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Sprinkler Valve Questions

Post questions and info about pneumatic (compressed gas) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about valves, pipe types, compressors, alternate gas setups, and anything else relevant.
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Sprinkler Valve Questions

Unread postAuthor: n-strike » Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:51 pm

When attaching a blowgun to a sprinkler valve, do you have to use the tap and die set to thread it? Or can you just hand thread it using the brass nipple? And also, do all sprinkler valves have female threads that you have to use nipples on? Or are some just slip? Thanks for your help!
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Unread postAuthor: BC Pneumatics » Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:55 pm

PVC is soft enough to tap with the fitting, but if you plan on tapping more than two or three holes in your lifetime, I suggest you invest in a tap, it is well worth it. They cost less than $10 and make clean, strait threads quickly and easily. Most every model of sprinkler valve I have seen is available in both NTP and Slip styles.
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Unread postAuthor: Darkside 6ix » Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:57 pm

look at the sprinkler "how-to" guide. You basically drill a hole for a 3/4 nipple and then thread it your self. To make it easier on the hands, stick the nipple on the drill and pretend like its a drill bit.
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Unread postAuthor: n-strike » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:01 pm

In this video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=6m8W0-nBuEg the guy drills a 1/2" hole, but uses a 1/4" nipple. Why is that? And also, you know how there's a hole in the blowgun to attach it to the nipple? How do you know what size the hole is? Thanks again.
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Unread postAuthor: BC Pneumatics » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:05 pm

1/4" pipes are close to 1/2" in diameter. (Just as 1.5" PVC has a 1.9"OD) The correct size hole for tapping 1/4" NPT threads is 7/16", though without a tap 1/2" may be necessary. In America pretty much every air tool is 1/4", hose threads are 1/4", and accessories, including blowguns, are 1/4". Just the way it is, so no need to check.
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Unread postAuthor: n-strike » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:08 pm

Okay. And one last thing...(unless I have more question, which I probably will) what does NPT mean?
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Unread postAuthor: BC Pneumatics » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:10 pm

National Pipe Thread. It is type of threads that pipe fittings in the US use. They are course, tapered threads.
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Unread postAuthor: n-strike » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:15 pm

Okay, and yes I have another question. Why in the video that I put earlier is one half of the nipple smaller than the other?
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Unread postAuthor: BC Pneumatics » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:20 pm

It is a reducing nipple. One side has threads of a certain size, and the other side has threads of another size. For connecting, say, 1/2" fittings to 3/4".
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Unread postAuthor: n-strike » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:22 pm

So if I wanted to I could just get a nipple with both 1/4" sides and just use a 1/4" drill bit instead?
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Unread postAuthor: BC Pneumatics » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:23 pm

No. A nipple with 1/4" NPT threads would require a 7/16" hole. There is no common pipe thread that uses a 1/4" hole.
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Unread postAuthor: n-strike » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:28 pm

Okay. I saw another video of a guy putting a blowgun on his sprinkler valve, but the section that you drill your hole on was small for him so he had to use a smaller nipple. Also, do sprinkler valves come in different sizes? Like, say...1"?
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Unread postAuthor: BC Pneumatics » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:31 pm

Yes, they come in <a href="http://www.bcarms.com/product_info.php?cPath=45_46&products_id=32">one inch</a>, and many other sizes. 3/4", 1", 1.5", 2", and 3" are the most common, though anything over 1" is rather expensive, and tricky to find.
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Unread postAuthor: n-strike » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:36 pm

Okay. Thanks for all your help! I just wanted to make sure about everything before I purchase one. It's my first time using a sprinkler valve. I've always used ball valves because I was inexperienced and I didn't have much money. But now that I have money, I can purchase a sprinkler valve and make a monstrous pneumatic over under 4" cannon!
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Unread postAuthor: BC Pneumatics » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:38 pm

A sprinkler valve is not recommended for anything over 2.5", since the flow is really too weak. I suggest using multiple valves, or switching to a design that uses a piston valve or burst disk.
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