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Old 05-13-2017, 02:53 PM   #1
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Yard Sprinkler Talk


Hi there, I am new to the forum.

I have installed 3 sprinkler systems in the homes I've lived in so I am familiar how they should be installed. For the current house I live in, the sprinker system was already installed. I don't know if it was the previous owner or the contractor who is responsible for this abomination of a system. A quick run down:

  1. There is no master valve.
  2. There is no anti-syphon valve.
  3. There are three valves. One looks like it should be the master valve but it runs a zone. The other two zones are wired to come on together and despite a perfect setup to have one zone for yard and one zone for bed, the zones are mixed and matched so the plumbing goes to both the bed and yard in different places.
  4. The most significant issue is that whoever installed this system tied it into the house water line before it gets to the house. The line that comes from the meter in the front yard to the house is PVC. This will be the first sprinkler system where the water for the sprinkler system is not coming from the house There are pluses and minuses for this. As it is I can turn off the water in the house when we go on vacation and the sprinkler system still works.
So I am considering the best way to alter this system. I would like 3 zones, one for the back yard and two for the front yard, one for the beds and one for the yard (in the front yard).



  • Installing a Master Valve- not a big deal. I asume it's still conventional wisdon that a Master Valve should be used? My understanding is that a regular inline valve can be used as a Master Valve.
  • Front Yard- Wiring the two valves for the front yard (one for bed, one for yard) to come on separately and altering the plumbing to separate the yard from the bed heads, not a big deal.
  • Anti-Syphon Valve- This is an issue as I have some heads that are two feet above the ground in flower beds. My understanding, the anti-syphon valve needs to be 6" above the tallest sprinkler head.
Right now there is a water turn off valve at the water meter buried in the front yard (accessible), and a turn off valve next to the house near ground level



I'm considering digging out in the yard to disconnect the sprinkler water pipes from the house water line. Repair that and then next to the house where the water comes in, split the sprinkler water system off here. In this way I can run it up the wall high enough so that the anti-syphon valve is 6" above the heads in the yard. Plus I can install a blow out valve for the winter, but usually it's so warm here in the winter, I've not blown out the sprinkler in the 5 years we've lived here.



Looking for comments and suggestions. Thanks!



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Old 05-13-2017, 09:06 PM   #2
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Re: Yard Sprinkler Talk


A backflow preventer does not need to be above the highest sprinkler head. To demonstrate this we had one on the system at 1 of our homes that was actually in an underground vault that was at least 6' lower than the highest head. The system was professionally installed and inspected so we know it meant code.

Many systems don't have anything but a manual valve to shut down the entire system, there's no need for an automatic valve as a master. I'm a little confused about your zones but it certainly doesn't sound like the system was professionally installed. Zones for beds definitely need to be separate than zones for grass areas.
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Old 05-15-2017, 02:48 PM   #3
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Re: Yard Sprinkler Talk


Quote:
Originally Posted by Msradell View Post
A backflow preventer does not need to be above the highest sprinkler head. To demonstrate this we had one on the system at 1 of our homes that was actually in an underground vault that was at least 6' lower than the highest head. The system was professionally installed and inspected so we know it meant code.

Many systems don't have anything but a manual valve to shut down the entire system, there's no need for an automatic valve as a master. I'm a little confused about your zones but it certainly doesn't sound like the system was professionally installed. Zones for beds definitely need to be separate than zones for grass areas.
Thanks for your response and help. To clarify some points, I thought an electric Master Valve's purpose was to provide a backup in case one of the zone valves failed open. I have had them in my previous 3 sprinkler systems.

I purchased an anti-syphon valve, so maybe I should read the installation instructions. I got that height requirement from a link on installing anti-syphon valves and I kind of remember that being mentioned when i installed my other systems.

I was surprised to see electrical wires on the anti-syphon valve. Do those as a rule require current to function?

Some of my sprinkler heads are on two feet high poles, and if I was to put this anti-syphon valve in the most convenient place it would be in the control box that is in the ground. So concievable the anti-syphon valve could be 2' before the tallest sprinkler head. What do you think about that? I can always redo where the sprinkler system ties into the water supply and put it by the house, and place it 2' above the ground, if being put in the control box might cause isses, if there is enough room.

As far as the zones, there are 3 zone valves, but there are only 2 functional zones. One of the valves looks like what I imagine a dedicated master valve looked like, it was heavier duty, but it controls the back yard which is all beds, there is pool and no grass. The other two valves were wired to come on together and I discovered both the front beds and the front yard were plumbed together in a single zone, where one of the beds is tied into yard zone.

Thanks again!
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