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ed_h

Unregistered

1

Sunday, November 8th 2009, 10:01pm

System design question

I'd like to install a zoned irrigation system for some planting beds around my house. I'm capable of doing all aspects of the install myself, but I have a basic design question:

I'd like to explore putting a manifold and all of the zone valves in my basement near the water service entrance, and then run individual lines to the zones. I've been told and understand that this is not common practice, but haven't heard very convincing information as to why it's a bad idea. I understand the difference in cost. I understand the possibly increased risk of a broken pipe or valve leaking. Beyond these things, why is this a bad or impossible approach?

We live in the midwest with freezing winters. We don't have a good place to hide above ground valves, and I'd prefer to have them in the basement than in a sunken box outside.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,061

Location: Metro NYC

2

Monday, November 9th 2009, 11:42am

You may want to sell the home some day, and as such, you don't do work that screams Amateur Hour to anyone with eyesight. Work like a pro. Winterize the system like everyone else does.

ed_h

Unregistered

3

Monday, November 9th 2009, 11:56am

Thanks for the quick reply, Wet_Boots.

I know it would be seen as amateurish, but that's because it is contrary to convention. My question is why is it a bad idea from a performance or safety point of view? It seems that the longevity of the valves might even be increased.

hi.todd

Supreme Member

Posts: 417

Location: Houston, Texas

4

Monday, November 9th 2009, 9:28pm

I will add my 2 cents. The only 2 main issues is one that you have mentioned and that is the increased risk of leak in the basement. Valves are a vulnerable place in the system to have a leak. You may also consider where you are going to put your Backflow Preventor. If you are going to put it in the basement you will need to drain it out of the basement. Back flow is probably the main reason you don't want it in the basement unless you have a drain in the basement.

Good Luck!!!!

Happy to answer any more questions.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
:thumbup: :thumbsup:

ed_h

Unregistered

5

Tuesday, November 10th 2009, 12:03am

Thanks, Todd.

Yes, I have drain in the basement almost directly below where I'd like to put the valves. This seems to be another advantage: gravity drain of the system. I also have compressed air three feet away. I could plumb air to the lines and purge the lines with the turn of a valve.

What am I missing, Guys?

Ed

hi.todd

Supreme Member

Posts: 417

Location: Houston, Texas

6

Tuesday, November 10th 2009, 6:23pm

Go for it. If you put the irrigation controller in the basement also you will save all kinds of cable. Moist people don't have the drain in the basement. Make sure you use backflow you will need an RP or common name RPZ, if the gravity of this thing is how I picture it. It will cause you to lose about 10 PSI in addition to the loss of foot head pressure in you elevation.

Let us know.

Dan

If you don't use an RP or RPZ you will have major problems with your drinking water.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
:thumbup: :thumbsup:

ed_h

Unregistered

7

Tuesday, November 10th 2009, 8:27pm

Todd--

Thanks for the input.

My city water pressure is around 120 PSI, and I regulate it down to 60 or so for the house. I'd hook the irrigation system ahead of the house regulator and install a separate regulator for the irrigation system if I need to.

I'm not insensitive to the fact that this install would go against standard practice, but the advantages just seem to outweigh the negatives.

I'd still be interested in other opinions.

Ed

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,061

Location: Metro NYC

8

Wednesday, November 11th 2009, 7:51am

One more time. Electric valves in a basement is one of the stupidest things an amateur can do. And yes, even some idiot professionals back in the days of everything brass did the same. Unfortunately, they did not install a floor drain in the room with the zone valves, so opening one up to do a repair was a soggy adventure. Better yet, some of the brass valves developed leaks at the diaphragm edges, and they dripped water into the basement.

Installing a sprinkler system that cannot be serviced from outside is stupid!!

eh_h

Unregistered

9

Wednesday, November 11th 2009, 8:39am

Boots--

I appreciate the input. Your objections to the idea seem to center around two areas: consequenses of leaks if there were no floor drain, and that it's not the way it's done.

I mentioned that I have a floor drain, and, while I generally respect standard practices, surely there are situations where deviations from them make good sense.

I was looking for some concrete reasons why this approach is a bad idea in my situation.

pass1

Active Member

Posts: 34

Location: east coast

10

Wednesday, November 11th 2009, 8:17pm

Aside from the other opinions, also add in that you will have to drill thru your foundation or rim joist for each of the zones supply pipes you plan on having. If the valves are outside, you exit the home just once, Five or six holes equals five or six potential leakage areas. Something to think about??

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