Replacing Sprinkler Valves

Replacing Sprinkler Valves

Keeping your yard green is no easy task, especially if you live where it’s very hot. Sprinkler systems need tweaking constantly. Whether it’s a busted sprinkler head, a drip system hose that has been chewed through, or a bad control unit. It’s a lot of work.

We live on a few acres with 24 different watering zones that have sprinklers or drip systems. Over the last year I have had to replace sun cracked sprinklers, re-vamp drip systems, and replace control units. There are 4 units scattered around our property and they are all now newer and better designed. One of them is a Hive unit that can be controlled with a device like our iPhones.

This tutorial will walk you though replacing valves. These can go bad with time for many different reasons. I have replaced many over the past year. We have 24+ valves! The reason I replaced the three valves that control a portion of the sprinklers for the front lawn was that 4 sprinkler heads were leaking. I replaced them with new motor drive sprinkler heads, but that did not do it. The next logical steps was the valves, thinking they may have worn with time and were stuck just a bit open, which would pressure on the link and so the sprinklers were leaking. Because we are on a well, the valves deal with a bit more than those in the city on city water.

I have found that Rain Bird valves are pretty good. They allow you to clean out the valve too, which should cut down on the need to replace them. I also use Hunter valves, which are used in this tutorial. These are pretty good and run around $15 – $19 each. Depending on where you get them. I got my supplies at Home Depot.

What you will need
1. Replacement Sprinkler Vavlve (our system is on 3/4 inch)
2. PVC Pipe
3. PVC Pipe Cutter
4. 2 3/4 inch Male Adapters
5. 2 3/4 inch PVC sleeves
6. PVC Glue
7. Electrical tape or small wire nuts

1. Disconnect wires from solenoids, noting which wires go where.
2. Take two male adapters and wrap the threads with Plumber’s Tape.
3. Screw in the two male adapters to the new valve, make sure you tighten enough, but not too much. I use a pipe wrench to get it just right.
4. Cut the existing valve out.
5. Using PVC glue attache 3/4 inch sleeve to stub coming from the ground.
6. Now cut PVC pipe to desired length and using PVC glue attached to the stub via the sleeve.
7. Using PVC cement now attached the valve to the stub.
8. Wire the solenoids back up.