Valve Tips

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Ron Wolfarth, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,095

    .... Unless you wanted them to explode!
  2. Ron Wolfarth

    Ron Wolfarth Sponsor
    Messages: 955

    Due to popular demand, Rain Bird now is selling replacement smoke in aerosol cans.

    It seems that customers sometimes connect our controllers to power supplies in such a way that the factory smoke we insert into the electronic components escapes, sometimes in rapid fashion. Of course, the lack of smoke to drive the internal functions renders the electronics useless. So, now Rain Bird is offering this factory smoke in an easy to use, completely effective remedy to bring back to life those otherwise useless components.

    Get yours today while supplies last. ;)
  3. Ron Wolfarth

    Ron Wolfarth Sponsor
    Messages: 955

    Here is a 100B impact sprinkler. Yes, that is an office desk that it is leaning against. Rain Bird folks have interesting office decorations.
    It was sold in about 1947. This particular sprinkler was found irrigating a golf course in the Finger Lakes area of New York about 15 years ago by a Rain Bird person. He traded something and now it sits in his office.
    Here are some links to YouTube videos of them working.

    Here is the quote from Rain Bird's Virtual Museum.
    "The largerst impact drive sprinklers ever produced by Rain Bird, the Model 100A and Model 100B had a 3" (80/90) inlet and were able to effectively irrigate up to 3 acres (1,21 hectares) with their 420 foot (128,02 m) range."

    Here is the link to the Virtual Museum.

  4. Ron Wolfarth

    Ron Wolfarth Sponsor
    Messages: 955

    Use No Pipe Dope is a statement on many of Rain Bird's plastic products. A customer once hired a comedian for a company meeting and he asked why Rain Bird treats its customers with such disrespect. "Use no pipe, Dope? How are they supposed to get the water to the sprinkler? And what makes them think they can call me a Dope?"

    That line got a good laugh. However, I am still surprised that after so many years of putting this warning on our products, that we still get product returned where this clearly is what was done. When we talk to those customers, we explain that nearly all pipe dope, including most Teflon paste, has chemicals in it that attack the plastic used in sprinklers. The effect will not be immediate, but certainly overnight the damage will be evident. The plastic becomes brittle and is easily broken with your fingers. It even looks like peanut brittle inside when you break the plastic.

    There are some pipe dopes or pastes that do not have those chemicals, but there are so few that we just recommend never doing it. Use two wraps of Teflon tape instead as a lubricant (it does not seal the pipe) and tighten the tapered pipe thread until there is no leak.
  5. Sprinkus

    Sprinkus LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,282

    Say whaaat? How would that be done? :confused:
  6. Ron Wolfarth

    Ron Wolfarth Sponsor
    Messages: 955

    I am not sure what is confusing. Teflon tape should be wrapped around the thread in the same direction as the thread two times (or two layers) to provide lubrication between the pipe and the fitting.

    Help me understand how I am being confusing.
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,051

    I think this is where theory meets field experience. Teflon tape nowadays is often thinner than in olden days, and I don't care how it gets described, as to its thickness, it doesn't get the job done if you apply a 'textbook amount' of wraps. Of course, my experience with the Richdel valves has me heavily wrapping any male thread going into a zone valve.
  8. Ron Wolfarth

    Ron Wolfarth Sponsor
    Messages: 955

    I have noticed that it is thinner than years ago. And I use it seldom now, but happen to have just used the thinner tape on copper going into brass on a 1 inch thread and two wraps seems to have worked fine. Maybe because they were both metal.
  9. Sprinkus

    Sprinkus LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,282

    How is this done while under pressure? (which seems to me the only way to determine there is a leak)
    Pressurize the mainline and if there is a leak cut the valve out and tighten the tapered pipe thread further?
    Install unions at valve and then loosen said unions to enable tightening of tapered pipe thread?
    Spin valve back on to inlet side to tighten tapered pipe thread?

    Maybe I'm just old and tired but that suggestion seems poorly thought out (from an installers perspective).
  10. Ron Wolfarth

    Ron Wolfarth Sponsor
    Messages: 955

    Okay. Good comments. And yet, when I did it as I suggested (many years ago and only while working summers for my dad during high school and college) it seems to have worked for me. I don't recall having leak issues, but that was 40 years ago and my memory has limits. Maybe I just over-tightened the male adapter into the valve before cementing it onto the main line.

    How do others who use threaded valves ensure there are no leaks? Certainly you are not using pipe dope which started this discussion. If teflon tape doesn't work, what does?
    (And we are only talking valves here because sprinklers are at the end of the line and can simply be turned tighter.)

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