Home Irrigation System-Pressure Reducer

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Scott Fuller

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I have a 4 zone irrigation system at my (small) home. 2 for the lawn, and 2 for planters/garden. One zone, for the front lawn (4 heads) is tapped off the main line before it enters the house. The other 3 are tapped off the rear yard just before the hose bib (rear yard is 6 heads). My main water line has a pressure reducer on it and the normal pressure is about 50psi.

All of the irrigation lines run through Lawn Genie anti-siphon valves. I'm trying to determine whether there are pressure reducers installed on the irrigation system since I can't see anything above ground that clearly indicates that they are.

Nothing is really wrong. I'm not getting any parts blowing out, but with some recent updates to my garden drippers, I get some overspray where drippers connect to 1/2" tubing (or the plugs in old holes won't seal the holes properly anymore) and sometimes it seems like the spray for the lawn is a bit to misty.

1. Is there any method for measuring pressure on the irrigation system itself? Some of it goes to spray heads, some goes to drip lines.

2. As far as I can tell, the anti-siphon valves don't act as pressure reducers (although they do have the valves to control flow a bit) Am I wrong? Do those serve as pressure reducers/regulators?

3. Do people normally install pressure reducers below grade? Maybe that's why I'm not seeing them?

4. Any chance any of these pieces (see photo) are a pressure reducer? I don't see any indication that they are, but I've also seen some photos of pvc reducers that look an awful lot like regular couplers.

Thanks for any help.

-Scott Fuller
 

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WorthFlorida

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The only way you can measure pressure is to install a tee with the middle coupling threaded so you can thread in a spigot, then use a pressure gauge on the spigot. The important part is the pressure before the zone valve when water is not running. Anti Siphon or backflow devices do not reduce pressure.

Orbit Drip Irrigation system, https://www.orbitonline.com/product...-30-psi-pressure-regulator-with-drip-adapter/

Rainbird has a complete valve with an adjustable pressure regulator.
https://store.rainbird.com/drip-low-volume/control-zone-kits.html
https://www.rainbird.com/products/medium-flow-control-zone-kits-pr-filter

For excess pressure problems would be at the zone valves since they take the brunt of the pressure when water is not running but they are pretty robust. I never had any nor heard of any blowing out. As you know pop ups are adjustable for the amount of water sprayed by turn the screw at the top of the spray head, rotors do not have any but the spray pattern is adjustable. As your picture shows you can close down the ball valve to reduce the amount of water flow but it may make too much noise as the water goes through the valve causing turbulence.
 

Scott Fuller

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WorthFlorida...thanks for the reply, I appreciate the help.

I forgot that one of my zones had a buried coupling to transition from PVC to 1/2" tubing and I was able to get a measurement. It was also about 50psi (52 at the time I tested it) which was on the other side of the zone valve. This system has been like this for over 15 years. Maybe I'm stupid for messing with something that seems to be working, but I'm thinking I should put in a pressure reducer.

Hopefully this picture I attached is viewable. And hopefully someone has a few minutes to help with suggestions. I currently have about 24-inches of 1/2" PVC running from the water line to the ground. After the PVC ball valve, it transitions to 3/4" PVC as it heads in to the zone valves. (That's why there are so many couplers there)

Since I have some room to work, what's the best combination of PVC parts to make this job look good, and function well. Are there other components I should be installing if I'm going to cut this out and mess with it anyway?
 

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