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Replacing outdoor valve

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:45 am
by HuCdReeRYD
I have this outdoor valve to the sprinklers, but it doesn't shut off completely (however tight I turn it, some water is still running to the sprinklers). I think the valve is old and should be replaced (if you think there's some trick I should try first before replacing, please let me know).

My questions:
1) Should I use a plastic ball valve to replace? Something like this ... /202370032 ? Any concern of using such valve for outdoor? (E.g., is a plastic valve more easily damaged than a metal one? Esp. with the sun and outdoor temperature?)

2) How do I replace the valve? In the picture, I can cut the white PVC pipe below the valve, use wrench to twist off the old valve, and put on the new valve. However, how do I join the PVC pipe to the new valve? What fitting should I use?

Thanks in advance!

Re: Replacing outdoor valve

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:22 pm
by Aaron
I would avoid PVC for sure not least because of deterioration from UV exposure, but also because it's less strong for freeze/thaw of winter. This is not so much a concern if you're in a warm/dry climate. Underground is generally fine as it's protected form UV, but it should be Schedule 80 for rigidity strength.

You could probably repair your valve--I am guessing it's a multi-turn plunger style. If you turn off the water supply do it, the first thing is to remove the center screw or nut to the handle, and pull off the handle. Then use an adjustable wrench to loosen the collar nut to remove the twist valve assembly (you may need to yank it out with pliers). There is a washer on the bottom that is likely deteriorated. You can replace this washer, reassemble the valve, and it should work fine. Could be a very cheap, easy, and fast repair.

Otherwise if you want to replace it, use a quarter-turn full-port ball valve. These are more reliable and generally last indefinitely. The full-port maintains pipe-diameter water flow, so you may even see a slight increase in flow pressure versus the plunger valve.

Re: Replacing outdoor valve

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:21 pm
by Shannon
Yes I agree with Aaron, pull out the guts and take them with you to the plumbing shop for comparison to be sure you get the same thing. I have even just bought entire new valve and swapped the guts to the old valve body when removing the valve body is a no go or finding the right washers is futile.

Re: Replacing outdoor valve

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:57 pm
by HuCdReeRYD
I tried to follow Aaron and Shannon's advice and found this replacement valve ... /205816201 . It's actually a gate valve (like the attached image).

I tried to remove the bonnet to swap the stem and gate with the broken valve like Shannon said, but it's quite difficult to remove the bonnet. Is there some tool to use or just a wrench and extreme brute force?

Re: Replacing outdoor valve

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:21 pm
by A. Spruce
Getting handles off can be tricky, they like to seize in place. Squirt some penetrating lube or WD40 in the screw hole and under the handle and tap it with a hammer a few times, the vibration will help to loosen grip and allow penetrant in. Let it sit for a while to penetrate, then slip an adjustable wrench under the handle and tighten it almost snug around the stem, then use a hammer and tap up on the wrench as close to the valve as possible. Worse comes to worse, you can literally cut or break the handle off, since you're either replacing the guts or the entire valve.

Don't beat too hard or you'll break the PVC pipe.

Re: Replacing outdoor valve

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:52 pm
by Shannon
Also try opening the valve then try the nut ,sometimes that helps.