Clarification question - remove problematic Zurn Wilkins 975XL backflow prevention valve

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In another thread we discussed a constantly problematic Zurn Wilkins 975XL 1-inch backflow-prevention valve, that doesn't actually do anything (since it's on top of a hill).
I thought I had fixed the leaking valve - but it started leaking again, so, I completely give up on fixing that poor design since I've taken it apart a dozen times and there's nothing I can see that is wrong with it. Yet it leaks.
And, even if I did fix it, it will invariably leak again soon.
I'm not a plumber, so, my only question is clarification of the two spots that were suggested to *remove* the valve (and replace with a pipe).
Would you kindly look at this picture and advise me which location is the removal point? (I'm confused because twisting a pipe in one direction simply tightens it in the other direction.)
http://i.cubeupload.com/tHjqRh.jpg
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On 8/11/2016 8:12 AM, Danny D. wrote:

Remove at the yellow. Once off, you can take apart at the red, insert a solid pipe, and then reconnect at the yellow.
Figure out how a "pipe union" works!
I don't suppose you have taken seriously the obvious thing to try: insert a filter on the inlet, to keep out the crap that is likely causing the problem.
You call it a "poor design", but there are millions of these in use with no real problems.
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On 8/11/2016 8:31 AM, Taxed and Spent wrote:

This is a pipe union, which is at your yellow locations:
http://i.imgur.com/YHLMuL1.jpg
When you finish your repair, I imagine it will look pretty much like this:
http://chestofbooks.com/crafts/mechanics/Mechanical-Processes/images/Fig-216-Example-of-Pipe-Fitting.jpg
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on 8/11/2016, Taxed and Spent supposed :

LOL
That reminds me of our home water filtration setup. We have two wells and many valves and I hear submarine commands in my head when switching them over.
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2016 11:46:26 -0400, FromTheRafters wrote:

It reminded me of my pool pump setup, where I have about 17 valves and three separate pumps and pipes going every which way!
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2016 08:36:39 -0700, Taxed and Spent

LOL!
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and having to visit 10 different news stands to pickup each one.
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On Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 11:31:04 AM UTC-4, Taxed and Spent wrote:

The backflow preventer probably isn't a poor design. But it appears to be installed in a location where one isn't needed and will do absolutely nothing positive. The only possible reason would be if there is some code that someone interpreted to mean that it was required. As D has explained it, this valve is on the output of a tank on top of a hill that feeds water downhill to his house.
And I agree, it comes off via the unions shown by the yellow. He'd probably realize that himself if he just unwound the tape around them.
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2016 08:31:00 -0700, Taxed and Spent wrote:

Thank you for your patience, as until you said that, I hadn't realized you remove it at the (yellow) pipe unions first, and only then, you remove it at the (red) ball valves.
Since the pipe nipple has to be pre measured, is this the distance you'd use (midpoint between the two shutoff ball valves)?
http://i.cubeupload.com/nwV7Rt.jpg

My only experience with pipe unions were with the white plastic pool pump pipe unions, which glue onto the incoming pipes, so reverse threading wasn't an issue in those repairs - and exact measuring wasn't necessary because I could always easily trim off excess pipe.

If the valve actually did something, I might take its repair more seriously.
As it is, it's on the top of a hill, so, the chance of water being pushed or siphoned into it has got to be near zero.
To be clear, I have been repairing this valve for years. I'm just sick of it.
It's a poor design.

Given that this 1-inch Zurn Wilkins 975XL backflow preventer requires constant service, the support is pretty good.
Today I called 855-663-9876 and received a call back from a technical support guy named Daniel at 805-238-7100.
He said that I should flush the valve by removing the #1 poppet assembly, and then the #2 poppet assembly, and then to put my hand over the #1 opening and then turn the water supply on. Since my water supply is something like 70psi, that shot water out almost 10 feet. There is no way there is still debris stuck in there - yet - still it leaks.
Daniel told me the classic test is to see if the water leaks in both cases: 1. When there is no irrigation in use, and, 2. When the irrigation is in use.
Since my Zurn Wilkins 975XL backflow prevention valve only leaks when there is no irrigation in use, he said to further test by: a. Turning off any sprinklers (if any) b. Turn both check valves on (in my case, this starts it leaking) c. Shut off the #2 check valve - if that stops the leaking - then #2 is fouled. (In my case, this did not stop the leaking.)
Daniel said that if the test above didn't stop the leak, then the problem is most likely the #1 check valve, or sometimes the relief valve, both of which I have taken apart umpteen times already.
He said in that circumstance, I should just replace the entire innards with the three separate repair kits, which I can find on Amazon for $100: https://www.amazon.com/Wilkins-RK114-975XLC-Complete-Repair-Rings/dp/B00GG1RQS6/ref=pd_bxgy_469_3
The required tool for removing the three seats is about $50 https://www.amazon.com/WILKINS-SEAT-REMOVAL-TOOL-REPAIR/dp/B00AHDTO7A/ref=pd_bxgy_469_2
So, for about $150, I can probably fix the dastardly thing. But, what's frustrating is that I can't *see* anything wrong with it. It's *not* fouled.
Note that a brand new Zurn Wilkins 1-975XL is about $250: http://www.sprinklerwarehouse.com/Wilkins-Pressure-Vacuum-Breaker-Assemblies-s/9537.htm
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On Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 12:10:30 PM UTC-4, Danny D. wrote:

Reverse threading, whatever that means, isn't an issue here either. Unions are unions.
- and exact measuring wasn't necessary

You can do exactly the same here, trim the pipe, if you use PVC.

+1
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2016 09:16:11 -0700 (PDT), trader_4 wrote:

The ball valves can't be screwed off it seems to me, because if I try to spin them off on the one side, they will spin on for the other side - which means they won't move (unless they're reverse threaded).
At least that's how I "see" it (from my non-plumber perspective).
The main "plumbing" I've done is working on the PVC pipes here:


Well, this is how I trim pipe at the pool:
http://i.cubeupload.com/kCyBHn.jpg
Sometimes I use this instead of a hacksaw:
http://i.cubeupload.com/7r0mkb.jpg
But I often have fitting problems when I mess up in measurements:

So I try to be doubly sure of measurements. :)
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On Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 12:28:42 PM UTC-4, Danny D. wrote:

They aren't reverse threaded. That's why the unions are there so you can disassemble it for repair/replacement.

You must be related to the fellow my grandfather referenced:
"I cut it three times now, but it's still too short."
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2016 10:03:24 -0700, Oren wrote:

I took your advice, and didn't trust my measurements.
In fact, I am glad I did the dry fit at the hardware store, because the pipe nipple that worked was an inch shorter than I had measured!
http://i.cubeupload.com/B02Kvp.jpg
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2016 09:18:40 -0700, Oren wrote:

I don't think so. It rarely gets that cold here. But, it "can" get to freezing. But why did they design these pipes to be out of the ground if it can get to freezing?
That pipe tape isn't going to protect the pipes one bit from freezing.

Good question. I have no idea. When I remove the tape, I'll know.
Is that a "special" tape? It seems like wide printed black electrical tape.

I think I want a simple pipe!
I don't want to do this type of repair ever again!
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On 8/11/2016 9:30 AM, Danny D. wrote:

I think it DOES get to freezing where you are, although I forget if you are at the top of the hill or how far down. There have been some damn hard freezes up there in the not too distant past, and snow on the ground for days. When did you buy your property?

It is an anti-siphon device.
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2016 09:57:36 -0700, Taxed and Spent wrote:

There is sometimes a thin layer of ice (about a millimeter thick?) on puddles on the ground in the morning, so, I agree that it *can* get to freezing.
We get snow every five years or so, and, once in a while, it sticks for about a 1/4 inch or so, but only for about a day or at most two.
I'm a few thousand feet up, so the clouds are almost always below me, where I can look in on airplanes coming in for a landing below me at the local airport as they disappear into the valley fog until about noon when the daily fog lifts (and returns again to cover the lights of the valley by midnight).
I've been here about a decade and it has snowed maybe twice or three times as I recall - but it's just a light dusting that almost never sticks.
The issue is that they *knew* what the weather was when they wrapped those pipes in that black tape - so it must be designed to take it as it doesn't really stay cold here for very long (especially not in the past two years).
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That black tape is to protect the underground portions of the pipe from corrosion. It won't do anything to prevent freezing.
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On Fri, 12 Aug 2016 16:40:40 GMT, Scott Lurndal wrote:

I have to agree with you on that.
After removing the sticky tape, I noticed that it was still *very* sticky even after a few decades out in the open, but at the hardware store, the package for the 10mil pipe tape said it's to protect the pipes from corrosion.
http://i.cubeupload.com/WzyKsZ.jpg
Since the pipes were galvanized into the ground, I guess they wrapped from the ground up, and just didn't bother stopping at the surface.
http://i.cubeupload.com/Wrh9jB.jpg
I never understood how "insulation" works on a water pipe, where the water in the pipe is the same temperature as ambient.
There's no delta in temperature between the inside and outside; so what's there to insulate?
http://i.cubeupload.com/Hvrhde.jpg
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On Fri, 12 Aug 2016 19:35:24 -0700, Bob F wrote:

I have to agree with you, after reading the package at the store for the 10mil black sticky wide pipe tape.
The package says it's for protection from corrosion.
http://i.cubeupload.com/rMhpw7.jpg
Of course, it did nothing for the corrosion on the *inside*!
http://i.cubeupload.com/Wrh9jB.jpg
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On 8/13/2016 9:26 AM, Danny D. wrote:

that is not all that much corrosion.
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2016 11:41:26 -0700, Oren wrote:

The 1-inch valve is brass. The 1-inch pipes above ground to each side of the valve are all galvanized. Below ground, a foot or so away, a used the 2-inch red-handled PVC shutoff. Then the pipes come back above ground at 2-inch galvanized into the pressure pump equipment in the pump house.
This picture shows the water pipe to the right going from the pump house into the ground, and then one of two valves underground (one for the house, the other for the irrigation system).
http://i.cubeupload.com/cMcINF.jpg
I think it's odd they go from steel to pvc to steel, but they do. The PVC seems to be only underground though.
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