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Manifolds vs. Remote Valves

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by F6Hawk, May 27, 2005.

  1. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    Which is better in your opinion? I can see where the "manifold" concept would cause a higher initial cost due to more pipe (I am planning on using 1" 200 for all laterals, off a 1" SCH 40 mainline), but from a layman's view, I like not having to bury a few hundred feet of wire that later may have to be troubleshot.

    Now, I am talking having maybe 2-3 zones in per underground box, and not cramming too many in there. One zone will be within 10 feet of the timer (left side of house, pop-ups), one zone about 20 feetaway (front of house, rotors), and the third zone on the far right side of the house (80+ feet away, pop-ups or rotors), with the lateral being run under the drive to the heads. Of course, there will be future expansion when I install sprinklers in my back yard.

    The bottom line is, what are the pros/cons to doing it each way? I imagine you pros have seen it done many ways, and can help me head off future headaches by doing it right the first time.

  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    I like a couple 2-3 valve manifolds close to their corrisponding zones.

    My reasioning behind this is that a 10" valve box will be easier to find on a future service call than a bunch of 6" boxes all around the place.
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,650

    Having all the valves in manifold(s) at one location next to the building may mean more pipe, but in the very long term, not having wire buried in the field will justify the effort. In some cases, the plastic pipe is cheaper than the copper wire, so you can save money with the single manifold. For a do-it-yourselfer, wiring faults can be sheer hell to cope with.
  4. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    Kind of the way I was thinking, Boots, thanks to all for the input. I think having things in one location is nice for those of us who are not pros who like to troubleshoot in the future.
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    At a customers request I recently did a job that had every valve for the system in one location (7 valves).

    Manifolding to that extreme was more of a pain than it was worth in my opinion, and I had to stack 3-4 pipe in every trench...Something I HATE doing.
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,650

    Beyond a certain number of zones, the single manifold becomes unwieldy, but in poly pipe territory, it only means pulling some more pipe, and is no big deal.
  7. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    In my front yard, I think I will be able to do a manifold and only have to stack 2 pipes at most. In the back yard, where the presence of 3 or 4 valve boxes is not a large concern, I might just go with running wire instead of pipe. I imagine I will have 3 zones in front, and about 4 in the back.

    Thanks again!
  8. DGI

    DGI LawnSite Member
    from SE Mich
    Posts: 173

    It depends on the size of the lot. If you are running pipes in triplicate for some distance, you should just have wire and mainline.
  9. MikeK

    MikeK LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    Having the valves in one location is much easier for service down the road. I also think it's very tacky to have valve boxes in the grass area of the lawn. Whenever posible, we try to put all of the valves together, buried in the landscape rock by the backflow preventer. On most systems, this is usually 5 to 7 valves, it's also one less valve box to dig
  10. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    All different schools of thought.

    Cold weather guys want them in one location.

    Plus side -Easier to do blow-outs, shorter runs of wire.
    Down side - long runs of larger pipe. Means wider and/0r deeper ditches. Several large valve boxes in the landscape area (hopefully there are not more than three valves in a 12X18 box, and never two valves in a 10" round) Real pain to service when there are 5 or 6 valves in one box, the fittings are jam-up and the idiot used crosses to make the manifold so that he could go out of both sides of the box.

    Warm weather guys want the valves near the zones.

    Plus side - Less larger pipe used if zones are center fed. Mainline pipe and wire in a narrower ditch. Wire path is usually along the mainline so finding piping is easierif using a locator. Smaller valve boxes are less obtrusive in the landscape/turf
    Down side - Longer runs of wire, (but 4 strands of 14-1 are less per foot than three runs of 11/4" pipe are. Smaller valve boxes can become hidden under turf - homeowner is still looking for one that has a couple broken wires but doesn't want to pay me to dig the yard.

    I will manifold a couple valves if they are at the end of the mainline and it doesn't make any sense to set the valve 100' away and then use the same ditch the bring the lateral back toward the other end. But each valve gets it's own valve box and there is plenty of room between them to work on them if need be.

    Just my $.02

    Jerry R

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