Valve boxes

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Joel B., Apr 17, 2003.

  1. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 458

    Have been getting estimates for a sprinkler system and am wondering what the pros and cons of the two systems are. The choices seeem to be either a larger box with a few valves in it (is this the "California system"?) or a smaller box with a single valve in it.

    I guess it comes down to having a few large holes in the yard or more smaller ones.

    What would you suggest?

    Joel B.
     
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    To me it is personal preference for the contractor. And it depends on the area of the country. In Colorado most residentials have one or two boxes with multiple valves. There is a previous thread on this subject as well. I'll try to find it.
     
  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

  4. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 458

    Thanks DanaMac.
     
  5. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 801

    I would narrow it down to a couple of questions

    1 how many sq ft of lawn do you want to irrigate?

    2 how may gallons per minute are available at the site

    either way the valve box lids are not really that objectionable, I would prefer small ones here and there, after a couple of years there really hard to find in a healthy plush lawn
     
  6. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    After reading the other thread, two reasons I like the manifold style:

    1) usually less pipe under constant pressure. Going from the cut-in to a main manifold may only be 10 feet of pipe that is always under pressure. So a leak or break is going to be isolated and therefore with less exposure (amount of pressurized pipe) the risk of having a leak in the 'always pressurized' pipe is less.

    2) If the lawn area is relatively small I don't want a valve cover in the turf area-- not comfortable to walk on, fall on, or to look at, the heads are enough of a potential problem.
     
  7. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    Pipe under pressure is not a problem. On the converse look at all the excess pipe that needs to be installed to get from the manifold to the heads based on valves at a central location. Try to service valves in the future when placed in shrub beds, near trees, rocks etc. It is ugly.

    Heads and valve boxes are not a problem in the turf if properly installed. Perhaps your experience has been with poorly installed irrigation.

    This is my 32nd spring, self employed in the green industry. I have millions of feet of pipe under pressure 24/7. Trust me, it is not a problem. Leaks come from poorly made threaded connections, poorly made solvent weld joints on pvc and improperly clamped fittings on poly. ALL can be avoided. NONE are difficult to locate. Leaks are an over rated fear.
     
  8. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    How about winterizing when the homeowner is not home to provide access to the timer??? Easier to manually open valves when they are all in one spot and not having to hunt them down.

    I would guess 80-90% of the residential are manifold style around my area certainly less are that way for commercial properties due to the size.

    Maybe it's a size thing. Larger properties are more likely going to have valves spread thoughout (for lower costs) while small properties fit well with manifolds.

    HB are most residential systems in your area done with values throughout the property?

    It would be interesting to see a cost of installation comparison?
     
  9. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    We're using the heck out of the Hunter Pro-C and always hook up the remote port. We also have remote on the SRC and ICC series controllers. Most customers controllers are in the garage and many will leave us the garage code or an opener if they will not be home at winterization. We insist they turn off the spr water supply if it is in the house. That way I don't worry about my guys removing shoes or boots. And we never get blamed for for not turning the water off properly or turning off the wrong valve. It also forces the customer to be familiar with the valve and its location and then they are able to turn it on in the spring. .

    Our avg system is 7 or more zones. A few are manifolds and it can be nice IF an old diaphram or 4 or 5 don't fail to close. Most people fail to build a manifold that a valve can be removed from if it can't be rebuilt. So you have a repair that is mega bucks and a pain in the butt job that guys dread when it isn't necessary. Placing it in the shrubs that get overgrown or under the mulch or rocks is not nice either.

    AS for cost, a main line system is less expensive because there is less pipe footage to buy and install. and it is a cleaner install. now if it is retirement home or small lot work on 40-55ft wide lots, 90-100 ft deep all this may be fairly moot. But that is not what we do.

    We did the manual valve bleed years ago when our bodies and systems were young. But now we like setting the controller or using the remote to run through they system and not hunt valves, manifolds or deal with stuck valves.

    And yes, most systems in my area are done this way. But as that is true I "manifold" 2-4 valves as a group in single boxes where practical even on larger jobs.
     
  10. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 801

    that is just that, a guess.
    I would go back to my original response

    1. how many gallons available at the site. ( and at what size service and psi.

    2. how many sq ft are you going to irrigate.

    valve boxes are not objectionable in the lawn after a few weeks they become almost unnoticeable.
     

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