duty cycle on water valve

Hi All,
I have three water valves on the outside of my house. Two for sprinklers and one for my house. They are down about two feet at the bottom of a plastic pipe. The valve handle is a rectangle about 1-1/2' long by about 1/2" wide. It turns 1/4 turn on to off. I use a long "T" shaped tool with a "U" at the bottom to turn the valve handle on and off.
I turn the sprinkler values off at night when the weather service says it is going to freeze at night and off all winter.
Question: what is the duty cycle on these valves? As in, should I not be turning them off and on all the time? Am I going to eventually find myself with a broken valve?
Many thanks, -T
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The valves themselves will likely not break if kept on or off (I'm guessing since they're on plastic pipes, they're plastic valves?). Plastic valves last several years (5+) -- metal ones last several decades. BUT... since you said 'they're down at the bottom of a plastic pipe', that indicates to me that if you shut off the valve, that there is still water in the pipe, and that pipe is exposed to the cold. That will eventually cause you problems when the weather gets cold, and it could break the valve, or the pipe, and that could be headaches all around.
You should install a valve on the inside of the house, where the elements can't get to it. When the weather is going to get cold, shut this valve off, and open the valves on the outside.
John
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Yes, they all break in the end.
However, my experience with outside valves suggests that regular operation will actually extend their life.
Don't touch a value for years and corrosion will likely result in a siezed valve. The force required to budge it often results in a breakage!
I wouldn't worry about it. Just accept that you'll need to replace when they (eventually) break or, even better, when they first show signs of impending failure.
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