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Locating Valves

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Rich's LS, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. Rich's LS

    Rich's LS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    I am having one heck of a time locating the valves on some of my client's yards. Any idea as to find them? I don't have the money to by a detector any other ideas???

  2. RLBIG

    RLBIG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    You can rent a tracer at most irrigtation stores for around 45.00 a day
    or you can buy a chatter box that help you locate the valves for about 30.00
  3. AssuredServicesCo

    AssuredServicesCo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

    Here's a way I did it...if the valve is operational. Turn on the zone and flag the heads. Then dig down to see if a corner head has a T or an L, and which way the line goes. By digging up each head you will eventually find where the zone is fed. Zones are usually in an H or U pattern coming off the valves and fed near the center of the zone for good hydraulics. You can work your back from there with a probe ofr shovel til you get to the valve. Sounds complicated but it's really not once you get going.
  4. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    Holy Crap!! Not to be nasty or anything Mike, but about the only systems that you will find that are center fed for good hydraulics are the ones that are in the text book, on the state test, and possibly the ones that you install. Real life installs by others many times have no rhyme or reason. I look at other installs and shake my head in wonder. And I have installed systems that I'm sure have left others shaking their heads and muttering, "what the hell was he thinking?"

    There are easier ways of finding valves than digging up the yard. And it the valve doesn't work then chasing pipe fitting becomes a real chore. Rent a valve locator if you are not ready to purchase one yet. Most supply houses in the DFW area (and there are a boat-load - From Ewing, Longhorn, Wickham, Metro, John Deere, etc.) rent out locators. Usually somewhere around $45.00/day or $25.00/4 hrs. Just pass that cost on to the customer.

    Rich - If you can't find a rental unit, see if you can find an irrigation service company and pay them to locate the valve. I have been hired by several irrigators who don't have a locator, don't know how to use them, and don't want to rent them. They just pass the cost on to their customer. And I don't steal customers.

    Or you could do the old transistor radio/#1 sparkplug wire trick. Anyone else ever seen that done? Crude and not real accurate, but you can follow the wire path.

  5. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    I would keep my eyes open on ebay, If you plan to be in this business longer than overnite it will pay for itself 10 times over in the first year ,,,, I am not exagerating

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