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  #1  
Old 04-17-2011, 09:51 AM
Teach123 Teach123 is offline
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'Makeshift' Sprinkler System

Everybody on here has been awesome as far as responding to my past posts and has really given me great advice. So...I have a new interesting question:

I spent about a week getting estimates for an irrigation system. I have a rather small front yard (800-1000 Sq. ft.) and a medium backyard (2500-3000) square feet. I received a plethora of bids ranging from $1800 for just the front to $5000 for the whole property. I like the idea of getting water CONSISTENTLY on my grass without having to move sprinklers 5 times a morning. However, I am having a hard time justifying spending this money when I would be only watering deep once per week. So....Has anyone had experience or can think of a way I can make my own system? Timer? Hose splitter? Type of heads? I am sure this can be done and I'm a smart guy, but I thought I would ask the experts out there first. Thanks!!
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:54 AM
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White Gardens White Gardens is offline
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You could try a walking tractor sprinkler.

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Old 04-17-2011, 10:03 AM
Teach123 Teach123 is offline
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Hello fellow Illinoisan White Gardens: That is funny you should suggest this as I was going to add a little story about these in my original post. I have one of these. I tried using it, but found that unless I am going to stand and watch it, it malfunctions, squirrels/rabbits mess with it, etc... I like to water one zone once a week from about 4-7 a.m during late spring /summer. I tried using this last year with a timer and would wake to a "high-five" from my neighbor for watering his lawn, or the little tractor stuck on something and watering the same spot for 3 hours. Have you had success with these? Any tricks?
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:11 AM
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White Gardens White Gardens is offline
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Flat surfaces and low cut grass make it work better. That and as long as it's not dragging too much hose behind it. I know CAT had a company make one for them for promotion purposes and I wish I had picked one up a couple of years back as the thing was super heavy compared to the regular models you see.



Only other thought is to just get a good quality oscillating sprinkler such as this one.



I can cover a pretty large area in one spot as long as the water pressure is sufficient. The only problem is that it takes a while to get down a good amount of water, so if you set it, have a timer on your spigot, then you can walk away from it and let it go. I like it also as it has a rectangular pattern so that you are getting every corner of the yard effectively.

But honestly, I don't water if I have to. The water in Danvers where I live is expensive, but that's a different story. Mostly I water my garden and that's about it.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:21 AM
Teach123 Teach123 is offline
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I hear ya about watering being expensive! Here is Spfld, they get us on sewer. They claim they keep the water prices 'flat" but the sewer prices go up and up. I just laid all new KBG last fall after having a "central Illinois mix" (rye, creeping red fescue, kbg, etc.). Since its a hybrid of about 5 different types of KBG it should do ok in the heat and full sun, but I know KBG needs more water than other grasses. I have several of the other sprinklers you suggested. They do work better for consistentcy, but damn do they take forever. It literally would take 5 hours to fill a tuna can. Can you tell, I am scared that this summer will be like last? It was awful and I don't want to lose this new grass. Although it's too hard to control disease like last summer.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:28 AM
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GreenI.A. GreenI.A. is offline
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I would have a good reputable irrigation company install an efficient system for you. More than likely with a price varying so much their was a big difference in the quality of sytem designed. A good quality irrigation system will save you tens of thousands of gallons of water over an ineffecient system, and even more over using a hose end sprayer or sprinkler. If you get a good company who knows how to design, then the water savings should pay for the irrigation system within a few years.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:41 AM
Teach123 Teach123 is offline
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Green Industry: I agree with you 100%. I really do want an in-ground system, and one of the ways I am convincing myself is by saying "that in the long run...." However, I live in an older completely renovated home. The basement is finished and unfortunately, there would have to be an entire section of wall (not drywall) where a recessed entertainment center is cut out to access the main water supply for the house. This area was very expensive to install. So..on top of any system would be the cost of fixing the area in the basement. I just wish the previous owners had thought of an irrigation system and not installed that entertainment center where it is.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:43 AM
RodneyK RodneyK is offline
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I would just spend the money for the system. You will be so glad you did. I resisted for a long time and spent countless hours moving sprinklers and hoses before having it installed. Not to mention all the wasted water and not that great of results.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:06 AM
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In the case of no access to the water main in the basement their are other options. If your water spicket coming out side is 3/4" the irrigation can be run off of that existing pipe. The system would have to be designed around that restriction, which would results in more zones than doing 1" pipe. Is their no way at all to get to the water main in the basement? Where is your meter? Is that beried behind the wall aswell?

Also with the sewer cost, have you checked into splitting the meter? Some cities will alow you to instal a second meter for the irrigation system and out door use. The original meter will then measure only the water used in the house and that going down the drain, the 2nd meter only measures the water used outside that does not go down the meter.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:19 AM
Teach123 Teach123 is offline
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Green Industry: The city charges $1000 bucks for a new meter. I wouldn't be using any more water with an irrigation system...actually quite a bit less. So, I think that may be money I don't need to spend. However, I am intrigued by your comment of running a system off of the existing spigot. And yes, there is a little door in the wall that leads to the water supply, however, each company that has given an estimate said they would need much more access than that. I am getting another estimate tomorrow afternoon from a very reputable company. What questions should I ask? Especially about using the existing spigot.
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