How It Works

valve demo

Spray Smart valves allow you to divide your existing watering zones into two smaller zones that will apply water more efficiently. The valves do this by alternating between an open and closed state each time your controller turns on the main supply valve.

The Spray Smart valve is activated by the normal pressure in the supply line. Each time the water is turned on, the supply pressure will rise. Each time the supply pressure rises, the Spray Smart valve will move to either an “on” state that allows water to flow through to the sprinkler head, or an “off” state where water is shut off or prevented from flowing to the sprinkler head. When the main supply valve is turned off, the valves reset and are ready to do the opposite of whatever they did last time. Therefore, we refer to the valves as being “A zone” valves (think of these as the valves that turn on first) and “B zone” valves (these valves turn off first, but turn on for the next cycle.)

The diagram below helps explain the principle:

  • At time 1, the supply is off and the “B zone” valves are “ready to close”. The “A zone” valves are “ready to open”.
  • At time 2, the system is pressurized. Any valve that is part of the “B zone” closes, no water flows from those sprinkler heads. Any valve that is part of the “A zone” opens, water flows freely from those sprinkler heads.
  • At time 3, the system is shut off. All valves reset.
  • At time 4, the system is turned on again. This time the “B zone” valves allow flow and the “A zone” valves do not.
  • At time 5, the water is shut off again and the valves reset to the identical condition as time 1. Hence each valve is on only once for each two pressurization cycles of the main supply.

Spray Smart valves may be installed directly into the stem on pop-up spray heads. They also come as threaded units that can be installed under any type of irrigation equipment including rotors and impact heads. See the Installation page for more information.

Now for the dividing. In the case of low pressure on a circuit, it really makes no difference which valves are “A zone” and which valves are “B zone”. Just set about half to each and turn on the main valve twice instead of once. If there are dry and wet spots then you setup sprinklers that spray on the dry spots as “A zone” and sprinklers that spray on the wet spots as “B zone”. Then you adjust your sprinkler timer to run different amounts of time for A and B. Specifically, when the “A zone” heads are running you might leave the sprinklers on for 12 minutes and while the “B zone” heads are running you might only need 8 minutes. This is a tremendous water savings compared to running all the heads for the 12 minutes required to keep the “dry spots” green.

For mixed landscapes, simply set all the sprinklers of one type to the “A zone” and the other type to the “B zone”. In the case of drip substitution, you can probably cap off most of the heads that currently spray the shrubs/plants and just use one or two Spray Smart valves in the “A zone” to feed your drip lines. Oh yeah, that’s the best part. There is no limit to how many valves need to be in each zone. If you only have one pesky dry spot, you may only need a few heads to run extra. Set them up as the “B zone” and all the rest are “A zone”. You can mix and match to whatever split suits your needs. See how much you could save!

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