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View Full Version : New irrigation installation being installed thursday, any advice?


ls3c6
07-17-2012, 12:31 PM
Will be a weathermatic system with SL800 controller and SLM10 weather station.

Plot is ~20,000sqft and mostly flat, contractor is doing head-to-head spacing with rotors @ 30' distance.

He will tap into the 1" line going into the basement after it enters the 5/8" meter, by my calculation this will provide for 15gpm.

I assume he should be using 1.5gpm for 90 degree heads, 3gpm for 180 degree heads and 6gpm for 360 degree heads which would result in 1" per hour if the heads are 30' apart length or width?

The reason i'm so concerned with precipitation rate is that the smart controller / weather station runs it's own runtimes with accordance to PR, soil type, slope and shade.

feedback would be appreciated, too late to do it again once it's done if it's not right!

DanaMac
07-17-2012, 12:37 PM
If possible, get the contractor to put any full circles on its own zone. And 6 gpm per head will only allow 2-3 heads, so maybe even cut them to 4 gpm, allowing maybe 1-2 heads more per zone, but run that zone longer.

What static pressure do you have? Could be difficult to get 30' if low pressure and too many heads per zone. I tend to space rotors at 24'-27' with our 55-65 psi (typical) and zones designed at 10-15 gpm.

Just my $0.02

ls3c6
07-17-2012, 12:41 PM
at the hose bib outside i have about 70psi

is 30' too far then? he seemed extremely confident each head would reach the other head either by length or width

DanaMac
07-17-2012, 12:50 PM
is 30' too far then?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. All depends on the pressure foe the system, and the gpm output. If he stretches the zones - too many gpm output compared to what is available - then the heads will not shot as far as planned. It all depends on how good of a designer and contractor he is. I've seen heads spaced at 30', but only spray 20'-25' due to poor planning.

ls3c6
07-17-2012, 12:52 PM
well if it's kept to UNDER 15gpm it should be no problem no? i'm not sure what to do other than let the install take place and if they don't hit each other, tell him i'm not paying for it?

txirrigation
07-17-2012, 12:52 PM
Rotors can spray well over 50', just depends what kind/nozzle.

What kind of rotors and what nozzles will he be using?

ls3c6
07-17-2012, 12:53 PM
not sure on exact model number, just know weathermatics and they're "rated" for 33ft per his design

txirrigation
07-17-2012, 12:54 PM
not sure on exact model number, just know weathermatics and they're "rated" for 33ft per his design

If he is spacing 33' rotors @ 30' it sounds like he knows what he is doing.

cjohn2000
07-17-2012, 12:57 PM
Speaking up precipitation and rotors. Has anyone tried the RB MPR nozzles for the 50000'? But I agree on separating full circles and halfs, if possible. I was always warned that anytime you start turning in the radius screw you are changing the DU, but I see this all the time.

ls3c6
07-17-2012, 12:57 PM
If he is spacing 33' rotors @ 30' it sounds like he knows what he is doing.

I don't doubt know he knows what's going on at all, i'm just trying to determine how i'll know what it takes to get an inch of water down per zone so I can program the controller properly.

No point in having an irrigation system installed if I can't get down exactly what I want, looking at the manufacturer data with a 180 degree swing they only put out like .3" per hour at 3gpm, so it'd need to run over 3hrs PER week PER zone to get 1" of water down? ouch!

Wet_Boots
07-17-2012, 01:02 PM
If your water supply isn't capable of drenching your lawn in a limited time period, that is not the installer's fault. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that three hours per zone per week might be needed to keep up with summer heat.

ls3c6
07-17-2012, 01:12 PM
so should i get larger than a 5/8" meter installed right now before the system goes in to improve flow?

Wet_Boots
07-17-2012, 01:19 PM
meters don't matter so much, in comparison to the waterline itself - most modern 5/8 meters are actually a 5/8~3/4 meter, with greater flow capacity in the small package

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-17-2012, 03:03 PM
I've found changing from a 5/8" meter to a 1" makes a significant difference. Never understood this downsizing 1" service with a 5/8" meter. If the fulls are designed head to head with Halves and Qs then mixing fulls with hs and qs isn't that big of a deal. 2qs +2hs +1 full is 15 gpm. Sounds like the guy who designed this knows what he's doing. No need to come up with a bunch of second guessing. I'd use different products and LA nozzles but his design seems safe. You may have weeks where you need to put more than 1' per week. That is just a weekly average over the whole year but water is required in a bell curve fashion over a whole season. The SL800 is 8 zones right? You won't have an issue getting the water put down in a safe window.

Wet_Boots
07-17-2012, 03:54 PM
Unlike in Texas, there's a long run of supply pipe from the street to the house to factor in. Just how long, we don't know yet.

AI Inc
07-17-2012, 05:59 PM
Your getting too worked up with your 1" a week blah blah blaw. The desried end result is green grass. Dont lose sight of that.

Wet_Boots
07-17-2012, 06:53 PM
In our current summer heat waves the one-inch-a-week settings have been left far behind, if you want that shiny green lawn.

greenmonster304
07-17-2012, 08:12 PM
In our current summer heat waves the one-inch-a-week settings have been left far behind, if you want that shiny green lawn.

I have some shitti systems that I took over that the landscaper is running an hour a zone every day to make up for lack of coverage.
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FIMCO-MEISTER
07-17-2012, 10:55 PM
Unlike in Texas, there's a long run of supply pipe from the street to the house to factor in. Just how long, we don't know yet.

All the more reason to have a 1" meter

Wet_Boots
07-17-2012, 11:39 PM
All the more reason to have a 1" meterSimply not relevant, if the supply line loses more than 20 psi, especially if they have surcharges to pay for the bigger meter.

You can find some industry tables for what you can get from different meters and supply lines. It's apparent the supply line is the major factor, especially when you see the combos of one-inch meters and larger supply lines.

irritation
07-17-2012, 11:43 PM
I don't think our water co would install a bigger meter unless it quit spinning.

Wet_Boots
07-17-2012, 11:47 PM
some towns are thrilled to do so, because they get a couple of hundred for the change

1idejim
07-18-2012, 12:05 AM
5/8 = 15gpm
3/4 = 22gpm
1.0 = 36gpm

safe working practices suggest 75 - 80 % or about 12gpm for a 3/4 meter.

not knowing what the shape of the turf area is i jvst figure that a rectangle of 100 x 200 is 20,000 sf.
with the op's assumptions of head requirements i think it's gonna be tough to get full coverage with 8 zones aint it?
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and we have no idea of the working pressure?

irritation
07-18-2012, 12:09 AM
Back in the early days they gave away meters for irrigation, I just had to go to the town hall and pick them up.

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-18-2012, 12:18 AM
I've got tired head boots so I'll do my math in the morning but let's say we have 100' of 1" copper before the meter. PVB for back flow. Use the ops 70psi static. What is the max zone size with a 5/8 meter and what is the max zone size 1" meter. Forget the surcharge for now.

1idejim
07-18-2012, 12:53 AM
5/8 = 15gpm
3/4 = 22gpm
1.0 = 36gpm

safe working practices suggest 75 - 80 % or about 12gpm for a 3/4 meter.

not knowing what the shape of the turf area is i jvst figure that a rectangle of 100 x 200 is 20,000 sf.
with the op's assumptions of head requirements i think it's gonna be tough to get full coverage with 8 zones aint it?
Posted via Mobile Device

and we have no idea of the working pressure?

i meant 12gpm for a 5/8 meter vsing 75 - 80 %
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DanaMac
07-18-2012, 01:09 AM
Jim, I try to stick around 12 gpm and most our meters are 5/8. I can push more and do ok, but I try to stay at 12.
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Kiril
07-18-2012, 09:28 AM
1) Design to the flow you have at the pressure you need (i.e. dynamic pressure) with allowance for supply variations (10-20%)

2) If you want to know your PR with any amount of accuracy then run a catch can audit. I fail to understand why this simple task is such a foreign concept to professional irrigators. As an alternative you could use the total area method, however that is typically not a preferred method as it's accuracy is highly questionable in most cases.

3) Rotor spacing should be based on the area being irrigated, then nozzle choice, which is based on nozzle pressure, which is based on dynamic pressure. Without knowing these variables you can only guess at proper spacing. As with supply flow, I always allow for error when spacing heads, as well as prevailing environmental conditions and any special site specific considerations. That could mean a 5-15% reduction in spec radius.

4) Why people here are commenting on irrigation amounts per week is beyond me. The man simply needs to know each zones PR rate to a 10th of an inch to program the controller correctly .... which brings us back to do an audit!

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-18-2012, 10:41 AM
My guess is most irrigators don't think about catch can audits because they don't have any catch cans. Maybe you can explain to the op how to do a catch can audit with tuna cans or some other household item he may have a bunch of.

1idejim
07-18-2012, 11:17 AM
I've got tired head boots so I'll do my math in the morning but let's say we have 100' of 1" copper before the meter. PVB for back flow. Use the ops 70psi static. What is the max zone size with a 5/8 meter and what is the max zone size 1" meter. Forget the surcharge for now.

numbers yet? on the road will check back in an hr.
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FIMCO-MEISTER
07-18-2012, 11:45 AM
Okay lets use 30 gpm
With our aptly named Badger Meter at 1" there will be 2.5psi pressure loss at the meter.
http://www.badgermeter.com/getdoc/9670869d-3d4a-490f-baba-f93610c35fc8/rd-t-1-pdf.aspx
3/4" Badger meter the max they will measure it for is 25gpm to only have 2.5psi pressure loss would have one around 15gpm.
http://www.badgermeter.com/getdoc/2b9c2e59-bdf6-4745-86a3-c2df3ecf7f27/RD-T-5_8x4_4-BZ.aspx

Regardless though boots is correct that the 1" copper service is the limiting factor since 15gpm is the max one can use without exceeding 5fps
http://www.irrigationtutorials.com/copperloss.htm (http://weebls-stuff.com/songs/badgers/)

Wet_Boots
07-18-2012, 12:07 PM
I've got tired head boots so I'll do my math in the morning but let's say we have 100' of 1" copper before the meter. PVB for back flow. Use the ops 70psi static. What is the max zone size with a 5/8 meter and what is the max zone size 1" meter. Forget the surcharge for now.With modern 5/8~3/4 meters (the loss curve below is from a Badger 5/8~3/4 meter) there isn't any advantage gained by a switch to a one-inch meter, when there's a long run of copper upstream. The copper is the limiting factor, especially if you are going to pay attention to water velocity.

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-18-2012, 12:47 PM
Did I not agree with you in my last post? Did I not acknowledge the rightness of your mind? Do I need to grovel?

Having said that I've seen some big increases in flow from swapping street meters. Especially if its one of those true 5/8 meters with the s copper on each side of it.

Wet_Boots
07-18-2012, 01:13 PM
Did I not agree with you in my last post? Did I not acknowledge the rightness of your mind? Do I need to grovel?

Having said that I've seen some big increases in flow from swapping street meters. Especially if its one of those true 5/8 meters with the s copper on each side of it.no groveling required - I never saw your post - I was working on making images from charts

1idejim
07-19-2012, 12:12 AM
This is an interesting topic so what is the max zone size for each meter?
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Wet_Boots
07-19-2012, 08:18 AM
I saw enough 20 gpm systems fed from true 5/8 meters to know the meters can run at max speed and no worries

ls3c6
07-19-2012, 03:02 PM
system is being installed as we speak, i suppose if i run each zone and it doesn't send water HEAD TO HEAD then i complain, until then we can only speculate :)

Wet_Boots
07-19-2012, 04:28 PM
system is being installed as we speak, i suppose if i run each zone and it doesn't send water HEAD TO HEAD then i complain, until then we can only speculate :)you call city hall and order them to raise the water pressure :realmad:

AI Inc
07-19-2012, 06:08 PM
Or take a walk downstairs and see if there is a PRV, if so , turn it up.

bx24
07-19-2012, 08:22 PM
system is being installed as we speak, i suppose if i run each zone and it doesn't send water HEAD TO HEAD then i complain, until then we can only speculate :)

That is why I install heads 5 ft under max throw when I measure max PSI..I could do 33 easy but do 25 ft. Well worth it..Heads are cheap and keep customer happy.

irritation
07-19-2012, 08:39 PM
That is why I install heads 5 ft under max throw when I measure max PSI..I could do 33 easy but do 25 ft. Well worth it..Heads are cheap and keep customer happy.

What do you do when the area is 40' wide, install three rotors and crank them down or use sprays?

1idejim
07-19-2012, 11:26 PM
so, boots and or pete, what is the max zone size for each meter?

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-19-2012, 11:29 PM
For me 12-15 on a 5/8 depending on pressure up to 30 on a 1" above that 1.5" and when you get to 70gpm I refer you to a buddy.

1idejim
07-19-2012, 11:41 PM
For me 12-15 on a 5/8 depending on pressure up to 30 on a 1" above that 1.5" and when you get to 70gpm I refer you to a buddy.

thanks, pete

i can guestimate a pump system but have never figured meters below 1.5 and that's for small ag irrigation

Wet_Boots
07-20-2012, 12:29 AM
If I needed 20 gpm from a 5/8 (old-style) meter, I use it, and sucks to the water company - those meters are built like tanks

1idejim
07-20-2012, 11:24 PM
system is being installed as we speak, i suppose if i run each zone and it doesn't send water HEAD TO HEAD then i complain, until then we can only speculate :)

now that you're installed, what's the verdict?

zones? throw? coverage? time? happy? piss'd?
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ls3c6
07-23-2012, 12:43 AM
well it's finished, ended up with 6 zones and 34 T3 heads. SL800 controller and SLW15 wireless weatherstation.

All but 2 heads hit each other during operation and primarily 2-3gpm nozzles were used, anywhere I place a rain gauge I get .4-.5" per hour.

I have it set to auto with clay type soil, .5" per hour and will let it decide runtimes... it's been calculating temperatures but not defecit yet, might take a few days of data and resorts to standard until then?

Only gripe I have is a lot of the yard got torn up, I have new topsoil and seed in the places where the valve boxes and whatnot went, pretty much an awful time of the year to grew new grass so i'll deal with it more come sept 1

Also wish weathermatic had a WIFI / app control I could use my phone/web as the device.

1idejim
07-23-2012, 12:53 AM
well it's finished, ended up with 6 zones and 34 T3 heads. SL800 controller and SLW15 wireless weatherstation.

All but 2 heads hit each other during operation and primarily 2-3gpm nozzles were used, anywhere I place a rain gauge I get .4-.5" per hour.

I have it set to auto with clay type soil, .5" per hour and will let it decide runtimes... it's been calculating temperatures but not defecit yet, might take a few days of data and resorts to standard until then?

Only gripe I have is a lot of the yard got torn up, I have new topsoil and seed in the places where the valve boxes and whatnot went, pretty much an awful time of the year to grew new grass so i'll deal with it more come sept 1

Also wish weathermatic had a WIFI / app control I could use my phone/web as the device.

the only pay we get are the follow up posts, thanks.
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FIMCO-MEISTER
07-23-2012, 08:59 AM
Ditto

Those bare spots disappear fast. What type of turf again? Just make sure all is level including the valve boxes. Look for settling. Take a soil sample and put it in a jar of water and shake the dickens out of it and see how it settles. Never a bad idea to send a sample in to the extensiOn service for analysis. Might as well make a science of this. You seem to have those qualities.
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S.O.Contracting
07-23-2012, 09:35 PM
Also wish weathermatic had a WIFI / app control I could use my phone/web as the device.

http://www.weathermatic.com/index.cfm?page=SmartLink

This might fit what you want.

cjohn2000
07-24-2012, 02:05 AM
If I needed 20 gpm from a 5/8 (old-style) meter, I use it, and sucks to the water company - those meters are built like tanks

Funny you should mention 5/8 meters and high flow. Just looked at a place tonight with my boss where the homeowner thought he had water hammer whenever the sprinklers came on. But the problem seems to be at the meter. Seems to clunk clunk clunk and the sound is transferred through the gal. water line and through the walls to the point it wakes him up in the middle of the night.

DieselMDX
07-24-2012, 02:48 AM
just had my irrigation installed also and grass looks MUCH better a few weeks later.

backyard is destroyed tho hit alot of roots and rocks. i am just going to seed in september to fix and work my ass off to get the best dame lawn in the area HAHAHAHA

jabbo
07-24-2012, 08:03 AM
We must have pics in order to see where you're coming from!!!! And lots of them... :)

well it's finished, ended up with 6 zones and 34 T3 heads. SL800 controller and SLW15 wireless weatherstation.

All but 2 heads hit each other during operation and primarily 2-3gpm nozzles were used, anywhere I place a rain gauge I get .4-.5" per hour.

I have it set to auto with clay type soil, .5" per hour and will let it decide runtimes... it's been calculating temperatures but not defecit yet, might take a few days of data and resorts to standard until then?

Only gripe I have is a lot of the yard got torn up, I have new topsoil and seed in the places where the valve boxes and whatnot went, pretty much an awful time of the year to grew new grass so i'll deal with it more come sept 1

Also wish weathermatic had a WIFI / app control I could use my phone/web as the device.

ls3c6
07-25-2012, 10:14 AM
what rain settings are recommended? it's set to off for 24hrs after a rain event and the sensor is set @ 1/8"... we're supposed to get .75-1.0 inch today, should I just turn it off? I dont' think it has a way to gauge exactly how much rain we get and subtract it from the defeceit?

ls3c6
07-29-2012, 06:49 PM
Well trouble begins, saddle tee to one head already broke resulting in a weak 6ft arc... Then I noticed the lateral line feeding it is only 1 7/8" deep.... This caused me to run around the yard with a screw driver, found a lot of 2" deep poly along the trench lines, what do I do now? They're going to fix the broken connection and my temper is difficult to control, I verified lines would be no less than 10" deep since I aerate yearly.
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Wet_Boots
07-29-2012, 08:03 PM
a practical tip - aeration is nice, but if your soil really needed regular physical treatment, it should have been tilled like a farm field before you put in a system and a lawn

water and feed your lawn, and don't worry overmuch about aerating

ls3c6
07-29-2012, 08:04 PM
And dont worry about the 2" pipe depth that should be 10"?????
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jbell36
07-29-2012, 08:12 PM
man, that's tough...i hate to say it because i'm a contractor and i absolutely hate when customers call and start questioning stuff but in this case it sounds like he is completely in the wrong...that is simply too shallow...get your stuff straight before you even call him, i would dig down to the top of the poly in about a 5 foot length or so to show him how shallow it is and that you can't even aerate...i say do this before you call him because you need to make for damn sure you are correct before you tell him he is wrong...then call and tell him you want him to look at the depth when they come back to fix the saddle...then figure it out between the two of you on where to go from there...10" or so is standard

ls3c6
07-29-2012, 08:13 PM
He's got to fix the broken connection anyway I don't much want all my stuff ripped up again either grrrrr its just starting to heal, why does everyone suck at everything!
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Wet_Boots
07-29-2012, 08:16 PM
Pipe depth is an odd thing. You want it deep. Until it's repair time, and you are paying time and material. By itself, pipe depth is no biggie. Shallow pipe will not work its way shallower if there are grass roots above it.

jbell36
07-29-2012, 08:18 PM
a practical tip - aeration is nice, but if your soil really needed regular physical treatment, it should have been tilled like a farm field before you put in a system and a lawn

water and feed your lawn, and don't worry overmuch about aerating

ok true, but it sounds like the installation was half assed...the depth shouldn't really be in question here...aeration is 2-4" with 4" being the target depth

Wet_Boots
07-29-2012, 08:20 PM
I had customers aerate lawns that would never need it in a million years. Aeration is a big issue inside your head. Either get over it or lawyer up and go away.

ZX12R
07-29-2012, 10:17 PM
In our current summer heat waves the one-inch-a-week settings have been left far behind, if you want that shiny green lawn.

My neighbor has weathermatic rotors where the front lawn does not have head to head spacing. Two or three weeks ago when it was quite hot, her 20 minute per zone going every day was not cutting it. I showed her how to manually start her system . She had the system running 3 times per day or 1 hour per day per zone,every day.

Wet_Boots
07-29-2012, 10:45 PM
I had a client dial down his 3+-hours-per-week-per-zone-per-inch system to about 20 minutes every day, and the guy grew the thickest thatch I ever saw. Doubtful the grass roots got a whole lot of watering