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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A company added a few more zones to my sprinkler system today. While they were here, I had them replace the diaphragm in the shut-off valve for the system (inside the house). The shut-off valve is a Rainbird with a threaded input and threaded output (black valve). It looks like the guy spun the valve a bit when he replaced the diaphragm, which means I now have a small leak at the threaded input. I can't tighten it as that will loosen the threaded output connection.

I need to tighten the threaded connection. Is my only option to cut the copper, tighten, and then sweat in a new coupling? Any other option?
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It looks like you have a quick disconnect union on the other side which will allow you to remove the black valve, clean threads, add more pipe tape/dope, spin it back on and try again. Remember you have plastic and copper there, so don't go crazy tight spinning it back on. Use more pipe tape on the threads.

Just call him back and tell him it leaks. They were the last ones that touched it. It didn't leak before. You shouldn't have to do it. You can if you want, your call.
 

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It looks like you have a quick disconnect union on the other side which will allow you to remove the black valve, clean threads, add more pipe tape/dope, spin it back on and try again. Remember you have plastic and copper there, so don't go crazy tight spinning it back on. Use more pipe tape on the threads.

Just call him back and tell him it leaks. They were the last ones that touched it. It didn't leak before. You shouldn't have to do it. You can if you want, your call.
I don't see a union.

Why do you have an electric zone valve there? You call the black valve a shut off valve for the system but the brass manual valve is the one that you should use.

Hard to tell which way the water is going. You have a meter? This isn't the city meter correct? Then you have what appears to be a double check valve after the zone valve. Strange configuration.

As far as I see it you will have to re-sweat copper fittings in order to the black zone valve.

I wouldn't trust the plastic valve to hold during the winter months....always close the brass valve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It looks like you have a quick disconnect union on the other side which will allow you to remove the black valve, clean threads, add more pipe tape/dope, spin it back on and try again. Remember you have plastic and copper there, so don't go crazy tight spinning it back on. Use more pipe tape on the threads.

Just call him back and tell him it leaks. They were the last ones that touched it. It didn't leak before. You shouldn't have to do it. You can if you want, your call.
Thank you. I don’t think this is a quick disconnect. Is it?
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't see a union.

Why do you have an electric zone valve there? You call the black valve a shut off valve for the system but the brass manual valve is the one that you should use.

Hard to tell which way the water is going. You have a meter? This isn't the city meter correct? Then you have what appears to be a double check valve after the zone valve. Strange configuration.

As far as I see it you will have to re-sweat copper fittings in order to the black zone valve.

I wouldn't trust the plastic valve to hold during the winter months....always close the brass valve.
When I winterize, I use the shut off. It’s open when the sprinkler system is operating. The black zone valve opens to allow water to move outside. The valve downstream from the black valve is a (required) back flow preventer.
 

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When I winterize, I use the shut off. It’s open when the sprinkler system is operating. The black zone valve opens to allow water to move outside. The valve downstream from the black valve is a (required) back flow preventer.
Usually the backflow preventer comes first.

You said you had more zones added. So, and if I get this correctly, you have a zone valve come on to get it outside and then at the same time another valve comes on to go to the appropriate zone?

In my opinion that valve can be eliminated. I must be missing something.
 

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When I winterize, I use the shut off. It’s open when the sprinkler system is operating. The black zone valve opens to allow water to move outside. The valve downstream from the black valve is a (required) back flow preventer.
2 pictures I'm posting. Pic 1 is first. You have two valves where you only need one. I'm big on lots of valves (isolating) but not a valve for no reason. Valve number on comes with the double check the other ball valve you don't need so maybe work back from there.

Second picture. Does that line go to the rest of the house? And is that a side meter so you don't have to pay sewer bills based on water usage? They done allow that where I'm from.

Just curious I guess.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
2 pictures I'm posting. Pic 1 is first. You have two valves where you only need one. I'm big on lots of valves (isolating) but not a valve for no reason. Valve number on comes with the double check the other ball valve you don't need so maybe work back from there.

Second picture. Does that line go to the rest of the house? And is that a side meter so you don't have to pay sewer bills based on water usage? They done allow that where I'm from.

Just curious I guess.

View attachment 712459
View attachment 712458
The valve you are pointing to in the second picture does go to the rest of the house. As to the meter, that's my main inside meter for the entire house. It's just past where the water line enters the home. The line you marked with the arrow feeds the house. The other line (feeding through the black solenoid valve) feeds the irrigation system.
 

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Thank you. I don’t think this is a quick disconnect. Is it? View attachment 712453
No, that is not a union. I was talking about the other side or further down the line. Look for the nearest union to take it apart and redo it.

If no union anywhere, your only option is to cut the pipe and re-do. It didn't look like any new soldering was done, so I thought they may have went to the nearest union.

I would call them back and tell them it leaks. Just a suggestion.
 

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Jesus people, it's a simple irrigation system. The black valve is a "shutoff" valve for the downstream PVC irrigation piping. We call it a master valve. There is debate on using a master valve. On the one hand, it does limit water loss from a continuous leak in the downstream piping or at a downstream zone valve until discovered, which is good. On the other hand, using a master valve causes stress on the main line of the downstream piping in that each time the system kicks on, the main line is fully pressurized (filled with water), and then when the watering cycles are complete, it depressurizes (emptied of water). This constant pressurize/depressurize may cause the main line to eventually develop a crack. It's the same concept of the stress placed on a aircraft fuselage as a result of takeoffs and landings. Just have the DA that put it in come back out an fix it, geez...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jesus people, it's a simple irrigation system. The black valve is a "shutoff" valve for the downstream PVC irrigation piping. We call it a master valve. There is debate on using a master valve. On the one hand, it does limit water loss from a continuous leak in the downstream piping or at a downstream zone valve until discovered, which is good. On the other hand, using a master valve causes stress on the main line of the downstream piping in that each time the system kicks on, the main line is fully pressurized (filled with water), and then when the watering cycles are complete, it depressurizes (emptied of water). This constant pressurize/depressurize may cause the main line to eventually develop a crack. It's the same concept of the stress placed on a aircraft fuselage as a result of takeoffs and landings. Just have the DA that put it in come back out an fix it, geez...
Yep. Rebuilding this is gonna be a pain. They did not leave much room.
 

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A bit of a strange setup in tight quarters. I don't see a union or a way out of that DIY. Too many fittings in tight quarters to mess with a torch for me. And no unions to not have to tear down the whole thing ... potentially?

Call back the installer. You shouldn't have a leak after their work. Their workmanship.

Hearing about the possible pressure issues and cycling, I would look at having a hammer arrestor added between where the line goes from the main to irrigation. Probably will have to create bit of space by coming up higher on the wall and then over, or eliminate something further down the line and rebuild.
 

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Jesus people, it's a simple irrigation system. The black valve is a "shutoff" valve for the downstream PVC irrigation piping. We call it a master valve. There is debate on using a master valve. On the one hand, it does limit water loss from a continuous leak in the downstream piping or at a downstream zone valve until discovered, which is good. On the other hand, using a master valve causes stress on the main line of the downstream piping in that each time the system kicks on, the main line is fully pressurized (filled with water), and then when the watering cycles are complete, it depressurizes (emptied of water). This constant pressurize/depressurize may cause the main line to eventually develop a crack. It's the same concept of the stress placed on a aircraft fuselage as a result of takeoffs and landings. Just have the DA that put it in come back out an fix it, geez...
Not sure just freaking out here does any good whatsoever. I've put in 200 plus irrigations and never seen a master valve nor have I seen a meter inside a person's home.

If the OP wanted to fix the leak himself.... I gave him some information on how he could do it without a union and without having to sweat copper.

I would also eliminate unnecessary things.

Best if the irrigation guys just come back and fix....
 

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Redundancy gone wild on this one. I'm with Matt. Once the adapters start leaking, they usually do not stop. Once in a while I see them stop by themselves, but it usually due to temperature changes. PVC and copper expand and contract at different rates. Additionally I wonder why he'd have spun the valve for a diaphragm change. If it was accidental, probably wasn't tight enough already. If intentional....why?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Redundancy gone wild on this one. I'm with Matt. Once the adapters start leaking, they usually do not stop. Once in a while I see them stop by themselves, but it usually due to temperature changes. PVC and copper expand and contract at different rates. Additionally I wonder why he'd have spun the valve for a diaphragm change. If it was accidental, probably wasn't tight enough already. If intentional....why?
It was tilted toward the wall. He just needed access.
 

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It was tilted toward the wall. He just needed access.
Ah! Odd position.
I wouldn't place one of those plastic sprinkler valves inside of a house, unless there was no other reasonable option. Those brass ones won't fail you and start leaking around the screws or seals in quite some time, but the plastic sprinkler valve.........I'm always replacing them due to leaks. Plus you can't open it manually at the valve without is peeing water all over inside
 

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Redundancy gone wild on this one. I'm with Matt. Once the adapters start leaking, they usually do not stop. Once in a while I see them stop by themselves, but it usually due to temperature changes. PVC and copper expand and contract at different rates. Additionally I wonder why he'd have spun the valve for a diaphragm change. If it was accidental, probably wasn't tight enough already. If intentional....why?
Well I never did a master valve but it's a thing so whatever floats your boat really.

On another note, I stopped buying threaded control valves. Those appear to be Hunter jar tops just like I use.... I only buy the same valve with the glue in ports. Two reasons, one because they never leak and two because they fit up faster. Plumbers will use plastic male adapters but most plumbers will never use female adapters because they split.

The system is fine....he just needs to stop the leak and the easiest way is to reduce fittings.

Also, if the guy who turned it, so he could access it, really shouldn't be held accountable. Looks like a paid service call is in order.
 

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It's a rainbird screw on top. As an aside, I like Rain Bird stuff, but I have been disappointed with their valves of late. Especially so for those overly large solenoids that I've had to change out a lot of. They leak from warping, they short out internally (I suspect they hold in too much heat), and I've seen the tops of them deteriorate faster than others.
 
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