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OptiPHIL float valve delivers water to troughs and tanks

OptiPHIL float valve delivers water to troughs and tanks

OptiPHIL float valve delivers water to troughs and tanks

Troughs remain an effective way of providing fresh drinking water to your stock. As mob and herd sizes have grown in recent years, the amount required to keep stock watered has increased. To continue to deliver water to stock as efficiently as possible, consider the type and make of trough valve. 

Assessing flow 

Water provision is directly related to productivity, especially with dairy herds. Typically, the rule of thumb is a dairy cow requires approximately 70 L per day of water. A cow producing at the top end of 600 or 700 kg of milk solids, will require more water than a cow meeting the national average of 410 kg.¹  Multiply 70 or more litres by the size of your herd and you get a picture of how much water is needed. The water needs to be delivered to the herd within a four to five-hour period each day. 

Valve types: Piston vs full flow (plunger) vs diaphragm options

When choosing a trough valve consider:

  • The pressure at which the valve must operate. Not all valves can operate at all water pressures. 
  • The required flow so enough water is available in the trough to meet demand.
  • The quality of the water being pumped. How much sediment and organic material is present?

There are three main types of float valves used for watering stock.

Piston valves are commonly used on farms. They’re known for their durability, and while they perform in all water pressures, they are not able to provide the flow rate needed for large stock numbers. 

A full-flow valve is a plunger type valve that allows for a less restricted flow when it is in the open position. Full-flow valves are often preferred for large stock holdings as they provide an economic and reliable solution during periods of high demand. However, their limitation is that they struggle to shut off reliably at a higher pressure.

Diaphragm valves are becoming the preferred choice as they are capable of handling a high flow in high-pressure applications, with the diaphragm helping to distribute the force of the water evenly across the valve body, reducing the risk of leaks or damage. Diaphragm valves are capable of handling sediment and organic matter that is often present in stock water. 

OptiPHIL diaphragm float valve 

To contend with the variables of farm water systems, Philmac has developed OptiPhil, a compact, high-performance, full-flow, diaphragm float valve, designed for the automatic filling of medium to large, or high-demand troughs and tanks. The valve is suitable for installation above or below the waterline (side, bottom, and top).  

OptiPHIL can handle high flow at high pressure as the diaphragm moves out of the way. Opti-Flo technology optimises the water flow through the valve to help prevent blockages and improve performance in dirty water. 

Turbulence can be a major issue for full-flow valves in high-pressure systems. In some cases, the water can become so aerated that the float sinks and the valve stops cutting off when it should. OptiPHIL’s smooth-flo design optimises water flow out of the valve, reducing turbulence, minimising float bounce and cutting water spray, all of which saves the pump. 

OptiPHIL features a soft-closing design for reliable shut-off and helps prevent damage to the water hammer. The valve flows up to 847 L per minute and the design prevents pump short cycling, saving your pump and energy.

Managing full-flow systems

If the water pressure is too high for the valve installed, and the valve is unable to close, it can lead to overflowing. Likewise, if the pressure is too low, the system will not achieve the desired flow. On hill properties, troughs on elevated country may work, whereas those in the gullies may not, due to the greater pressure.

You can purchase the OptiPHIL diaphragm float valve online here or at your local PGG Wrightson store. 

Supplied by RX Plastics 

Dairy NZ 20/22 Benchmarks. Retrieved from