Introduction: EASY Way to Replace Underground Sprinkler Valves
- Minimal to no digging!
This method is useful when you must replace the entire valve, an example is if you have those awful jar top valves. If the bottom of your valve is still good, there is an even faster method where you only replace the top of the valve, there are lots of videos on how to do this.
- Valves: These ones have a great reputation, make sure to get slip joints: Rain Bird 100DVFSS - 1 in. Slip x Slip
- 'Street' elbows (one end is male, other end is female)
- Solvent glue
- Hacksaw: The type where the blade extends out the end is best. Don't use the squeeze pipe cutters, old pvc pipe is brittle and may crack
- Irrigation wire nuts (or house wiring nuts with hot melt glue, see last step)
- Optional: 1in to 3/4in reducing bushings if you have 1in supply and 3/4 sprinkler lines
Step 1: Prepare Valves
The first picture shows the original configuration and what parts will be swapped. The next two pictures show how to prepare the valves to be installed. The second picture is 1" to 1" pipe. Glue the valves on a flat protected surface to make sure the elbows are at the same angle. The third picture is 1" to 3/4" pipe using a reducing bushing, a flat piece of wood is used on the 3/4" end to help with the alignment.
Step 2: Prepare the Pipes, Install Valves, Wire
Label the old wires before removing any valves.
The valves are one way, so make sure you have them oriented correctly.
Using the valves prepared in the previous step, use them to measure where to cut out the old valves. Glue a street elbow to the supply side of the pipe. When you glue the sprinkler side work fast and use the prepared valve as a jig, see the first picture. Slide the valve down on both the supply and sprinkler sides just a little, WITH NO GLUE, this will force the sprinkler side elbow to align as it sets. Now pull the valve off and glue the supply and sprnkler sides at the same time.
There are wire nuts made for irrigation systems, I don't like them. I use small house wiring nuts and fill them up with hot melt glue after the wires are in.