Brass vs. Plastic

uscgardener(USDA 9 Sunset 20/21)November 5, 2012

Is there any benefit to use brass sprinkler control valves as opposed to the normal plastic ones? I would like to believe that the brass ones would stand up better over time and are less likely to break/malfunction, but is that really true? I am not opposed to investing in brass valves if it means better performance over time, but would just like to confirm that before shelling out $$$.

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In my humble opinion, no. Plastic is engineered today to be equivalent to metal, in fact better. What is important is what is inside of the plastic housing. Usually the plastic sprinklers have metal parts inside where quality is needed. A reputable brands have very durable parts and products. Water and installation quality are the most important factors affecting a systems longevity. let's hear from the experts. Save the money to buy a higher quality controller. Aloha

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 10:10PM
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uscgardener(USDA 9 Sunset 20/21)

Hi lehua,

Thanks for the response. Any recommendations on some good quality valves? Mostly I see Orbit around here, and it is easily available at the big box store. But I have heard Orbit is not very durable and is kind of bottom of the line as far as quality. What are your thoughts on this?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 12:29PM
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Hunter, Rainbird, Nelson, maybe Toro. If you buy from an irrigation store you can't go wrong. They will give beneficial advice compared to the BB Stores. Aloha

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 7:01PM
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dmullen(Southern CA)

I have both in my yard and they have all run problem free for 25 years or more. The reason I have both is that I had a lot of old brass control valves but needed more. Plastic was a lot cheaper so I tried them and both are good.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:33PM
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Plastic valves are better because the primary reason for this change in materials is cost. Machined metal parts are enormously expensive in comparison to injection molded plastic. A few companies manufacture plastic sprinkler bodies which accept brass nozzles, which they claim results in a better water pattern like hybrid valves.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 6:01AM
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uscgardener, I prefer plastic because:-

  1. They are readily available.
  2. They are economical. I replace rather than try to repair.
  3. They can equal, or even better, the performance of a brass sprinkler. They are easily customized for gpm, droplet size, throw and arc.
    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 8:26AM
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