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View Full Version : master control valve; several questions


silvercvic
11-02-2006, 04:15 PM
What is the purpose of the master control valve besides it shutting down the entire sprinkler system? I've read in a book its not needed but a great insurance for conserving water. I just confused because it mentioned was an automatic valve, at first, then a gate valve later (but not the main shutoff).

Does it have a place to be wired in a controller (Hunter Pro-C)? Does open each time a zone valve is open? What happens if a zone valve opens and the main control doesn't?

i'm at the point in my installation where I have installed most of the PVC pipes underground, wired up 3 zones in a valve box (front); teed off PVC to the backyard.

I'm about to wire up the backyard (3 zones), hook up the RPZ and connect that to the front valves, I'm wondering if I need to -or- should connect 1 more valve right after the RPZ to be the main control valve?

Any suggestions?!?

Mjtrole
11-02-2006, 05:31 PM
What is the purpose of the master control valve besides it shutting down the entire sprinkler system? I've read in a book its not needed but a great insurance for conserving water. I just confused because it mentioned was an automatic valve, at first, then a gate valve later (but not the main shutoff).

Does it have a place to be wired in a controller (Hunter Pro-C)? Does open each time a zone valve is open? What happens if a zone valve opens and the main control doesn't?

i'm at the point in my installation where I have installed most of the PVC pipes underground, wired up 3 zones in a valve box (front); teed off PVC to the backyard.

I'm about to wire up the backyard (3 zones), hook up the RPZ and connect that to the front valves, I'm wondering if I need to -or- should connect 1 more valve right after the RPZ to be the main control valve?

Any suggestions?!?

We don't use masters, just one more wire connection, pipe connection and valve to have problems with down the road, yes the pro-c should have a master terminal, if not wire it up to the pump terminal.

YardPro
11-02-2006, 05:42 PM
it is a good idea to use one.

yes the pro c has a terminal for it. it is the pump/ MV terminal. it is the first one above the common.


a master valve should be installed where you tap into the main line. What it does is to limit the time that the main line is pressurized. The main is only under pressure when a zone is running. This reduces the chance for a leak in the main.

it is more important when you are doing in line valves, or when the main is a long way from the tap in to the manifold.

londonrain
11-02-2006, 05:49 PM
I just installed a 1" Rain Bird PEB today as a master valve on a job I am working on. All other 8 valves are 1" Hunter PGV valves.

jerryrwm
11-02-2006, 05:54 PM
I just installed a 1" Rain Bird PEB today as a master valve on a job I am working on. All other 8 valves are 1" Hunter PGV valves.

Don't trust the Hunter valve as a MV?

londonrain
11-02-2006, 06:33 PM
Don't trust the Hunter valve as a MV?
I have always used a PEB as my master valve. I guess I am just set in my ways....

Wet_Boots
11-02-2006, 06:37 PM
I only use a master valve when I have a poly main line, and don't want it under 24/7 pressure. For a manifold of valves near the house, I'd rather spend the master-valve money for zone valves with flow controls.

silvercvic
11-02-2006, 07:11 PM
Well, the RPZ comes out of the house, since I am teeing the line from in the basement and coming out of the house, should I have the MV before or after the RPZ (take some pressure of the BFD as well??)?

Asides from that the RPZ is only about 2 ft away from the front manifold and about 80ft from the back area manifold zone.

Also is it just any valve or does it have to be a Rainbird PEB (or similar), my current manifold setup consists of Rainbird Jartops?

londonrain
11-02-2006, 07:21 PM
Well, the RPZ comes out of the house, since I am teeing the line from in the basement and coming out of the house, should I have the MV before or after the RPZ (take some pressure of the BFD as well??)?

Asides from that the RPZ is only about 2 ft away from the front manifold and about 80ft from the back area manifold zone.

Also is it just any valve or does it have to be a Rainbird PEB (or similar), my current manifold setup consists of Rainbird Jartops?
Look at it like a safety valve in which two valves must open for one zone to open. It can be any valve but I use the PEB since it is a great valve but pricey. With a master valve the likely hood of a zone valve running for days on end if you have a zone stick open while out of town. I especially use master valves at the end of culdesac since all the trash in the mains gets flushed to the end of the line which is a culdesac in my area.

PROFESSORRAIN
11-02-2006, 07:40 PM
Look at it like this mv don't come on NOTHING GETS WATER

londonrain
11-02-2006, 07:55 PM
Look at it like this mv don't come on NOTHING GETS WATER
That's why I use a high quality valve..:rolleyes:

PROFESSORRAIN
11-02-2006, 08:27 PM
It would bad to let a $55.00 ruin a landscape.quality is not the question then why not use all peb valves?I would just rather have to deal w/one valve per zone.MV ARE SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OLD SCHOOL!Unless you have a sports feild or something in that range of work.:drinkup:

londonrain
11-02-2006, 08:36 PM
It would bad to let a $55.00 ruin a landscape.quality is not the question then why not use all peb valves?I would just rather have to deal w/one valve per zone.MV ARE SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OLD SCHOOL!Unless you have a sports feild or something in that range of work.:drinkup:
I guess I'm old school then....:cool2:
I can count on my hand in the past 15 years that a customer has called, from a system I installed, and said" My PEB master Valve is not working" Zero times. You don't know how many times I have had the call " My zone wont close" from other contractors systems.. MANY TIMES..

Dirty Water
11-02-2006, 09:09 PM
We only use scrubbing valves for masters.

However, we only install masters on systems that are out of our service area, or watering bluffs where serious erosion could happen due to a stuck valve.

We use the Rainbird DVF-100 for our usual zone valves, thanks to the screened solenoid the chances of them sticking are very slim. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of valves I've seen stick.

That said, to all you master valvers, remember that diaphragm valves work on a pressure differential between the two sides of the diaphragm. If the timer closes the zone valve before trying to close the master valve it will never close because the pressure on both sides of the diaphragm remains constant. So your mainline is still under constant pressure.

Because of this, I don't consider a master valve as protection for poly mainlines. They will shut the moment the main bursts, but the damage is already done.

PROFESSORRAIN
11-02-2006, 10:04 PM
MY POINT EXACTLY!INSTALL ONE VALVE NO GUESSING WHAT'S IN THE GROUND.PLUS THEY MAKE A FLOW -CLIK NOW.Sorry about caps!No two fitters do it the same way,sounds like it works for you.Oh yea is your landscape thru or is there possibility of hitting a wire with later shoveling?Just a question had a customer when I was a supplier put in MV on every job got in special order something or another, help cut one wire, guess which?one guess as long as you guess the one going to MV.

Hank Reardon
11-02-2006, 10:42 PM
MY POINT EXACTLY!INSTALL ONE VALVE NO GUESSING WHAT'S IN THE GROUND.PLUS THEY MAKE A FLOW -CLIK NOW.Sorry about caps!No two fitters do it the same way,sounds like it works for you.Oh yea is your landscape thru or is there possibility of hitting a wire with later shoveling?Just a question had a customer when I was a supplier put in MV on every job got in special order something or another, help cut one wire, guess which?one guess as long as you guess the one going to MV.

:dizzy: Please elucidate.

PROFESSORRAIN
11-02-2006, 10:54 PM
his help cut wire to the mv no power no water no living bush or tree.my point is I am comfortable w/o MV.I'm glad to get calls about valves not shutting down.thank about a chicken farmer you thank he smells the chicken dump or does it smell like money?????

Hank Reardon
11-02-2006, 11:02 PM
his help cut wire to the mv no power no water no living bush or tree.my point is I am comfortable w/o MV.I'm glad to get calls about valves not shutting down.thank about a chicken farmer you thank he smells the chicken dump or does it smell like money?????

If the line is broken, with or without a MV, your going to get a call for the repair. I'd rather get the call during the day rather than at 8:00 at night.

-Another "Old School" MV Installer (but new to the whole irrigation thing)

PROFESSORRAIN
11-03-2006, 09:23 AM
So manyy advances have been made in irrigation in just a couple of years it's just money I don't spend,luckily i have had no problems so far if it becomes a problem i'll go back to school.

Az Gardener
11-03-2006, 09:44 AM
I have also used the MV terminal in the controller to turn on a fertilizer injector pump. So even if you are not using the function for a true Master Valve it still has applications. I have never actually seen anyone use a master valve here in AZ. I started in 1980 and thats a lot of systems.

PROFESSORRAIN
11-03-2006, 10:32 AM
AZ GARDNER GOOD IDEA!WHAT KIND OF FERTILIZER KIT.I USE EZ-FLOW:cool2:SORRY ABOUT caps

Az Gardener
11-03-2006, 10:50 AM
I have used a bunch of different ones depends on the size of property and budget.

I have used the MV with a LMI pump you have to install a small relay switch but the MV turns on the pump. It is not proportional though but is is better than a flow switch in my opinion. Flow meters are always better but it adds to the cost.

Now I am using mostly Fertile Earths on the small properties and Werecon Industries custom units on the big spenders.

Hank Reardon
11-03-2006, 01:26 PM
So manyy advances have been made in irrigation in just a couple of years it's just money I don't spend,luckily i have had no problems so far if it becomes a problem i'll go back to school.

The cost of the MV (and accoutrements) doesn't cost us a dime.

Wet_Boots
11-03-2006, 07:34 PM
We only use scrubbing valves for masters.I use a flow-control valve as a master. Like an Irritrol 2500TF, with 2400 zone valves. With the master throttled down, it will close first.

I don't consider a master valve as protection for poly mainlines. They will shut the moment the main bursts, but the damage is already done.A poly mainline should be rated for the static pressure it might see, if a master valve sticks open, plus whatever you might allow for water hammer. My point for feeding poly mainlines with master valves is for eliminating any 24/7 leaks from clamped insert fittings (possibly more an old-school concern, when insert fittings were often less precisely manufactured than they are today) and to allow the usage of standard poly for the main. A poly main under 24/7 'live pressure' would have to be NSF-approved stuff, as opposed to the utility grades I usually use.

Hank Reardon
11-04-2006, 12:44 AM
Do you guys who run poly use the Ford pack joints?

YardPro
11-04-2006, 07:41 AM
It would bad to let a $55.00 ruin a landscape.quality is not the question then why not use all peb valves?I would just rather have to deal w/one valve per zone.MV ARE SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OLD SCHOOL!Unless you have a sports feild or something in that range of work.:drinkup:

that is BS.
90% of all valve failures i have seen in 15 years have been valves stuck open. I almost never see them fail to open unless a wire is cut.

PROFESSORRAIN
11-04-2006, 08:45 AM
My Whole Thing Is Mv Don,t Open No H20 Is All I Am Saying Just One More Potential ProbleM.

jerryrwm
11-04-2006, 09:29 AM
My Whole Thing Is Mv Don,t Open No H20 Is All I Am Saying Just One More Potential ProbleM.

That's what a master valve is there for. To control the flow of water to the system only when needed or called for by the controller. It also shuts down the water in the system thereby reducing the potential of flooding caused by a faulty valve.

MV = Potential problem. For whom? You as an installer? Not hard to install a valve at any point on the supply line, and easy to wire to the controller.
You as the service tech? It should be on the trouble shooting list of things to check. Call comes in - "system won't come on." First three things to check - is the water turned on? is the controller plugged in? does the MV work? Simple, fast, and you don't need to be running all over the yard trying to find valve boxes.

Don't get me wrong. I spent the last 25 yrs in an area where we didn't use MV. All the piping was PVC and it was all trenched. Backflows were PVBs and a licensed irrigator could make the tap at the meter, set the PVB, test it if certified. And what we did was right for our area and the irrigators there. And Texas has it's share of Licensed Irrigators - (There are over 3500 active, current licensed irrigators in Texas)

But now I'm in Wisconsin and we do things differently here. Poly pipe is the norm and it's pulled in, backflows are another thing. I'm still struggling with this issue. Code is: MV-AVB-Wild Head. And I have to pay some jerk-off plumber $600 - $800 to make the tap in the basement, run the copper out through the basement wall and set the AVB. I supply the MV and the AVB. One of the plumbing companies even wanted me to drill the hole through the wall for him and he was even higher in price!

The point is there are times and places for any of the equipment we use. If you don't need or feel a need for a MV - don't put it in. It is not that hard to install one and it is not that hard to service one, it just takes a little more thinking when doing the troubleshooting. And for the 'cut it out and change it rather than fix it' crowd they are usually pretty easy to get to.

Wet_Boots
11-04-2006, 09:56 AM
What if that Wisconsin property slopes uphill from the house, so that the AVB can't be located higher than all the heads? Is there actually written code for the practice? Or long-established local custom?

PurpHaze
11-04-2006, 12:10 PM
90% of all valve failures i have seen in 15 years have been valves stuck open. I almost never see them fail to open unless a wire is cut.

I would have to agree but it's more like 75% of the problems are failure to close. Then we probably deal with 25% of the valve problems relating to failure to open and there's a myriad of reasons why. Everything from bad maufacturer run (pitot tubes), wiring problems (gophers), debris tearing up the diaphragm assembly (could go either way) or clogging the ports, etc.

I have one valve that is a complete mystery. It opens but not all the way, even under booster pump pressure. Normally we gut the insides and install a new bonnet and all is well but this one's not responding. The pressure to that particular zone is a lot less than surrounding zones but it does an OK job for the time being. It'll have to wait until surrounding temporary relocatable buildings are removed before we can dig it and the 4" main line up with the Bobcat. Then maybe I'll finally get a handle on what is going on with it.

PROFESSORRAIN
11-04-2006, 12:58 PM
Had a problem with 2"pga looked as if t was turned wrong way so they went down and under main for some reason pipe was already 2' deep valve would open sometimes,cut past valve cut out t turned around operates fine now.Seems like maybe air lock or something.oh well all's well that water's well.

PurpHaze
11-04-2006, 01:09 PM
I'm thinking there may be some type of obstruction in the main line but I'm also somewhat betting against it. Even with the booster pump on this valve shows no signs of being boosted yet another 2" valve just 20' away and on the same section of 4" main line and on the same zone works fine. (Each field zone is actually two 2" valves tied in together at the controller.) Guess I'll just have to play detective once we finally get the chance to open things up but I'm thinking that there should be some signs of boosted pressure through the suspect valve.

PROFESSORRAIN
11-04-2006, 01:10 PM
Let us know out come.

PurpHaze
11-04-2006, 01:12 PM
Unless you have a sports feild or something in that range of work.

We have sports fields all over the place on our sites and no MVs. Could just be a regional thing or the poly vs. PVC thing. Of course our main lines also supply POCs (usually QCVs) for oddball things like pressure washer connections, etc. that would not be readily accessible if a MV was in place.

jerryrwm
11-04-2006, 01:49 PM
What if that Wisconsin property slopes uphill from the house, so that the AVB can't be located higher than all the heads? Is there actually written code for the practice? Or long-established local custom?
I've seen two AVBs on a property. One for the lower zones where the AVB can be mounted at the proper height. Then the second on a sub-main if you will that runs up the hill to the second AVB which runs the higher valves.
I've also seen a single AVB at the top of the property and the lines running back down the hill.

I'm not for sure on the written codes because they are a bit confused here when someone asks those in the city government for anything out of the daily norm. I did have three plumbing inspectors from different towns explain the set-up to me as the only set-up they would except. They would allow PVB but discouraged their use because they would have to be tested on an annual basis and that would cost the homeowners money every year. (Plus I am sure that they have no provisions for a testing program for anything but RPZ on commercial buildings, and they wouldn't know how to implement one for residential use.)

Wet_Boots
11-04-2006, 06:39 PM
I am suspecting local custom more than written codes, especially with that illogical statement about PVBs. Sure, they have a check valve in them, that can be verified for function, but they share the same type of air-relief function that an AVB has, and if they trust an unexamined AVB to let in air, they can also trust an unexamined PVB to let in air. In fact, the spring-loaded PVB is more trustworthy.

jerryrwm
11-04-2006, 07:22 PM
I'm gonna have to agree with you. But when in Rome - do as the Romanians:confused:

Wet_Boots
11-04-2006, 07:41 PM
Hey, at least they aren't making you bury the things in a valve box.

PROFESSORRAIN
11-04-2006, 08:32 PM
PURP I've done the same but w/ rcv i let it tap before mv alot of the time I don't want to run pump just for that small amount of water and take a chance on burning up the pump=$$$$$$$$$$$$$

PurpHaze
11-05-2006, 11:04 AM
All our pumps are large commercial and have pretty good sized pressure tanks. Besides, there's a lot of other manually operated systems that need the water on demand and other things like dust control manual zones on baseball field skinned infields, etc. It's not possible/probable in most cases to run separate main lines just to accomplish this.

PROFESSORRAIN
11-05-2006, 01:11 PM
I's not another main but it is 1.5" i understand but for irrigation I don't need a pressure tank pump only runs when irrigating.qc has constant pressure.different area's of country we have seperate tap for irr. in city limits on commercial,tap off water line most times res.,unless cust. pays

londonrain
11-07-2006, 01:37 PM
This is one example of why I use a master valve. A 205 diaphragm with a date code of 3002 on the valve. This is a 16 zone system and the #9 zone was running with every zone.

Wet_Boots
11-07-2006, 02:01 PM
You got birds pecking the diaphragms apart? Rough neighborhood!

SprinklerGuy
11-07-2006, 02:44 PM
I have never actually seen anyone use a master valve here in AZ. I started in 1980 and thats a lot of systems.


Never is a long time...I was only in business there from 1993 til 2005 and I saw plenty of them....in fact, I installed at least 100 MV in the Paradise Valley area in the late 1990's......

I guess mine are still working if you haven't seen them. ;)

PROFESSORRAIN
11-07-2006, 03:41 PM
What kind of game cam did you use to catch the bird at the office.(repairbird)gasket looks pinched at bottom of picture.PLUS i'm not pushin irritrol valves,How long do you war.

londonrain
11-08-2006, 11:51 AM
What kind of game cam did you use to catch the bird at the office.(repairbird)gasket looks pinched at bottom of picture.PLUS i'm not pushin irritrol valves,How long do you war.
The Hardie/irritrol 205 "was" the most reliable valve ever IMO. We installed these valves back in the early 80's under the nelson name brand. Toro ruined a great valve. We can thank Toro for the pinched diaphragm/ soft seals and after about 4 years all of the screws on the top need tightening. I now use Hunter valves again since they corrected the bad solenoid design a few years ago.
The Bird in my pet Starling.....

Wet_Boots
11-08-2006, 01:03 PM
Richdel, who made the valve for Nelson, going back to the 70's did have occasional problems with the diaphragm washer bulging out of its confines, and the cover screws could always be a problem, especially on the anti-syphon versions. I tighten them to this day. The one flaw that Toro/Irritrol seems to have addressed is the plastic metering nut, now made from stainless steel.

I still like Irritrol valves. Especially the 2500F