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DerStig

Senior Member

1

Thursday, July 20th 2017, 6:27am

Installed my RPZs and have a question regarding pressure

I live in a cold climate where freeze is a concern. In addition, my property has several dozen obstacles that I had to dig under during trenching (tree roots that are as wide as my shoulder, several metal old drain pipes, sewer, old walkaways that is concrete, etc), so as a result my entire system is 100 psi 1" poly with pinch clamps and blue inserts for connections. My manifolds are the same.

Up until yesterday, I had this system connected to a hose bib and I would turn it on/off daily when I need to run it. The system ran this way for about 2.5 months.

Yesterday plumbers installed 1" copper L pipe in my basement, tee into my water BEFORE the house pressure reducer because doing it after would mean the RPZ pressure would drop too much. So now I have a front RPZ and back RPZ and after the RPZ, I connect to my poly tube.

Some stats:

BEFORE RPZ Installed from hose bib:

- Static pressure 75-80 psi
- Dynamic pressure while system runs 55 psi

AFTER RPZ Installed:

- Static Water pressure in the copper pipes verified by a permanently installed water gauge 110 psi
- Dynamic Water pressure in the copper pipes while sprinklers are running 80 psi
- Static water pressure AFTER the RPZ, the pressure my sprinklers see 80-85 psi
- Dynamic water pressure AFTER the RPZ while the sprinklers are running 60-65 psi

Now I read all about how the pressure rating of those poly pipes are actually too high and a 100 psi pipe should never see more than 60 psi, but the reality is for me to redo my manifolds and the line that goes from RPZ to the manifold is extremely difficult. That line involves a 3 ft under the ground tunnel I had to dig under my front walkaway of the house not to mention my manifolds are extremely tight fit and I handled the 160 psi poly tube HD sells and that thing is as stiff as pex. How the heck are you even supposed to get it in tight places? Its just not practical.

Money at this point is not a concern. I spent so much already to do this right ($1300 in parts alone for the plumbing), I want this done right but I m afraid those 160-200 psi poly tubes for my property are just not practical.

THE QUESTION is the system has been running multiple times a day sometimes and everyday for 2.5 months without a drop of water leaking. Is the increase in water pressure a big concern?

We will be going out of town for 10 days soon and I m a bit intimitated and paranoid about the higher water pressure.

Now I COULD install a pressure regulator, the one you usually install indoors outside after rpz and take it off in winter but to be honest after the pressure increase my sprinklers are running so much better, I just dont want to reduce that pressure. They come up right away when system is on (they used to take several seconds) and they throw much farther, to their advertised range which is great.

DerStig

Senior Member

2

Saturday, July 22nd 2017, 7:59am

I have decided to not take any chances and install pvc sch 40 from rpz to a new master valve. I think its good insurance. Its only about 1' of lateral pvc connection from rpz.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,144

Location: Metro NYC

3

Saturday, July 22nd 2017, 9:43am

I thought I already answered this. You're doing a good thing with using sch 40 PVC between the RPZ and the manifold. None of the pressures you have listed present a threat to the sprinkler system.

Master valves (two of them) should work with your Rachio controller, which lists an output current capability of 1.3 amps. Nearly any common electric valve you could choose nowadays will have a solenoid with an inrush current of 0.4 amps or less, so two master valves and one zone valve being activated simultaneously gets you a top inrush current of 1.2 amps or less.

With the plumbing you intend to install, the master valve(s) would no longer be about protecting plumbing so much as being insurance against a stuck-open zone valve. If it happens your zone valves have flow controls, you can increase their reliability by partially closing the flow controls.

DerStig

Senior Member

4

Sunday, July 23rd 2017, 7:06am

I thought I already answered this. You're doing a good thing with using sch 40 PVC between the RPZ and the manifold. None of the pressures you have listed present a threat to the sprinkler system.

Master valves (two of them) should work with your Rachio controller, which lists an output current capability of 1.3 amps. Nearly any common electric valve you could choose nowadays will have a solenoid with an inrush current of 0.4 amps or less, so two master valves and one zone valve being activated simultaneously gets you a top inrush current of 1.2 amps or less.

With the plumbing you intend to install, the master valve(s) would no longer be about protecting plumbing so much as being insurance against a stuck-open zone valve. If it happens your zone valves have flow controls, you can increase their reliability by partially closing the flow controls.


I have completed all the work yesterday, it was not easy:) Because of the way the house is, I basically had to run a conduit from front yard's master valve to the garage, route the cable from garage through the basement, and run another conduit outside to the backyard where the backyard's master valve is. Then join them together, and run one master valve wire through the main conduit that carries all other sprinkler wires to the office, back inside the house. Installing PVC was honestly the easy bit, probably an hour or so between cutting, measuring, gluing, etc. Drilling the concrete walls that are 12" thick, and doing it twice:), and routing all the cable (and even had to do a junction box because the cable wasnt long enough) took about 10 hours.

So far so good, no leaks, yes Rachio can handle 2 master valves and a zone valve and everything seems to be working. Thanks so much for your advice.

The only thing that I have left (besides adding more zones) about this system is the flow control. My main goal is to know when there is a leak, any leak, throughout the system after the master valves. Ideally I'd like to know the leaks before the master valves (copper stuff) but the 1" copper pipe leaking is such a low probability.

The problem is all these flow control devices they sell like hunter flow clik really address the problem of a particular zone spending more water than it needs and it does that by asking you the GPM on a zone and if it sees GPM higher than that it shuts it off. The issue is my zones are all maxed out GPM wise. I have 11 GPM measured and I m squeezing every bit out of it from each zone. So that feature would probably never work for me.

Also the scariest leaks are not the ones when sprinkler system is running, its the ones that happen out of the blue as a major rapture in the middle of the night when you are sleeping (or when you are on vacation) and they happen before the master valve on the line thats under constant pressure. Those are the ones I want to be able to detect/prevent.

It seems like the only thing that will help me with this is those remote controlled water meter/valves they sell which are not really for sprinklers but for the house. There is a few but I m not sure which one to go with.

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