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New Member

Posts: 2

Location: USA


Saturday, June 25th 2005, 2:52pm

Are sprayers with internal check valves necessary?

I am replacing an irrigation system on a hillside with a gradual slope. Do I need to install sprayers with internal check valves? I heard that the internal check valves eliminate "water hammer" damage on the sprayers. What happens in winter? Will water trapped in the pipes cause more pipe ruptures? Thanks.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,287

Location: Metro NYC


Sunday, June 26th 2005, 8:06am

They irrigated slopes long before there were check valve sprinklers, so there is no 'need' for them. Hammer isn't a factor on residential systems. You need big water supplies to have hammer worries.


Supreme Member

Posts: 314

Location: USA


Sunday, June 26th 2005, 9:06am

The check valves help reduce 'puddling' around the sprinkler heads are steep slopes, but are they absolutely necessary? No. You only need to pay the extra money for check valves if you feel it necessary.
Tony Posey
Ridge Run Landscapes


Supreme Member


Tuesday, July 12th 2005, 9:29am

What I am doing is installing a drain valve at the lowest point of each circuit, and making sure ALL the pipes slope down hill to this drain valve. I'm also installing the Rainbird SAM check valves for all sprinklers except the highest one. That way, to winterize the system, I just open the drain valve. The only water left anywhere in the system is in the head itself after the SAM check valve. But if you can lift the pop-up at all, even that water will drain out quickly. The only difficulty is if you use Rainbird spray heads, they will pop-down flush with the top of the sprinkler and you'll have to unscrew the entire top off to get the water out. But in my case, I've decided to design my system for the MP Rotors - These ever so slightly sit above the top of the sprinker body such that you can easily get a screw driver under the spray head to lift the pop-up manually to allow the water in the sprinkler head to drain around the SAM valve.


Supreme Member


Wednesday, July 13th 2005, 3:18pm

wetboots said, "Hammer isn't a factor on residential systems. You need big water supplies to have hammer worries"

care to elaborate?.......I find water hammer to be more prevalent on residential systems. Why would you need "big water supplies" to cause water hammer?


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,287

Location: Metro NYC


Thursday, July 14th 2005, 5:33am

Water Hammer can be calculated as a function of waterline length, as well as pressure, and the speed of valve closing, so the longer the line, the more the hammer force can be. Despite whatever pipes are banging in a house, the lawn sprinkler system itself isn't being damaged. If a system has a poly main line and high supply pressure, it would have pressure regulation, so supply line water hammer would be stopped at the regulator.

Now consider a golf course, with an old sprinkler system with large heads, without any check valves. Turn on a zone, and the water rushes at higher-than-normal speed while air is rushing out of the head(s) - when the air is finished rushing out, WHAM comes the hammer, and another head gets blown off the end of the line. Instead of refitting the entire golf-course system, they can use special control valves that will only open partially, until the air is pushed out, and the zone pressure comes up to a set point. (Cla-Val)

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