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ericlemson
07-06-2008, 08:55 PM
Hi everyone. My inlaws just had landscaping and irrigation installed at their home. The landscaping is great, but we are fighting with the irrigation system. We are having grass and plants die and I wanted to get your opinion and I wanted to get your professional opinions.

The front of the yard is the main issue. Zone 1 hits everything in the front yard which has 3 main sections. 2 areas of turf (left and right) and 1 area of plants. The left side turf is doing great, the plants are doing bad and the right side turf is doing horrible. The sod is covered by rotors and the plants are on drip. So here is my first question:

Should rotors covering turf and drip systems covering plants, be on the same zone?

Here is my other issue. To the left of the house, the turf is doing great as each blade of grass is being double covered by the rotors. The right side is also on rotors, however, most of the turf is only single coverage because of poor design and those spots are dying. I canít increase the time because the left side is staying soggy in some areas and is being overwatered. Now the plants on the drip system are dying because of a lack of water. Again, because itís connected to the rotors, I again cannot increase the time for the drip system without even more overwatering the turf.

Additionally, the turf to the right side of the house is wasting lots of water. In some cases the rotors hit more than half of the two lane road. To me, the right side should have had pop-up sprayers. **I will try and attach a diagram of the right side turf.

Lastly, I have contacted the irrigation installer and he has said that he feels like having rotors covering turf and a drip system covering plants on 1 zone is normal and he has no problem with that. When I brought up the fact that I thought he should replace the rotors on the right side with pop up sprayers (and add a couple additional heads to make sure I have double coverage) and put the drip system on a separate zone, he said he could, but for an additional charge. I said even though it was poorly designed? His response: ď it was working when I leftĒ.

So anyway, if you are still reading, please tell me what your thoughts are. If parts of this are confusing, let me know and I will respond to those parts. Iím not sure what I am looking for, maybe just a affirmation that this was a poorly designed system and that any normal, honest irrigation expert would replace or reconfigure to make sure it was doing the job correctly.

In addition to all of this, 4 plants on the backyards drip system were completely dead 4 weeks later. When I finally looked at the drip line, there were no drip nipples installed in the line (just a hose going by a plant). I guess he forgot.

CAPT Stream Rotar
07-06-2008, 09:00 PM
Thats a bogus system..should of been sprays for the tight area..

also sounds like things are getting double watered. Which is not good....
id take the pgp's out and put in sprays with triangle spacing..

good luck.

ericlemson
07-06-2008, 09:08 PM
Note that the photos were taking a couple days after the system was installed and don't show the dead grass and plants.

Also, we were charged for 4 zones, and he confirmed over the phone last week that he only installed 3!

CAPT Stream Rotar
07-06-2008, 09:10 PM
Note that the photos were taking a couple days after the system was installed and don't show the dead grass and plants.

Also, we were charged for 4 zones, and he confirmed over the phone last week that he only installed 3!

that guy gave it to your folks pretty bad..

Looks like a builder system...

I would suggest separating the drip n rotors @ once...

this joker is not even coming close to matching percip rates...

how much did he charge for the system?

lotec25
07-06-2008, 09:17 PM
wow that is a messed up design. you can have the drips on the same system but usually plants need watered more then grass. So the plants should be on there own zone. Also there is no need for rotor heads in those small areas. i few 180's and a few 90 would do that fine. I really do not see a need for rotors unless you have a huge area to cover. That is way over watering i would call the guy tell him he needs to come out and look at it. Explain to him what is happening and let him know it has to be fixed or you will have to take action.

Dirty Water
07-06-2008, 09:23 PM
You've been had. I wouldn't even bother to have him "fix" it, as I'd get someone else.

Drip and rotors on one zone isn't a huge sin, depending on the nozzle, the rotor zone may need to run for 45 minutes or so, so that gives adequate time for the drip.

However, as you can tell my the overspray, that area is completely misappropriate for rotors. If switched to proper heads for the area (Sprayheads) the runtime will be reduced down to just 10-15 minutes. This means the drip must be separated from the sprayhead zone, as they do not match precipitation rates at all.

Unfortunately, the retrofit may be painful. We don't know what size pipe is in the ground, and doing it properly with about 12 sprayheads will use a lot more water. So zones may have to be split.

In short, you need to find a better irrigator and have it done again.

Just out curiosity, what did you pay for this masterpiece?

ericlemson
07-06-2008, 09:56 PM
My inlaws paid 600 a zone or 2400. But remember, he didnt install the 4th zone. The builder of the home (just finished in April) recommended this landscaper. Apparently, irrigation is not his forte. Last week, we contacted the builder and told them the situation for some backup.

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-06-2008, 10:21 PM
My inlaws paid 600 a zone or 2400. But remember, he didnt install the 4th zone. The builder of the home (just finished in April) recommended this landscaper. Apparently, irrigation is not his forte. Last week, we contacted the builder and told them the situation for some backup.

Got what you paid for. 2400 is pretty cheap. Ditto on all that has been said so far. Need to just get a new one. Maybe you can get London Rain to check it out and see it it is salvageable. Course he is really busy right now.

ericlemson
07-06-2008, 10:36 PM
2400 is what I paid for my 4 zone system and I think thats about what they go for around here. It was a great system too. My inlaws are about 45 mins. down the road, so we had to go with a reference from the builder. I actually called Londonrain last year for mine and he was backed up!

Waterit
07-07-2008, 12:36 AM
Everyone felt your pain so bad that no-one commented on the beautiful dogs...

Kiril
07-07-2008, 03:35 AM
In true Capt. Rotar fashion ......

::::POS.NUFF SAID::::

landscaper9929
07-07-2008, 04:46 PM
wow that is a messed up design. you can have the drips on the same system but usually plants need watered more then grass. So the plants should be on there own zone. Also there is no need for rotor heads in those small areas. i few 180's and a few 90 would do that fine. I really do not see a need for rotors unless you have a huge area to cover. That is way over watering i would call the guy tell him he needs to come out and look at it. Explain to him what is happening and let him know it has to be fixed or you will have to take action.

I agree it is a very poor design. But I disagree that plants need more water than the turf. Now when everything is new and has just been installed I would say they need almost equal amounts, however once established the plants will not require nearly as much water as the turf. Ten years from now that turf (if you want it green) will need much more water than the shrubs. With the exeption of not mixing sprays and rotors this, in my opinion, is the main reason for separating shrubs from turf in regards to zones.

Flow Control
07-07-2008, 05:01 PM
Can I print those pics and use them as part of my sales pitch?? :nono:

Mike Leary
07-07-2008, 05:28 PM
Mixing sprinkler types is bad enough, mixing drip in the mix is :dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:

lotec25
07-07-2008, 09:08 PM
I agree it is a very poor design. But I disagree that plants need more water than the turf. Now when everything is new and has just been installed I would say they need almost equal amounts, however once established the plants will not require nearly as much water as the turf. Ten years from now that turf (if you want it green) will need much more water than the shrubs. With the exeption of not mixing sprays and rotors this, in my opinion, is the main reason for separating shrubs from turf in regards to zones.

In the end it all depends on what plants/shrubs/trees you have. But the hole reason for having plants/grass on separate zones is for the fact they both have different needs, have it be more or less.

ericlemson
07-08-2008, 10:37 AM
Thanks for all the responses. My father inlaw actually pasted a link to this thread for the builder to read.

Next time Im at the house (maybe this weekend) I will take a photo of the dead grass.

You welcome to use the photos!

Wet_Boots
07-08-2008, 10:59 AM
One more entry for the craptastic system of the month.

landscaper9929
07-08-2008, 11:18 AM
In the end it all depends on what plants/shrubs/trees you have. But the hole reason for having plants/grass on separate zones is for the fact they both have different needs, have it be more or less.

I agree with you on the reason for separating the zones, but I am curious what plants/shrubs/trees ever need as much water as turf. I'm not saying shrubs don't need water but turf grass in 90 degree summers will burn up in no time. Not trying to be a smart a** just trying to learn

landscaper9929
07-08-2008, 11:20 AM
To the builder if you are reading this thread. You are only as good as your help/trades. This guy makes you look bad.

ericlemson
07-08-2008, 11:54 AM
Just received this email from my father inlaw to me and the builder:

"**** called this morning and promised to take care of all his mistakes. I will be back in S. C. the end of the month and will meet with ***** to have the work completed correctly. ****** was a little more response this time. Thanks for all you help. He was really embarrassed by the website. Thanks"

ericlemson
07-08-2008, 11:54 AM
:drinkup:Priceless.........

jimmyburg
07-08-2008, 03:19 PM
I like the way they water the driveway, i bet they cant wait to mow it :wall

CAPT Stream Rotar
07-08-2008, 07:20 PM
Just received this email from my father inlaw to me and the builder:

"**** called this morning and promised to take care of all his mistakes. I will be back in S. C. the end of the month and will meet with ***** to have the work completed correctly. ****** was a little more response this time. Thanks for all you help. He was really embarrassed by the website. Thanks"

HAHAhaH!

LS saving the world Sprinkler 1 hacked sprinkler system @ a time...


more details please.

lotec25
07-08-2008, 09:31 PM
I agree with you on the reason for separating the zones, but I am curious what plants/shrubs/trees ever need as much water as turf. I'm not saying shrubs don't need water but turf grass in 90 degree summers will burn up in no time. Not trying to be a smart a** just trying to learn

i have impatiens in my front yard and i can tell you they must be watered every other day down here or they will burn up. I have them in full shade and if i or my wife miss a watering they are burnt up. I don't know if there are others or not. My lawn gets watered 1 time a week unless it is overly dry down here and it is green as can be and usually 3 inches and i mow every other weekend. That is just me no idea on what other people do. but i set up my sprinklers around the house i have a 8 zone timer and 2 of them i have for flower bed watering. those run every other day small drip systems for about 5 to 10 min early morning . And i have had good results doing this. No idea if this is normal but it works for me.

ericlemson
07-08-2008, 09:33 PM
The irrigation guy called me today. He called to say that he had talked to my father in law about the situation and the builder and saw the posting here. He assured me that everything would be taking care of. He was a little frustrated that I had put the situation on LS. I assured him that it was only for me to affirm my belief that the irrigation system wasnít installed properly. I also told him that I had no intentions before or in the future (regardless of what happened) to post his or his companyís name publicly on here. That just wouldnít be right. He said that I had his word that everything would be taking care of and he would repair or replace rotors, replace plants, etc. until the system was right and my father in-law was happy.

He said that he does a lot of business with the builder and the owner of the company (the big dog) had called him that today and come down on him. He said again that I had his word that everything would be made right. He said that all he would ask of me was that after it was completed and made right, that I call the builder and let them know that. I told him, that if everything was fixed properly, I had no problem doing that...he added that it wasnít a question of IF - it WOULD be done. I told him that after I had talked with him the first time and received some push back from him, I felt it necessary to bring in the builder since they referred us to him. He had also found out today that I worked for one of the most prominent developers in the country, which he happens to do lots of work for and did not want me to have a bad feeling about him and his company or mud up his name. I wonít say who I work for, Iíll just mention the name Tiger Woods and first American golf course.

All in all, I appreciated the call. It took a REAL man to call me and man up, apologize, and let me know that he would make it right. He will be meeting with me and my father in-law to fix everything the first of August when my father in-law has moved here full time.

So again, I really appreciate everyoneís kind and not so kind words regarding this situation. I believe that this was the sole reason that this is getting resolved.

Wow...Sean, donít I deserve a new LS t-shirt?

Eric...out

CAPT Stream Rotar
07-08-2008, 09:36 PM
Please feel free to post here more..

I like the cut of your Jibb hoss.

Mike Leary
07-08-2008, 10:24 PM
The irrigation guy called me today. He will be meeting with me and my father in-law to fix everything the first of August when my father in-law has moved here full time.

Keep us updated, post pics of contractor.

Ramairfreak98ss
07-09-2008, 12:14 AM
You could always change the nozzle in the one near the street, i know with all of the rain bird we install, they all come with extra nozzles, some supply chains would have some sitting around and most likely give you a few clips of them. Just take out the one thats in it now, if its a 4 or 5, switch to a smaller dia. hole like a 2 or something. See if it still hits the road but make sure its not reducing the sides too much, you want to water all of the areas.

Im not sure what other companies do, but as long as all of the areas are being watered, i would not be making trips back to add more heads or move things at the clients request unless there is a problem such as missed areas or flooding because a few are too close or something.

We have moved a couple mist heads near plants before, original location was just not the most ideal and we understood the point.

Dirty Water
07-09-2008, 01:01 AM
You could always change the nozzle in the one near the street, i know with all of the rain bird we install, they all come with extra nozzles, some supply chains would have some sitting around and most likely give you a few clips of them. Just take out the one thats in it now, if its a 4 or 5, switch to a smaller dia. hole like a 2 or something. See if it still hits the road but make sure its not reducing the sides too much, you want to water all of the areas.

Im not sure what other companies do, but as long as all of the areas are being watered, i would not be making trips back to add more heads or move things at the clients request unless there is a problem such as missed areas or flooding because a few are too close or something.

We have moved a couple mist heads near plants before, original location was just not the most ideal and we understood the point.

We don't usually come back either because we don't stick 4 rotors in a 8' wide strip of grass and water the street.

Kiril
07-09-2008, 01:23 AM
We don't usually come back either because we don't stick 4 rotors in a 8' wide strip of grass and water the street.

Ditto. Do the job right the first time and you will never have to return.

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-09-2008, 07:37 AM
Keep us updated, post pics of contractor.

got to be humiliated. Maybe he'll post here and explain his decision process. I'm sure at the time it all seemed rational to him.

Kiril
07-09-2008, 08:52 AM
got to be humiliated. Maybe he'll post here and explain his decision process. I'm sure at the time it all seemed rational to him.

Sorry Pete, nothing rational about using rotors on an area that has a limiting distance of 8 - 10 feet.

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-09-2008, 08:54 AM
Sorry Pete, nothing rational about using rotors on an area that has a limiting distance of 8 - 10 feet.

agree BUT AT THE TIME it could have been rational to him. I just like hearing how really dumb things happened and the rational thought processes that occurred in the moment of decision making.

Kiril
07-09-2008, 09:09 AM
agree BUT AT THE TIME it could have been rational to him. I just like hearing how really dumb things happened and the rational thought processes that occurred in the moment of decision making.

Yes, if you can rationalize cutting corners to increase your profit margin. :cry:

AI Inc
07-09-2008, 09:11 AM
Yes, if you can rationalize cutting corners to increase your profit margin. :cry:

Around here they are cutting corners to buy food. I see a whole lot of money to be made 3-5 yrs from now correcting work that " that guy with the good price " did.

Flow Control
07-09-2008, 09:16 AM
Make sure to update the pics after he reconfigures the system. I am curious to see the new layout. I am also wondering if his "embarrassment" resulted from lack of knowledge regarding irrigation design or if you caught him trying to turn a square into a ball. Big difference in my opinion.

AI Inc
07-09-2008, 09:20 AM
Make sure to update the pics after he reconfigures the system. I am curious to see the new layout. I am also wondering if his "embarrassment" resulted from lack of knowledge regarding irrigation design or if you caught him trying to turn a square into a ball. Big difference in my opinion.

So what one is worse, a theif or a fool?

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-09-2008, 09:34 AM
Yes, if you can rationalize cutting corners to increase your profit margin. :cry:

More than likely he was cutting corners to have a profit margin. In this case I think it was foolishness not complete dishonesty. We've all been fools at some time in this business. Go back enough times and redo your work unpaid you will either bail or learn to do it right.

Flow Control
07-09-2008, 09:44 AM
So what one is worse, a theif or a fool?

Thief is worse, knowing you are not doing something correct should be subject to flogging :). On the other hand ignorance is abundant in our industry and will always be a hurdle for people trying to establish professionalism.

Dirty Water
07-09-2008, 10:23 AM
More than likely he was cutting corners to have a profit margin. In this case I think it was foolishness not complete dishonesty. We've all been fools at some time in this business. Go back enough times and redo your work unpaid you will either bail or learn to do it right.

Being a builder system, I would tend to agree with you. Builders don't pay.

ericlemson
07-09-2008, 10:34 AM
[QUOTE=Ramairfreak98ss;2410061]You could always change the nozzle in the one near the street, i know with all of the rain bird we install, they all come with extra nozzles, some supply chains would have some sitting around and most likely give you a few clips of them. Just take out the one that's in it now, if its a 4 or 5, switch to a smaller dia. hole like a 2 or something. See if it still hits the road but make sure its not reducing the sides too much, you want to water all of the areas.

QUOTE]


If we just changed the nozzles, it probably wouldn't get adequate coverage. I think we need to change to pop-ups and double the amount of heads.

ericlemson
07-09-2008, 10:38 AM
Im not sure what other companies do, but as long as all of the areas are being watered, i would not be making trips back to add more heads or move things at the clients request unless there is a problem such as missed areas or flooding because a few are too close or something.


Read my first post. There is lots of dead grass and dying plants not to mention 4 completely dead plants in the back where they forgot to add nipples (or even punch a hole) to the drip line. In addition, the part to the left of the house is being over watered and is actually killing two more plants for over watering. The photos from above were a couple days after the install when I knew it wasn't't correct.

For this, I would EXPECT a company to come and fix the problem.

Kiril
07-09-2008, 12:38 PM
Being a builder system, I would tend to agree with you. Builders don't pay.

I also will concede, however if there is not enough money to do the job right, then don't do it at all. Reputation is everything in this biz if you want to last.

As far as ignorance goes, no excuse. Either learn to do it right or pass on the job.

WalkGood
07-09-2008, 01:28 PM
The installer might have never been there during the install. Just sent some ditch diggers who figger..... hey the grass is getting wet, looks good from my illegal basement appartment.

Hard to miss those rotars spraying more concrete/asphalt than turf.

koster_irrigation
07-09-2008, 10:03 PM
6" SAM Type Mist Sprinklers Would Be The Best Set Up For That Front Area.


NEVER combine different types of irrigation equipment drip/spray/rotor whatever....
All have different precipitation rates.