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pvc or copper/brass shutoff valve

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by surge, May 25, 2005.

  1. surge

    surge LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I am curious as to which one you guys prefer to use in an installation. I was thinking of using the copper/brass threadded gate valve with unions before and after the valve. I figure that copper/brass will hold up better and the unions before and after the valve will allow me to remove the valve and replace it if it fails without cutting any pipe. What do you guys think?
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I use brass ball valves by FORD. (Not the motor co heh).

    I'll get a pic later, I'm off to work.
  3. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    I was always told there were only 2 kinds of gate valves...........
    those that leak and those that are going to leak.

    I don't recomend a gate valve as a positive shutoff.

    I like globe angle valves (brass) for taps, but I am in a freezing climate. Having the shutoff close enough to service, but still over a column of water well below the frost line prevents freezing of live water and allows for proper winterization of the system w/ minimum effort. The old drain and waste valves w/ a Key shutoff that are burried below frost level are probably best, but I really, really hate working on them when they eventually fail. Champion makes a globe angle with a built in union on the outlet. This makes changing it easy enough.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,234

    Some of the curb stops I have to use (reluctantly) are draining types. Are those what you've seen fail? In what way?

    In warm Sunny California, a leaking gate valve won't mean so much. When do they ever shut off the system, except for maintenance? A good ball valve would make more sense, and might be easier to get than a good gate valve.

    I have trouble picturing an outdoor subterranean sprinkler system supply valve in a freezing climate, unless the water meter is not in the building's basement.
  5. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    I have had to replace/repair draining curb stops in a very few instances. Digging them up is a fav pasttime :help: Couldn't tell you what brand etc. but I *think* 3/4 turn and then they drain right after they seat "off". One of the ones I had to replace was because some idiot strong arm'd the thing and broke it. grrrrrrrrr

    They don't put meters inside in very many places around here. Cross the border into MO and the majority go back inside. Depending on the PI's prefrences, most of my taps are either by the meter pit or right before the service enters the house.
  6. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    our local inspector has determined that self draining curb stops are unsafe. apparently there is a chance that the water main might shutoff, and someone would at that exact time open the water shutoff, and water could backfeed into the water system past the one way water meters, therebye killing an entire city.
    so, they make us put a curb stop in. then another curb stop that drains. then run it up to surface to a double check valve, from which after you can drain it.
  7. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Wow, you guys have it incredibly rough.

    Up here, the freeze depth is 6 inches. So no meters are in basements.

    All we have to do is connect the DC anywhere after the meter, and depending on which city we are in, call for an inspection, or just backfill it.

    Backflow seems to be such a big deal to everyone, but it really makes no sense to me.

    Assuming any sort of toxin managed to soak into the sprinkler head it would be stopped by a valve, if that valve was open then the mainline would have to be off, if the mainline was off, then theres no way for water to get into the city main.
  8. kerdog

    kerdog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    What if.........any sprinkler system is running.......the 'city main' loses pressure for say....twenty minutes or so, then comes back up to pressure?
    All the water that was in the sprinkler system gets sucked back into the 'city main'. Let's say the homeowner just dumped a bunch of fertilizer on the lawn.

  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Thats a good point, though it probably rarely (if ever) happens. It would take a hell of a lot of water use to deplete the city main enough for it to suck the water in the sprinkler system back into it.

    This reminds me of a client of ours that owns a condo complex fed off of a pond. He had dumped some sort of algea killing chemical into the pond, and then a few weeks later, called and complained that his brass was turning brown.

  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,234

    A person might go their entire life, and never once have to stop their car by means of the emergency brakes. Think that's reason enough to leave those brakes out of an automobile's design, or to not care if they're in working order?

    You do know that a lawn sprinkler zone valve (a diaphragm valve) has no ability whatsoever to prevent water from running through it in reverse. Don't you? No ability whatsoever.

    You do know that if a fire truck hooks up to a hydrant, that the pumps on the truck are so powerful that they can create negative pressures, and suck the water from any pipe in the vicinity. You know that, don't you?

    You do know that water mains can break. Don't you?

    Every season, I encounter one or more instances of broken pipes that were caused by injector points, from either root fertilizing, or termite treatments. Broken pipes fed by someone's drinking water, which will still be safe to drink, because a backflow preventer rated for toxic backflow is part of the sprinkler system.

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