Adding a zone for a valve to an outside bib

Hi Everyone,
I’m sure someone has thought of this. I would like to put a electronic sprinkler valve on one of the bibs (outside faucets). I have easy access to these water lines in the basement. The bib is above grade and will never be hooked up to something that runs underground. The main purpose is to create a zone that can be used as a controlled sprinkler (in this case for plants that are hanging in front of our garage). Here are my fundamental questions.

  1. What type of electronic valve do I need? I know that it is 24VAC. However, many of them are plastic inline valves. Whereas, the water line to the bib is all copper piping. I have no problem working with copper piping. Is a brass valve required for this application? I’m trying to avoid that because most of the brass valves are very expensive. Can I use a simple sprinkler electronic valve?

  2. I currently have a 16 zone system with 13 zones utilized and a Master valve. I can easily connect the above valve for the bib as zone 14-16. But here are the questions. Do I need to reconnect the bib copper piping after the Master valve? I know it is safer. That said, I can see all of the bibs and will know if they are leaking. If I don’t tap into the water line after the Master valve and use zone 14-16 – is there any harm in this. More specifically, the bib would be connected as is to the water supply of the house, but when engaged both the zone and the master valve would be opened. I’m guessing there is no harm in this because the master valve would be open without an irrigation zone be opened (zones 1-13). Is that ok?

I live in Florida, so it’s mostly UV light that I have to worry about, not snow and ice. That being said I’ve been using a regular sprinkler valve outside for years without much trouble.

Overall I had to buy three different parts from the local home improvement store, lowes in my case, but home depot may have everything you would need as well. The 3/4 threaded valve which came with two adapters which I didn’t end up using. The male hose adapter and the female hose adapter. I remember that all three were in the same aisle, but don’t remember the part numbers off top of my head. If I do get around to searching them out, I’ll update the post, but I think it may be easier to just go looking for them at the store, or ask associate. From what I do remember, I think you should be looking for “3/4 mip” adapters to fit the valve.

To answer your second question, as long as none of your 13 primary zones leak, having the master valve active during your 14th zone irrigation should not present any issues.

Good luck,

Are you planning on removing the hose bibb, or leaving it in place? It is simple enough to transition to plastic for a sprinkler valve (any will do, but I prefer Hunter PGV valves). Once that is in place, treat it like any other zone.

When transitioning from metal to PVC, always use a plastic male adapter threaded into a metal female adapter. Do it in reverse and you run the risk of splitting the PVC fitting. There are specialty adapter fittings out there, but they aren’t something that you will find at your local DIY store.

The master valve won’t be an issue.

This is helpful. I was planning on leaving the bib in place and placing the valve inside the house in the basement where I can easily run the wires to the controller.

If you are putting this indoors, I would highly suggest that you search for a transition fitting like the ones below. I would never put a normal pvc to copper threaded joint indoors. Also, keep in mind that PVC is usually not permitted (by code) to be used indoors.

The easiest would be to go with a pushfit type connection. This would transition from PVC (Iron Pipe Size) to Copper (Copper tube size). Cash Acme, or Sharkbite makes this fitting.

Sioux Chief makes transition fittings that I would also feel more comfortable with…
Sweat x PVC glue (this would be my ideal choice)

Male thread x PVC glue (would require a copper male adapter sweated in at some point.


Ok. Does that exclude the plastic valves from being used inside? Your post suggests that it might be ok. I guess that is why I was leaning back towards a brass valve.

Technically yes…

Food for thought…

I do live in Arizona, and it gets really hot, but I have replaced 3 of my valves after 15+ years of service due to cracked bonnets (the screwed top of the irrigation valve). When they cracked, they shot water out and I didn’t find it until it flooded the valve box. I can only imagine what it would do in a basement…

If you are dead set on the basement, I would for sure go with a brass sprinkler valve. You will most likely have to order online as I doubt any local sprinkler houses would have one. Keep the piping in the basement copper/brass until you get outside, and apply the same transition rules.

I think that is what I needed to hear. I was leaning towards that. I think spending the extra $100 is worth it given the damage even a short duration flood could yield in a basement. I had in fact looked at that page. I had thought about trying to get an inline champion valve (like in the picture) but they only have the manual valves in stock.

Go with the Hunter (my preference) or Rainbird. You aren’t 100% guaranteed not to have issues by going brass, but you certainly limit your exposure…

This thread is blowing my mind. If you are doing any plumbing indoors be aware that PEX pipe/tubing is what plumbers use today. There are PEX fittitings and transitional fittings to PVC. Is there any reason why you could not install a wifi hose timer and not worry about a valve at the hose? I do not know of any contractor that would hook up an electric valve.
FYI, Hunter does not make a brass 1 inch valve. Rain Bird manufacturers a 1 inch brass valve. Let me know how all this turns out. Making my head spin.

Maybe I don’t like PEX. Copper is easy and on every other fitting in my house. I don’t need a plumber for this job. I’d like to integrate it with my Rachio system and not have a hodgepodge of different devices. Adding a valve and a wire next to the master valve in the basement seemed easy. Hunter does make a 1" Ibv valve.

Sorry, i was wrong about the Hunter ibv. Look into PEX. It is indestructible. No need to argue with you. Sure glad I don’t have copper pipes anymore. Entire home is upgraded to current plumbing standards.

We could argue all day about pex vs copper. When a plumber installed our tankless hot water system in our house, he used PEX. The only fitting that has leaked, was one of the PEX fittings he installed. Not a fan. If my house had all PEX, I would use it.

I just switched our controller from a rainbird to rachio. It took some time, but an easy install. Here is the best part. My wife went from hating the rainbird device to loving the rachio system in about 1minute. I use a lot of technology in our house. Admittedly, it’s an addiction. I’ve learned to build on things she loves. Perhaps that’s where this project came from. I am a technology freak and she loves gardening.

No apologies necessary.

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