Garden Y Valve Corrosion: Partial Fix

The corroded Y valve, minus another failed hose fitting, recently emerged from a heap o’ stuff on the Basement Laboratory Bench. This old photo gives you an idea of what happens to cheap pot metal in a garden:

Corroded Garden Y Valve
Corroded Garden Y Valve

I dropped it Y-end-down into a container of white vinegar for a week, after which a few minutes of scrubbing produced a workable result:

Garden hose Y valve - after vinegar soak
Garden hose Y valve – after vinegar soak

The threads on the left side are pretty much gone. The hose fitting protected the threads on the right, but was corroded firmly in place; a penetrating oil soak and concerted muttering removed it.

All of the garden hoses and fittings out in Mary’s Vassar Farms plot have survived well beyond their best-used-by date. Given that we salvaged many hoses from the Farm’s end-of-season midden heaps, they don’t owe us much …

The next iteration will have more brass …

5 thoughts on “Garden Y Valve Corrosion: Partial Fix

    1. I got two big metal Y valves for their full-aperture balls (same ID as the hose) and put them at the first and second beds inside the garden, with smaller plastic Y valves at the rest of the beds, to get good flow all the way along the line.

      The plastic valve bodies seem to deform, to the extent I built a palm-size wrench to ease the strain. The valves & hoses lead a rough life, sitting out in the sun all summer long, and perhaps I’m expecting too much from cheap plastic.

      On the other paw, I didn’t think I had high expectations for the metal valves …

    2. I tried a couple of plastic Wyes, and the (FRP) balls stuck into their seats. One ball stuck so badly the lever broke off, while the other doesn’t close properly. Doesn’t help that we have an interesting mix of minerals in our water.

      The brass Wye is doing fine.IIRC, it’s a Nelson brand.

  1. Sacrificial zinc is used to protect boats from corrosion. I wonder what would project zinc? Aluminum? Seems like electronegativity might be the relevant factor here. I’m fresh out of niobium and I don’t want to go to the body-piercing shop to get more.

    1. I hadda go look it up on my fasteners poster, but zinc is way over there on the right side of the electronegativity chart: ain’t nothing more fizzy! Various aluminum alloys are slightly less fizzy.

      Ah! According to Wikipedia’s complete table, magnesium would work!

      Next time, we must obviously up our Y-valve spend. [how can I make my fingers type that?]

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