Flow Control Valve and Other Applications in Sprinkler Systems

flow control valve

Big or small, sprinkler systems either for gardens or irrigation can be a bit confusing when it comes to maintenance. Whether you’re locating a flow control valve, understanding what the wires are for, or trying to analyse the controller, you need to understand all the necessary components of a typical lawn sprinkler system that is run using city water.

Backflow Preventer

For basic sprinkler systems, the water is distributed only in one direction. This flow is from the city to your house. To prevent an accidental water flow reversal, a directional backflow preventer is in place to prevent contaminated water from travelling in the other direction towards the city’s water supply. The backflow is turned on during the spring when you start watering the lawn, and is subsequently turned off in the fall when no lawn watering is done during the cold months.

Sprinkler Valve Box

This is where the flow control valve and manifold are found. Some valves can also be found above ground. Valve boxes are usually around the perimeter of your house. It’s not that hard to find.


The manifold distributes water to your valves. All manifolds are individually connected. The manifold is usually the white or large tube that branches off from the long singular pipe.

Pump Control Valve

The pump valve – also called a flow control valve – will automatically regulate the start-up and shutdown of water flow to minimise any hydraulic system surges.

Master Valve

The master valve is the electric valve installed with the main water supply for the sprinkler or irrigation system (For irrigation systems, the master valve is quite large and located above ground. For sprinklers, it’s a small box just beside the valve box). A master valve reduces any water loss because of a leaky station valve, and this, in turn, can only leak while the master valve is providing pressure to the system. Should the main water line become damaged, the master valve can control water loss so the main can be repaired without the water supply being shut down. 

Electric Solenoid Valves

These valves are powered by 24 volts from the controller. When the controller turns a valve on, it sends 24VAC to the solenoid. Solenoid valves always have two wires. The “hot wire” is connected to the controller and receives the 24 volts. The “common wire” is connected to all the valves and sprinklers in the lawn.

Master Mac 2000

Master Mac 2000 is the flow control valve, pneumatic tools, and process equipment specialists in Australia since 1989. It is now one of Australia’s largest distributors. Call our helpful sales staff every 7:30-5:00 PM, Monday to Friday, for all your pneumatic equipment needs, big or small, personal or industrial. Visit the Master Mac 2000 website at https://mastermac2000.com.au/.

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