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Turn-on Valve: Ball or Gate?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jbell36, May 1, 2012.

  1. jbell36

    jbell36 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from KANSAS
    Posts: 1,286

    What do you guys prefer as the main turn on valve? most of our systems have gate valves...some have ball valves...from my experience, the ball valves are much easier to use and seem to fail less often, unless the lever breaks off...last year we had either a 1.5" or 2" system gate valve lock up and we had to replace it, digging down 4 feet and 4 feet wide, it was a huge pain in the ass...i figured i would ask you guys, i just don't understand why the gate valve is much more popular...
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Prefer ball valve. I see less failure. I've replaced many gate valves that fail and allow water to the system during the winter after we have drained down the system.
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,633

    If I had a valve 4 feet down, it would be something like a curb stop, and not a gate valve.
  4. HardRain

    HardRain LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    I once went through a supply houses' entire inventory of 1.5" gave valves and every one had faults in the casting that would have let water leak by. A valve isn't much use if it lets water leak by, is it?
  5. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,552

    I think gate valves are more popular, because they're cheaper.
    Ball valves are better in every regard, except in the one situation where you might want to intentionally restrict the flow through it, and have control over how much restriction you want.
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Gate valves do prevent the customer, or a newbie employee, from slamming on the water. A gate valve does slow down the process a little.
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,633

    I have seen a few systems that had a special "resilient wedge" gate valve shutoff. Nibco made them in small sizes.
  8. Sprinkus

    Sprinkus LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,107

    For something accessible I prefer brass ball valves. Now if it was 4' deep I'd go with a resilient seat gate valve, as Boots mentioned.
    Curb stop would work too, although I've dealt with a few that have become stuck and had to be replaced (by the water department).
  9. Ball valves...quality ones.
  10. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,974

    Bingo, and that was my criteria, also. I never used plastic.

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