Yard irrigation system

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professor229

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Hi...... I have a bit of a unique situation..... Our house is in a suburb that has no code for irrigation systems... Our house has two water supplies completely independent from each other.... The house water supply is the city water.... The yard irrigation system source is a dedicated well and is in no way connected to our house water supply.... The irrigation system is old... and I mean old... Right now it has six zones.... and all of them have anti-siphon valves..... however..... the valves are failing and the mainfold is old CPVC pipe and I have removed it as "one problem led to another"... Now my problem..... Can I build my own manifold using modern schedule 40 fittings (I am a retired golf course superintendant so I have a lot of experience but....) I want to make this system simpler, modern, and less expensive to maintain... We never ever had an anti-siphon valve on the golf course irrigation system as it was also a well and not tied into any kind of city/drinking water system..... Can I use six non anti-siphon valves in my new design because it is a dedicated system which means it will not affect any other water source????

Thanks for the advice..... it is much appreciated....
 

PerplexedPlumber

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We are working on our first sprinkler system, so I can't provide experienced input, but will offer what I've learned: Re-dividing the zones will mean that you need to know the pressure and flow at the service point to the irrigation system, and you will need to know the flow requirement at each sprinkler head, drip line, etc. attached to the system. If you try to re-allocate based on an intuitive approach, you can run into issues such as insufficient pressure to supply coverage at a sprinkler head, or reduced flow to other points in the combined lines. For newer systems, you can find all of the information online to plan for your needs. Not sure it would be easy to find that for an older system, but you could measure the radius for the sprinklers.

You could build your own system, but you can also buy a manifold for a price difference that may not be worth your time, just be sure that the parts that you use don't decrease the interior diameter of the present manifold.
 

skeezix

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I built my own manifold 20 years ago and it's still working fine. It has 5 outputs - 4 of them are in-line with a 5th output going ou-chunda...

20201201 Valves 02 reduced.jpg

Not sure about the anti-siphon valves. Unless I knew for sure that they are required for your particular situation I would go with regular valves.
 

professor229

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Hey..... Boy, that is a work of art!!!! Very nicely done....I bought some time. I repaired the line that leads from my well room to the boiler valve (faucet) outside our front steps...... and did a transition from CPVC in the well room to modern PVC leading outside to the faucet.... With that, I can run an above ground traditional hose/sprinkler system until I figure out a manifold fix or an entirely new one... I resolved that this morning. Simply, whoever designed/built this manifold in the 1960s I think, did not allow for problems and a fix.... I fixed this by neutering on zone and using the stub to that valve to put in a transition to a plug so I can drain this manifold this fall/winter. I also took apart all the valves and they are really old school but designed to be rebuilt.... and I did that this morning. All the fittings are ready to be installed tomorrow and then I will fire up the five out of six zones and hope for the best. This will buy me one more year or more. The zone I neutered is on the side of the house so it is NOT a big deal... and I can improvise something later if I want to put that zone into service again... As for anti-siphon vs regular valves, there is nothing required in the suburb but it is recommended to have an anti-siphon system which I do have.... I do get miffed at the cost of some of the fittings though.... I found the unions I want to use locally... a little over $5 each... and then found them online for $1.51 each.... but, the shipping is a deal killer..... oh well... The plan is to get this up and running tomorrow. Thanks for your picture and information......
 

skeezix

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>>Hey..... Boy, that is a work of art!!!! <<
That particular work of art was a long time in coming.

In 1996 I had somebody quote me $3,000 to put in four scrubber valves. So I went to the hardware store and bought the valves for $125 each along with a bunch of PVC and ABS pipes and fittings. Then I installed them myself and just left the wiring for "another day". Here's what they looked like in 2002 and how they've looked until the "another day" came around last fall:

20020915 Control Valves 800 px.jpg

Sooner or later, everything eventually gets done.

Usually later. Much later...
 

professor229

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LOL.... I totally agree.... Yesterday I went to work to install my repaired manifold, accepting the fact that I would eliminate zone one...... and use water above ground that comes from a boiler valve that also runs off my well pump..... This installation was supposed to take me about one hour to complete. Three hours later I was ready to turn on the master valve to all this. Now, I had fixed the line from my well room to the outside world previously and knew that would not leak. After turning on the valve, I sprinted up the steps, outside, and saw three/four leaks. One was a new valve solenoid I failed to tighten enough, a couple barbed poly connections were older and required two clamps instead of one..... and then there was a leak in the zone six unit..... which was added later after the initial five zones..... I ran each zone off the manual lever on each valve and four of them worked fine. I decided to wire the electrical end of this and try the controller.... none of them worked.... hmmmm .... then I remembered that the white wire was the ground(neutral) and connected that wire and it was all good after that. But.... the system is still ancient... and there are drips periodically.... I have bought some time to look for deals that may happen all summer long. I have also seen gouging in the price of most of the components..... some people on Ebay should be ashamed. So... what's next? Today I plan to excavate around zone six..... replace the valve? or just cap the line? I would like zone six functional simply because there is going to be some new grass seed added in that area when it gets warm enough. And since zone six was tried, I have to "fix it" before winter when I blow out the lines anyway, so I might as well do it now..... But I am done spending money on this ancient system.... and will start building my own manifold. I like the idea of using all schedule 40 PVC. The current system has too many poly fittings and poly pipe..... Anyway.... I have four out of six zones working now.... That would be most of my front yard and my back yard.... The two zones that do not work are on the south side of the house and south side of the driveway..... and can be irrigated above ground.... Like I said... I bought some time yesterday.... Have a good one!
 

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