Valve Box Setting

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by PurpHaze, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    OK gang... new thread. When valve boxes are set do you guys use bricks, blocks of wood or other means under the box trying to keep the box from settling? We use nothing here but we change so many boxes that we've gotten pretty good. Unless the area is extremely wet we pack the soil quite well and then drive the boxes into the soil with the aid of a three pound hand sledge. We level with a torpedo or angle with slope accordingly. I find the bricks, dobies and blocks of wood to be quite a nuisance when we have to dig up a valve box for repair work.

    If we do encounter a box that has settled too much then we never dig it up and readjust the height. We take off the original lid, dig up partially around the original box and insert either a full box or stubby box over the original box, using it as a sleeve. I know this probably isn't practical on the commercial side but it's a very quick fix for us.

    What about pea gravel in the bottom for drainage and gopher control? I find it to be like digging up concrete. Besides, I could take pictures on many pea-graveled valve boxes where gophers have still gotten through.
     
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    If the hole is dug properly and the valve is at the right height (side feed valves here), then you can rest the box on undisturbed soil and it won't settle.

    Otherwise, I just tamp it real good. No bricks or other crap here. If the box is too low, we use a riser...or a fullsize box.

    I always notch the box out so its never resting on pipe, and use pipescraps or pieces of the box to block up the holes.

    Height is set by eye though I have a torpedo level on my truck for the new guys. I'm picky...If its not level with the grade it gets redone.

    On boxes set in pure clay, theres been a few times were I've dug under the valve about 2' and backfilled with drainrock, then set the box. Most customers don't understand that a box filled with water doesn't mean a leak :)
     
  3. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    That's why the guys call me "magic hammer." When it comes time to set the boxes they give the tools to me. :D

    My wife calls me this sometimes but that belongs on a different site. :cool2:
     
  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    :laugh:

    What brand of valvebox do you use? We prefer Carson and we use 6" and 10" round ones, as well as 10" and 16" rectangular.

    I just got done with a run of Amtek 6" round valveboxes, and the lids are very difficult to remove when they are new, so we went back to Carson.

    I prefer using the 10" boxes over the 16" box. I'll put 3 1" valves in the 10".

    Has anyone tried the new Rainbird boxes with the punch out baffles?

    We use:

    [​IMG]

    Rainbirds new box:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    We're pretty much at the mercy of what our two main suppliers carry and they change from time to time. We buy boxes 10-25 at a time with an extra 20-25 lids for replacement maintenance.

    We don't use round boxes at all and never put more than one valve per box since we need the room for maintenance reasons. We also set all valve boxes "with" the valve and don't come out the sides. We set the boxes so the bolt holes are on the side of the solenoid which gives us a hint as to which side the solenoid is on when we're digging the thing up. However, on a residential design I'm not against it.

    Doesn't matter if the box is baffled or not. We carry customized baffling equipment in the form of Dewalt battery-operated saws-alls. :D
     
  6. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    We have one client that owns a large condo complex that insists on 10" round boxes for the 2" valves.

    Other than that, we don't use them.

    I use a 6" round box for a single 1" valve often.
     
  7. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Customer's always right... and gotta keep them happy. :D
     
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,017

    One valve per box? You're not trying hard enough! :p <br><img src=http://img348.imageshack.us/img348/6049/eightvalvemanifold23fz.jpg>
     
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    But....Why? :)

    The most I'll put in a 16" box is 5.

    At least those are jartops :)
     
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,017

    Why? Valve boxes cost money, you know. And the ground is hard. And my feet hurt. I'd rather see one full-depth valve box than two shallow ones.

    A lifelong Richdel valve user, it occurred to me that their valve bodies weren't needing to be replaced (knock wood) - so why not fit in as many as practical, as long they can be opened and repaired? This technique probably works a lot better with poly pipe than PVC.

    As for brands of valve boxes, I liked Brooks and Carson better than Ametek (especially for manifold crosses, since their standard box is a wee bit larger) - But, the plastic of an Ametek cover will last longer than that of a Carson.
     

Share This Page