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Active Member


Thursday, September 27th 2007, 8:17pm

Cleaning out valve box

I have many valve boxes that are filled with mud that is covering most valves and solenoids. I need to replace some solenoids and was wondering what the best way to clean out the box is. I read that you could spray water in the box with a hose and use a wet vac to suck out all the mud/sand. I also found a product called a "suck tube" that is hand pumped but supposed to work very well. What is the best approach to clean the box out? Thanks.


Supreme Member


Friday, September 28th 2007, 3:50am

Sounds like you've already done your research.
As a DIYer, I haven't heard of better alternates.


Active Member


Friday, September 28th 2007, 10:20am

great, then that is what I must do. Hopefully its as easy as some have said. In theory some of this stuff sounds great while in reality its a huge pain.



Posts: 28

Location: USA


Saturday, September 29th 2007, 9:23am

The best way I have found to remove the mud and dirt is to dig up the valve box and use a hand trowel or your hands to dig the mud and dirt from around the valve(s). This will also give you a lot of room to work on the valve.

<b>Replace the Solenoid and Diaphram at the same time</b>
I recommend replacing the entire valve top and internals instead of just the solenoid. If the solenoid is bad the diaphram is more than likely not going to last to much longer and you will find yourself digging the valve up again in the near future. Besides, a complete new valve is almost the same price as a new solenoid and you can use the new valve to get all your new parts very easily.

<b>How to do it</b>
Use plenty of paper towels to wipe the dirt away from the valve top and side to allow you to replace the valve top and internals by unscrewing the screws or unscrew the valve screw on top if it has a screw top. You would need to replace the valve top and internals with the exact same model of the older valve you are replacing. Otherwise you would need to cut out the valve and replace it with any brand and any model valve as long as it fits on the same pipe size.

You just unscrew the top of the valve off the new valve and use it (which has a new soleniod on it) and the diaphram and spring inside the new valve to replace the old parts on the old valve. Once you open a new valve and see how simple it is inside, you should feel comfortable doing this. It is soooooo easy!!!!!

I hope this helps.


Active Member


Sunday, September 30th 2007, 6:13pm

Thanks for the info. My system was installed probably in the late 80's, I bought the home in 2004. Other than spending over $1,500 to replace heads and have some wiring work done it's been pretty solid. I did try to dig out the mud in the box with a hand trowel (I did not remove the actual box though) and it was pointless. The mud has really built up over the years and the space to work with made it pretty futile. When I read about putting a hose in and loosening up the mud and vacuuming/sucking it out that sounded like a nice plan. i think I will try this first and take it from there.

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