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Master Valves Are Money Makers....For The Manufacturers!

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by ninrocket, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. ninrocket

    ninrocket LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    What good is a Master Valve in an irrigation system????

    Most companies recommend them. Why?

    Valves normally fail from wear and tear right? Wouldn't this mean the master valve will fail first?

    If a master valve fails how would you know? The water now flows to each zone and the zone valves function as normal.

    If a zone valve fails how would you know? The master valve is now controlling the zone. Everything still looks normal.

    If a master and zone valve fail then you would end up changing both valves.

    More money for somebody.....

    OK...so what if we don't install the master valve. Then a zone valve fails...easy to tell it's failed....it's the one that keeps irrigating constantly.

    Whats your opinion?
  2. Oxmow

    Oxmow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 406

    I'd think you'd check the valves during shutdown and startup?

    If the zone fails you would have two running at the same time?

    KA CHING!!!!!!

    Lotsa water waste that way. Kinda make sense to sell a monthly maintenance plan!
  3. LawnJohn

    LawnJohn LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 147

    Interesting .. My yard will be my first irrigation install and the guys at Ewing Irrigation, who have been a tremendous help, highly recommend master valves yet the properties I maintain, don't appear to have one.

    Needless to say, I'm skeptical.
  4. I use the Rain Bird PEB as my master valve.
  5. Oxmow

    Oxmow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 406

    I use master valves on all my systems. I even retrofit systems to use one. It is worth it to me to keep the customer from losing huge gallonage of water and to keep the turf from getting damaged.
  6. greenscapes inc.

    greenscapes inc. LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Posts: 137

    The master valve help in a few ways. If you have a main line break without a master valve then you could have lots of problems, flooded basements, water waist, etc. and you could only imagine if you were on vacation or away from your home. Also a valve could stick on and cause the same problems. I look at it as a little bit more insurance that there wont be a major sprinkler flood.
  7. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts: 322

    I do the same thing. Insurance & peace of mind.
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,664

    Besides the insurance factor, a master valve can also be a pressure-regulating valve, and protect a poly mainline from excess pressures.
  9. Dirt Boy

    Dirt Boy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 487

    Do you use a master valve for "normal" installs (city water)? I was under the impression that you only needed one to control turning on a pump, but then I don't know much. So, tell me the sequence of utilizing one in a setup. Do you turn the MV on at the start of each cycle? Start MV and zone valve?

  10. greenscapes inc.

    greenscapes inc. LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Posts: 137

    Timers have a main valve hook-up. So you run the wire from the main valve the the MV hook-up on the timer. The main valve gets kicked on during each station.

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