Slobbering sill cocks

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by thuston, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. thuston

    thuston New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Hey Y"all,

    We built a house on an acerage a few years ago.:) We have a 3 gpm well that pumps into a cistern and then we pump the water from the cistern with a Grunfos on-demand pump.

    The sill cocks I bought were from Home Depot and are Quartermaster 1/4 turn with some sort of anti-syphon/vacuum breaker on them. They slobber water :( whenever a hose is attached and we are using a spray nozzle or something that calls for water and then stops. I'm wondering if this is the way they are supposed to work, and if so, what other system can I go to as I don't want water slobbering out of my sill cocks. I have two in the garage and they constantly make a mess when we use them.:(

    I am also preparing to install an irrigation system, can I use a check valve to prevent backflow?

    Many thanks,
    Terry
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,397
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    May I assume you are using the water supply for both irrigation and household use? If so, then you need a true back flow preventer to prevent cross contamination. A check valve does not qualify for cross contamination protection. You will want to tee off of the household supply line below frost level and put in a stop and waste valve with the key access above ground level. The irrigation line need to come up toward the surface and if you use a double check back flow preventer, that can be below ground level if you desire, but you do need to have access to it for winterizing. After the back flow preventer, you can go to a manifold where the zones are split off and the electric valves are located. In my setup, I have the BFP in a box set at ground level. I remove the BFP in the winter and blow the water from the lines from the BFP connecting union. I store the BFP indoors just to be certain it does not have a trace of water that can freeze. The BFP should be tested and certified annually as they do wear and occasionally need new seals. This must be done by a certified inspector, it is not a DIY job.
  3. thuston

    thuston New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Thanks for the quick reply Gary:D

    Yes, this water system is both domestic and irrigation and I was just about to head off to HD and get a double check back flow preventer:).

    I was going to tee off the main domestic water supply after the Grunfos pump, then place a stop valve another tee that will allow me to blow out the irrigation system and then the dcbfp on the main line before a manifold that would supply water to my sill cocks and to the irrigation system. Does that sound like it would work? Can I safely blow out the irrigation system through the dcbfp. If this is all good, can I eliminate the slobbering anti-syphon sill cocks and replace them with the old style straight freeze proof sill cocks?

    Still more thanks,
    Terry
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,397
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    The tee on off of the main line should be deep...below frost level. Mine is 5 feet which is well below frost level, but that's where the line is located. I used a stop and waste valve so the pipe running up to the surface where the BFP is will gravity drain when the valve is closed. I supposed the BFP can be left in place the the system blown out through it OK, I was always a bit paranoid about there being some water left in the BFP so a couple of unions was all it took to make the BFP easily removable. I made an adapter with 1/2 of a union, a reducer, a ball valve, and a quick air connect to blow the lines. About what you describe except I take the BFP out of the circuit. My city requires the annual inspection I referred to earlier, and they provide a list of certified inspectors that will come to the house to test the BFP. You won't have that mandate to deal with, but it would be very wise to have the test anyway. Any place that sells and services fire fighting equipment, can test it, most likely a bench test if you can take it to them. Another reason to make it easy to R&R. I see no reason why you can get rid of the anti siphon hose bibs and use the frost free. That's what I have. Just be sure to remove the hoses from them in the fall or they will freeze and break.
  5. thuston

    thuston New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Thanks for all the help Gary!

    My tee is where the cistern is, so it doesn't freeze there. I am going to put unions around the BFP so I can take it to be tested. I might as well use the same system you use since the BFP will be out anyways:).

    Being of the curious nature, I took the Quartermaster frost free, anti-syphon sill cock apart and I think I found out how to get around the slobbering water thing. There is a small hole (about 1/16") in the inside end of the stem that the handle goes on. When the internal parts of the anti-syphon are in a certain position, it allows water to release through that small hole back through the stem and slobber out around the handle. I soldered up that hole and am just going to re-install the valve. That should end the slobbering problem, however it also disables some of the anti-syphon components. That shouldn't be a problem with the installation of the BFP. It looks like the Quartermaster still has a vacuum breaker that should work, but is not needed due to the BFP. If I get water going by the vacuum breaker (I shouldn't if it is working properly), I will fill it full of epoxy. That seems like a lot of messing around, but I like the quarter turn feature and that seems only to be available on the anti-syphon valves.

    Thanks for all your help:),
    Terry

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