How to Replace A Sprinkler Valve

Yard sprinkler
Dan Thornberg / EyeEm / Getty Images
  • 01 of 08


    A sprinkler valve
    Aaron Stickley

    A broken or leaking sprinkler valve in the home irrigation system is not uncommon. Fortunately, replacing a sprinkler valve doesn’t have to be confusing or time-consuming.

    If you have never installed or repaired your own sprinklers, you may be wondering where to start. The following few steps will lead you through this common irrigation repair.

    Difficulty Level

    • Moderate

    Before beginning this project, make sure you have the parts you will need. Determine the size of the valve you are replacing and...MORE make sure to buy parts that match that size. 

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  • 02 of 08

    Tools and Materials You Will Need

    Materials for sprinkler valve
    Aaron Stickley
    • New sprinkler valve
    • At least two PVC MIP adapter (threaded male fittings to attach to the valve, slip fittings to solvent-glue to PVC pipes.
    • PVC solvent glue
    • Plumber's tape
    • Channel-type pliers
    • Pipe cutter or reciprocating saw
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  • 03 of 08

    Shut Off the Water

    Turning off the irrigation water supply
    Aaron Stickley

    Before replacing a sprinkler valve start by shutting off the water to the irrigation system. There is usually a dedicated valve that isolates the irrigation system and allows it to be shut off. 

    If there is no isolated valve, in order to do the repair you may have to shut off the water at the meter.

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  • 04 of 08

    Disconnect the Wiring

    Disconnect valve wiring
    Aaron Stickley

    For an automatic sprinkler valve, you will need to disconnect the wiring before replacing the valve. Remove the two wires attached to the valve, but keep track of where they are attached because you will be connecting the new valve in the same way.

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  • 05 of 08

    Remove the Old Valve

    Cutting away old sprinkler valve
    Aaron Stickley

    To remove the old valve, cut off the old PVC adapters right below the hub so the new sprinkler valve will be only slightly lower than the old one.

    In this example, the local code states that the anti-siphon sprinkler valve needs to be at least 6" above the highest sprinkler head in that zone when the head is in the popped up position. NOTE: Always check your local plumbing code to learn requirements fo height. If your valve with not be high enough, you will have to use couplings and some...MORE additional pipe to raise the sprinkler valve to a higher position.

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  • 06 of 08

    Prepare the New Valve

    Attach PVC adapters
    Aaron Stickley

    To prepare the new sprinkler valve, install the new PVC male (MIP) adapters into the valve. Wrap Plumber's tape around the threads, then spread a thin layer of pipe-joint compound over the tape. Tighten the adapters into the sockets with channel-type pliers, but do not over tighten them.

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  • 07 of 08

    Glue the New Valve to the Pipes

    Glue sprinkler valves into place
    Aaron Stickley

    To attach the valve to the pipe, you will need to use PVC glue. Put glue both inside the adapter sockets and on the ends of the pipe. Glue all fittings into place all at the same time.

    For appearance, Wipe off any excess glue. 

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  • 08 of 08

    Connect the Wiring and Test

    Completed sprinkler valves
    Aaron Stickley

    Install the automatic sprinkler valve wires the same way you removed the old wires. It does not matter which wire is attached to the common wire.

    Let the glue dry as directed on the glue can (usually about 30 minutes) and turn the water back on. Check for leaks. To verify that you installed the wires correctly, make sure the timer works with the new valve.