June 18, 2013

Using Ritchie Waterers with Various Water Sources

Ritchie half inch water valve seriesRitchie valves are the heart of all of our waterers.  They play the very important role of supplying fresh water quickly to your animals.  In order to ensure that our valves function in as many situations as possible, we offer a variety of valves rated for different water pressures.

Water pressures generally are a direct result of what water source supplies our waterers.  While a simply valve change is all that will be needed to accomodate most situations, we do have other recommendations for installation depending on your water source.

Gravity Flow

We are often asked if our waterers can be used in a gravity flow situation.  Absolutely!  Gravity flow systems generally have very low water pressure. Our lowest pressure valves, part number 12574, 1/2″ valve and part number 16697, 3/4″ valve function with water pressures 5-40 PSI.  These valves have a larger oriface which allows for maximum gallons per minute.

Well Water

Our standard valves, in most cases, is all you will need.  Our standard valve accommodates water pressures between 40-60 PSI or on some of our larger units 60-80 PSI.  Well water can often contain a variety minerals and sometimes debris.  Our valves pump out so much water that in most situations, you will not need a screen to stop the debris.  In the rare occasion that you do have a lot of sediment in your water, a screen is recommended. Some of our customers question what problems may present themselves on a well system.  The most common issue, besides electricity going out at the well pump, is a build up of minerals on the valve rubber.  This is very simple to take care of.  A quick switch of the valve rubber when needed will elongate the life of your valve. Our half inch valve rubbers are available in a package of 10, part number 15151 and the 3/4″ valve, 15152.  To learn more on how to change the 1/2″ valve rubber, visit our instruction page.

City Water

On average, city water is what we would consider high and the pressure can have a tendency to fluctuate depending on usage.  Our high pressure valves part number 13597 for our 1/2″ valve and 15377 for our 3/4″ valve.  Both valves will handle a PSI of 60-80.  However if your city water pressure is higher or fluctuates higher than this, we recommend a pressure regulator to maintain a constant pressure at your waterer.  Ritchie offers a high quality, brass, pressure regulator found here.

How can you tell if your water pressure is too high?  The best way to test for high pressure is by using a pressure meter at the unit (not at the source) at varying times of the day, to find your average pressure.  The first indicator is that your valve constantly drips or the float doesn’t seem to have enough buoyancy to turn the valve off.  Another indicator is that after you take your valve rubber apart, your valve rubber will be distorted and will not be flat.

As you can see, Ritchie offers a variety of valves that can accomodate almost every pressure and installation situation.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 800-747-0222.