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View Full Version : Nipples vs. Male Adapters


PurpHaze
02-10-2007, 11:57 AM
Was doing a little reading and came across the following on the Hunter website under their technical notes for the ICV valves.

Use nipples with "cut" threads rather than fittings with molded threads. From brand to brand, there can be a substantial variation in the thread size of molded threaded pipe fittings (such as male adapters). When used with any type of valve, this variability in size can lead to fittings which can be "too tight" with some brands and "not tight enough" with others. Using nipples with cut threads will help to avoid these problems.

Duekster
02-10-2007, 12:13 PM
Use a ss fitting valve.

PurpHaze
02-10-2007, 12:26 PM
Use a ss fitting valve.

LOL... The Hunter ICV is a commercial valve and doesn't come in a slip version. It's not intended for "dinky" systems. :laugh:

PurpHaze
02-10-2007, 12:39 PM
Here's an area at one of our high schools that we'll need to take care of after it dries out a little (isolation valve was shut down Thursday). All the valves were installed with MA's instead of SCH 80 TOE nipples that were specified in the original contract. All the MA's on the pressure side are leaking as they just can't take the stress of a large commercial system. This will make 30+ valves that will have already been repaired on this 4-year-old system.

Wet_Boots
02-10-2007, 01:26 PM
What makes Hunter believe that machined nipples possess uniformity? Something missing here. (like the amount of teflon tape needed to make up for differences in threads)

What size valves are being replaced on that crummy system?

PurpHaze
02-10-2007, 01:52 PM
What makes Hunter believe that machined nipples possess uniformity? Something missing here. (like the amount of teflon tape needed to make up for differences in threads)

Actually, Hunter recommends the use Teflon pipe dope instead of Teflon tape.

What size valves are being replaced on that crummy system?

Three of them are 1-1/2" valves and one is a 2" valve.

Wet_Boots
02-10-2007, 02:06 PM
Tape is quicker. I could see using compatible pipe dope on the larger valves, though. I still don't take every word from Hunter as irrigation gospel.

jerryrwm
02-10-2007, 02:21 PM
Purp, I prefer nipples on large valve installations too. But have many valves installed (before I made a switch) using male adapters, and they have been in the ground for over 25 yrs. And properly installed fittings will last indefinately. Key words - properly installed.

Biggest problem is installer error. And that would be my guess on those problems that you are having, especially based on the other incidents of incompetance you have related to us.

Tolerances being what they are, the correctness of threads on molded fittings, molded nipples and cut nipples, is going to be pretty close. Perhaps the difference might be also in the molded valve body from the manufacturer. They have tolerances also. But like anything else the first and last parts of a run of product on the line might be at the high end or the low endof the scale.

That's why they make tef tape and tef paste. To fill in the gaps.

Repairs
02-10-2007, 05:13 PM
Tape is quicker. I could see using compatible pipe dope on the larger valves, though. I still don't take every word from Hunter as irrigation gospel.

Maybee its just me but I swore off teflon tape a few years ago. Seems to not do as good of job sealing the threads. I can bet on thread sealant every single time we put in on. I see drips coming off of taped threads all the time. It may be installer error, but even a loose threaded joint with thread sealant seems to do ok.

Repairs
02-10-2007, 05:18 PM
Was doing a little reading and came across the following on the Hunter website under their technical notes for the ICV valves.

I definitely think the nipples are stronger. So what do you think, are we better off going from sch. 40 or class to a s x s coupling to a sch 80 s x t nipple threaded in to the valve?

londonrain
02-10-2007, 05:31 PM
In my area a contractor used Teflon paste about 10-12 years ago, now I am having to replace the valves because they are now leaking. Seems Teflon tape last much longer. When using Teflon tape you still need some sort of lubricant to fight the friction while tightening the fitting.

PurpHaze
02-10-2007, 07:05 PM
Purp, I prefer nipples on large valve installations too. But have many valves installed (before I made a switch) using male adapters, and they have been in the ground for over 25 yrs. And properly installed fittings will last indefinately. Key words - properly installed.

Biggest problem is installer error.

I agree. A conscientious installer can use either and it'll last many years.

PurpHaze
02-10-2007, 07:09 PM
Tape is quicker. I could see using compatible pipe dope on the larger valves, though.

I've been known to use both in critical situations.

I still don't take every word from Hunter as irrigation gospel.

Agreed... I don't take any manufacturer's word as the true Gospel. When there is a concensus on an issue among manufacturers and other notable sources then I have to admit they probably know what they're talking about. I just threw this out for discussion. :)

PurpHaze
02-10-2007, 07:15 PM
I definitely think the nipples are stronger. So what do you think, are we better off going from sch. 40 or class to a s x s coupling to a sch 80 s x t nipple threaded in to the valve?

I really can't tell you. We install all our valves with SCH 80 TOE (threaded one end) nipples. Works for us... but mileage may vary for others. Some installers can't see past "cheap", others can't see past "expensive" while still others keep it to "good quality". It's a multiple choice test I guess. :)

Wet_Boots
02-10-2007, 07:46 PM
Since the Richdel valves I used (still use, as Irritrol) had 'oversized' openings, and no plastic-compatible pipe dope was available, it was teflon tape or nothing, and one learned how much tape to use to assure tight seals. Come the cheap, thin tape they often sell nowadays, and one wraps way more than any recommendation spells out, if working with certain nipples or fittings.

jerryrwm
02-10-2007, 09:06 PM
In my area a contractor used Teflon paste about 10-12 years ago, now I am having to replace the valves because they are now leaking. Seems Teflon tape last much longer. When using Teflon tape you still need some sort of lubricant to fight the friction while tightening the fitting.This brings up an interesting point. How long should we expect or want an irrigation system to last? Forever? 25 yrs? 15 yrs? 10 yrs? Past the warranty period?

My point is that most of us are not driving the same vehicle (with all original parts) that we did 10 -12 yrs ago. We're not watching the same TV, listening to the same stereo either. Probably not the same AC unit in some cases and there might be a newer microwave, refrigerator, washer/dryer and numerous other items in our lives. We expect these items to fail, break, wear out, or just become obsolete, and we replace them. So why do we expect an irrigation system to last forever?

just thinking out loud.i

Remote Pigtails
02-10-2007, 10:23 PM
I have a theory to pass on. I have systems I service with 50 year old valves. When those valves go out I can't service them because of no parts. Why would their be a parts market for valves that last 50 years or more? So what I think is you want a valve with a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. Long enough to have done its job but short enough to justify a parts market. Any valve that cannot meet the ten year threshold should be cut out. Glued pipe and threaded fittings should never leak if done properly. Wire splices and wire should never need replacing if done properly and with 16 gauge or thicker single strand. Heads should be replaced every ten years. Controllers as needed. Pipes breaking because of trees, ground shifting, etc is a whole different category. This is just assuming normal wear and tear. When i sold systems i would tell customers that with proper maintenance a sprinkler system should last as long as your house.

PurpHaze
02-11-2007, 11:01 AM
I forget where I read it but it was stated that in about 8-10 years some components would require tecnological updating, i.e. newer sprinkler heads that distribute the water better, controllers that are ET based and save water, newer and more reliable rain/freeze gauges, etc. Then again some parts like valves, pipe and wiring may last forever.

Repairs
02-11-2007, 11:17 AM
I am seeing 7-10 years of effective life out of most components. Some will last longer, some less but the 7-10 rule is what I tell customers.

PurpHaze
02-11-2007, 11:29 AM
The key to remember is that different states are adjusting their laws regarding the use of water in an attempt to save as much of it as possible. In most cases reduction of water use directly translates to a savings in water costs whether it's the cost homeowners have to pay on their water/sewer bills or the reduction of electrical costs on pumped systems. Laws change and technology changes right along with it. Sometimes a system can be renovated to meet these new standards while in other situations an older system has to be abandoned and a new system installed.

Wet_Boots
02-11-2007, 12:48 PM
There really isn't anything inherent in a sprinkler system that must fail in a certain time period. I would sometimes offer an alternative to a standard layout of Hunter heads, with a slightly longer guarantee, on the basis of extra money spent up front resulting in longer service life in later years.

Now that Hunter heads have been around for over 20 years, I can expect few of them to be turning after 15-20 years in service. A few locations I did with side-by-side properties having Hunter PGPs or Toro Super600s (depending on whether a homeowner wanted Toro or nothing) showed better reliability for the Hunters, early on. But now that much more time has elapsed, the remaining original Toro heads are outlasting the Hunters. Whether that has anything to do with the Toro gearcases being filled with oil, I don't know.

PurpHaze
02-11-2007, 01:15 PM
There really isn't anything inherent in a sprinkler system that must fail in a certain time period.

True.

I would sometimes offer an alternative to a standard layout of Hunter heads, with a slightly longer guarantee, on the basis of extra money spent up front resulting in longer service life in later years.

The old Fram commercial: "Pay me now or pay me later."

Now that Hunter heads have been around for over 20 years, I can expect few of them to be turning after 15-20 years in service. A few locations I did with side-by-side properties having Hunter PGPs or Toro Super600s (depending on whether a homeowner wanted Toro or nothing) showed better reliability for the Hunters, early on. But now that much more time has elapsed, the remaining original Toro heads are outlasting the Hunters. Whether that has anything to do with the Toro gearcases being filled with oil, I don't know.

We have several areas where Toro S600s are still working fine and others in the same zone conked out a long time ago. We replace them with Hunter I-20s with stainless steel risers as they wear out. When the percentage of heads in a given zone favors the I-20 then we'll remove the remaining Toro S600s just from the uniformity aspect.

It's very hard to tell what makes a particular sprinkler head no longer viable. In my front yard I have Toro 570C bodies (with MP-Rotator sprinkler nozzles) that are almost 17 years old working well as far as the wiper seals go. The only one that has required replacement during that lifespan is one that got wiped out by a mower many years ago when my son was younger and didn't use caution. However, that was probably laziness on my part because it was a little high. It was replaced with a 570Z body and lowered via the swing joint and all has been well.

Wet_Boots
02-11-2007, 05:36 PM
The old Fram commercial: "Pay me now or pay me later."Most folks seem to choose later, maybe figuring they might sell their house before then.

Worn rubber seals might be the most predictable part of a system to fail. The original Toro 570 had a fairly high flow-by gpm, and time would only increase it. as the thin rubber seal washer would wear. You could encounter an old system where none of the heads would pop up, and the homeowner might actually be going out to manually lift one of the nozzles, at which point, that head's flow-by leakage would cease, and the pressure in the zone would be enough to pop up all the remaining heads. (and they would usually go right on doing that manual lifting, once they learned the cost of having all the old heads replaced, {combined with the obligatory backflow-prevention upgrade most such systems required})

PurpHaze
02-11-2007, 10:48 PM
I could possibly see this on a manual system where the owner is present at the time of watering. Hard to bet on with an automatic system that is designed to come on at night or very early in the morning.

Wet_Boots
02-11-2007, 11:05 PM
I've seen a lot of old systems that were set to start in the early evening, when they could keep an eye on it. Some homeowners would go to lengths to avoid service expenses.

That Toro 570 flow-by kind of took me by surprise, when I first started using those things. I had a couple of systems where one head got changed to a brass popup, defeating the flow-by problem. As heads got broken, the newer 570's made that workaround unnecessary.

PurpHaze
02-12-2007, 09:57 AM
I've seen a lot of old systems that were set to start in the early evening, when they could keep an eye on it. Some homeowners would go to lengths to avoid service expenses.

Found an old picture from the early 60s (Westminster, CA)... note the oscillating sprinkler. We moved from this house in '68 and never had a system. Everything was done by hand; push mower, grass clippers, pull weeds by hand, old hand-powered wheel edger, etc. :laugh:

Dirty Water
02-12-2007, 12:51 PM
Nice pants hayes.

I used male adaptors on 1" valves, and TOE nipples on larger valves. Teflon tape, and we used silicon as a lubricant.

95% of the time a male adapter failure can be attributed to the original installer cranking them in way too tight.

Wet_Boots
02-12-2007, 02:49 PM
I remember a system with fixed brass sprays on a dichondra lawn, when I was a kidlet. I even got to work the controller now and then.

PurpHaze
02-12-2007, 03:25 PM
Funny Boots... they STILL make those. :laugh:

Hell... If someone wanted to they could still put in an all brass spray head system (stationary or pop-up), galvanized pipe and manual brass valves. :)

FIMCO-MEISTER
06-15-2010, 07:52 PM
TTT
Ole purp he was big on sch 80 cut thread nipples.

DanaMac
06-15-2010, 08:08 PM
Quite a few good people in this thread that don't post anymore.

Stuttering Stan
06-15-2010, 08:09 PM
Thanks for bringing this up. I've learned lots about galv vs. sch40 vs. sch80.

FIMCO-MEISTER
06-15-2010, 08:13 PM
Quite a few good people in this thread that don't post anymore.

That Remote Pigtails guy was a class act. He was so friggin smart.

DanaMac
06-15-2010, 08:26 PM
That Remote Pigtails guy was a class act. He was so friggin smart.

I wish he could post more about remotes and pigtails. He was one smart cookie.

AI Inc
06-16-2010, 09:55 AM
Who went digging thru the vault?

FIMCO-MEISTER
06-16-2010, 09:58 AM
I'm the guilty party. Was trying to add light to the galvanized thread.

DanaMac
06-16-2010, 09:59 AM
I think the thread title can be a little...... misleading. :rolleyes:

AI Inc
06-17-2010, 07:07 AM
True Dana, I opened it expecting pics!