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After-market LV solenoids

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by PurpHaze, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Went out on a conversion project today. System was a Rain Bird TBOS controller, Irritrol 1-1/2" Century Plus valves and after-market low voltage solenoids. We've had nothing but problems with these solenoids which have had a tendency of sticking shut (plunger actually rusting) or allowing water to weep by and come out the sprinklers. These sprinklers were near a public sidewalk and were creating a slimy area. We ended up going with the Hunter WVC system (now our third one) which necessitated changing the valves out because the Hunter LV solenoids only work on their valves.

    Here's what we took out.

    TBOS Components WP-01.jpg
  2. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    And here's what we put back in.

    Mountain View TBOS-WVC Conversion #1 WP-01.jpg
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    is that a 1.25" main?

    Nevermind, just read that your using 1.5" valves....Thats going to be a tight box.
  4. Planter

    Planter LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 214

    We had a lot of problems with DC solenoids this year. We couldn't find any that worked except the Hunter and Rainbird. We did a lot of change outs on Irritrol and Weathermatic valves to convert to the DC latchers.
  5. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    I used a jumbo box. I cut up and sank an old one as a base and then slipped the new one on top. Came out slick.

    We've just started using the Hunter ICV valves for these applications. Can't get as many 1-1/2" ones in a box as one could with the Irritrol valves. The Hunter valve bodies are almost as large (diameter) as the Irritrol 2" bodies.
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    I can't remember who makes the square solenoids like the one in the first picture but they've turned into a real PITA. I still have 6 more TBOS systems to convert and hopefully we'll have both the money and time this winter to get them all done. Advantage will be that we'll then be able to use our Hunter WVP remote controller on all of them and not have to get into the boxes to fire the valves.

    Total material cost of this conversion was about $500.
  7. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    Pretty! Curious why you use SCH80 pieces on either side of the valve. I believe thats what they are? Nice lookin conversion.
  8. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    They are Threaded on One End SHC 80 Nipples. Hayes prefers them over male adapters because they are stronger.

    I haven't seen a catastrophic failure rate with male adaptors....so I'll use those on 1.5" and smaller.
  9. Broker

    Broker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Looks great..
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    As Jon noted it's our preferred method for valves. As a school district so many of our valve boxes are subject to vehicular traffic (employees, construction rigs, heavy maintenance tractors, big mowers, etc.) that we were experiencing breaks on male adapters at the base of the threads where they make the transition to the slip part. We switched over 20 years ago and have never gone back.

    For a similar reason we do not use round plastic boxes. They have a habit of having their lids and lips crushed by vehicles. They also disappear with overgrown grass much easier and are a pain to try and relocate since their overall area is much smaller than a standard rectangle box. We also maintain a stock of concrete Christy B-9, F-8 and G-5 boxes with cast iron lids. The B-9 (rectangle) is used when we have valve boxes that are subject to continuous traffic. The F-8 and G-5 (round) boxes are used for isolation valves (sleeved for gate or resilient wedge) and wire makeup boxes. If these boxes are lost then we can resort to a metal detector to find them because of the cast iron lids.

    These are just some of the things we've adopted when we realize a continual problem in an attempt to nip repairs in the bud. For the average home owner or smaller commercial property the things we do might be a little cost prohibitive.

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