Shut Off Valves

One of the most important pieces of equipment on your Long Island lawn sprinkler system is the shut off valve. Shut off valves are important because they are the main water source for your sprinkler system. It is also the valve you turn on in the spring to activate the system and it is the valve you use to perform maintenance and go to in emergencies. I know it as the ‘ main valve’ and I’ll stick with calling it the sprinkler ‘shut off valve’ because that is how most owners identify it as.

Here are some tips for buying and maintaining your sprinkler shut off valve:

1. It is easier to shut off and turn on when you need to. Some valves get stiff or tight and may be difficult to open and or close.

2. Some valves decline over time and do not operate the way they should when they were originally installed. Many brands are purchased from manufacturers overseas and the quality of the valve, usually made of brass, can be questionable even when new. Not all brass is the same or equal!

3. The valves leak water even though they are in the ‘closed position’. This is a serious defect, and in my opinion, one of the worst problems that can occur. The reason being that water leaking past a closed valve during the winter will fill the sprinkler systems with water which can freeze and damage the sprinkler components outside. At Rain Rich, we only install a high quality ball valve as the main valve.

4. The reputable brands that we use are Wilkins, Apollo, and Wolverine.

Rain Rich recommends installing a stainless steel ball valve vs. a brass gate valve. The ball valves have a stainless steel component which is resistant to corrosion and damage due to particles and debris in the water. The ball valves have a lever handle that you turn 90 degrees to open and close as opposed to gate valves that have a wheel that you have to keep turning until it stops. I have had some clients over turn the wheel and damage the gear mechanism that the ‘gate’ is connected to and now have to replace. Gate valves can get hung open by dirt & debris and you think you have the valve closed and, in fact, you do not. To be positive and confident that your sprinkler system is ‘off’ and you do not have water leaking through always use a ball valve. If you have a gate valve then now would be a good time to change it.

BE PREPARED and have your shutoff valves inspected and upgraded today. All of Rain Rich winterizations beginning mid October through November. Simply call Rain Rich at (631) 423-2211 to arrange a convenient appointment or click here.