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Irrigation System Water Pressure...135psi Too Much?

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Irrigation System Water Pressure...135psi Too Much?

Old 07-24-2020, 08:05 PM
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Default Irrigation System Water Pressure...135psi Too Much?

Moved last fall and when I went to turn on gate valve in shop for the first time this week to irrigation system I found several issues and had to immediately turn off the water to sprinkler main. In first 25 feet of main line leaving shop I had 3 repairs total. Fix one find another. System doesn't appear to have any leaks now and 3 very large holes have been filled and raked over. I still have a few heads I want to move and of the 14 zones I only plan on using maybe 4 or 5 zones moving forward. I believe the mature hedges and shrubs will be fine surviving our short summers in the PNW. During the repairs we tested the water pressure to irrigation system as it left the shop and it was 135 psi. The water as it feeds the house as a PRV and I also have a PRV in shop for interior supply. But No PRV for irrigation system. Will I continue to have issues with leaks and schedule 40 PVC not being able to handle the pressure or with 14 zones is this the kind of pressure needed to operate such a large system? Thanks for the input. My hope is if I blow it out each winter I am ok to leave as is because the current layout of pipes in my shop doesn't leave much room in design to fit a PRV valve without a lot of headache.
Old 07-24-2020, 09:42 PM
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What is the source of the water supply?
That seems really excessive!
With the numerous motorhomes I have owned I always used a pressure regulator (IIRC 45 psi) when hooking to shore water.
My well is set at 60 psi for my home.
Old 07-24-2020, 10:02 PM
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Too high, will damage valves. Needs regulator.
Old 07-24-2020, 10:59 PM
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Waaaay to high. You will blow out joints and sprinkler heads over time..
Old 07-24-2020, 11:05 PM
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“Normal” municipal water pressures are between 90 and 100 psi. While house hold pressure is usually about 60 psi.
Old 07-24-2020, 11:30 PM
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Wow, y'all have high domestic pressures.
You may blow a seal.
Maybe it was just some ice cream.
Old 07-25-2020, 12:29 AM
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I was borrowing a gauge when I measured. Going to get my own tomorrow and test a few spots. If it is in fact135 I will leave off until I get a PRV in system. I knew it was high for a home and not a chance on a boat but was hoping that for a irrigation system it may have been acceptable.
Old 07-25-2020, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by SeaCat22 View Post
Wow, y'all have high domestic pressures.
You may blow a seal.
Maybe it was just some ice cream.
I remember that joke... A classic.
Old 07-25-2020, 09:12 AM
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May have been designed for 135psi. You can throttle back on the valve when it operates and see how it responds when the gauge is at lower pressures. A zone has to be operating while you do this.
Old 07-25-2020, 10:09 AM
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When I blow out my sprinklers with my air compressor I only use 60psi. That's what's recommended. Does the job nicely. Call or google the supplier of you solenoid manfacturer and start there.
Old 07-25-2020, 10:12 AM
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Most sprinkler heads aren't rated for 135 PSI
Old 07-25-2020, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by xlr8ngn View Post
May have been designed for 135psi. You can throttle back on the valve when it operates and see how it responds when the gauge is at lower pressures. A zone has to be operating while you do this.
This will not effect the presure only the volume,There will still be 135 psi on the system.
Old 07-25-2020, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jbooker9 View Post
This will not effect the presure only the volume,There will still be 135 psi on the system.
No it won't,i a zone is operating everything behind the valve will be at a lower pressure.
Old 07-25-2020, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by acme54321 View Post
No it won't,i a zone is operating everything behind the valve will be at a lower pressure.
depends on how much the zone flows and how much the valve is closed.
if the system is designed to run multiple zones at once and has large valves there may not be enough flow with one zone on to drop the pressure
Old 07-25-2020, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by acme54321 View Post
No it won't,i a zone is operating everything behind the valve will be at a lower pressure.
Everything after the sprinkler valve is opperating at a lower pressure already. As I already stated throteling a valve, controls volume not pressure it will still be 135 at the sprinkler valves when the system is not running. If you need to control volume you would do that at the sprinkler valve not the supply.
Old 07-25-2020, 03:47 PM
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You might want to check the pressure in your house, too. That's awful high.
Old 07-25-2020, 03:51 PM
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Really a PRV should be installed. Your sprinkler valves are probably rated at 150 psi and your at 137 now. If that is the gate valve for the system I highly doubt you are running 2 zones at once.
Old 07-25-2020, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by colecaz View Post
You might want to check the pressure in your house, too. That's awful high.
The house has a dedicated PRV. The shop also has a PRV. Why they didn't install a PRV for irrigation is tough to figure out. I bought a psi gauge this morning and tested several places. I have two exterior hose bibs and the irrigation system at full pressure of 130 to 135. Everything else is set at 80psi. I ran the sprinklers today and I think the valves are taking the load and reducing to sprinkler heads and they actually run pretty nice other than a few heads needing to be moved. The system would definately benefit from reduced pressure but I am hoping to be able to run it for a while until I can line up a plumber.

Primary Zone



Sprinkler System blowout pressure check valve


House Pressure

Last edited by PSW; 07-25-2020 at 08:53 PM.
Old 07-25-2020, 09:33 PM
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You can run it for awhile like it is, your valves should be rated at 150 psi and the pipe around 2 times that. Unfortunately the glue joints are the week points on irigation systems.
Old 07-26-2020, 04:02 AM
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It is a little high but it will be fine. We run some larger commercial systems at 120+, biggest thing to look for is misting at the heads. if it's putting out a mist in the air your just wasting that water as it's not falling to the ground. We don't know but the system could have pressure compensating heads which will operate at 45 psi

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