Residential valves?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by lawnmaniac883, May 18, 2006.

  1. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    About 3 years back I had new valves and wiring installed to my existing system. 3 years later, these valves are doing nothing but stick. I have disassembled all valves and cleaned the rods out/inspected diaphrams as well as replaced faulty solenoids. One zone ran for 8 hours straight last night and that has really sent me over the top here.

    Now for my question. The installer put in Iritrol 205S valves. Did he go cheap on me or are these good valves just messing up for some reason? I have used this guy on several properties from full systems to repair jobs and he has done very well.

    If these iritrol valves are garbage, what would you guys recommend I have installed in their place? Thanks
  2. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,267

    I have never used them (that particular model) but I would not call an irritrol valve garbage. I would consider them a higher tier valve manufacturer.
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,712

    The Irritrol 205 is the same as the original Richdel R204, the single most successful plastic control valve, period. But they were indended to run on fairly clean water. Does your water source contain particulate matter? If you're pumping from a well point, the point might be passing sand through, which should be strained out right after the pump, before the water reaches any valves. (and heads)

    A system that must pass debris in the water, like some pond-water systems, should probably use a different valve. The very best of the dirty-water valves will usually be brass. ($$$$)
  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Rainbird Solinoids have a 100 mesh screen built in, so if you do have dirty water, replacement with Rainbird DVF's should all but fix your problem.

    BTW Boots, we use Rainbird Scrubbers with great success on marginally dirty water systems (We also filter the water).
  5. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    For residentials, we have used mostly Irritrol 2400 and 205 valves over the years. They have been pretty solid. One thing that sticks in my mind though, we did have a 12 zone system that we installed about 6 years ago that had several valve problems within two years. I personally remember servicing it on three different occasions. It was on city water, in a neighborhood where I had done several installs and serviced a good number of the residences. In seven or eight years, I only recall having one valve crap out, then this place spit out three in a year. In one I found what looked like a stone made from mineral buildup.
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,712

    The Rainbird rep I spoke to was less than totally enthusiastic about the ability of much of the standard stuff to deal with heavy algae, which some of the older impact-head systems would just blow through the sprinklers, with minimal coarse-mesh straining. The Rainbird EFA series brass valves take the filtering a step further by putting the (large) solenoid screen in the flow passage, which helps keep it clear.

    This guy might just have a bad lot of solenoids, but the 'cleaning the rods' phrase has me wondering about the water supply.
  7. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    The rods were loaded with sulfur. I have a shallow well setup with 5 points down. No filters on anything except the heads. If I tap on the valve with a hammer then they will shutoff. Any other suggestions? Looks like the rainbirds have good reviews thus far.
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,712

    Heavy minerals is kind of a special application. Perhaps any metal in the flow path is susceptible to deposits. See any sulfur buildup anywhere else?
  9. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    Sulfur on the plastic housing and pipes as well. I assumed sulfur buildup was normal though. Orange pipes...
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,712

    To me, orange deposits would indicate iron. I've seen iron-laden water gum up lots of systems. You can test for it, and with a shallow well pump, even neutralize it with a product like Rid O' Rust.

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