How To Remove Sprinkler Valve Box Cover

A sprinkler valve box cover may sound like a small and not-so-important part of the valve sprinkler valve box, but it plays a vital role in protecting your valves! To put it short, you can think of it as a top cover that is placed on top of a valve box that completely encloses the valve box.

Whenever required, the valve box cover can be opened up to get access to the valve box and other important equipment. On top of that, it also prevents the soil, water, and other stuff from entering the box cover. You can think of the box cover as the enclosure which is used to cover the container, or you can think of it as a lid that covers the jar!

Although a valve box cover may be insignificant, small, and cheap, it protects the valve box as well as the sprinkler valve, which are expensive! So yes, a sprinkler valve box cover is cheap but a very important part of the overall irrigation and sprinkler system!

What is a Sprinkler Valve Box?

It is a box cover that is used to protect and cover the sprinkler valves from soil and other environmental factors. To put it simply, it is a highly durable box that houses and protects the sprinkler valves and thus makes it easy for one to perform maintenance of the irrigation system as well.

Sprinkler valves or any other valves are considered to be high precision equipment, and that's why they need to be placed in a safe and clean place for proper functioning. But if these valves are buried in the soil directly, it means a disaster for these valves as well as the entire irrigation system!

That's why it is important to place the sprinkler valves in a protective enclosure to ensure that no damage occurs to the pipes as well as the electric wiring present inside them. Another benefit is that they also make it easy to perform regular maintenance - I mean, if you think about it for a moment, it can be a real mess to dig out the sprinkler valves every time you need to adjust some settings or just for general maintenance. Not to mention that direct contact with the soil and other environmental factors can also cause damage to the sprinkler valves!

Benefits of Sprinkler Valve Box

Let's have a quick look at the benefits of using a sprinkler valve box:

  • Easy Maintenance - Since a sprinkler valve box protects the valves from the environment and provides a safe enclosure, it becomes easy for homeowners to make adjustments and perform maintenance of the irrigation system.
  • Protection - A major benefit is that a sprinkler valve box provides a safe enclosure for housing all the parts of a sprinkler valve box. A sprinkler valve box that is buried in the soil is equivalent to a recipe for disaster, which can even cause you financial loss if the valves get damaged!
  • Easy Access - Valve boxes make it easy for anyone to access the control valves, which are buried in the ground. From time to time, it is important to be able to access the control valves and other equipment such as the backflow preventers. And it is only through valve boxes that one can easily access this equipment! 

How to Remove Sprinkler Valve Box Cover

Now, let's look at how you can easily remove a sprinkler valve box cover:

1. Locate Sprinkler Valve Box

The first step is obviously to find the valve boxes on your lawn. Normally, these valve boxes come in black or green color and can be easily located in your lawn/garden.

But over time, it can get hard to locate these valve boxes since they get covered with dirt, grass, and whatnot! And if it has been a couple of years since you last accessed the valve box, then they may appear as if they have disappeared. So yes, the first step is to actually locate the sprinkler valve box, which may take no time or a little bit of time depending on whether you can find it easily or not.

2. Remove the Nuts or Screws

The cover (lid) is usually attached to the valve box with nuts (normally 5-sided nuts). So in order to remove the cover, you will need to remove the nuts first using a pentagonal wrench or channel locks. If the cover is attached with screws, then all you will need is the right type of screwdriver to remove the screws.

3. Remove the Cover/Lid

Since the box, as well as the box cover, was buried underground for so long, there is a good chance that just removing the nuts or screws will not be enough to properly remove the cover (lid).

First, try and check if you can easily remove the cover/lid without any force. If this fails, then use one hand to hold the valve box and the other hand to pry up the cover. If this attempt also fails, then use a screwdriver (preferably flat-head) and pry up the cover by placing it between the valve box and the cover.

 4. Install New Sprinkler Valve Box Cover

Most probably, the reason behind the removal of the sprinkler valve box cover/lid was to install a new one. So once the box cover is removed, install the new sprinkler valve box cover and securely tight it in place using the nuts or the screws.

Sprinkler Valve Box & Box Cover

If you buy a new sprinkler valve box, it usually comes with a highly durable enclosure and a box cover (overlapping lid). That's why if you have bought new irrigation valve boxes, there is no need to buy box covers separately. But if you already had the sprinkler valve boxes, then it is important to ensure that the overlapping lids or the box covers are functioning properly and are intact (not damaged).

If a box cover gets damaged, it means that the enclosure box will no longer serve its purpose of protecting the pipes, valves, and any other equipment!

That's why if you notice any signs of damage on the box cover (overlapping lid), then it is important to replace it right away!

If we look at the prices of the sprinkler valve box, then it usually starts around the $40-$50 range and can be even higher than $150 if you buy a well-known brand and especially if the valve box is made from highly durable material. Buying a new irrigation valve box means that it also comes with a box cover or a lid to properly cover it at the ground level.

But if you already have a sprinkler valve box that is in good shape but only the box cover is damaged, then you can also replace just that damaged part as well! If you look at the prices of the valve box cover, it is usually much cheaper and starts around $10 or even lower, depending on where you live. But the price tag of $10 or higher is also expensive considering it is just a lid - However, you need to keep in mind that the material used for these boxes and even the box covers is highly durable and long-lasting.

Since it is made from highly durable material, it can easily last for a long period of time and even withstand environmental factors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let's have a look at the FAQs related to this topic:

  • What's the average lifespan of sprinkler valves?

On average, sprinkler valves can continue to operate smoothly at optimum function for around 10 to 15 years. But if the sprinkler valves experience a lot of wear and tear or are exposed to a lot of environmental factors, they can also become damaged earlier.

  • Is it easy to remove and replace the sprinkler valve box cover?

Yes, it is very easy to remove and replace the sprinkler valve box cover by yourself! All you need is a wrench or a screwdriver to remove the old box cover (lid) and install a new one.

  • How do I prevent the dirt from getting into the sprinkler valve box?

If your sprinkler valve box has a box cover (lid) that is properly covering it, then the dirt will not get into the box. But if you notice that a lot of dirt is getting into the valve box, then that's a sign that the box cover is damaged and should be replaced.

Also, ensure that you continue to remove any dirt that may pile up on top of the sprinkler valve box - This will make it easier for you to access the box.

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