Anyone ever change a valve without turning off the main?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Dirty Water, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    I had to change a 1" curbstop valve coming off a 4" main. There was no way to shut it off without shutting off service for over a mile.

    The best way to do it is get everything assembled down to the last fitting, Get the last fitting tefloned up, grit your teeth and spin the old valve out.

    You have less than 10 seconds to get the new valve threaded on before your underwater, and the whole time your doing it water is blasting you in the face at 100 gpm.

    Anyways, this was the second time i've done this, and I still don't like it :laugh:
     
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,041

    Umm, why were you changing it? Hereabouts, that's strictly water company territory, and no one complains about it, given their depth. With a five-foot valve depth, that change-on-the-fly might find you a footnote on the evening news, as another worker buried when the soil collapsed.
     
  3. Without A Drought

    Without A Drought LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,038

    i would say you've got some cajones. same as wet boots said, i'd call in the calvary. but i have done zone valves, pvb rk's, definatelly do-able but only as a last resort.

    question... would that be considered a poor man's hot tap?

    pg
     
  4. Was the service line in copper or pvc?
     
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    Boots, out here, water mains are only 2-3' down max.

    It was connected directly out of a saddle tee on the main.

    Its a non potable main (We have miles and miles of these feeding farms and irrigation systems), so we are allowed to work on those all we want, the original valve was installed poorly, and was PVC, we wanted a brass curb stop.
     
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Sounds like something you'd discuss on a DIY forum.:laugh:
     
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,041

    Where I am, you never see the mains, since they're underneath the street, and all the taps are done at one time in a new neighborhood, with copper leading to curb stops between sidewalk and street.

    Now, the rig you use to drill and tap the iron water mains, and install a 'corp stop', is a nifty bit of engineering.
     
  8. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    Our potable mains are usually under the street, but I've seen some in odd places.

    Again, they tend to be more at power depth (36") instead of 5'.

    However, we have so many non potable mains out here from the past days of farm systems that we do a few hot taps. (real hot tap's, not my poor man version today :D)
     
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,041

    I remember one water main, since it was feeding an old catering hall I was sprinkling, and it was a rush job for the hall to get sod down over the old parking lot, so they wouldn't blow a huge wedding contract. Without having the usual lead time to make the connection and do a flow test, the system goes in, and underperforms, way beyond what a inch-and-a-half supply should give. Turns out the main was many hundreds of feet away, on the opposite side of an old divided highway.
     
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Sounds like a case of "don't do your homework and just put the dang thing in anyway." :)

    At our oldest stadium we have an area where something was similar. About 25 years ago plumbers were installing irrigation in our district (prior to turning it over to the Grounds Dept.) and decided to install two zones in a hilly area behind a restroom building. They never checked the POC (two very old brass 1-1/2" ASV valves) for PSI or GPM and just installed the two zones. Then they turned the thing on and all they got was a neat bubbler system.

    Later, when I was asked to investigate the situation I was able to turn on the ASVs and remove the tops without much water/pressure coming out. Ended up installing a 3/4" QCV which I calculated was about all the water/pressure that was available. They still use this QCV and a portable impact sprinkler on the end of a hose to water this area today. :laugh:
     

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