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cfipp

Senior Member

Posts: 18

Location: USA

1

Saturday, April 21st 2007, 10:13am

Valve Box is Mess - What Do I Need to Do?

Below are pictures of my valve box. My irrigation system was installed about ten years ago. The system is actually working fine right now, including the valves, but after learning how to replace sprinkler heads, relocate sprinkler heads, etc., I got inspired to make sure <i>everything</i> is good with my system. As you can see the inside of my valve box is a mess. What should I do? Should I leave well-enough alone until something fails? Or should I try to fix this mess? The whole box, including the box lid, is located below natural ground level. Should I carefully dig out the dirt from inside the box? Can I get shocked or electricuted if I touch an exposed wire? I don't want to die doing this. The wires appear very brittle and the wire casings are so dried out they have segmented. Should the box be raised and if so, is there any way to that? Or is the box level relative to ground dictated by the valve and piping located within? I have three zones (and thus, I think three valves). What do you think?




Thanks!
Carol

SprinklerGuy

Supreme Member

2

Sunday, April 22nd 2007, 4:23am

You won't get shocked....

Dig it out carefully avoiding the wires....it will take some time to do this......do you have a trash pump?

One trick I use.....with a hand trash pump....I create a slurry of dirt/water by using a hose with a high pressure nozzle.....and basically use it underground and all around the pipes/valves etc.....with high pressure......hard to explain.

Then I pump it out with my hand pump.....works great...

If you don't have that, just dig it out slow.....
Sprinkler Solutions, Inc.
Arizona and Colorado
www.sprinklersolutions.net

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,051

Location: Metro NYC

3

Sunday, April 22nd 2007, 5:19am

Long-term, you replace everything you've photographed. The valves are a known service problem, and have been long-discontinued by the manufacturer. If the box is sound, it might be usable, but if you have valves a foot or more deep, you need a box you can place an extender(s) on top of, so that the cover never gets buried. Buried covers can sometimes make for critter housing, and chipmunks have an uncanny ability to gnaw the wires off of valve solenoids.

cfipp

Senior Member

Posts: 18

Location: USA

4

Sunday, April 22nd 2007, 1:55pm

Thanks to both of you for the help. I like the idea of a hand trash pump. As a young lady, I do not already have one. Can I get one at Home Depot or Lowes? Are they very expensive?

Also, can you help me with the known service problem? These have been working for a little over ten years - it sounds like I may not have much longer?

Thanks!
Carol

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,051

Location: Metro NYC

5

Sunday, April 22nd 2007, 2:02pm

If the valves keep working, enjoy your good fortune. Once they give you any trouble, rip them all out. Your blood pressure will thank you.

cfipp

Senior Member

Posts: 18

Location: USA

6

Sunday, April 22nd 2007, 2:04pm

Thanks to both of you for the help. I like the idea of a hand trash pump. As a young lady, I do not already have one. Can I get one at Home Depot or Lowes? Are they very expensive?

Also, can you help me with the known service problem? These have been working for a little over ten years - it sounds like I may not have much longer?

Thanks!
Carol

SprinklerGuy

Supreme Member

7

Monday, April 23rd 2007, 2:42am

Hand trash pumps are not available at the big box..in fact, I only know of one such animal...it is called a suck tube....

Go here:

http://www.members.cox.net/tismaz/billtism.htm

Suck tube link....good luck ;)

Tell him Tony sent you
Sprinkler Solutions, Inc.
Arizona and Colorado
www.sprinklersolutions.net

cfipp

Senior Member

Posts: 18

Location: USA

8

Monday, April 23rd 2007, 2:49am

That looks like a fun tool to own. However, I might just continue to use my giant turkey baster. (Seriously.)

SprinklerGuy

Supreme Member

9

Tuesday, April 24th 2007, 9:00am

Time is money for some of us....but for the average DIYer...you bet...turkey baster it is.....

Psst...I have one on the truck just in case ;)
Sprinkler Solutions, Inc.
Arizona and Colorado
www.sprinklersolutions.net

cfipp

Senior Member

Posts: 18

Location: USA

10

Wednesday, April 25th 2007, 6:22pm

Heh-he-he... I'm a Senior Member! (I can't stop giggling!)

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