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New Member


Saturday, September 23rd 2017, 2:24pm

Commercial quality valves ??

I have a few questions regarding irrigation systems, as I know nothing about them. I will post each of them individually. Here is the background:

We inherited a sprinkler system 7 years ago, when we bought a house built in 1972 in Portland, OR. Supposedly (according to the person who maintained it but didn’t install it for the prior owner) the system was installed in parts over time, as it has both galvanized steel and PVC pipes. A few heads were replaced, some were shut down during the past few years. The system is functional but some of the heads no longer go down, some spray erratically and water the side walk and fences, etc. The maintenance guy tells us that "removing a sprinkler head is a major challenge; put a wrench to it and the pipe below may crack. One day soon you either see your water bill going high up or a muddy sink hole in your garden.“. The current system has 6 zones, an Orbit controller, a mixture of head types and 3 valve boxes. The house is on a slope so the ground is relatively flat in the front and back but sloping on the 2 sides. We have grass on all sides and some flower/bush areas.

I asked for proposals from the current maintenance guy and 2 more companies in this business and asked them for their professional opinion about potentially “upgrading" the existing system. All 3 only wanted to bid only on a new system, stating that probably I would end up paying almost the same for upgrading the old system with no guarantee for its reliability.
I got the 3 proposals, all of them quoted for a much higher price than expected and with contradicting recommendations and comments, which really confused me. I have no idea whom I can trust (or not).

All 3 contractors told me that they do not use Home Depot, "low quality" components (that do last long) like the DIY people, but they use only commercial quality components. Then upon spot checking the list of items in their proposal (at least those that were specified), I noticed that 2 of them recommended six Rain Bird DFV100 electric control valves, which are not commercial products. When I asked why there are not commercial type, the answer was "They very good valves, I've never had to replace one yet...That's why I use these. If you would like the PEB Rain bird valves add $480 dollars”. If you have any longer term experience with these valves, I’d appreciate your comments and opinion.



Supreme Member

Posts: 5,331

Location: Metro NYC


Sunday, September 24th 2017, 9:49am

DV100 valves are fine.

It isn't surprising that the proposals you've received are for new systems only. No company wants to put their guarantee on existing systems that are decades old. You have to decide if the system you have can be maintained going forward. Heads can be replaced as they wear out, and gradual improvements in coverage can be made, bit by bit.


New Member


Sunday, September 24th 2017, 8:11pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

As it turns out the system might be younger than I thought. I dug next to multiple heads to realize that there is no galvanized steel anywhere, only PVC.... The "professional" who maintained the system until now kept telling us about the terrifying things that can happen due to the galvanized steel piping that we have, unless we put in a new system soon.... It's hard to know whom you can trust. One cannot be an expert in every profession....

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