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Active Member


Saturday, June 16th 2007, 8:25am

Replacing Mini-Paws and PVB

Our recently-purchased Minnesota house has an old system, with about 20 #15103 Mini-Paws, many of which need repair or replacement.

Also, the Wilikins #720-A vacuum breaker is cracked in the ball valve assembly beneath the bowl.

You experts generally advise replacing the Mini-Paws with Hunter PGP-ATRs or RainBird 5000. Looks like good advice to me--particularly as these are apparently supposed to plug right in, essentially.

Question: the Mini-Paw canister is much bigger than the top of the PGP-ATR or RB 5000 and the replacements don't appear to have covers like the Mini-Paw. When you install the replacement, do you just leave the top wide open like that? In my yard, it the canister would be filling with dirt and water all the time and the sprayer unit would be unsupported and prone to damage and cause people to trip on the openings in the yard. The Hunter web page doesn't address this. What am I missing here?

Question: can you replace just the ball valve assembly, rather than the whole PVB, and achieve an acceptable result?

Question: I'd like to replace the MiniPaws with minimum added expense and trouble, but many of them are not coming out simply with the wrench. I assume you have to bust them or something. How do I handle this without ruining the threads and lines?

Thanks, Gary


Advanced Member

Posts: 158

Location: FT. Walton Beach, Florida


Saturday, June 16th 2007, 10:15am

If it were me, I would typically just replace the whole head rather than use the Hunter PGP-ATR. Not to say there is anything wrong with the ATR, but, it's easier to replace. But if you so choose to still go with the ATR, it is supplied with a cover that will effectively close off the open area. Link provided for relevance

As for the Back-flow device, you can just replace the ball valve assembly. Just take note of the test cocks (if they are even located on the ball valve) and make sure you get an identical match.
Irrigation /Landscape Lighting / Pump and Well Specialist


Active Member


Sunday, June 17th 2007, 2:09pm

Thanks Josh for the help. Just what I needed!

Any tricks for removing the heads? These cups have an inch or 2 of dirt in them, and the last time I tried to unscrew one, the wrench just kept slipping; never did get the job done!



Supreme Member

Posts: 5,269

Location: Metro NYC


Monday, June 18th 2007, 2:49am

You have to dig out all/most of the dirt from the impact heads, before the wrench can get a proper grip.

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