You are not logged in.

Dear visitor, welcome to SPRINKLER TALK FORUM - You Got Questions, We've Got Answers. If this is your first visit here, please read the Help. It explains how this page works. You must be registered before you can use all the page's features. Please use the registration form, to register here or read more information about the registration process. If you are already registered, please login here.

1

Monday, July 30th 2012, 5:36pm

Flooded valve boxes & Weathermatic 12000 valves

I know this has been hashed about before. Very useful advice in thread: Leaking Weathermatic 12000 valves
My situation: The whole system was installed in May of 2009. New house after fire in San Diego in 2007. Excellent Hunter controller controlling(what I percieve) are 18x one inch marginally designed Weathermatic 12000 valves. These valves are supposedly rated at 150psi(I think that's the explosion pressure). Sorry so negative, but I've had to clean and replace the diaphrams in most all of them every 12 to 18 months.
The static pressure in the system is 100 PSI. ALl of the valves and feed lines are 1". The flow rate is 12.16 GPM. The pressure and flow rate should be within the valve specs. The valves are all in boxes and eventually flood. The valves eventually leak between the 4 hold down screws. Tightening the screws does not help. Removing the tops shows the diaphrams coated with a slimey, greasy white film and usually, some fine grit sand. The valves all have upstream filters, which when inspected, have never even needed cleaning. The contamination has to be a result of the hammering as the valves close. Once the valves loosen to the point of leaking, I believe the sudden shutoff of the valve first forces water out the seams, and(I'm guessing) the sudden stoppage of flow sucks contaminants through the loosened seam back into the valve body.
I have DIG battery valves controlling microsprinklers(much less flow, but same pressure) and Rainbird 1" valves controlling rotary sprinklers with the same characteristics as the Weathermatic circuits. I've never had any issues with the DIGs or Rainbirds. These valves all have 6-8 cap screws, instead of the four corner arrangement on the Weathermatics(I'm guessing this was design by accountant)...
Soooo, that brings me to ask if any of the true experts in the forum have any suggestions. My inclination right now is to replace the valves with a better cap design. Replacing all 18 in a mature landscape won't be fun, but I'm getting furiously tired of "playing" with these leaky Weathermatics. Are there any valve suggetsions for replacement, if that would be the best course of action?
Thanks much,
MikeC(Discouraged and disgusted in San Diego)

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,061

Location: Metro NYC

2

Tuesday, July 31st 2012, 7:21am

get a master valve installed on that system

3

Tuesday, July 31st 2012, 11:50am

Thanks .. Can you tell me why? I've not used a master valve before. Will it limit the hammering to the downstream valves or???

4

Tuesday, July 31st 2012, 1:24pm

Right now your valves are under constant pressure.
With a master valve they are only under pressure during the irrigation cycle.
Master valve reduces stress.

Central Irrigation

Supreme Member

Posts: 364

Location: Central Minnesota

5

Tuesday, July 31st 2012, 6:57pm

The design of the weathermatic valve and it's cousin, nelson valve, exhibit those same leaks even on systems with lesser pressure. It seems the tighter you torque the 4 bolts, the more the top cap tends to bulge.
I agree with wetboots, install a "beefier" mastervalve, as it will be a less expensive remedy. There still exists the possibility that the weathermatic valves still leak even with the master valve installed. The only solution would be to replace all 18 valves.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,061

Location: Metro NYC

6

Wednesday, August 1st 2012, 10:19am

The material in the problem valves has more flex than what is used in many other valves. I've seen systems with the W*M Silver Bullet valves "burp" a bit of water right at the moment the valve closes (but no leaking thereafter) - A master valve will take all the stress and water hammer, and the zone valves get an easy time of it, and no more constant leaking from under the covers.

7

Wednesday, August 1st 2012, 11:34am

Thanks all. I'll have to evaluate the difficulty of putting in a MV. Reaching a point of the feed line before all valves is a minimum 250 ft run, hilly and accross at least one "farm" road. Added to that is the need to enclose all wiring in gopher proof shielding(pvc pipe). I suspect that's what I'll try first...
Any suggestions for a good choice of valve to use as a master?? What about brass vs. plastic?
Thanks again,
MikeC

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,061

Location: Metro NYC

8

Wednesday, August 1st 2012, 7:03pm

that long a run would make advisable a master valve with a built-in pressure regulator - that lets you out of any bargains - in brass, I'd look at a Weathermatic valve, because it is a very old and reliable design, and a thing apart from their plastic stuff (the regulators on these valves are plastic, but they are add-on devices that piggy-back on the basic valve)

As for fitting it in without extreme effort, employ union fittings.

9

Thursday, August 2nd 2012, 12:41pm

I'll look into Weathermatic brass. I did forget to mention there already is a brass pressure regulator. It's around 450' from the valves to the pressure regilator. I may just put the master valve just behind the PV. Once past the 250' mark, the last 200' is an easy, flat slope. Having the PV & MV in one spot would prolly be a good thing.
I'm definitely a fan of unions. That's my one big gripe about my installer's valve installs.. No unions. I over torqued one of the bolts on a Weathermatic valve top and the brass insert turned in the plastic frame. Twas a pain to replace that valve body..
Great to have this forum.
-MikeC

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,061

Location: Metro NYC

10

Thursday, August 2nd 2012, 2:19pm

something does not add up - if the pressure is already regulated, why do you measure over 100 psi just upstream of the zone valves?

Similar threads

Rate this thread