Leaking Rain bird DVF's

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by EverflowIrrigation, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. EverflowIrrigation

    EverflowIrrigation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I am new here, but have enjoyed reading many of the threads. I have had some trouble with Rain bird DVF's this past winter. I install 20-35 new systems a year in addition to servicing 300 systems/ yr. This past winter from Oct-March we installed roughly 80 zones on new systems. all 1" DVF's. My service tech's have had to replace over 30 of those valves. I am around 40-50 man hours, fuel and slip fixes, a dead specimen tree and other misc parts into at this point. I have been using DVF's on my residential systems for the last 6 years. I have found them to be inexpensive yet very reliable. when we started up our systems this year we found 6 the first week, I though ok no big deal let's just get the valves warrantied. By the time we finished our start-ups of newly installed systems we were pushing 25. Over the last few weeks I have had some unhappy customers calling with flooded yards. The valves all split on the inlet side of the valve, in the same place. We turned in the valves to our supplier and got in touch with the rain bird rep. rain bird came back and said it was because we used teflon paste and teflon tape instead using of just teflon tape. the problem is we have used both tape and paste for years on these valves without ever having a problem. We also found a valve installed by another company split in the exact same place with no teflon paste. My supplier has warrantied the valves and offered a free case of valves for the trouble, although I have been very unimpressed with rain bird's follow through on this one they have yet to step up to the plate and take any sort of responsibility. Has anyone else had trouble with DVF's recently? or ever heard of teflon paste reacting with the plastic causing valves to split (rain bird's story). Not trying to complain just trying to figure out if the problem is just with us.
  2. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,935

    What kind of threaded fittings do you use for your valve connection / manifolds? Manifold Tee? Sched 40 male adapters, sched 80? Nipples? Any kind of Metals?

    Do you have a new service tech that could have over tightened the the threads on all of these valves? ( Remember the threads are tapered and get bigger as you screw them in which is why you don't ever go all the way in)

    Did you winterize these sprinkler systems- a frozen valve can warp/ crack the plastic.

    Dvf's are our valve of choice. In the last 10 days I've installed about 20 alone ( Replacing old valves) . The only time I've ever seen a valve body crack on a dvf was from my own doing of over tightening the manifold tee into the valve.

    Messages: 18,668

    Expect the Rainbird run around. The few times I dealt with RB issues with RB they denied, denied, denied, then suddenly the product changed. I wouldn't use paste though. Just stick with teflon. You may have an over zealous employee who thinks tight means putting the valve in a vice and tightening until it doesn't turn anymore. Hand tight then a quarter turn. If you use PVC and don't manifold your valves you will never have that problem with glued in valves.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,368

    I've only used paste once, on a master valve on a high-pressure system with Orbit zone valves, which I didn't trust to not close with a bang. Used an Irritrol 2500TF as master.

    For most uses, teflon tape should be all that's needed. I don't just apply a number of wraps, but cover the male threads going into the valve. That way, valve and fitting won't bind, and hand-tightening will work fine.
  5. EverflowIrrigation

    EverflowIrrigation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    We used schedule schedule 40 occur male adapters for our valves. I had the same problem with valve splits with two different guys installing them for me. I had the same guys installing them in Aug and Sept as I did through the winter. The Aug-Sept valves are fine. I understand stuff happens just a little taken back that rain bird will not take any reaponsibility, especially given the amount of rain bird product we install every yr. The wierd thing is none of them split right away, all of them split over the winter and have continued since we re activated the systems. I am sire they were wonterized properly too, as some failed on jobs that I personally winterized.
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  6. EverflowIrrigation

    EverflowIrrigation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Pvc male adapters
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  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,368

    the best manifolds will probably be the ones you make yourself with sch 80 TOE (threaded one end) nipples on the inlets - for one-inch valves, there is very little reason to consider using paste - if you want the best chance to avoid cracked threaded bodies, look at Irritrol 2500TF valves
  8. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,128

    I'd call your RB rep up and scream like hell. Demand a meeting, dump a pile of cracked valves at his feet and tell him he has 5 minutes to make it right or 1) You're taking them to claims court for the cost involved in swapping the valves and 2) You'll never buy their product again. Put the ball in their court. Sometimes you have to be an A-Hole to get results.
  9. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,288

    REP should stand for REPRESENTITIVE
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  10. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,148

    I like that kind of talk, it's worked well for issues I've had with both Hunter and Rain Bird. 'Course, you don't get taken to lunch as much anymore. :cry:

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