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DanaMac
01-28-2009, 04:12 PM
I'm trying to put a list together of things that we've seen on sprinkler systems, that other companies have done to cut corners, and thus made the system sub par. I'm not looking for technical formulas for designing that people didn't follow.

So more on the lines of:

Zones stretched above available GPM or pressure available
No slack in wire at valve box
Non-greases wire connectors
Retail or big box store parts
Class instead of Schedule PVC for mainlines
Cut off risers instead of swing pipe or swing joints - I know for some areas this is SOP though
Screw type clamps
No valve box - just bury the valves
Cramming too many valves in one box to save a buck - ahem... no names thrown out
Spacing heads too far apart
Wrong style BFV because it is cheaper - I see lots of PVBs that should be RPs
PVC coming out of BFV instead of copper

I know there will be some things that are preferences - I know Mike likes 6" heads and stainless steel stems.

TRILAWNCARE
01-28-2009, 04:35 PM
I'm trying to put a list together of things that we've seen on sprinkler systems, that other companies have done to cut corners, and thus made the system sub par. I'm not looking for technical formulas for designing that people didn't follow.

So more on the lines of:

Zones stretched above available GPM or pressure available
No slack in wire at valve box
Non-greases wire connectors
Retail or big box store parts
Class instead of Schedule PVC for mainlines
Cut off risers instead of swing pipe or swing joints - I know for some areas this is SOP though
Screw type clamps
No valve box - just bury the valves
Cramming too many valves in one box to save a buck - ahem... no names thrown out
Spacing heads too far apart
Wrong style BFV because it is cheaper - I see lots of PVBs that should be RPs
PVC coming out of BFV instead of copper

I know there will be some things that are preferences - I know Mike likes 6" heads and stainless steel stems.

Multi-strand 18ga

Mike Leary
01-28-2009, 04:52 PM
I know Mike likes 6" heads and stainless steel stems.

Yup.........

DanaMac
01-28-2009, 05:09 PM
Multi-strand 18ga

That is SOP here. Rarely mainlines. Manifolds near the BFV.

But I understand.

Wet_Boots
01-28-2009, 05:09 PM
Twisted wire used for poly pipe clamps. Non-stainless crimp cramps.

Homemade relay addition to a 3-zone timer to allow it to operate 4 zones.

3/4-inch insert coupling hammered into the end of a one-inch insert coupling, to make a reducer coupling.

DanaMac
01-28-2009, 05:18 PM
3/4-inch insert coupling hammered into the end of a one-inch insert coupling, to make a reducer coupling.

Seen it. I've also seen 1" poly fitting with the barbs sanded down to fit inside the off-sized Rain Jet pipe.

AVB instead of PVB - but most of these are 20-40 years old
System hooked to hose spigot for supply
VAN spray nozzles used on the entire job when fixed nozzles could have been used
Bonnet and/or poppet glued or caulked to get it to stop leaking - usually a homeowner though
Electric, duct, or scotch tape instead of wire connectors
Buckets or "tupperware"used for valve boxes

WalkGood
01-28-2009, 07:18 PM
Twisted wire used for poly pipe clamps. Non-stainless crimp cramps.


You want flied lice with that?


Homemade relay addition to a 3-zone timer to allow it to operate 4 zones.

3/4-inch insert coupling hammered into the end of a one-inch insert coupling, to make a reducer coupling.

Got pictures?

rlpsystems
01-28-2009, 07:28 PM
PVC fittings plumbed directly onto intake and discharge of a pump.
Lack of teflon.
Pipe barely buried. I mean it does take work to bury it.
Trenches not tamped.

Sprinkus
01-28-2009, 07:35 PM
White PVC risers painted green.
Five foot tall risers to clear shrubs.
45's used as electrical sweeps.
Both wire splices at valve shoved into one grease cap.
PVC pipe glued into poly pipe.
Pipe higher than top of head.
Pipe so shallow you trip over it when walking through a yard.
Pop-up stem stuck due to glue or primer in head.
Damaged diaphragm and seat due to glue or primer in valve.
Wiring run through trees rather than buried.
White PVC pipe used as controller wire conduit.
Top of valve higher than top of valve box.
Using refurbished controllers. :p

rlpsystems
01-28-2009, 07:47 PM
Man, when you play "cutting corners" backwards, its so erie, it says t-o-r-o.

Sprinkus
01-28-2009, 07:53 PM
Top of quick coupler even with top of mainline.

rlpsystems
01-28-2009, 07:55 PM
Top of quick coupler even with top of mainline.

Dang man.... Where's the dirt.....

Sprinkus
01-28-2009, 07:58 PM
Top of mainline repair even with top of grade.

Mike Leary
01-28-2009, 07:59 PM
Top of quick coupler even with top of mainline.
Quick-couple without a solid swing joint.

Sprinkus
01-28-2009, 08:06 PM
Electrical pipe used as mainline.

Mike Leary
01-28-2009, 08:09 PM
white pvc used as conduit, telephone wire for the field connections.

DanaMac
01-28-2009, 08:13 PM
Top of quick coupler even with top of mainline.

Man, what is with all that wasted primer in your photo? Yikes!!!

Sprinkus
01-28-2009, 08:14 PM
Man, what is with all that wasted primer in your photo? Yikes!!!

Here's the full photo:

rlpsystems
01-28-2009, 08:18 PM
Why do we throw trash in our work areas. Another thing I dont like is backfilling with rocks, roots, etc.. But by the looks of the Lone Star state you dont want dirt in your backfill....

Sprinkus
01-28-2009, 08:19 PM
This repair that I had to repair. And yes, it was piped in vertically.

Mike Leary
01-28-2009, 08:21 PM
Man, what is with all that wasted primer in your photo? Yikes!!!

Trying to mark it as "non-potable"? :dizzy:

DanaMac
01-28-2009, 08:21 PM
Here's the full photo:

OK is that purple pipe for reclaimed water? If so there is STILL too much primer all over the place.

Sprinkus
01-28-2009, 08:32 PM
Why do we throw trash in our work areas. Another thing I dont like is backfilling with rocks, roots, etc.. But by the looks of the Lone Star state you dont want dirt in your backfill....

That site was cut out of solid rock, like many jobsites in this area. I guess the contractor didn't budget in any "select backfill"

OK is that purple pipe for reclaimed water? If so there is STILL too much primer all over the place.

Yup, reclaimed water.
Well, here is a picture of the contractor's trailer. I think they were out of Austin.
Nice trailer, BTW. Although they should have spent the money on better installers.

rlpsystems
01-28-2009, 08:50 PM
Damn dingo. I do like that trailer. Not alot of irrigation now, so I like anything that has pipe and irrigation stuff on it.

greenmonster304
01-28-2009, 08:52 PM
Electrical pipe used as mainline.

is that elecrical conduit or sch 80

Stuttering Stan
01-28-2009, 08:53 PM
That's a ugly trailer. Reminds me of Sanford and Son. I prefer enclosed because it looks professional.

rlpsystems
01-28-2009, 08:58 PM
That's a ugly trailer. Reminds me of Sanford and Son. I prefer enclosed because it looks professional.

Professional is just a 12 letter word. Ive seen guys pay top dollar for equiptment to "look professional" and it didnt work. Nine times outta ten I dont shave. Alot of people thinks thats not "professional". Oh well. My two cents.

Sprinkus
01-28-2009, 09:18 PM
is that elecrical conduit or sch 80

It was electrical conduit.
Here's another photo....courtesy of those pesky electricians.

allinearth
01-28-2009, 09:19 PM
Got all kinds of money saving ideas from this thread:rolleyes:
How about household wiring buried underground for valves.

rlpsystems
01-28-2009, 09:24 PM
Got all kinds of money saving ideas from this thread:rolleyes:
How about household wiring buried underground for valves.

Jus aslong as ders a splice every 20foot or so. Man, somebody beat me to the punch..

EagleLandscape
01-29-2009, 06:32 AM
Top of quick coupler even with top of mainline.

No swing joint?

That'd be a b*tch to repair!

Kiril
01-29-2009, 07:23 AM
Electrical pipe used as mainline.

You forgot to mention SCH40 fittings into metal and no unions. :nono:

Wet_Boots
01-29-2009, 08:19 AM
The one I most wish I had a photo of was a homemade popup body for a brass impact head. It was welded together from thick-wall aluminum tubing and plate.

Waterit
01-29-2009, 08:59 AM
Buckets or "tupperware"used for valve boxes

Wow, there's one no-one thought of - need a quick valve box? Cut the bottom out of your Irribucket.

Teflon tape instead of paste on pump connections
Paste instead of tape on valves
NO wire connectors on solenoids
Greenskeeper - used to have a friend whose mantra was "do the math"
NO conduit on control wire, just tack it to wall
Rain sensor mounted on PVC pipe in watering area
No concrete pad under pump - wood or dirt
Sleeves installed at bottom of concrete so you have to 90 up into them
Water meter boxes poking several inches up from grade
Backflows in middle of lawn
Rotors on risers in plant beds
Rotors throwing into corners with no spray to pick up the slack
Jumbo boxes with (2) 1" valves in them - no names mentioned:laugh:

Wet_Boots
01-29-2009, 09:07 AM
Rotors on risers in beds? Get thee to a Texas exam. Impact heads on risers do yeoman work in all sorts of applications.

Waterit
01-29-2009, 09:09 AM
Rotors on risers in beds? Get thee to a Texas exam. Impact heads on risers do yeoman work in all sorts of applications.

Not impacts, not shrub bodies - pop-up rotors on risers so they can shoot over plants and get some turf. You forget - this is Florida irrigation:cry:

DanaMac
01-29-2009, 09:11 AM
Not impacts, not shrub bodies - pop-up rotors on risers so they can shoot over plants and get some turf. You forget - this is Florida irrigation:cry:

Have you seen how well a 5' riser bends when a rotor is working on top of it, and it's not attached to a wall or fence? Pretty funny.

Kiril
01-29-2009, 09:13 AM
Have you seen how well a 5' riser bends when a rotor is working on top of it, and it's not attached to a wall or fence? Pretty funny.

Not if you use the CSR method. :dizzy::laugh:

Wet_Boots
01-29-2009, 09:13 AM
Not impacts, not shrub bodies - pop-up rotors on risers so they can shoot over plants and get some turf.Hmmm, not something I see much of, but I have included a hidden hipop rotor in a shrub, when it was otherwise going to stick out like the proverbial thumb. Beyond impacts, and Toro 300 stream rotors, you don't get much close-in watering from a popup rotor on a riser.

Waterit
01-29-2009, 09:45 AM
I've used hi-pops (12") in beds also, especially liriope or jasmine, but I'm talking about regular 4" pops on white risers above the plants.

Waterit
01-29-2009, 09:46 AM
Have you seen how well a 5' riser bends when a rotor is working on top of it, and it's not attached to a wall or fence? Pretty funny.

Gotta love that whirly-bird look.

Wet_Boots
01-29-2009, 10:02 AM
I like galvanized steel risers, rust and all. Lets you put that impact head up high.

The Elements Group
01-29-2009, 10:06 AM
How about, a few lateral lines ran in funny pipe? YEP ive seen it . what about people using ball valves coming off mainline to save money ? thats right , no clock (this just recently) and usuing ball valves to operate a zone? wt frijoles? It is just ridiculous that some people even install irrigation!! And good grief at the MULTI-STRAND GOOD GRIEF!!!!
if you have to use multistrand to save a little money, you shouldnt be doing the JOB. THATS PRobably why homeowners call other professsionals to repair those kind of foul-ups. see cutting corners is bad for the industry and cost the homeowners money but in another defense those of you who keep doing shotty work are just keeping us that dont in good standings and making us stronger.! so in that respect THANK YOU>

Wet_Boots
01-29-2009, 10:15 AM
Why gripe at multistrand? Odds are nobody is stocking a dozen colors of single-conductor. Besides, with a single manifold next to the building foundation, wire isn't a weak point.

bobw
01-29-2009, 10:16 AM
Up here, we get some other interesting short cuts.

No connection point for blow out, or almost as bad, a plug instead of using a sediment drain for connection.

Cutting down a 6" box because the valves aren't deep enough for the box to be level to grade.

Mounding dirt at the VB (alternate solution to above)

PEX used outside

PE used inside


As to multi-strand. It is always used up here because we plow our pipe in. You trench guys can try and claim some form of moral high ground, but be aware that different areas do things differently, and what is the "right" way varies dramatically.

Kiril
01-29-2009, 10:20 AM
Why gripe at multistrand? Odds are nobody is stocking a dozen colors of single-conductor. Besides, with a single manifold next to the building foundation, wire isn't a weak point.

Agreed. Not using multi-strand in short run scenarios is a waste of money and resources IMHO.

Mike Leary
01-29-2009, 10:22 AM
I like galvanized steel risers, rust and all. Lets you put that impact head up high.

Gives the landscape that cool, retro-industrial look. :hammerhead:

Wet_Boots
01-29-2009, 10:25 AM
The question about running solid-conductor 14-gauge wire, is what exactly are you buying? A backhoe will still destroy the connection. Unless you are on a multi-acre estate, you don't need the lower resistance of 14 gauge copper.

DanaMac
01-29-2009, 10:26 AM
ooohhh.... looks like we hit a magic button with the multi strand. I would say 1%-5% of residentials have single strand here. Just the way it is done here. If done properly, there is nothing wrong with it.

I will also admit to using the regular white PVC for conduit for the multistrand going into the controller. RARELY see gray conduit.

Mike Leary
01-29-2009, 10:28 AM
The question about running solid-conductor 14-gauge wire, is what exactly are you buying? A backhoe will still destroy the connection. Unless you are on a multi-acre extate, you don't need the lower resistance of 14 gauge copper.

Yup, and when the backhoe hits the bundle of twenty or so of the same color and a red common thrown in for laughs, multi-strand starts to make sense.

DanaMac
01-29-2009, 10:29 AM
Oh I forgot about no caulking or beauty ring around the copper pipe as it comes out of the house.

I've also seen the multi strand wedged in the same hole for the copper, and it gets worn down eventually.

I'm out until Monday. please leave a message at the beep....... beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

Wet_Boots
01-29-2009, 10:46 AM
When the multistrand exits a foundation from the same hole as the copper, that makes for difficult soldering work on that exit pipe.

Mike Leary
01-29-2009, 11:29 AM
please leave a message at the beep....... beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

We're going down towards the border for a few days, see you guys on Sunday.

justgeorge
01-29-2009, 11:36 AM
I once saw where a homeowner had used a section of the 4" corrugated drain pipe for a valve box. Had duct tape over the top for the "lid".

How's that for cheap?

Oh yeah, the system is fed from 1/2" copper inside the house in 2 parts, one side fed from a hose bib and the other side fed from a dedicated line. Guess they didn't want to run the line across the back yard (which isn't irrigated). 3/4" mainline and laterals.

Wet_Boots
01-29-2009, 11:43 AM
How about using Hydronic valves (hot-water heating system) instead of real zone valves?

mitchgo
01-29-2009, 04:44 PM
Not really cutting corners just stupidity.

When an installer spends twice as much for an RP then a DC. Installs it in the ground IMPROPERLY! 2" Below the surface with a lateral line directly below the rp!

hoskm01
01-29-2009, 05:41 PM
Not really cutting corners just stupidity.

When an installer spends twice as much for an RP then a DC. Installs it in the ground IMPROPERLY! 2" Below the surface with a lateral line directly below the rp!
Nice pic.

Is that a lateral mushroom?

mitchgo
01-29-2009, 05:51 PM
Nice pic.

Is that a lateral mushroom?


So I'll cave, what is a lateral mushroom?

Sprinkus
01-29-2009, 07:15 PM
You thought that a pump that wasn't bolted down was bad.

Sprinkus
01-29-2009, 07:20 PM
Who needs a new pedestal when you can just attach the new controller to the old, bent up controller pedestal.

mitchgo
01-29-2009, 07:30 PM
Who needs a new pedestal when you can just attach the new controller to the old, bent up controller pedestal.

I just want to know who all these idiots are so I can beat their a$$es

Sprinkus
01-29-2009, 07:37 PM
Why move the riser when you can just encase it into the rock wall?

Sprinkus
01-29-2009, 07:44 PM
Can't find a 3" 45 pressure fitting for the mainline? Just use a sewer fitting!

mitchgo
01-29-2009, 08:09 PM
I just need to bring my camera to take pictures of the things I see.. Infact, everyone should. I know we all see stupid S everyday

rlpsystems
01-29-2009, 08:20 PM
I just need to bring my camera to take pictures of the things I see.. Infact, everyone should. I know we all see stupid S everyday

I'm with you. I use to save odd irrigation findings. But from now on I will photo document them. Man, we are some messed up individuals. One favorite of mine is when pvc cement is drizzled over a fitting to help stop a leak. When the season kicks in we need a photo contest of "the worst of the worst".

Stuttering Stan
01-29-2009, 08:51 PM
When the season kicks in we need a photo contest of "the worst of the worst".
Do a search. You find an hour of good laughs. Unimaginable oddities!

Waterit
01-29-2009, 09:43 PM
You thought that a pump that wasn't bolted down was bad.

Is that just sitting on that all-thread, or does it go into the slab?

Sprinkus
01-30-2009, 07:42 AM
The all-thread actually went into the slab.

Wet_Boots
01-30-2009, 10:52 AM
The pump doesn't bother me so much, since they should be stable if all the baseplate and pump flange holes are securely fastened.

Waterit
01-30-2009, 02:47 PM
The all-thread actually went into the slab.

The pump doesn't bother me so much, since they should be stable if all the baseplate and pump flange holes are securely fastened.

But why on earth didn't they either drop the baseplate all the way down or pour up to it? I bet it vibrates like he!!

TRILAWNCARE
01-30-2009, 03:13 PM
But why on earth didn't they either drop the baseplate all the way down or pour up to it? I bet it vibrates like he!!

Ask Junior he will know.....

rlpsystems
01-30-2009, 08:04 PM
How's this for a "custom riser"

hoskm01
01-30-2009, 08:29 PM
How's this for a "custom riser"
Organic risers.


:::adds to product offering:::

rlpsystems
01-30-2009, 08:33 PM
Organic risers.


:::adds to product offering:::

Installed at a 9,000 sq ft home. And they saved "hundreds". Versus using drip for the cutting garden.

Stuttering Stan
01-30-2009, 10:17 PM
How's this for a "custom riser"

Is that water tight? The picture belongs in HO Worst thread.

rlpsystems
01-31-2009, 08:50 AM
Is that water tight? The picture belongs in HO Worst thread.

Just imagine how it looks when you add a hose to it.

irrig8r
01-31-2009, 10:39 AM
I've been going through a tough couple of days... Dad passed away Wednesday.
I gotta thank you guys for putting a smile on my face... it's a welcome distraction.

:-)

Wet_Boots
01-31-2009, 10:47 AM
Sympathies, dude.

...

AI Inc
01-31-2009, 10:52 AM
Sorry to hear about your dad bro.

Waterit
01-31-2009, 11:39 AM
Greg, I lost my Dad 2 weeks ago today. I am right where you are. My sympathies to you and your family.

hoskm01
01-31-2009, 11:51 AM
Sympathies too, Greg.

Sprinkus
01-31-2009, 01:00 PM
I've been going through a tough couple of days... Dad passed away Wednesday.
I gotta thank you guys for putting a smile on my face... it's a welcome distraction.

:-)

Sorry to hear about that.
My condolences to you and your family.

ARGOS
01-31-2009, 01:07 PM
Hang in there Greg.

Mike Leary
01-31-2009, 01:30 PM
We just got back, sorry for your loss, Gregg.

TRILAWNCARE
01-31-2009, 01:34 PM
Sorry too hear about your father.....

irrig8r
01-31-2009, 03:29 PM
Thanks to everyone.

Dad had a brain disease that first hit showed up 1977 with gran mal seizures, and he dodged the bullet several times: prostate cancer, broken hip, numerous brain biopsies, at least two strokes... Anyway, his health had been really declining in the last five years. I'm fortunate to have had him around for this long, and made my peace with him. We don't all get that chance. It's been hardest on my kids and my niece. Though they have experienced the passing of relatives before, they're all in their twenties now, and he's been there with love and support all of their lives.

We've had lots of time to prepare, but it doesn't hurt any less. He's confounded the doctors by living longer than they expected with the disease they thought he had... so they're doing a thorough autopsy at Stanford to learn more.

Thanks again for the kind words.

DanaMac
02-02-2009, 08:25 AM
While staying in Durango, even though it was late january I saw a few sprinkler corner cutters. At the Comfort Inn we stayed at, where there wasn't snow, I saw ALL rotors sticking up 3"-4" above grade. At our launch field which is in a housing development with homes starting at about $750k, I saw many rotors, sprays and impacts (not the cans but just the impact portion) up on risers 2'-4'.

Sprinkus
02-02-2009, 08:35 AM
What?! A separate trench to get the pipe up there?! Are you nuts?!

Sprinkus
02-02-2009, 08:38 AM
That rock will hold that riser in place just fine.

Sprinkus
02-02-2009, 08:45 AM
Just leave it like that, the leaves will eventually cover it up!

ARGOS
02-02-2009, 09:00 AM
Boy Sprinkus you get all the fun.

DanaMac
02-02-2009, 09:04 AM
When the season kicks in we need a photo contest of "the worst of the worst".

For all you newbies

2008 photo thread (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=224959&highlight=2008)

Mike Leary
02-02-2009, 09:56 AM
The sch 40 threaded couplers add a touch of class to risers, don't you think?

rlpsystems
02-03-2009, 07:47 PM
For all you newbies

2008 photo thread (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=224959&highlight=2008)

Thanks Dana.