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
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.)
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.
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.
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)?
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
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:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
The required tool for removing the three seats is about $50
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
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:
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:
Sometimes I use this instead of a hacksaw:
But I often have fitting problems when I mess up in measurements:
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
That pipe tape isn't going to protect the pipes one bit from freezing.
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!
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?
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
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
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).
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
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.
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?
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).
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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