8 Best Sprinkler Valves to Give You Complete Control Over the Irrigation System
Last updated: Feb 05, 2020
69Hours of Research
If you have experience in farming, then you most likely know that different plants have different water requirements. As such, if you employ a sprinkler system, then you need to turn it on and off at various times. The best sprinkler valves will give you complete control over that.
One of the best options in the market is the Hunter Sprinkler PGV101G model, which has the most merits out of the 23 products we considered. Among them, you find that the product has a two-year warranty, durable construction, standard flow control, and even a high-temperature rating. However, this product may not be everybody’s cup of tea and as such, we have you covered with seven other high-quality options in the table below.
Top 8 Sprinkler Valves Review 2020
As mentioned above, we reviewed 23 products, whereby we checked on the various features each option had to offer. Some of the standard features we looked into are the type of sprinkler valve, size, maximum pressure, flow and even warranties. As you would expect, these features give a vivid picture of the quality and usability of the devices. Also, it took us a lot of time and energy to check and verify such information from vendor and manufacturer sites. Nevertheless, the exercise is done and we have provided a table below whereby we rank our eight shortlisted products. Since this is not enough information for you to select the best sprinkler valve for your needs we have as well included in-depth product reviews. Finally, we have taken it upon ourselves also to add a buying guide to make your work easier.
As our editor’s choice, you expect the tool to be of sturdy quality, and it does deliver on that front. Consequently, you can install it and expect it to provide for your irrigation needs for a long time to come. Nevertheless, you need the right knowhow if you are going to do the installation yourself.
As to the flow, you can expect about 150 GPM when the device is performing at maximum capacity. However, the water supply also has to be capable of such a feat. Perhaps one of the more attractive qualities of the sprinkler valve is the warranty. While this model has you covered for two years, most competitors have lesser and even non-existent warranties.
Also, the standard flow control is something to write home about. As well the device has a high-temperature rating, which means you can use it and leave it out even on hot summer days, and no damage will come by as a result.
150 GPM flow capability
150-degree temperature rating
Past users have noted no significant negatives for the product thus far
The premium pick gives the first pick quite a run for its money. Some might even say it is a better pick, although not in terms of the budget, since you pay close to four times what you would need to fork out for the predecessor. Nevertheless, it is hard for anyone to take away the device’s positives.
At 200 psi, it is visible that this device can handle a lot of water pressure, which you might need if you are going to use it on a relatively large parcel of land. Another pro is the reverse flow design. Due to this feature pressure will remain consistent on the two sides of the diaphragm and that has one added advantage. In the event of failure, the tool will still be able to conserve some of your water.
Nonetheless, the above event is highly unlikely due to the quality of materials used to make up the tool. Also, if the 5-year warranty is any indication, you should expect the device to tough it out of most situations and last a long time. You also cannot fail to mention the self-cleaning ports. Due to their inclusion, you will hardly find any sand or even silt, disrupting the flow of water on the sprinkler valve.
Comes with self-cleaning ports
200 psi maximum pressure allowed
Device is pricey
Also, given its inaccessibility, not many people have used and reviewed the product
If a heavy metal body is one of your markers for quality, then it will be hard to resist the Orbit Sprinkler System 51016. This is due to its brass construction that should weather a couple of years of continuous use. One thing you may dislike about the product is that it does not come with a warranty which denies you any recourse if your product is faulty or gets damaged within the first few years.
Nevertheless, it handles water pressure quite well since it can handle up to 150 psi when pushed to the maximum. However, you don’t always have to have it fully open, given that you have flow control adjustment components. The manufacturer advises that you use the device outside the house if you already made the purchase. Also, ensure that high-temperature water does not pass through it as that may be a source of problems. Nevertheless, this is a solid built and easy to use product.
Given that this is an anti-siphon valve, you can depend upon it to ensure that water for irrigation remains for irrigation. This is probably because of the backflow protection feature. The flow and maximum pressure statistics also seem to be quite impressive. As such, you have a wide variety of possible use scenarios when it comes to your irrigation project.
As to the controls, the internal/external bleed will allow you to make manual adjustments to the flow. This, alongside the jar top design, will enable you to reach the innards of the tool any time you like and without needing to use various tools to open it. This flow control should eventually save you water that is lost during misting and fogging. You can also control it electronically due to the encapsulated solenoid feature.
The solenoid allows for automatic operation
Flow is not all that impressive as compared to some competitors
Some components such as the rubber washer are not all that durable
You might find this tool to be similar to its predecessor in that it has an easy access jar-top lid. Another common feature between the two devices is the inclusion of a solenoid. For this reason, wastage of water by this automatic device should be difficult to achieve. You should also note the design of the product that allows for an inline valve. It is thus unlikely to take any damage from external components with the only materials it comes into contact with being the water that passes through.
Also, the bleed screw should allow you to adjust pressure manually. Nevertheless, this tool does not perform as well as its two predecessors on the list when it comes to pressure, given that it maxes out at only 80 psi. This is probably due to the product’s plastic body. Nevertheless, you cannot discount the importance of the 6-year warranty on the purchase.
Easy access lid
Some users have complained about the diaphragm not being durable
Also, the connections may not be suitable to some users pipes
Due to the encapsulated solenoid, this device is capable of working automatically. However, you can opt to make your adjustments manually as the tool also allows you to do that. In terms of the pressure that the machine can handle, not many options can top the 150 psi that the device is capable of.
Also, most people will appreciate the fact that the tool will work with most models of sprinkler timers, as this gives them the freedom to not worry about flooding their plants. You also have to note that water flows only in one direction when using this device. As such, it is hard to imagine the water in your house being contaminated by the soil elements in your garden.
Compatible with most sprinklers
Both automatic and manual operation
Relatively low flow rate
Some users don’t like the quality of threads included in the device
When thinking about purchasing this device, the first thing you have to think about is the body, which does guarantee longevity in its ruggedness and solid build. Away from that, you find that this is an anti-siphon valve, and that insinuates that your water can only go towards and not from your garden when this is installed.
Other elements to take into account are the internal and external bleeds that allow you a bit of manual control. However, the automatic controls are there for you if you feel that manually operating the device would be too much of a hassle. Pricing is another noteworthy area, with the product being one of the most affordable ones around.
Another reasonably priced item on our list is the Orbit 3/4 Inch Automatic Drain Valve. Nevertheless, this tool is fundamentally different from its predecessors on the list, both in its construction and installation. You can expect the device to work well with commercial and residential sprinklers as long as its installation is done right.
Since this is a drain valve, it will ensure all the water is out of your sprinkler systems. However, water at higher temperatures may impede the device’s ability to do its job.
Compatible with most sprinklers
Installation is complicated since you need to put it under all sprinklers
There is as well a lot of pertinent information with regards to sprinkler valves, and perhaps that knowledge may help you choose the model that is best for you. As such, the buying guide below provides you all the information you would need to arm yourself with as you go to the marketplace in search of the ideal sprinkler valve.
How does a sprinkler valve work?
For a sprinkler valve with a solenoid to work, certain conditions have to be met. First, there has to be a water supply that goes into the valve. When it does, the pressure is going to be exerted onto the middle of the valve’s diaphragm. Given that there is a small hole in the diaphragm, water is also going to go up to an upper chamber between the diaphragm and what is known as the bonnet.
In that upper area, there is also a small opening that will lead water into the solenoid section. A piece of metal covers this inlet hole into the solenoid area. When you open the valve, this inlet hole will be uncovered and the water above the diaphragm will move into this solenoid section. As a result, the surface area of the water above the diaphragm will be less than that of the water below it. Consequently, the diaphragm will be lifted leaving the water to flow freely.
Features to consider when choosing a sprinkler pump
The features are also considered a tricky area to navigate when it comes to making sprinkler valve purchases. With the right features, you will find it easy to install and use the device you purchase. With the wrong features, you may have a harder time. As such, all the sprinkler valve features are outlined and discussed below, and that gives you a bit of an edge as you look for a suitable model.
There are about five different types of sprinkler valves. We have already seen examples of inline, anti-siphon, and automatic sprinkler valves above. Inline valves are often placed underground and will likely not protect you from backflow. On the other hand, the anti-siphon valve will stop any backflow of water and keep the water source in your house pure. As to the automatic sprinkler valve, you will find these are controlled electronically and may even follow an on/off schedule.
The last two types also have their benefits. For the gate valve, you can expect highly pressurized water to reach your sprinklers. These are as well easy to turn on and off. Lastly, you have the ball sprinkler valves built for durability and frequent use without taking damage. You may choose one to cater to your irrigation needs.
The size of the device may end up affecting a few things about it, such as flow, pressure, and potentially the area it can cover.
You will likely also need to take into account where you need to do the installation with regard to the size as some fit above ground while others go below.
Concerning the flow, you sometimes need to be aware of how much water will be passing through the device at any given time. When you have such information at hand, it becomes easier to plan for your garden and determine how long the device should stay on for a watering session.
Different size gardens require different amounts of pressure. The more extensive garden, of course, will need more pressure to ensure that even the furthest sprinkler has enough supply. However, this may be hard to achieve if the sprinkler valve is incapable of such levels. Some top performers we have here are the Rain Bird DASASVF075 at 150 psi as well as the Weathermatic BB-DW-15NP at 200 psi.
Another thing to look into beforehand is the connection. As such, a female threaded connection will likely go well with a male threaded one and vice versa. Other options include the national pipe thread, union, barb connector, and more. The key is to find an option that is compatible with your current water system to avoid needing to make another purchase.
Is yours a residential or a commercial sprinkler system? Is the device in question compatible with the connectors you have at your disposal? If not, it may make little sense to purchase the sprinkler valve unless you intend to do an overhaul of your whole sprinkler system.
Automatic vs. manual
Automatic sprinkler valves are seemingly better since you don’t need a lot of input for the device to give the desired results. On the other hand, you may want complete control over every droplet of water that goes through your device. In such a scenario, the manual option would be a better pick for you.
The more durable a sprinkler valve is, the better. You can rely on it to stay working for a long duration of time since you trust that it will not damage easily. You also save your harvest this way since flooding your plants may also be just as bad as denying them enough water.
Some products like the Orbit 3/4 Inch Automatic Drain Valve don’t have warranties. Others like the Orbit 57460 can offer you a 6-year warranty. With the latter, you can get your purchase repaired or replaced by the manufacturer if any damage comes to it within those first six years of use. Nonetheless, having a warranty is always a plus for any product on offer.
There is always the chance that your sprinkler valve may go bad due to wear and tear. Of course, the device will likely have gone bad if it doesn’t function the way it is supposed to. This may manifest in leakages in your sprinkler system, or the water may not even be reaching your sprinklers. Of course, the only way to make sure of this is to test the device before making any rash decisions to go and buy a new one.
The process for checking sprinkler valves is often different and will depend on the type of gadget you are using. Whether automatic, gate valve or any other type, you may have to open the device to see where the source of the malfunction is. If you cannot find damaged or leaking parts, you may want to contact a professional to do this work for you. However, common areas to look into are the solenoid and plunger. Cracked components, and filling up with water when the supply has been shut off are some of the red flags.
If you really want to make the right purchase, you should have at least three viable options in mind. The Hunter Sprinkler PGV101G is a no brainer in our collection. The value is amazing and that is topped up by the great pricing. however, the Weathermatic BB-DW-15NP is a much better option when it comes to functionality. The biggest downside is, of course, the price.
Another tool we would consider buying apart from the above two is the Orbit Sprinkler System 51016. Brass bodies have been a favorite for plumbing for a while and for good reason. As such durability of the tool is something to get excited about. With these three as well as some of the other five listed, it would be hard for any sensible buyer to get it wrong.