View Full Version : Am I getting hosed on sprinkler valves?

08-14-2008, 05:08 PM
Need to swap out some sprinkler valves (for lawn sprinklers) at my house. Highly recommended sprinkler guy came out and is suggesting using brass valves, that they last longer than the plastic ones I currently have.

He charges $100/valve... includes installation, but he says that's pretty much what they cost. I'm ok with reasonable markup, but doing a google search for "brass sprinkler valve" sends back a bunch of items in the $15 - $30 range.

Are these the same things, and I'm getting an overly inflated bill? Or are the $30 brass valves really junk compared to $100 brass valves?

Harmonious Discord
08-14-2008, 05:52 PM
It sounds expensive to me, but maybe his look like gargoyles or frogs so they're art.

08-14-2008, 06:00 PM
It sounds expensive to me, but maybe his look like gargoyles or frogs so they're art.

Nope. Just sprinkler heads.

Running with Scissors
08-14-2008, 06:04 PM
Are you talking about heads or valves, now? In your first post you said valves, in the second you said valves. If you're talking about electrically actuated valves, it doesn't sound outrageous; if heads or manual valves then it seems way over the top.

08-14-2008, 06:57 PM
Brass plumbing equipment may be a thing of rare beauty. Beauty, however, is often found in the wallet of the beholder. If indeed you need a solenoid valve, buy a box of plastic ones and replace it yourself. A couple of wire ends and some teflon tape will save you some serious dollars.

08-14-2008, 07:13 PM
Scissors -- I've got an electronic programmable timer that turns on sprinklers in various zones. Each zone has a... one of these broken things... that turns on the sprinklers in the zone.

This guy wants to replace the plastic ones I have with brass ones. Are these the electrically actuated valves? Sounds right to me...

As for replacing solenoids... I've already done some basic work on the plastic... I'll assume valves. They've been fixed, I've adjusted the knobs, etc. They're at least 8 years old and they're really in bad shape, time for replacement. Otherwise I'd keep futzing with them and saving the cash.

08-14-2008, 08:52 PM
Weíve about a half-acre or so of perennial gardens here, and I put in a fairly comprehensive drip irrigation system. Iím by no means an expert, but learned enough to put in a multi-zone, timed, above and below ground network with a variety of fittings (drips, pop-ups, etc.). Instrumental in this were the fine folks at Dripworks (http://dripworks.com). Their catalog is full of good information (their Web page even more so), and they are very helpful on the phone figuring out what I had/needed. Take a look or consider giving them a call.

Sorry if it sounds like Iím shilling for them Ė I donít own any stock, really! And of course, no one can really compare with the Dope, of course ... but sometimes the board crashes.

08-15-2008, 01:10 AM
Thanks, Rhyth

08-15-2008, 08:52 AM
I have worked for two sprinkler system companies. And owned my own sprinkler business.

I really donít see a need for the brass valves (never used them). In fact, the system I installed in my moms yard 29 years ago has had very few problems with the valves, and none of them have had to be outright replaced. Just a few solenoids and diaphragms (same would be expected to happen with a brass valve).

Running with Scissors
08-15-2008, 12:58 PM
I'll second that...in general, sprinkler valves are pretty reliable, and if you use the jar-top type (the type the sell at Home Depot), they're pretty easy to change out the mechanical bits, without having to do any plumbing work, and only redoing a couple of electrical splices.

Mr. Duality
08-15-2008, 02:45 PM
I've worked on many sprinkler systems. I read somewhere they only have a 20-year life, on the average. Tree roots start interfering with the pipes and things plain wear out. Brass valves would be a ridiculous waste of money, imo.

Replacing valves is straightforward maybe half of the time. Frequently awkward and/or messy digging is involved. Systems designed & installed by an amateur can be really frustrating.

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