Valves are the heart of your underground sprinkler system. They control what zones are on and off, when and how much water passes through. And valves live in a harsh environment. Hot & cold, condensation and humidity.
Eventually, almost every valve box needs some repair. It could be as small as a new solenoid or diaphragm or replacing the whole valve altogether. And there’s nothing more frustrating then having to get to valves that are awkwardly placed or difficult to work on. So here are three tips for anyone planning a sprinkler system that will make your valve boxes hassle free.
Putting together valves can be tricky. Finding all the right parts, gluing the fittings together, threading the valves and then hoping your pipe connections will match up. But that sort of hassle isn’t necessary. Orbit’s Preassembled manifolds are the perfect solution. Straight out of the box you have everything you need in a durable, preassembled nature. So easy, these manifolds just drop right in. These come in two and three valve configurations, and you can expand with a simple fitting.
A good foundation
Usually a valve box protects the valves from weather above, but just as important is what’s below. Instead of placing your valves on the dirt, which over time will turn in to mud, place 3-4 inches of crushed pea-gravel. This provides a foundation that will drain any excess moisture, prevent weeds and mud from coming up and provide a solid base that won’t shift over time. As an additional measure, the valve box base fits our preassembled manifolds, with pre-cut inlets and outlets that perfectly match up.
Location, Location, Location
This rule doesn’t just apply to real-estate, it’s for valve boxes too. While we acknowledge a valve box isn’t the prettiest thing in the garden, there are ways to make valve boxes easily accessible while remaining inconspicuous. Make consideration of what your landscape will be like 5, 10 or twenty years down the road. The valve box that seems easily accessible now may have rose bushes on either side in five years. If you or your contractor have to get to those valves, for anything from repairs or simply turning on your system in the spring or winterizing in the fall, then those bushes are going to be a major hindrance.
Instead, make sure you’ve got plenty of room to kneel and get into the boxes. Perhaps consider plants that aren’t a huge investment and could be easily removed if necessary. We’ve seen people place potted plants over their valve boxes. You may even want our granite or sandstone rock covers to hide them.
These simple solutions ensure hassle free repairs if and when you ever have to get to your valve boxes.