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Old 07-30-2013, 05:22 AM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 6,818
Originally Posted by newsod View Post
If you mean that each sprinkler receives water and actually waters the lawn, then yes I do have enough pressure.
No. That's not what he means. It's more than just sprinklers coming on and watering. It's running them at the full distance they are designed to achieve, it's making sure you're still getting head-to-head coverage, it's making sure that the amount of water coming out (Gallons Per Hour) is still achieved, as it was designed to. The whole reason we install zones is because you SHOULDN'T run more than a certain number of heads at one time. You won't get adequate coverage.

Trying to run several zones at once and saying they're still working the same is like trying to take the 3 D batteries from a big Mag-Lite Flashlight and hooking the batteries up in series to make 3 Mag-Lites come on at once and then declaring, "Look! All my flashlights still come on! They all work just fine! I don't need 3 sets of batteries! Just one set will run all of them just fine!" Sure. They might still come on. But they're not working like they are supposed to be.

You're asking the experts for help but you're not wanting to listen. Listen to us when we tell you it's not advisable to run multiple zones simultaneously. You're not going to like the consequences later when you see dry spots and wonder why, when you thought they were watering just fine.

Also, 3-5 hours is a ridiculous amount of time to be watering, even for new sod. Even worse, it's not the amount of TIME that you should be after. It's how many inches (or fraction there of) of water is what you should be concerned with. If your landscaper is telling you that you need so many "hours" of watering, that tells me he really doesn't understand irrigation real well. Chances are he really has no clue how much you really need to water, he's just drastically over-watering to make sure it gets enough. That's a foolish way to go about it. It's like going to fuel up your truck and the attendant asks, "How many gallons do you want?" And you say, "Thirty minutes worth, please!"

What you should be doing is finding out where he bought the sod. Then call that sod farm and ask how many INCHES (or fraction there of) you should be watering, and how frequently. For instance, in my area, you would water no more than 1/2", once a day with new sod. An easy way to measure that is to put out some tuna cans (or something similar) out in several places in your lawn. Mark the point you're going for on the can. Then measure how long it takes for the last can to fill up to that point. It might be 15 minutes, it might be 45 minutes. But it's probably NOT going to be 3-5 hours. Whatever it takes, that's the number of minutes you want to aim for. Every system is different. Everyone's water pressure and flow rates are different. Everyone has different heads, nozzles, pipe sizes, valves that all contribute to how much water comes out per minute. So to make a blanket statement that you need to water "3-5 hours", as if it's the same for everyone - is just ludicrous. There's no magic number of hours that is right for everyone. There is only a certain amount of water (measured in inches) that is right.

Figure out from your sod farm how many inches. Figure out how long it takes you to accomplish that many. Figure out how often they recommend you do it. And then you'll be irrigating properly. Or at least a lot closer to it.

My final bit of advice is to read and re-read the manual that came with your controller. If you don't have one, they are readily available to download on the Rain Bird website. Read it until you understand how the programming really works. I'm pretty sure you're not grasping that yet.
Jim Lewis
Lewis Landscape Services - Oregon - Portland Oregon Landscaping Company

landscape design Portland Oregon

Last edited by JimLewis; 07-30-2013 at 05:29 AM.
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