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View Full Version : Its raining.... no need for irrigation


koster_irrigation
11-22-2006, 10:53 AM
Its rainy and windy here in NC. Been raining off and on for two days. Supposed to rain another day or two.

Are you folks relaxing or being productive lol? I could leave the house and go organize something but i cant seem to get off my arse.

Im in the middle of two installs right now & i know they wont dry out for awhile. Ones a small spec. house and the other is a 29 zone custom that we cant seen to finish. We didnt work yesterday or today.

PurpHaze
11-22-2006, 11:16 AM
Foggy here. Kind of reminds me of the first time I visited Eugene, OR back in the 70's.

Leaving later today (or maybe in the morning... depends since the wife just got back from visiting her daughter in Las Vegas and wants to rest up a day) for Antioch to spend Thanksgiving with my son and his wife.

zman9119
11-22-2006, 12:15 PM
We had that rainy-crappy weather earlier this fall. Now it's 45 and a perfect, clear, sunny sky for the last 3-4 days plus they are saying sunny for another week here. Too bad I am done with all irrigation work for the year. Just doing the never ending paperwork and getting ready for the snow. Hoping to leave the office in an hour or two to beat traffic.


Hope every one has a good (and safe) Thanksgiving.



.mz

DanaMac
11-22-2006, 12:57 PM
Foggy here. Kind of reminds me of the first time I visited Eugene, OR back in the 70's.
My girlfriend grew up in Eugene and is there for Thanksgiving right now. She can't stand the glooniness, which is why she moved to Colorado. I on the other hand, love it!!

Gorgeous today. Mid to high 60's. I'm not working, but am in my typical work clothes - shorts, t-shirt, and sandals!! Have a Happy Turkey Day!!

Mr. Vern
11-22-2006, 02:11 PM
we've pretty much dried out here. What always amazes me is the number of people who still call us this time of the year and want irrigation systems installed. They won't be using them for 4-5 months, but they gotta have it done now. Sometimes I wish I was that forward looking.LOL
It's always a pain to trench the wet ground and get it backfilled before it rains again and makes a muddy mess that can't be properly compacted and graded.
Has anyone ever experimented with removing the soil from the trenches and hauling it off. Then just bringing in a good dry slighty sandier topsoil to backfill with. We are considering experimenting with that approach this year to see if it gives us a few more work days per season.

PurpHaze
11-22-2006, 02:56 PM
Never done this on a routine basis for trenches. We have jettisoned existing rocky, wet or organic matter filled soil and backfilled with wetted sand in specific situations where backfill stability is necessary such as where backflows or resilient wedge valves have been set.

Hank Reardon
11-22-2006, 04:47 PM
We've been rainy for about a month now. As of last night, we have had over 13" of rain since Nov. 1st (the most ever in the month). We have a chance of breaking the "wettest month" ever record (+15"). That is a lot of water as we only get 36" annually.

We work right through it here as long as it's not flooding. (Keep in mind we will get 1/2"-1" of rain but over 24hrs.) I am just finishing a big install and have another ready to start.

Wrapped up all the remaining blow outs today.

londonrain
11-22-2006, 04:52 PM
Its rainy and windy here in NC. Been raining off and on for two days. Supposed to rain another day or two.

Are you folks relaxing or being productive lol? I could leave the house and go organize something but i cant seem to get off my arse.

Im in the middle of two installs right now & i know they wont dry out for awhile. Ones a small spec. house and the other is a 29 zone custom that we cant seen to finish. We didnt work yesterday or today.We just had the outer edge of the same storm system. I have three jobs roughed in and waiting on the landscapers. Quoted a job , lined up some repair work for next week and went to the skin doctor this morning for a check up. Other than that I am taking it easy...:drinkup:

Dirty Water
11-22-2006, 07:52 PM
We've been rainy for about a month now. As of last night, we have had over 13" of rain since Nov. 1st (the most ever in the month). We have a chance of breaking the "wettest month" ever record (+15"). That is a lot of water as we only get 36" annually.

We work right through it here as long as it's not flooding. (Keep in mind we will get 1/2"-1" of rain but over 24hrs.) I am just finishing a big install and have another ready to start.

Wrapped up all the remaining blow outs today.

Ditto here (no surprise).

I just finished a 22 zone install done by myself with a helper in the pouring rain.

We plowed the entire thing, which saved a TON of wet dirt hassle. I hate doing trenching jobs in the rain.

Vern, get yourself a plow and you'll save yourself tons of pain and headache replacing the backfill :)

Mr. Vern
11-22-2006, 09:25 PM
Ditto here (no surprise).
Vern, get yourself a plow and you'll save yourself tons of pain and headache replacing the backfill :)

Jon - nobody uses poly here. As I understand it plowing is only for poly (unless I am wrong). I don't know much about poly, but from what I have been able to gleen it seems to be best suited for colder climates. I would think it would be difficult to pioneer it into our market here, but if I could see a benefit I would interested in trying it.

Dirty Water
11-22-2006, 09:48 PM
Jon - nobody uses poly here. As I understand it plowing is only for poly (unless I am wrong). I don't know much about poly, but from what I have been able to gleen it seems to be best suited for colder climates. I would think it would be difficult to pioneer it into our market here, but if I could see a benefit I would interested in trying it.

I plow PVC Vern, I can't stand working with Poly.

Hank Reardon
11-22-2006, 10:07 PM
Jon, can you plow through gravel roads and driveways? How deep do you plow? Have you ever plowed anything around here?

Dirty Water
11-22-2006, 10:32 PM
Jon, can you plow through gravel roads and driveways? How deep do you plow? Have you ever plowed anything around here?

Hank (If thats really your name?),

I can plow through just about anything but I've got the biggest little plow they make (410sx), if I suspect that ground is hard I'll do a prerip through it to loosen it up before I pull the line through.

The only things I've had trouble plowing is very heavy clay, though its not the plow thats the problem, its the friction on the pipe pulling it out of the grip.

Using a tow behind bullet on the blade will create a large enough cavity that you won't have that problem.

As far as plowing, the furthest east I've gone would be plowing at a house on my side of the hood canal bridge, we don't work beyond that point.

Mr. Vern
11-22-2006, 11:20 PM
Jon - That's very interesting. I did not know you could plow PVC. Do you just glue the length you need and then plow the whole thing or what. I will have to see if a plow can be found in my area to give it a try. I would hate the purchase one and have it not work out. How much of a problem is clay? We have a lot of areas here that are heavy clay.

Dirty Water
11-22-2006, 11:30 PM
Clay is not a big problem, just get a blade with a good bullet on it, or buy a tow behind.

We glue up the length of PVC, dig a small starting trench (1'x4"x1' deep) and a small end trench (similar size, a little longer to get the grip off the pipe), hook up and go.

A team of two guys can plow in a 8 head PVC zone in under an hour, from unloading the pipe to backfill, and you won't be able to tell we were there.

Mr. Vern
11-22-2006, 11:50 PM
Clay is not a big problem, just get a blade with a good bullet on it, or buy a tow behind.

We glue up the length of PVC, dig a small starting trench (1'x4"x1' deep) and a small end trench (similar size, a little longer to get the grip off the pipe), hook up and go.

A team of two guys can plow in a 8 head PVC zone in under an hour, from unloading the pipe to backfill, and you won't be able to tell we were there.
How do you handle the laterals. I am assuming you would need a starting and finishing trench for each. Do you hand dig the small trenches? You've definitely peaked my interest!

Dirty Water
11-22-2006, 11:54 PM
You have to think differently when plowing, and try to run your lines directly through the heads locations, or close enough to get a swing joint over. I remember you used SCH80 swing joints (or was that someone else)? Using swing pipe works better.

Sometimes you do have to do short pulls of 10' or so, but I try to avoid that.

On this last job we had 22 zones, everything was plowed, and almost every zone line was plowed right smack through the heads.

Then its as simple as digging up the pipe a foot back from the head, putting in a tee, and a swing joint for the head.

Hank Reardon
11-23-2006, 12:14 AM
I have a job we are starting next week in Lofall and was just curious as to the performance through rocky/clay soil like we have here. I didn't know what your conditions were like where you do most of your work.

Everything here is turning to soup and the next week shows the rain icons every day, again...

My "real" name is Russ. You will have to ask David at Fowler about me. With my limited experience in irrigation, I'm good for a laugh or two.

Dirty Water
11-23-2006, 12:15 AM
David has a funny voice doesn't he?

He's a real good guy though. A few weeks ago we needed 500' of 10 gauge lighting wire, and he drove out personally just for that.

He also came out the first time we installed a saddle tap on a large water main (8").

We move 50k a month through him, so I bet he makes a good commission.

Mr. Vern
11-23-2006, 12:17 AM
You have to think differently when plowing, and try to run your lines directly through the heads locations, or close enough to get a swing joint over. I remember you used SCH80 swing joints (or was that someone else)? Using swing pipe works better.

Sometimes you do have to do short pulls of 10' or so, but I try to avoid that.

On this last job we had 22 zones, everything was plowed, and almost every zone line was plowed right smack through the heads.

Then its as simple as digging up the pipe a foot back from the head, putting in a tee, and a swing joint for the head.

Gee Jon, that's enough to make us engineers in the crowd cringe. I know that building a parallel circuit is not absolutely necessary, but do you find that you have a pressure drop on the heads that are further from the valve. 22 zones, I gotta ask how big of an area were you covering.
BTW - I use the funny pipe in my swing joints not the schd 80. I'm thinking that was PurpleHaze who did that.
Now I gotta find a rental plow and give this a shot. COuld be a huge money saver.

Dirty Water
11-23-2006, 12:21 AM
22 zones covered 3 acres, about 15 gpm, 1 1/4" mainline, 4 full circles per zone (or 8 180's etc).

I think the key to having long zones is proper pipe sizing. There is no noticiable pressure drop on a 100' run, I size my pipe according to flow, reducing the size when the heads down the line need less GPM (Example, 1.25" to the first 2 heads, the GPM is now in 1" range, so 1" to the next handfull and so on).

I've laid out zones in just about every configuration (Valve in the center, etc) and they all seem to work the same as long as you don't cheap out and run too small of pipe.

Here's a fun one, on large commercial properties, we often loop our mainlines, this lets us run a 2" main instead of a 3" etc, however, if your using all available GPM in the zones, you sometimes have to use a larger pipe for some of the zone than you did for the mainline, makes for a confusing looking valve :)

Hank Reardon
11-23-2006, 12:21 AM
The only guys around here using plows are the phone company and their going real shallow with a flexible pipe.

I'm really interesed in the plow.

Dirty Water
11-23-2006, 12:26 AM
Russ, How do you like dealing with Dave?

Hank Reardon
11-23-2006, 12:31 AM
He's an awesome rep so I don't buy from anyone else. Berkey has tried to get us to use them but I have no reason to change. David will go out of his way to get us material. We don't even do the volume you are running through.

PurpHaze
11-23-2006, 10:19 AM
22 zones covered 3 acres, about 15 gpm, 1 1/4" mainline, 4 full circles per zone (or 8 180's etc).

If they were rotors how did you nozzle them? I know we had this discussion last December when I was installing the new system on that Little League field but I received new information during that seminar last week that vindicates the way I was taught to design, install rotors zones and nozzle them. This info came from the Ewing instructor and the regional Hunter rep.

Here's basically what was said: Spray pop-ups have matched precipitation rates pretty much regardless which manufacturer you use but rotors are a far superior way of distributing water. Rotors do not even come close to matched precipitation (backed up with some great Power Point slides and a lot of math I can't begin to repeat here). You can "closely" match rotors but then their radius (90 and 180 sprinklers) is so short that it affects the rest of your layout and you end up wishing you hadn't used them. Solution... Put all the part circles (with same nozzle as used in the full circles) on their own zone and match up the precipitation with the full circles by run times via the controller.

mikecaldwell1204
11-25-2006, 06:26 PM
wow i cannot believe people have never heard of plowing in lines before. honestly, you will save so much time plowing in everything its not even funny. plus there is virtually no backfilling on a new install. i thank god were blessed down here in florida where we can plow everything through our sandy soil and just use 1/2" flex pipe instead of swing joints.

Dirty Water
11-25-2006, 07:33 PM
If they were rotors how did you nozzle them? I know we had this discussion last December when I was installing the new system on that Little League field but I received new information during that seminar last week that vindicates the way I was taught to design, install rotors zones and nozzle them. This info came from the Ewing instructor and the regional Hunter rep.

Here's basically what was said: Spray pop-ups have matched precipitation rates pretty much regardless which manufacturer you use but rotors are a far superior way of distributing water. Rotors do not even come close to matched precipitation (backed up with some great Power Point slides and a lot of math I can't begin to repeat here). You can "closely" match rotors but then their radius (90 and 180 sprinklers) is so short that it affects the rest of your layout and you end up wishing you hadn't used them. Solution... Put all the part circles (with same nozzle as used in the full circles) on their own zone and match up the precipitation with the full circles by run times via the controller.


The majority of the zones were separated out by 360's and 180's etc, however there were a few that had both, because the system was fed by a well, we had to use exactly the same GPM on all zones, so the 180 zones were larger with smaller nozzles.

Thats the way I was tought, and the grass stays green, plus you don't have to tell Harry the Homeowner that some zones should run less than others and confuse them.

PurpHaze
11-25-2006, 07:51 PM
Thats the way I was tought, and the grass stays green, plus you don't have to tell Harry the Homeowner that some zones should run less than others and confuse them.

Just don't apply "Harry the Homeowner" logic to large fields though. :p

Dirty Water
11-25-2006, 08:07 PM
I see your point, especially with larger heads that have miserable differences in radiuses between nozzles.

On the PGP, the real difference between a #8 and a #6 is about 5'.

PurpHaze
11-26-2006, 09:27 AM
I see your point, especially with larger heads that have miserable differences in radiuses between nozzles.

On the PGP, the real difference between a #8 and a #6 is about 5'.

You're missing my point. It has nothing to do with distance, rather precipitation rates. Take a look at the square precipitation rates (since that is what generally is used) on the PGP nozzles.

Dirty Water
11-26-2006, 11:01 AM
You're missing my point. It has nothing to do with distance, rather precipitation rates. Take a look at the square precipitation rates (since that is what generally is used) on the PGP nozzles.

A #9 nozzle has just over half and inch per hour precipiation rate. If your using that for a 360, then using a #6 in a 180 has a precipitation rate of .3 inches.

This means that the 180 is going put down slightly more water, but not much. Close enough to matched precipitation for me.

Wet_Boots
11-26-2006, 11:15 AM
Is the point here to use larger nozzles that spray further, so you can space them further apart, and use less heads?

PurpHaze
11-26-2006, 11:58 AM
On the PGP, the real difference between a #8 and a #6 is about 5'.

First you're using #8 and #6 nozzles.

A #9 nozzle has just over half and inch per hour precipiation rate. If your using that for a 360, then using a #6 in a 180 has a precipitation rate of .3 inches.

This means that the 180 is going put down slightly more water, but not much. Close enough to matched precipitation for me.

Now you've switched to #9 and #6 nozzles as a better fit?:)

According to the Hunter PGP charts (based on 50 PSI which is their best standard performance) the #9 nozzle has a square precipitation rate of .52 while the #6 nozzle has a square precipitation rate of .36. Now... You may not think there's much difference between .52 and .36 but there is quite a difference. For it to be better matched precipitation you'll have to use a #5 nozzle at .27 precipitation rate where you'll be giving up 6' of radius. If you're doing a larger area you may have to drop to the #3 nozzle at .24 precipitation rate and in that case you give up 13' of radius. On large fields it gets a little more critical on spacings in order to maintain overall uniformity. That's why we separate the full circles from the part circles on these types of areas and adjust accordingly via the controller.

PurpHaze
11-26-2006, 12:02 PM
Is the point here to use larger nozzles that spray further, so you can space them further apart, and use less heads?

Sometimes it doesn't work out that way. You may end up having to break up nozzles in some areas because they'll impact hardscapes or buildings and then you may as well use a different nozzle or sprinkler altogether. What I'm trying to get at is that if you aren't careful with nozzle selection and precipitation rates on rotors you can very quickly come up with mushy areas along borders such as fences and walks.

Dirty Water
11-26-2006, 12:11 PM
First you're using #8 and #6 nozzles.



Now you've switched to #9 and #6 nozzles as a better fit?:)

I used 8 and 6 figuratively, Unlike some I don't have the charts memorized :), in the last system I installed I used 9's, 6's and 4's. In our rocky and well draining soil, on a well system, its more important to keep the GPM output balanced then to achieve absolute perfection on precipitation matching.


According to the Hunter PGP charts (based on 50 PSI which is their best standard performance) the #9 nozzle has a square precipitation rate of .52 while the #6 nozzle has a square precipitation rate of .36. Now... You may not think there's much difference between .52 and .36 but there is quite a difference. For it to be better matched precipitation you'll have to use a #5 nozzle at .27 precipitation rate where you'll be giving up 6' of radius. If you're doing a larger area you may have to drop to the #3 nozzle at .24 precipitation rate and in that case you give up 13' of radius. On large fields it gets a little more critical on spacings in order to maintain overall uniformity. That's why we separate the full circles from the part circles on these types of areas and adjust accordingly via the controller.

In your caliche clay, I bet drainage is a real issue, so I can see corners being damp. Out here, water disappears, so if I'm overwatering the corners, I wouldn't know it :laugh:

Dirty Water
11-26-2006, 12:12 PM
On a side note, it looks like Hunter has revamped their site. Its quite nice now.

PurpHaze
11-26-2006, 08:17 PM
They do have a lot of resources... like Rain Bird's site and unlike Toro's site. :)