dirty Water
03-20-2006, 06:47 PM
As for poly caps...they make em....except they are plugs ;)

I usually use a brass insert fitting FPT X barb with a PVC plug.

99% of our POC's are from poly lines, we usually use two brass barbs, a brass tee and a brass union (plus assorted nipples). Lately I've been seeing compression fittings on new construction, might give those a try.

All brass though, I don't want plastic or nylon before our POC, and galvinized becomes a rust ball in this damp area.