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Thread: Must sprinkler valves be straight up?

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Joerg's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
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    Default Must sprinkler valves be straight up?

    Major pain in the neck: This morning one circuit didn't close, valve stuck on open. It's one of those old brass Rainbird 100E inline 1" valves (early 70's) and they placed some of them under (!) the house. What where they thinking? Takes 1/2h to crawl there, under lots of contortion and head scraping.

    Anyhow, I mounted the head of an old 100E valve I had but that leaked at the tube stem (under solenoid). Darn. Took it apart, no space seal. Great. On the web it seems spares are hard to get anyhow so I am thinking of just putting a new plastic 1" valve in. As luck will have it the new valve won't sit straight up when the intake thread tightens to the point of no leak.

    How much can inline valves be off from the straight up position? If they have to be pretty much straight up is it ok to use the old hemp and paste method to get a good seal? I found that paste only won't seal until it's all really tight, plus they recommend not to do that.

    To be honest I don't want to glue in a new piece of PVC on the intake side because then I'd have to crawl there another time once it's dried. These #%^&!! contractors placed the shut-off for three of the circuits also under the house, right where this dead valve is.

    Regards, Joerg.

  2. #2

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    I'm not an expert on these things, but I have a 3/4" rain bird valve mounted almost horizontally for 7 years and it has never failed. It was supposed to be a temporary thing, but it works and I've never gotten around to fixing the piping for it.
    -rick

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Default

    Check with Rainbird, but I think vertical is only a convenience thing, not a requirement.

    If you are assembling plastic threaded fittings, don't use any hemp, whatever that is. 1 to 2 wraps of teflon tape, a light brush of Great White dope for good measure. Tighten as tight as it will go by hand. One addidional 1/2 turn by wrench. That's it! Any further tightening will tend to distort the soft plastic threads and cause leaks.

    Sounds like a union, or a slide extension coupling, would make this job easier.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Joerg's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks, Rick and Jimbo. My concern would be the plunger/spring assy. That flops around quit a bit in most valves and if it won't close right some day we'll have major flooding unless someone is home. Which luckily was the case when this circuit croaked.

    Looks like I am going to try to cram a union in there. Very tight location though. Got to cut a hole into the side of the house to gain better crawl space access, don't want to risk my back going out while down there. Does anyone have an idea how to (easily) create a cover for that hole so it can be locked? I don't want to have intruders be able to sneak in just with a wrench.

    Regards, Joerg.

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