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Automatic Irrigation Valve - To glue, or Not to Glue

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by KindGardener, May 2, 2001.

  1. KindGardener

    KindGardener LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    When y'all install automatic irrigation valves, do you glue the male adapter to the valve?

    If not, why not? I was putting together a 5 valve manifold the other nite & it seemed to be a waste of time wrapping each male adapter with teflon tape (no to mention a potential soruce of maddening leaks).

    At Hydroscape or Ewing, I usually get valves with pipe threads (rather than slip connectors). It occurred to me that whenever I cut off a valve (to replace it), I'll probably never unscrew the male adapter & re-use it.

    Do you use valves with slip fittings, glue on adapters.... comments?


  2. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    I use male threaded adapters with teflon tape. Yes they can be a pain in the arse. I tighten the the couplings to the valves with ChannelLocks before I glue them to the pipe, much easier than fighting them on the manifold.

    The reason I choose to do them like this is this because I have run into too many valves that are built close to the manifold, and if you have to cut the old fitting on the manifold side, you may end up having to rebuild the manifold, because there is not enough pipe. I guess it makes no difference, your preference

    Really if it is an Irritrol or something, it can be rebuilt in place rather than taken out anyway. Thats the easiest way.
  3. greens1

    greens1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    When a valve fails the pipe is, generally, full of water. This is not the best conditon for glueing a new valve on. Even when you get rid of the water you are still left with a real mess. Not the best conditions for glueing.

    I have tried glue valves and went back to threads. One or two bad valves and you will probably do the same.

    Good Luck,
    Jim L
  4. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,931

    They don't even carry glue type valves anywhere in this state. I have never seen one before.

    If you use an approved teflon paste that is specialy formulated to use on irrigation valves, makes putting male adapters a breeze. So it makes it very easy to have a potent seal. Most of the repairs that I have done on valves that are leaking, have been from male adapters that were:
    hand tight
    no teflon at all

    The only thing about using any kind of pliers ect... just have to be careful not to overtighten the male adapters. It is plastic and will crack.

    When I build a manifold in a tight place, I use unions. This way if you ever have to service the valves, just unscrew and re-do.

    I can't say I'm perfect, but I never had a leak from a bad connection. It's always the manifold in the valve that goes bad.

    Speaking of perfect, Have you ever forgot to glue a joint in the main line? I had one place that I did about 3 years ago, client called me that she had a river going out her front yard. After examination,turned out I forgot to prime and glue a joint and finaly gave out after 2 years. Couldn't belive it had held that long.
  5. jay

    jay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    I would just worry about expansion and contraction when the value turns on and off and vibration in the line. It just seems threded values would be a little more willing to give. Have any of you ever used plumbers silicone?
  6. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,931

    The only time you have to worry about your type of concerns is if you hand tighten and or do not use some type of sealer-lubicator.

    What part of the state you're from?
  7. jay

    jay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

  8. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,931

    Some good irrigation houses to get any good advice and cheaper parts.(Pro grade RainBird valve-home depot 24.95 @ irrigation house around 12-$14) I do belive they are all in the Fresno area: "Horizon", (use to be Automatic Rain) "Ewing" and "GreenMark" GreenMark only sells to the trade. Horizon and Ewing will help you out if you get in a spot. At least the ones in my area have always been helpful.

    Besides having one of my dearest friends living in Fresno,(he owns the Santa FE across the street from the train station) my family is originaly from Chowchilla and Visilla.

    We need more California people on this board.
  9. KindGardener

    KindGardener LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    Thanks for the input!
  10. EarthWorks

    EarthWorks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    We have gone to using glue in valves. In doing repairs I also realized that I never got the opportunity to unscrew a valve out of a manifold. Glue in valves go in much quicker. I got tired of wrenching on valves trying to get them tight and spending too much time. Only thing that you have to be careful about is using too much glue on the joints. Glue could be sucked into valve and clog it. Had it happen once or twice till we learned. Last year supplier sent us a box of threaded valves by accident. Rather than send them back we used them but ended up hating every one. Oh as someone mentioned when using glue in do leave plenty of room between valve and manifold for future repairs. :cool:

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