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View Full Version : Program to find out the GPM of a system.


LawnMastersTx
06-04-2008, 04:54 PM
I have looked around (Google, these forums) for a program that will find the GPM of an existing system. I had no luck and was wondering if anyone of you know of one?

If not, i am going to create one to add to my website so people can use. Reason behind making it is to show customers how much money they would save if they switched over to more water efficient heads. It will have all the sprinkler heads information stored in a database so customers/other irrigators will just have to select the head/nozzle, how many, system run time, PSI and it will output the GPM of the zone. There will be many more options to come, like adding water prices of different locations and a lot more.

But if anyone knows of a program for this it would save me a ton of time at night :sleeping:

Wet_Boots
06-04-2008, 04:58 PM
Water meter, plus stopwatch. Apply long division. And there you have your GPM.

Beyond that, write your own program. I got one for free off the internet, but whatever I input, the answer always seems to be Shrubblers.

Mike Leary
06-04-2008, 05:03 PM
If you have a quick couple or some way to access the system, these work neat.
Every one should have one, IMHO. www.betterwaterind.com
Look for the "Sentry I Flow Meter.

nylan8888
06-04-2008, 07:37 PM
If you have a quick couple or some way to access the system, these work neat.
Every one should have one, IMHO. www.betterwaterind.com
Look for the "Sentry I Flow Meter.

Mike , where can I buy one, I can't seem to find a purchase link.

FIMCO-MEISTER
06-04-2008, 07:41 PM
Water meter, plus stopwatch. Apply long division. And there you have your GPM.

Beyond that, write your own program. I got one for free off the internet, but whatever I input, the answer always seems to be Shrubblers.

Ditto.. this is what I do as well. The IPhone has the coolest stopwatch feature. Then figure the sq footage of the watering area for your application rate.

Mike Leary
06-04-2008, 08:17 PM
Your supply house should be able to get them, mine did. Throw away the dweeb psi
gauge & get a liquid-filled version. I have no idea what the Texan & New Yorker are
talking about. :dizzy:;):drinkup:

FIMCO-MEISTER
06-04-2008, 09:05 PM
Your supply house should be able to get them, mine did. Throw away the dweeb psi
gauge & get a liquid-filled version. I have no idea what the Texan & New Yorker are
talking about. :dizzy:;):drinkup:

NOT PSI HE IS TALKING GPM

Mike Leary
06-04-2008, 09:10 PM
NOT PSI HE IS TALKING GPM

Always use caps when making a point, more attention is always paid.
The unit I suggested measures both psi & gpm, the PSI gauge is air &
liquid-filled is more accurate. :hammerhead:

jimmyburg
06-04-2008, 09:49 PM
read meter
subtract difference
divide the difference by how long the run time

CAPT Stream Rotar
06-04-2008, 09:55 PM
gallons per what?

Mike Leary
06-04-2008, 11:22 PM
read meter
subtract difference
divide the difference by how long the run time

Make sure no one is home.

nylan8888
06-04-2008, 11:46 PM
You mean we have to use math? Is there going to be a test?

Dirty Water
06-05-2008, 12:52 AM
I have looked around (Google, these forums) for a program that will find the GPM of an existing system. I had no luck and was wondering if anyone of you know of one?

If not, i am going to create one to add to my website so people can use. Reason behind making it is to show customers how much money they would save if they switched over to more water efficient heads. It will have all the sprinkler heads information stored in a database so customers/other irrigators will just have to select the head/nozzle, how many, system run time, PSI and it will output the GPM of the zone. There will be many more options to come, like adding water prices of different locations and a lot more.

But if anyone knows of a program for this it would save me a ton of time at night :sleeping:

I'm a programmer, but I don't have time to write that.

Just a thought, switching to lower GPM heads means you need to increase the runtime of the zone, resulting the same water usage.

Unless you have really poor quality soil that does not absorb water, or a slope, then its pretty much relative.

Kiril
06-05-2008, 01:42 AM
Always use caps when making a point, more attention is always paid.
The unit I suggested measures both psi & gpm, the PSI gauge is air &
liquid-filled is more accurate. :hammerhead:

Curious Mike, how accurate do you need to be for irrigation work?

The read the meter is the quick and dirty way. I built my own zone GPM and cost analysis breakdown in a spread sheet which I attach with controller schedules along with other goodies.

I also agree with DW. Putting lower GPM nozzles doesn't do squat if your still wasting the same amount of water you were with the higher output nozzles. One place you can save BIG is through efficient scheduling.

Kiril
06-05-2008, 01:47 AM
I'm a programmer, but I don't have time to write that.

Awwww, come one man, the back end code for that is 1-2 lines. Now the front end is a different matter.

londonrain
06-05-2008, 07:53 AM
The read the meter is the quick and dirty way.




One place you can save BIG is through efficient scheduling.

Solid words....
Scheduling is the key.....
My office WM startline controller is calculating some hefty run times...

txgrassguy
06-05-2008, 07:53 AM
I quite frankly wouldn't waste my time on a marketing gimmick like this at all.
First, you are asking a homeowner, whom if even remotely understood the basic principles of irrigation, to compile accurate data; second, to supply this data in a non random way, and; third - most people, given just an extremely minor amount of information then tend to view themselves as an "expert" and proceed to be even more difficult to deal with than before.
Should you deign to know the actual gallonage of an irrigation system, do it correctly and use a stop watch, a water meter, basic arithmetic.

FIMCO-MEISTER
06-05-2008, 08:28 AM
Just to let everyone know. I've had the tremendous pleasure of meeting and working with LM (Markus). He was on the Aledo city council at a very young age before college. His motivation is as much customer based as it is improving city code base. Markus is one that I intend to help and teach as much as possible and those of us that feel passionate about irrigation and water conservation are going to applaud his efforts.

LawnMastersTx
06-05-2008, 10:28 AM
Thanks for the input guys, I had not thought about the stop watch idea, will be using that one.

The program's goal is to show the difference between heads. It will compare the Rain Bird 5000s to the Hunter PGPs, etc.. But it will have the new water effiecient heads that are being produced by Rain Bird and Hunter to show the difference in amount of water that is output in a given amount of time.

It drives me crazy driving around and seeing people with their spray heads running at 2pm and misting; then later on they complain about high water bills. Now these are not my customers, yet, but they are on a coalition that is fighting to get lower water bills due to another city purchasing its water company. If I am able to show the new company that the water effecient heads work well maybe they will offer rebates to people who switch over to them and ET controllers. I know several cities in my area that does this and I an wanting to get my area to do the same, but everyone looks at the bottem line.

Would it not be helpful to sell a water effecient system if you were able to show the difference in the monthly water bill in the normal system vs. a water effecient one. Now if I am way off base, let me know, thats why i come to you pro's with the ideas. I spend most of my day on a mower and have a ton of time to think.

Wet_Boots
06-05-2008, 10:34 AM
There are no water-efficient heads per se. Your lawn needs water, period. You might have heads with a high degree of uniformity of coverage, but that will vary with pressure and wind. Manage to throw larger water drops, and less will evaporate, so that might fit the 'efficient' idea.

But the inevitable result of chasing the highest such efficiency will be subsurface drip. I don't want to go there.

Mike Leary
06-05-2008, 10:47 AM
Curious Mike, how accurate do you need to be for irrigation work?
I'm picky about gpm/psi, which is why I use the tester hooked into the
quick-couple after the DCVA. If I really need to get down & dirty, we have a
Data Industrial flow meter w/battery-operated flow monitor w/liquid-filled
pressure gauge that we insert into the system with unions & a by-pass.
Hank bought a down loadable logging psi gauge to see exactly what time
of the night the pressure is best; that works slick on housing developments
without watering rules. :dizzy:

LawnMastersTx
06-05-2008, 11:49 AM
There are no water-efficient heads per se. Your lawn needs water, period. You might have heads with a high degree of uniformity of coverage, but that will vary with pressure and wind. Manage to throw larger water drops, and less will evaporate, so that might fit the 'efficient' idea.

But the inevitable result of chasing the highest such efficiency will be subsurface drip. I don't want to go there.

So what might be better than putting down the GPM of the heads would be to find to find the difference in PR.

Use catch cans on the different types of heads and see how much GPM is needed for 1 inch of "rain". Then compare them to each other. Have a chart of this to give out so people can then see how much they would save switching heads. How does this idea sound?

Kiril
06-05-2008, 11:53 AM
If I really need to get down & dirty, we have a
Data Industrial flow meter w/battery-operated flow monitor w/liquid-filled
pressure gauge that we insert into the system with unions & a by-pass.
Hank bought a down loadable logging psi gauge to see exactly what time
of the night the pressure is best; that works slick on housing developments
without watering rules. :dizzy:

The techno-geek in me just fell in love with you. http://www.websmileys.com/sm/love/029.gif

Kiril
06-05-2008, 11:56 AM
LawnMasters,

IMHO, the only reasonable use that I can see from what you propose is to demonstrate to HO's why different nozzles/sprinklers need different run times.

With respect to saving water, proper design (landscape and irrigation) and proper irrigation scheduling is where I would be focusing my efforts if I were you.

Kiril
06-05-2008, 11:58 AM
But the inevitable result of chasing the highest such efficiency will be subsurface drip. I don't want to go there.

I agree, and I do go there.

Wet_Boots
06-05-2008, 12:01 PM
You really can't replace all/most of the heads and achieve anything that justifies the cost. In terms of water drop size, the best head might have been a Rain Jet running at around 20 psi, and we will never see them again.I agree, and I do go there.Subsurface drip for an acre-plus of lawn, with maple tree roots all over? Be my guest.

LawnMastersTx
06-05-2008, 12:09 PM
With respect to saving water, proper design (landscape and irrigation) and proper irrigation scheduling is where I would be focusing my efforts if I were you.

This I am afraid is what will be the best solution, but the problem with this is that I only do repair work on existing systems. Too many poor installs around here just drive me nuts :hammerhead:

At least with my other project that I am working on it will help with water efficiently. If all goes well with it, it will eliminate the need of ET controllers and gain a new level of water efficiency in irrigation. Plus it is looking to cost around $10-15 a zone, with minimal install time. Once I finish a few of the prototypes maybe some of you guys would be interested in testing it out :weightlifter:

Kiril
06-05-2008, 12:19 PM
There is only so much you can do with a crap system without a complete renovation. The way I approach it (for those projects where a complete rebuild is not an option) is to do as much as I can with what I have, replacing/repositioning sprinklers where necessary to increase my AE, and develop an efficient irrigation schedule that keeps the landscape at an aesthetic point the client desires/can live with.

Never hurts to pitch water efficient landscapes either. :)

Kiril
06-05-2008, 12:21 PM
Subsurface drip for an acre-plus of lawn, with maple tree roots all over? Be my guest.

I would probably pass on that as well.

Wet_Boots
06-05-2008, 12:36 PM
I think the best way to approach a crap system is make sure it has proper backflow protection, and that the heads it has are in working order.

Kiril
06-05-2008, 12:42 PM
I think the best way to approach a crap system is make sure it has proper backflow protection, and that the heads it has are in working order.

Yes, those are the first things I look at as well.

Wet_Boots
06-05-2008, 12:58 PM
I don't think you can 'educate' an owner of an existing crappy system into wanting to undertake a system-wide upgrade, if the lawn is getting coverage. "Just don't look at it. Consider it a benefit of watering in the wee hours in the morning." Not that you won't be ready for that four-figure renovation, should they desire.

AI Inc
06-05-2008, 06:16 PM
I don't think you can 'educate' an owner of an existing crappy system into wanting to undertake a system-wide upgrade, if the lawn is getting coverage. "Just don't look at it. Consider it a benefit of watering in the wee hours in the morning." Not that you won't be ready for that four-figure renovation, should they desire.

Chances are if it was a crappy system its because they ( or someone) was cheap 12 yrs earlier.

Mike Leary
06-05-2008, 06:33 PM
Chances are if it was a crappy system its because they ( or someone) was cheap 12 yrs earlier.

I (early on, when first getting started) thought those systems could be
modified to provide better coverage. Wrong, it came back to bite me when
other problems came up & guess who was the fall guy? Educate, sell,
rip it out...provide warranty & service. Everyone's happy after the price is
forgotten. :)

LawnMastersTx
06-06-2008, 12:07 AM
Sounds great, thank you guys for all the advice!!! Btw, doing irrigation work feels much more rewarding than when I sit on my mower all day long. It reminds me of when I was a kid playing out in the sprinklers, lol.

txgrassguy
06-06-2008, 12:27 AM
I would approach water usage not in terms of efficiency yet rather from a plant health stand point.
Watering C4 turfgrasses in the day time at residential or commercial sites is very poor for plant health. Notice I didn't mention the period limited water application to golf course putting greens and tees maintained at or below 1/2".
Essentially what happens with warm season C4 turfgrasses is they grow at night, not during the day time. The pores in the leaf tissue on warm season turfgrasses close during the day and nutrient flow through the grass is markedly diminished during warmer, above 85*F, meaning even in a moist root zone, the plant is not imbibing the water.
So, it makes about the worst possible behavior to water the Zoysia, Bermuda, St. Augustine, Buffalo turfgrasses during the day for anything other than the brief period of time it takes an irrigation head to complete a set rotation. Anything else is like boiling a lobster in hot water to these grasses.
A better tactic is to enforce night time watering of these turfgrasses, not day time unless a stressed stand requires the minimal water application known as "syringing" to help in cooling the crown of the plant during the hottest time of day. Obviously, a newly seeded, hydro-seeded site requires the seed to remain moist so in this instance it would be okay until the roots develop further.
This is why golf courses run a short program on the greens/tees during the day.
For Northern C3 turfgrasses, this cycle is reversed.
That, in a nutshell, is why watering during the day isn't called for in Texas.

Wet_Boots
06-06-2008, 07:03 AM
Sounds great, thank you guys for all the advice!!! Btw, doing irrigation work feels much more rewarding than when I sit on my mower all day long. It reminds me of when I was a kid playing out in the sprinklers, lol.Never let on that you're having any fun. :waving: