Valve box (come in multiple (standard rectangle valves, no more than 4 valves to ease to repair) 6” round box should only hold one valve for. Size your valve box so that you have room to assemble and dissembled the valves for the future. When installing valve boxes, you want to insure that the valve box is inline with the soil grade. To prevent the valve box from sinking, a brick or paver is best used as a foundation. When preparing the manifold for the valve box, it is best to have a thick level of pea gravel or larger rock/stone as a base and wrap the valve box with landscape fabric to prevent soil intrusion. Its best practice to keep the location of your valve box as close to the controller as possible to limit the possibly of damaged wire on longer wire runs. This will in turn save on repair cost in the future and easier maintenance. Always check with your local municipalities for code requirements, especially when on a reclaimed water source as these valve boxes may need to have a purple lid. After installation be sure to have indentifer as to the exact location for future reference. This will save time and money should you ever need to locate the valves in the future.
A solenoid consists of copper wire winding to create magnetic force to pull a plunger from the bottom of the solenoid to allow water to flow which activates your hydraulic valve. The life expectancy of solenoids will vary based on manufacturer and use. Typically solenoids have a high life expectancy when not exposed to direct sunlight, submerged in water or power surges. Example would be lightning strikes. The irrigation controller will send low voltage power directly to the solenoid which then activates the valve to run that specific zone. This allows for the controller to be programed for the user to have direct control of how much water each zone.
A manifold is a term used in the irrigation industry for tying various amounts of valves into your main line. The amount of valves you put on a manifold will be dependent of the size of your valve box. You many have larger properties that will require multiple manifolds to accommodate larger quantity of valves.
Isolate your yard let your timer activate your zone one at a time. The amount of yard that you will be able to cover will depends on your available water flow from the water supply that you are using and the type of irrigation heads that choose to install.