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Not knowing any better, I bought an Orbit watering timer, connected one side to the frost-free spigot and the other to a soaker irrigation hose. The spigot side of the timer was always turned on, and the timer turns the hose on for half an hour each day. After a couple weeks the anti-siphon valve failed spectacularly. It turns out that the anti-siphon valve is not intended to be under pressure for more than 12 hours or so. It will either leak; or it will stick open permanently, no longer performing its anti-siphon function. Is there any way to properly install this watering timer short of installing a new spigot without the anti-siphon? I went to the Big Box store and they didn't have any advice. They agreed you weren't supposed to attach a constant-pressure timer like this after a anti-siphon device, but said everyone does it. And if I wanted a sillcock without an anti-siphon device I'd have to order it online.

I have two "zones" set up which are actually two hoses attached to a dual timer. One is for arbor vitae and huckleberry bushes which I water one hour every four days because they have bigger, deeper root balls. The other is for the vegetable-and-strawberry garden which I had watered for 20 minutes every evening around dusk. I am no plantologist but the veggies are doing better this year than they were last year.

  • have you tried to turn it around yet, or work on the valve to close the gate once manually? – black thumb Jun 27 '16 at 3:04
  • Your watering schedule leaves much to be desired! What the heck are you watering? Do you have separate zones? – stormy Jun 27 '16 at 22:57
  • @stormy can you be more specific? – stannius Jun 27 '16 at 23:00
  • Yes, different zones to operate separately for different plant needs. Watering everything on one schedule is asking for problems. Are you using tap or city water? Do you have a back flow device. Need more information. Just trying to help with the plants as well as the hardware. Have you contacted the company yet? – stormy Jun 27 '16 at 23:17
  • @stormy added zone info – stannius Jun 28 '16 at 14:58
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I have used this product very successfully. It is more expensive but works on city tap pressure or gravity feed from water barrels. It must be brought indoors in the winter.

It has one threaded supply suitable for tap or hose and two outlets. It does not have an anti syphon built in but one could be added. I don't use irrigation equipment but understand that a backflow preventer is normally installed at the start of the line. See this product as an example but any irrigation system should supply the add on.

  • Does the spigot you attach it to have an anti-siphon valve? If so, how does it interact and work with that valve? (According to the Amazon reviews of the Orbit timer I got, it doesn't work well with the low pressure from a rain barrel) – stannius Jun 27 '16 at 23:02
  • @stannius see edit on answer – kevinsky Jun 27 '16 at 23:10
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The typical screw in device for garden hoses is a vacuum breaker. Anti siphon valves are different ways of handling the same need. I don't know of an anti-siphon valve meant for hose connections.

Are you using the small plastic vacuum breaker or the brass one? I've had a brass one on the top side of a hose connected watering timer and haven't had any issues with it. I have pretty high water pressure.

enter image description here

photo from http://www.homedepot.com/p/3-4-in-Brass-Yard-Hydrant-Vacuum-Breaker-VB34ANL/203449604

Anti-siphon valves are usually plumbed into PVC pipe that is part of some hard connected irrigation systems. They have some specific requirements such as needing to be a certain height above the maximum sprinkler outlet. If the brass vacuum breaker doesn't work you might want to try one of these with appropriate stubs of PVC pipe and fittings to make a hose connection.

Here's an example of an anti-siphon valve.

enter image description here

From: http://www.homedepot.com/p/3-4-in-Anti-Siphon-Irrigation-Valve-with-Flow-Control-DASASVF075/100036021

A third option would be to put the vacuum breakers on each of the exit ports of your timer.

Be mindful that there may certain codes that apply to how you hook up your system. Will vary by location.

  • Yes, code requires some kind of anti-siphon device on external spigots. Even the add-on ones (like the brass one you mentioned) are designed to be permanent once installed - you can't remove them without destroying the spigot. So I understand why it's hard or impossible to find a spigot without one (even though home improvement stores are happy to sell other code-incompliant items) – stannius Jun 28 '16 at 15:00

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