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Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Buck_wheat, Oct 29, 2010.
Do they still make those water-wasting pieces of junk?
As far as I know.
They are great if you want service work: you not only add water into a drained main/lateral, putting stress on everything, and, since they're installed at a low point, crap can plug the drain, rendering it stuck open or closed.
I won't use them on laterals, but I will use them on mains or manifolds. If we have to repair a main/manifold due to freezing, quite often it is because either the customer did not drain it (or drained properly), not been blown out, or there is a low spot or incorrect level for draining. To prevent this from happening again, I will put one in the manifold or main line. Sure they can fail, and sure they can eventually get roots growing in, but even a brass manual drain fails. I have had more brass/cast drains fail and fall apart than auto drains. Or the rubber inside cracks and breaks away while it is operating.
Proper design is to set them 45 degrees up from straight down. But even the Kings seem to fail, and roots seem to grow into them. I used one once to solve a problem. Lady had the system installed and the only way and I mean the only way was to tie in in the garage where the water line came up through the slab and then out the wall and along it probably 50' to the backyard. You guessed it driveway meter box and side of house all concrete. Well I did the repair because she didnt have "them" winterize it and the main line busted. Master valve and a drain valve to drain the main into a bucket outside. But other than that occasional fix, their pretty worthless.
"Thanks for calling Ace Irrigation, we came over today, checked the clock, ohm'd the field wires, found a short on zone 6. Used the 521 to locate the valve box, and found":
So that's where you hide your spoils
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Moles and irrigation go hand in hand up here. This paticular site is mole city.
They generally leave the valve wires alone, after dad crunched-through an orange wire years ago and got zapped. The spoils are the most beautiful soil on earth. Now, would there be a way to just spot a empty standard for their spoils, or is it the heat and the hum that makes them like manifolds?
I've got a 2-wire site with gophers. Seems that they get into the ditchline and then follow it into the valve boxes. Luckily we installed the 2-wire in conduit between the valves since they sure do like to chew through the wires.
I've been thinking that some galvanized hardware cloth surrounding the bottom of the valve box will keep them out.
I've tried gypsum rock, metal mesh, duct tape,ect. They STILL get in! I believe the only answer is to 90 the valve high enough (wire in sweep conduit) and pour concrete in the bottom, sealing not only the bottom, but the cut-outs of the v.b.