Sprinkler Valve How Does it Work?

Valves are an essential piece of any sprinkler system, but it’s easy to forget how useful they are since they’re completely out of sight. Sure, sprinkler heads are responsible for the actual irrigation and spread of water on your lawn to keep it green and lush, and it is still important for you to take care of, put attention towards, and maintain the optimal condition of your sprinkler heads.

But if it weren’t for the sprinkler valves, you wouldn’t even have water pumping through your pipes in the first place. The maintenance of your sprinkler valves, and ensuring that they operate at peak functionality, is crucial to the maintenance and irrigation of your lawn.

Benefits of Understanding the Sprinkler Valve

It may feel as though having to learn about how sprinkler valves work is another hassle on top of the numerous things that a homeowner has to be knowledgeable of, but knowing this is detrimental to the health of your lawn.

If you’re unaware of the way sprinkler valves work and how each part operates, then breakages in your valves may become far more dangerous and more expensive for you. If you are at least aware of the slightest gist of how the sprinkler valve operates, then it will help you in knowing how to take the right steps and how to avoid further damaging your valves.

Worst case scenario, you can even be completely oblivious to damages and breakages and leave your sprinkler valve unattained, incurring further damage over time. If the damage has gone too far, you can end up having to buy an entirely new sprinkler valve rather than just specific parts. This is how you end up spending way too much money than you should have if you had only been properly prepared.

The Parts of a Sprinkler Valve

In order for you to get to know how it works, let’s introduce to you the parts that make up the sprinkler valve:

Solenoid

Plunger

Port

Closing mechanism

Everything about the sprinkler valve depends on two things: water pressure, and electric current. Pulses of electric power run through the solenoid by the timer, which in turn lifts and/or lowers the plunger. Moving the plunger upward allows the water to rush in the port into the chamber, and consequently moving the plunger downward stops the flow.

This opening and closing of the port into the chamber is crucial for maintaining and controlling the water pressure inside the valve, which flows through the port and pushes the diaphragm (the closing mechanism) up.

When the solenoid is de-energized, meaning no electrical current is running through it, then the plunger is moved down to plug the port. Water thus stops flowing through the chamber above the diaphragm, forcing it to close the valve and stop the flow of water to the sprinklers entirely.

This is how the intricate system of a sprinkler valve works. Now, when you’re in front of a problem in need of a solution, all you’ll need to do is to troubleshoot what went wrong based on the parts that you know and you’ll at least have a good idea of what to do next.

How to Screw Into Concrete

Concrete is mostly used for every home nowadays. They are strong, sturdy, and durable, that is why they are a popular choice for every household. But because of the strength and sturdiness of the concrete, it is relatively hard to penetrate, making some things hard to do, like installing fasteners upon these walls.

To help you with that, here are some tips for drilling concrete and installing screws:

Buy a variety of screw lengths

Buying a wide range of screw lengths is always recommended so that you’ll have more chance of getting the correct screw size. Select a screw that can easily penetrate one inch into the wall. To do this, measure the material’s thickness and then add one inch to it. For hard and dense materials, like stone and concrete, an inch screw embedment will work just fine. But if you want to opt for maximum strength, a screw embedment of 1 and ¾ inches will give the best support. 

Use a hammer drill

In some less sturdy materials like soft bricks, you can easily drill holes using a carbide-tipped bit in a regular drill. But in most cases, you will need a hammer drill. Hammer drills are known for their power to drill holes, even the toughest of materials.

Drill with a firm hand and maintain steady pressure

A good technique is always important when it comes to driving concrete screws. If you don’t maintain your pressure, even a slight downward force can halt the bit and slip off the head, especially if you are using Phillips head screws. For best results, maintain your pressure on the screw and run the drill at slow speed and gradually increasing it to medium speed.

Make sure to drill the hole deep enough

When you drill a hole for your screws, you want it to be stable as much as possible. That is why you need to drill the hole deep enough for your screws for the maximum anchor. Holes for concrete screws usually should be at least ¼ inches deeper than the depth of the screw penetration to allow a little bit room for dust accumulation from the drilling process. But this process is not that easy, as judging the depth of the hole from the outside is not that easy. What you need to do is to drill bit by bit and put the screw inside to try it out. If the hole is too shallow, the screw will not go in completely. If the screw fits perfectly, penetrate the hole a little more to get that extra space allowance. 

Choose 3/16-inch screws for most light to medium tasks

Home centers and hardware shops often stock concrete screws in two different diameters: 3/16 inches and ¼ inches. The 3/16-inch diameter screws are popularly used for installing furring strips, screwing down walls and concrete floors, and even attaching hardware to block or brick. The 3/16-inch screws are often seen as the better choice, as it demands smaller holes, and it is relatively cheaper. But if you are having trouble with it snapping off because the concrete is too hard, it is time to switch to 1/4-inch screws.

How Much Does It Cost to Put in a Sprinkler System?

Among the multitude of modern inventions and technological innovations within the last few centuries, the automated sprinkler system is one that has most definitely been put to good use across residential and commercial areas alike. Manually watering your lawn or green space with a good old garden hose has been rendered relatively obsolete thanks to the wonders of the sprinkler system.

Since these contraptions are so massively important and unequivocally helpful for all the homeowners out there looking towards enjoying a hassle-free irrigation experience, you may be on the lookout for the sprinkler system for you. You may be wondering about the price point that you should come to expect. In that case, you’ve come to the right place!

Factors that can affect sprinkler system

In order for you to much better understand the estimation of how much of your hard-earned savings will be dedicated to putting in a brand-new sprinkler system, let’s discuss a few things that can factor into the price. All of these factors, you can already take into consideration and ponder about as you go and read this post.

Property Size

As the logic goes; the larger the space, the bigger the cost! Especially for particularly large property sizes that are in different vertical heights or have a variety of plant life and sections in the area, several exclusive zones will have to be created.

The more zones, the more piping you’ll use. That’ll cost money. The more zones, the better sprinkler system controller you’ll need—which will also cost you more money.

Perhaps the best way to begin thinking about the cost of a new sprinkler system is taking into consideration the sheer size of the property you’re dealing with.

Soil Condition

As has been said before, different plant life in different sections of the property can be a cause for additional and more specified zones. The condition of the soil, which refers to the composition and components that make up the soil on your lawn, will be a strong decider of what kind of sprinkler head you will be needing to avail in the first place.

Landscaping and Gardening

Whatever plant life is present in your garden or lawn—whether it’s a bunch of shrubbery, a bed of flowers, or a plot of vegetable stalks—you’re going to have to specify the materials, such as the specific piping or sprinkler heads and nozzles, that make up your sprinkler system to better accommodate the needs of your greenery.

The Cost

Now is the dreaded talk: how much does it really cost? Well, that will depend on a lot of things—a lot more than what has been mentioned above gives us a workable estimation of an average $2,461, with the cheapest gunning for $409 and the most expensive running at around $4,900.

But of course, if this appears to be too hefty of a price for you, fear not! You already have all the tools you need to make the budget fit into what you can afford. Think and re-examine your budget according to those aforementioned factors and you’ll surely find a way to make the price work for you.