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View Full Version : Irrigation Forum To The Rescue....Again


Graveslawncare
09-16-2011, 10:55 AM
Hey guys, need some pro input on a calculation problem I'm having. First off, this design isn't speculative, I have been hired to install this system, so congratulate me :rolleyes:

The issue I'm having is figuring out my stats for available pressure and gpm. First, I ran the numbers through the hunter calculator and came out with the numbers I would expect based on my inputs which were:

3/4" Copper lines
5/8" Meter
30' from meter to poc
60 psi static pressure at hose bibs

The results were about what I expected from previous design experience:

12 gpm
30 psi working pressure at heads

Now, where I'm running into problems is the numbers from my design program (Pro Contractor Studio). When I place a water source on the drawing, a window pops up and it asks for most of the same info that the Hunter calculator does. When I select 'type k copper' under pipe type, I get WAY different numbers:

6.79 gpm!?
47 psi (at meter)

BUT when I select type A or B copper in Pro Contractor Studio, the numbers come out similar to the Hunter calculator. Obviously my main problem here is the gpm. That can't be right, I should have 10-12 gpm available based on the fact that it's a 5/8" meter. Part of me wanted to just go with the numbers from the calculator since based on my experience they were about what they should be. However I always get nervous when 2 comparison calculations aren't close to eachother, so I wanted to see what you guys' thoughts on it were.

Graveslawncare
09-16-2011, 11:12 AM
Just for reference/clarity here is a picture of the window in Pro Contractor Studio:

Graveslawncare
09-16-2011, 11:19 AM
....Was clicking around and changed the service line size to 1" instead of 3/4 and the gpm went up to 12.....I'm positive that the line running from the meter to the house is 3/4...but the service line is supposed to be the line running from the street to the meter....so what's the best way to verify the size of that line?

bcg
09-16-2011, 11:31 AM
I generally set my service line velocity to 9FPS with 3/4" Type K. It's typically such a short run it's not an issue. Honestly, with a 5/8 meter and a 3/4 service line, I'd size my zones for about 12GPM, possibly stretching as far as 15GPM if needed (assuming you've got about 60PSI or more). You do plan to make your cross connect right at the meter and size up to at least a 1" mainline, right?

Wet_Boots
09-16-2011, 11:35 AM
Is this a meter in a basement?

Graveslawncare
09-16-2011, 11:57 AM
I generally set my service line velocity to 9FPS with 3/4" Type K. It's typically such a short run it's not an issue. Honestly, with a 5/8 meter and a 3/4 service line, I'd size my zones for about 12GPM, possibly stretching as far as 15GPM if needed (assuming you've got about 60PSI or more). You do plan to make your cross connect right at the meter and size up to at least a 1" mainline, right?

Ya that's what I was thinking, I knew I should be able to safely do 12 gpm given the information.

Yes, my plan is to connect right after the water meter and size up to a 1" mainline and run up to the flower bed to hide the backflow, then run to the zones. I can post a pic of the plot plan in a minute.

Thanks bcg, I'm glad you answered cuz I know you design with this program.

Graveslawncare
09-16-2011, 11:58 AM
Is this a meter in a basement?

No, it's down by the sidewalk/street. I don't think I've ever seen a meter in a basement in this area.

Wet_Boots
09-16-2011, 12:06 PM
If you got the job, then make your connection and do a bucket test. Anything else is piker city. K copper will cost you some flow, compared to L tubing.

On this small a scale, the much-maligned Toro flow-and-pressure gauge would serve you well.

http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=63727&stc=1&d=1157339484

Graveslawncare
09-16-2011, 12:10 PM
This is the plot. Boots, the water meter is down by the sidewalk. I'm only irrigating the right side of the house up to the future fence, the front yard, and the beds. They are putting a pool in the back yard and when it's done I'll be coming back to run zones to the beds back there.

Graveslawncare
09-16-2011, 12:17 PM
If you got the job, then make your connection and do a bucket test. Anything else is piker city. K copper will cost you some flow, compared to L tubing.

On this small a scale, the much-maligned Toro flow-and-pressure gauge would serve you well.

http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=63727&stc=1&d=1157339484

K copper may cost me some flow, but it shouldn't be an issue since I am connecting right at the meter and sizing up to a 1" main. There may be a couple feet max of copper from the meter to my connection.

Wet_Boots
09-16-2011, 12:18 PM
If the property is of any size, you are going to have some concerns about how long it will take to give the whole lawn a proper watering. As such, I would much rather know the flow and pressure, rather than guess.



3/4" Copper lines
5/8" Meter
30' from meter to poc
60 psi static pressure at hose bibs

There may be a couple feet max of copper from the meter to my connection.

Uhhhhh, you might want to resolve the inconsistency

Graveslawncare
09-16-2011, 12:33 PM
If the property is of any size, you are going to have some concerns about how long it will take to give the whole lawn a proper watering. As such, I would much rather know the flow and pressure, rather than guess.

Uhhhhh, you might want to resolve the inconsistency

Lol sorry boots, you're right, I did that before I realized that I would be upsizing right after the meter. It's a 30 foot run from my poc to the backflow, but there is only a couple feet from the meter to my poc. That was my bad on the info there.

Wet_Boots
09-16-2011, 12:39 PM
Still, it's the same deal. If you have the ability to make the connection, and then test your flow and pressure, you get your most accurate numbers, and can provide the best work. The size of the zones might be adjusted up or down, depending on how many heads you choose to have in each zone, and their flow and spacing.

AI Inc
09-16-2011, 05:07 PM
As boots said , do ya tap first. Then run ya numbers , and dont design right on the edge.

SPEEDSKI
09-16-2011, 10:44 PM
I have been running PCS for a couple years and have always wondered about this? I just always assumed they entered the data wrong. I have gotten to know them pretty well, so I will send an Help Desk Ticket and ask them.

For the price, the software is really good. I have done up to 200 zones with multiple phase system with this Software. Ewing's EARN program has a discount every month also.

I have been thinking about LandFX but I am need to see the real benefits to make the switch. Shop drawings have become a major selling point with this economy for us. We draw every project no matter how big or small. Now that we have all of the prices and tied assemblies in the system it will amaze some to know what real costs are. we have it down to the poly 90!! Great stuff!

Kiril
09-17-2011, 10:31 AM
My 2 cents. Don't rely on calculators. Learn how to use the formulas and crunch the numbers yourself.

Graveslawncare
09-17-2011, 01:48 PM
I have been running PCS for a couple years and have always wondered about this? I just always assumed they entered the data wrong. I have gotten to know them pretty well, so I will send an Help Desk Ticket and ask them.

For the price, the software is really good. I have done up to 200 zones with multiple phase system with this Software. Ewing's EARN program has a discount every month also.

I have been thinking about LandFX but I am need to see the real benefits to make the switch. Shop drawings have become a major selling point with this economy for us. We draw every project no matter how big or small. Now that we have all of the prices and tied assemblies in the system it will amaze some to know what real costs are. we have it down to the poly 90!! Great stuff!

It was because I had the service line max fps set to 5. I bumped it up to 9 as bcg suggested and it gave me 12 gpm like I should have.

I agree that the software is awesome for the price. As far as I'm concerned, it will meet my needs for a very long time. I can't believe I forgot about the EARN discount when I bought the 30 days for this system...:hammerhead::hammerhead:

I'm the same way on drawings, as far as I'm concerned a design is a non-negotiable. I have no clue how other companies around here are doing systems, but this client said I was the only one who has said anything about doing a design. I have seen some CRAPPY systems put in the last few months, and when I ask the owner if they have a design they look at me with a blank stare. I do a design for everything, that way I can see potential problems before I break ground.

You lost me at having prices in the system...you mean you put supply prices into pcs?

Graveslawncare
09-17-2011, 01:59 PM
My 2 cents. Don't rely on calculators. Learn how to use the formulas and crunch the numbers yourself.

I do that too. Since I don't have years and years of experience yet, I tend to double and trple check a lot of things.

For example, I know that I should be able to safely pull 12 gpm from a 5/8 meter. I also know that my static pressures came out to 60 psi, and accounting for pressure loss thru meter, backflow, pipe, valves and fittings, i will end up with 30-35 psi working pressure at the heads. I designed for 30.

So I did crunch the numbers myself, and will check them again when everything is designed, but I also ran the numbers thru 2 computer programs. As long as all 3 of my calculations come out in roughly the same place, I feel confident that I have done them properly and the system should work right. Conversely, if one of the calculations comes out significantly different from the others, I know I need to look more into that area to find out where the discrepency is.

Graveslawncare
09-17-2011, 02:05 PM
I figured you guys might wanna see the design, so here it is. I've got mp 2000's in the 2 larger turf areas, mp strips on the strips, and Rainbird VANs in the 3 flower beds. I wanted to use rainbird cs heads on the strips, but then I would have had to have 5 zones and the customer is on a budget, so I was able to use the mp strips on the bigger zones and keep it to 4 zones. No zone runs more than 8.5 gpm so I know I will be in good shape on flow.

Wet_Boots
09-17-2011, 02:07 PM
30 psi is not so swell for rotor heads, Maxipaws excepted

Graveslawncare
09-17-2011, 02:14 PM
I know, I wasn't thrilled about the lack of pressure. However, with the MP Rotators, 30 psi still gave me the coverage I need, more than I needed in some places. The radii you see on the design are designed at 30.

Wet_Boots
09-17-2011, 02:57 PM
you should still make the the connection, then test the supply

Graveslawncare
09-17-2011, 03:25 PM
I'm going to do that. You guys usually use a pvc compression fitting to tap a copper line? Once I make the connection and install a T, how do you hook up a pressure guage to that? Do I have to install a temporary piece to hook the guage up to?

bcg
09-17-2011, 03:47 PM
If it's copper, I usually sweat on a copper T, then a female adapter and go to PVC there. I'm not a fan of compression fittings because I've seen many, many failures with them. Of course, we have very expansive clay soil in most of my service area that contributes to that so YMMV.

Graveslawncare
09-17-2011, 04:05 PM
That's what I was afraid of lol. I have zero experience sweating copper. Obviously doing irrigation I will have to do it at some point...Any pointers on that?

Wet_Boots
09-17-2011, 04:11 PM
I want to say no to a sweated tee, but I realize that's our basement-meter custom at work, because water companies simply won't stand for that practice. It's either flared or waterworks-compression, because any leaks between the street and the house would be at the expense of the water company.

A good waterworks compression tee with a threaded side outlet is probably the quickest way to tap in.

Graveslawncare
09-17-2011, 04:39 PM
Ya I see the pros and cons of both....the guys at my local Ewing are the ones who had recommended the compression fitting with a threaded T....Maybe I should just try that to start with and see what kind of results I have?

Wet_Boots
09-17-2011, 04:49 PM
Ewing does not sell what you really want. As far as I know, these fittings are only stocked by the big-pipe suppliers that sell to water purveyors. Any place that sells fire hydrants will stock, or can quickly obtain, waterworks compression fittings. Manufacturers include Mueller, Ford, and MacDonald.

Graveslawncare
09-17-2011, 05:05 PM
So what's the difference between a waterworks compression fitting and the compression fittings that Ewing carries?

DanaMac
09-17-2011, 05:07 PM
I want to say no to a sweated tee, but I realize that's our basement-meter custom at work, because water companies simply won't stand for that practice. It's either flared or waterworks-compression, because any leaks between the street and the house would be at the expense of the water company.


Huh? Every home here is a sweat tee in the basement. Never seen a compression tee for a tie in.

Wet_Boots
09-17-2011, 05:22 PM
Huh? Every home here is a sweat tee in the basement. Never seen a compression tee for a tie in.Upstream of the meter? I doubt it. I was commenting on my initial thought of nothing sweated outdoors, but of course, downstream of the meter, any leaks are on your dime.

a Waterworks Compression fitting is something on another plane, compared to anything sold in the irrigation biz. Besides their physical strength, they mechanically, with metal, grip the tubing/pipe they are connected to. Also, for the Ford and MacDonald tees, they also provide electrical continuity, in the event the pipe/tubing is serving as an electrical ground.

SPEEDSKI
09-17-2011, 10:40 PM
It was because I had the service line max fps set to 5. I bumped it up to 9 as bcg suggested and it gave me 12 gpm like I should have.

I agree that the software is awesome for the price. As far as I'm concerned, it will meet my needs for a very long time. I can't believe I forgot about the EARN discount when I bought the 30 days for this system...:hammerhead::hammerhead:

I'm the same way on drawings, as far as I'm concerned a design is a non-negotiable. I have no clue how other companies around here are doing systems, but this client said I was the only one who has said anything about doing a design. I have seen some CRAPPY systems put in the last few months, and when I ask the owner if they have a design they look at me with a blank stare. I do a design for everything, that way I can see potential problems before I break ground.

You lost me at having prices in the system...you mean you put supply prices into pcs?

Without going into too much detail, but it is the best part about PCS and drawing your jobs consistantly. Go to tools and drop down to equipment cost. Every sprinkler, valve, fitting, controller....you name it is in the equipment list with all the major brands.

This can get really confusing and it takes some time to get it right, so watch the video tutorials and use the help menu to its max. I basically had Ewing send a price list over with all of the items we purchased over the last year with updated prices. (I check prices every couple months) Take the time to enter all of your current pricing for ALL of the items you are installing including the per ft. price of pipe and wire. So when you place these on the design screen it will enter everything onto a material list. The material list will print out with all your parts needed for the job and the materials you need to send to the job.

Like I said, we have it down very close to the poly 90 and wire nut. PCS calls them "Tied Assemblies". Lets take a 5004 rotor, everytime you place a rotor, it will add a 1/2" poly 90, 3/4" poly 90, 2 ft. of poly pipe and a head tee. (atleast this is how we set ours up). You can set up the Tied Assembly however you want. A 1" PGA valve includes a valve box, male adapters, DBY, 90's and a tee.

Lets take a 1" backflow for a residential install. Our Tied Assembly goes like this:
1 - 1" 975 Wilikins Backflow
1 - 1" Wilkins Wye Strainer
1 - 1" Brass Nipple
2 - 1" PVC Unions
2 - 1" SxS PVC 90 (for the backflow)
4 - 1/8" flare fittings
1 - 1/2" blow down valve w nipple
1 - 1" Spears Ball Valve
1 - 1" head tee (blow out/drain)
1 - 1/2" plug (for the blow out tee)
1 - 10" round valve box (for the tap)
1 - Shark Bite compression tee (for the tap)
2 - 1" SxS PVC 90 (for at the tap)

I may have missed a couple small items, but I hope you get the idea. All of these items are priced in out equipments costs and added to the material list every time I place a 1" 975 on the design screen since I have these items attached to the backlfows Tied Assembly. Since we have priced ALL of these items in the equipment costs, they will be on you final estimate. You will be amazed how accurate it is and you may freek once you realize you total costs.

We have Tied Assemblies set up for every valve, controller (rain sensor, pigtail, pigtail fitting, conduit). Most bidders do not consider or even think of what all the items cost to install a backflow on a new install. Nothing is exact, you still have to add the other fittings used for the main and laterals, but you will be very close doing it this way.

It also allows you to add a labor rate for every part, but I have not found a way to really make that work. I know each of my crews costs per day with all of their taxes and comp included. I also add truck, fuel and equipment fees to each crew daily costs. Once you enter the Estimate / Materials section of PCS, it will ask you to enter the Taxes, Permit Fee's, Sub Contractor costs (if any), Direct Labor Costs, any mark ups on materials or labor and then to enter a profit margin percentage. You also can add a percentage to make up the unknown fittings per the pipe costs since you will have the quanity of pipe to the foot that you placed on the drawing.

Like I said, it is extremely detailed and will take some time to get all the data in. But once I draw a complete design, I do not doubt my final estimates. I question them at times only when I realize how low I was on previous jobs that were similiar.

Our profits are up significantly this year since I started using PCS back in January. We know we have a good number when we bid a job. I can defend my price to builders, landscapers and customers by reviewing the drawing and costs. It has been a game changer for us.

Graveslawncare
09-18-2011, 12:25 AM
Wow all that sounds incredible. It also sounds like it will take forever to set up lol. This is my first full system install, but I can definitely see the advantages of having that set up when you are constantly doing estimates/installs. It's great to know that all that is available. It's actually incredible how affordable the software is when you realize how extensive and detailed it really is.

SPEEDSKI
09-18-2011, 10:25 AM
Wow all that sounds incredible. It also sounds like it will take forever to set up lol. This is my first full system install, but I can definitely see the advantages of having that set up when you are constantly doing estimates/installs. It's great to know that all that is available. It's actually incredible how affordable the software is when you realize how extensive and detailed it really is.

I basically took a couple of weekends when the weather was crappy. I needed some peace and quite from the day to day grind and was able to enter all of the date withi basically 2 days.

If you enter data slowly when you have extra time you will eventually have it all.

Good Luck

Graveslawncare
09-18-2011, 01:50 PM
Hey SPEEDSKI I sent you a PM. Also, where in TN are you?

Mdirrigation
09-19-2011, 09:46 PM
This is a city water supply , its also September so water use is down , therefore the pressure and flow that you have now may not be whats available in June or july . I have communities that will show 75 psi in the fall and spring but drop to 40 in the summer , systems designed and installed at the higher pressure and flow , they dont work well when needed the most . You can use all the computer programs you want , nothing beats experience , and experience comes with mistakes , and correcting mistakes adds to the experience . I trust the bucket and stopwatch , and the simple pressure guage , design the system to work correctly at 60 to 70 percent of whats available and you will be fine