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Starting Member

Posts: 1

Location: Bethesda, MD


Thursday, March 6th 2008, 2:04pm

Above-ground pipes

My new sprinkler installation layout works best with the main and several zone valves mounted above ground on the outside of a basement wall, in a shady location. I have 1" copper coming to the main valve and will be using 1" and 3/4" poly for the underground runs. What should I use for the above ground pipes from the valves to the underground poly? I am worried about UV degradation over time if I use PVC -- do I need copper or some other durable pipe, or will poly be OK? The out-of-the-ground run is about 8ft. Thanks for any advice to a newcomer to this game.


Supreme Member


Tuesday, March 11th 2008, 2:57pm

Because you are talking about a spot protected from the sun, it would likely be ok to use PVC after the valves for for the trip back down to the ground. I've seen several pictures online of installs done that way. I know it's against general practice (and codes in some areas) to have PVC above ground for the mainline, but from you you are discribing, you only want to possibly use PVC for the lateral lines (the lines AFTER the valves).

But from the point of view of protection (kids playing, weed-eater, rocks kicked by lawn mower) I feel like it would be safer all around to use copper going back down to the ground. Once underground, you could then use a copper FEMALE to transition to a male PVC or male poly addapter. Notice the specification of FEMALE on the metal side. When you go to screw the metal-to-plastic transision pieces together, you do not want the plastic part to be the female side. The reason is because the metal basically is NOT going to give any in a contest between plasic and metal. The plasic will hold much better being compressed by the metal female. If you tighten female plastic over male metal, you are very likely going to crack the plastic.

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