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Old 02-29-2012, 02:00 PM   #1
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How to relocate my valve box?


I'm getting ready to have pavers put in my backyard and need to move my valve box about 25' from where it is now. I plan to put it along the side of my house where the water pipe that feeds the valves is, so I'm hoping that will make this job easier. There's currently three valves now and want to rezone the system while I'm at it. My question is this...is this a fairly simple job for someone who's handy and has tools? Or is this something best left to a pro?
If I'm able to do this, would someone please give me the general steps on how to do this?

Thanks!

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Old 02-29-2012, 04:16 PM   #2
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How to relocate my valve box?


As you reposition the valve assembly you want to be sure your backflow prevention and anti-syphon portions of the valves are at the right height.

You can do this since most of the plumbing is going to be about gluing PVC. Have a pro hook up the manifold to the water supply if you are not sure. Now would be a good time to install a shut of valve for the entire sprinkler system. It saves you having to turn all water off if something happens to a sprinkler valve. If you live in a cold climate, think about adding air valves so you can blow the system out in late fall too.

Obviously, you are going to have to tie back into the plumbing for the sprinkler lines. Try to hold bends to a minimum. Obviously, if you need to run plumbing under the pavers, run the plumbing before installing the pavers.

Without seeing your landscape plot I do not know if it would make sense but sprinkler control valves don't have to be nested together in a manifold, especially if automated. You can plunk them remotely. Just so there is an anti-syphon/backflow valve (can be a single valve) that activates with each remote valve.

If it is an automated system, you will need to run new LV electrical from the valves to the controller. If it is not automatic? Think about making it so. It will be healthier for the plants since you can water early in the morning and it will, over time, save you some on watering bills.

Convert shrubs and flower beds to drip irrigation if you are rezoning things. Plants will love it and you will be watering in gallons per hour instead of gallons per minute and putting water just where you want it.

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Old 02-29-2012, 05:16 PM   #3
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How to relocate my valve box?


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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
As you reposition the valve assembly you want to be sure your backflow prevention and anti-syphon portions of the valves are at the right height.

You can do this since most of the plumbing is going to be about gluing PVC. Have a pro hook up the manifold to the water supply if you are not sure. Now would be a good time to install a shut of valve for the entire sprinkler system. It saves you having to turn all water off if something happens to a sprinkler valve. If you live in a cold climate, think about adding air valves so you can blow the system out in late fall too.

Obviously, you are going to have to tie back into the plumbing for the sprinkler lines. Try to hold bends to a minimum. Obviously, if you need to run plumbing under the pavers, run the plumbing before installing the pavers.

Without seeing your landscape plot I do not know if it would make sense but sprinkler control valves don't have to be nested together in a manifold, especially if automated. You can plunk them remotely. Just so there is an anti-syphon/backflow valve (can be a single valve) that activates with each remote valve.

If it is an automated system, you will need to run new LV electrical from the valves to the controller. If it is not automatic? Think about making it so. It will be healthier for the plants since you can water early in the morning and it will, over time, save you some on watering bills.

Convert shrubs and flower beds to drip irrigation if you are rezoning things. Plants will love it and you will be watering in gallons per hour instead of gallons per minute and putting water just where you want it.
Thanks for all the great info. Here's a better description of my yard and current system. I'm in San Diego, so I don't need to worry about freezing, the yard has two levels - most of the backyard is at grade with the valve box (is this called the manifold?) and will have about 1000 sq/ft of grass, a third of the yard is an upslope, up about 15 feet, with trees and shrubs. It's on an automatic timer (timer can control up to 6 zones). I have 3 valves in the valve box and thinking about adding more to make better sense of the zones. I already have a shut off valve.
So here are some of my questions -
What kind of valve do I use, anti-siphon or one of the many other kinds available?
Since I have the sloped-high section of my yard, are anti-siphon valves not an option?
How do I know if I already have a backflow preventer?
I want to replace spray heads on the sloped hill with drip irrigation where possible, does this factor in the design?

Sorry for the many questions, but these are the main ones I'm struggling with. Thanks.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:33 PM   #4
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How to relocate my valve box?


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Originally Posted by blue sky View Post
Thanks for all the great info. Here's a better description of my yard and current system. I'm in San Diego, so I don't need to worry about freezing, the yard has two levels - most of the backyard is at grade with the valve box (is this called the manifold?) and will have about 1000 sq/ft of grass, a third of the yard is an upslope, up about 15 feet, with trees and shrubs. It's on an automatic timer (timer can control up to 6 zones). I have 3 valves in the valve box and thinking about adding more to make better sense of the zones. I already have a shut off valve.
So here are some of my questions -
What kind of valve do I use, anti-siphon or one of the many other kinds available?
Since I have the sloped-high section of my yard, are anti-siphon valves not an option?
How do I know if I already have a backflow preventer?
I want to replace spray heads on the sloped hill with drip irrigation where possible, does this factor in the design?

Sorry for the many questions, but these are the main ones I'm struggling with. Thanks.
Can you snap a couple quick pics and post them?

A quick pencil sketch of your sprinkler circuit layout would help too.

And were you planning to redo the lawn sprinklers or coverage is as it should be?

Drip emmitters are the equivalent of sprinkler heads and they come in all kinds of configurations from simple things that just drip a calculated amount to things that look like mini "rainbird" sprinklers. The design consideration are that you will water with drip in gallons per hour (GPH) instead of gallons per minute (GPM) like you are now. And unfortunately, although many hold out hope, drip emitters have to be on the surface (but tubing to them can be buried. You will need to come off your existing irrigation lines to the 1/2" and 1/4" tubing drip uses.

Anyhow, most home irrigation valve manifolds, where the valves were lined up in a row, contained backflow prevention and anti-syphon capabilities but were installed at the wrong height for the latter to meet code and even work. I am guessing your current valves each of a little adjustment knob and next to it is an umbrella thing about 3" D. That is the backflow and anti-syphon part of the valve. Won't know until I see a pic. The purpose of both functions is to keep water from the landscape from returning to the house and, in theory, its drinking water supply.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:45 PM   #5
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How to relocate my valve box?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Can you snap a couple quick pics and post them?

A quick pencil sketch of your sprinkler circuit layout would help too.

And were you planning to redo the lawn sprinklers or coverage is as it should be?

Drip emmitters are the equivalent of sprinkler heads and they come in all kinds of configurations from simple things that just drip a calculated amount to things that look like mini "rainbird" sprinklers. The design consideration are that you will water with drip in gallons per hour (GPH) instead of gallons per minute (GPM) like you are now. And unfortunately, although many hold out hope, drip emitters have to be on the surface (but tubing to them can be buried. You will need to come off your existing irrigation lines to the 1/2" and 1/4" tubing drip uses.

Anyhow, most home irrigation valve manifolds, where the valves were lined up in a row, contained backflow prevention and anti-syphon capabilities but were installed at the wrong height for the latter to meet code and even work. I am guessing your current valves each of a little adjustment knob and next to it is an umbrella thing about 3" D. That is the backflow and anti-syphon part of the valve. Won't know until I see a pic. The purpose of both functions is to keep water from the landscape from returning to the house and, in theory, its drinking water supply.
The lawn sprinklers just need to be repositioned to where the paver edges will be. The really goofy thing about the zones is this: zone 1 is the main flat area where the grass will be - plus just 1 sprinkler on the far side of the yard, zone 2 is the front courtyard and the back planters along the fence and zone 3 is the upslope (I'm fine with how zone 3 is setup).

I'll snap some pics and a sketch and try to post them here tomorrow.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:45 PM   #6
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How to relocate my valve box?


Here are pics of the valves and where they're located now. I need to move them to the side of the house, just beyond the chain gate in picture #2. The main water line (dedicated for irrigation) runs from the front of the house, through the side of the house, so should be easy to connect to the valves. In two weeks, I'll completely demo the backyard, so I'll have nothing but bare dirt to work with to trench for new pvc.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:56 AM   #7
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How to relocate my valve box?


I cannot see for sure what with the leaves but I am guessing you have three valves that look something like this...

http://www.irrigationtutorials.com/instal07.htm

Right?

The problem is they are much lower than the lowest sprinkler in your system so the backflow and anti-syphon capabilities are lost. On all three. More or less. They were never code.

A real backflow prevention and antisyphon valve is a nice thing to have. And you only need one for your entire irrigation system. You might want a plumber to install it for you. And get a good one. Valve and plumber.

You will wire it with a common wire from it to each of your irrigation controller station valves. When your controller opens a valve for say lawn sprinklers it also triggers the solenoid in the master anti-syphon and and backflow valve.

Now then, here is the one problem you may encounter with drip. Some older valves cannot handle the low water flow rate. Remember, you are shifting from gallons per minute to something half as exciting as watching paint dry and flow rates in gallons per hour.

Imagine 8-12 gallons per minute flowing out the end of your garden hose to wash your car? Put another way, drip irrigation is as dramatic and fun to watch as Bob Doyle Viagra commercial. You have to wrap your head around gallons per hour. Emmitters work in .5 or so to 12 gallons PER HOUR. Anything above 4 is for the flamboyant in my opinion. A system I designed 30 years ago in Northern California uses no more than a 4GPH emmitter.

Of course the plants and family love it. No harsh California water is spraying all over leaves and things. While you Southern California types steal water from us that lived in Northern California. And you forced us to ration. We learned. All our backflow and anti-syphon valves point to LA and San Diego. You will fall into the Ocean first. If you do not die of some horrid water borne disease first.

Last edited by user1007; 03-01-2012 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:12 AM   #8
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How to relocate my valve box?


Irrigation design point I was trying to make, and I know copper wire to the actuators is not cheap?

With just one nicely plumbed anti-syphon/anti-backflow valve? And with no threat of freezing? You do not have to nest your irrigation valves for your circuits all together in a silly manifold. Plunk inline electronic valves where they belong along logical plumbing lines as you rethink your irrigation plan.

Timer/controller switches will turn on each irrigation station and the backflow/anti-syphon one, totally code, too. Amazingly simple hugh?

Hey, you gonna run some wire for low voltage lighting when you are trenching and before you put the pavers down? Some of the LED stuff for landscapes is beyond amazing. The firefly lighting with controller is so fun. Even if you cannot afford it now, you might as well at least bury some cheap hollow PVC tubing you can run wire through later?

Now is the time, before you pave. Just spend $50 more on PVC pipe so you have a channel for wiring later. Trust me? You really do not want to ignore good advice and ask how to tunnel for lighting later do you?

Last edited by user1007; 03-01-2012 at 05:22 AM.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:56 PM   #9
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How to relocate my valve box?


I've done a lot of work in my yard over the past two months. I've moved the manifold to the side of my house and put in anti-siphon valves and a backflow preventer, put in pavers, put down an extra 1" pvc pipe across my yard for future sprinkler use, and ran a 120v line to the rear of the yard for low-voltage lighting.

The next thing I need to do is reposition the existing spray heads and add extra heads for the lawn I'm getting ready to put in. So that leads me to my next question...How do I figure out the maximum number of spray heads that I can put in?

I know that it all depends on how my system is set up and here is what I have:
1" meter
1" steel supply pipe into the house
65 psi at the hose bib
3/4" lateral lines after the valves

Based of what I've read, a 1" steel pipe can deliver up to 18 gpm. Also, if my hose bib psi is 65, how do I know the psi in my lateral pipes? 20, 25, 30, or some other amount?

From Rainbird's website, the nozzles deliver different gpm based on the psi. For example, a 360 degree nozzle with 25 psi puts out 3.3 gpm, compared with the same nozzle with 30 psi putting out 3.7 gpm.

And finally, once I figure out the gpm for each spray head, do I simply them all up and make sure they don't total more than 18 gpm?

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