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jfadams

New Member

Posts: 2

Location: Dallas, TX

1

Tuesday, April 24th 2018, 4:59pm

Question re Antique Weathermatic Valve

I know my question is a stretch, but I thought I would try.

My simple 3 circuit irrigation system was installed in about 1948 with brass Weathermatic diaphragm valves by a prior owner. Back then diaphragm valves were manually activated via bleeder lines running from the top of the diaphragm valve to a manual secondary gate valve, typically located near a door or outdoor faucet area. The concept was that when the bleeder line was opened water would drip out of the bleeder line thus reducing the pressure on the top half of the diaphragm valve which would in turn cause the lower half of the diaphragm valve to open.

I bought the house in the mid-1990s and wanted to automate the system with solenoid controlled valves. The problem was that the original valves were buried under the yard without the benefit of valve boxes. I stumbled across the bleeder lines while gardening. So, I got rid of the secondary gate valves, installed small brass industrial solenoid valves on the bleeder lines near the house, and wired the solenoids to a controller powered by a 24VAC wall wart power supply.

The system ran great until this year when the coupler between one of the bleeder lines and its corresponding Weathermatic diaphragm valve developed a hairline crack. (See fine stream of water coming out of the black coupler in the following link: www.terrylove.com/forums/index.php?attachments/img_2912-jpg.46183/ ) The result was that the diaphragm valve would not reliably turn off. The leaking water also eventually resulted in a wet spot in the yard. The wet spot allowed me to find the problematic hidden diaphragm valve. (The location of the other diaphragm valves is still a mystery.)

My circa 1948 Weathermatic diaphragm valve looks similar to the current Weathermatic Brass Bullet 8200 CR Series valves, but with a bleeder line coming off the valve where modern solenoids would now be attached. Amazing that the valve itself still works after almost 70 years. Anyone know where to get a replacement coupler for where the bleeder line attaches to that workhorse?

Thanks in advance for any help.

This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "jfadams" (May 7th 2018, 5:24pm)


mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 2,144

Location: USA

2

Wednesday, April 25th 2018, 1:42pm

That's a dang old system. I'm glad I don't have to do it.
I'd try the Home Depot for parts.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,218

Location: Metro NYC

3

Thursday, April 26th 2018, 10:02pm

You can find the old valves with a cable locater, by tracking a signal through the control tubes. At that point, you get to make a decision about the system's future. The sure bet is to replace the valves with something modern, since there is no guarantee of backwards compatibility for modern parts, especially since these might pre-date any solenoids developed for the valves.

The ultimate do-it-yourself solution is to make a replacement for the broken piece with a bit of machine shop work. The female pipe threads are a piece of cake. Drill hole, and tap threads. The male threads might be more work if they are the not-pipe-thread standard used in today's solenoids. That thread is 3/4 x 20 straight thread (no taper, as in for pipe threads)

The "Hail Mary" approach would have you remove the black piece, and if it can't be easily matched, just epoxy a stub of threaded pipe into the space, once the surfaces are completely clean and dry, and connect the dots from there.

Take some more pictures of your setup, please, since you have some history that can be shared and appreciated.

jfadams

New Member

Posts: 2

Location: Dallas, TX

4

Monday, May 7th 2018, 5:17pm

Wet-Boots:

I decided to try the Hail Mary approach with some two-part JB Weld epoxy. No leaks so far ...

I might still try the machine shop and cable locator approaches.

Thanks for the suggestions.
www.terrylove.com/forums/index.php?attachments/img_3862-jpg.46511/

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