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Digging the trenches

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by F6Hawk, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    Well, I am on my way to pick up the trencher, going to begin my install tonight. (Waited until now to make sure there was no chance of freezing :p ) My question is... if I am going to be putting my heads on funny pipe, about 6" away from the borders (sidewalks, fence, etc.), how far away should I lay the trench? 1 foot away from the sidewaly gives me lateral, 6", head, 6", sidewalk. Is this a workable solution?


  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    I prefer to go as close as I possibly can to the sidewalk, and use a elbow marlex out of the tee for a swing joint that sits next to the pipe. (put the tee about a foot upstream from where the head will be).

    A lot less digging this way, and it works great when your using a vibratory plow.


    Also... I'd consider goign about 2" from the sidewalk maximum, any farther out and your going to have trouble covering close to the sidewalk without overspray.
  3. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    Thanks, John. I am using a regular trencher & PVC, however. So with my .5 hours of experience using it (obtained tonight), I'd rather stay a foot away from the big parts, but plan on using the design you mentioned with Marlex Ells & funny pipe.

    Any other comments on the 2" distance from the sidewalks? A local guy said 6" was better, and that was what I was going by. But it's just as easy to me to put the heads 2" form the sidewalk. Just looking for pros/cons.
  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    6" out and you'll have either overspray on the sidewalk or brown triangles of grass behind the heads.

    What brand trencher did you rent?
  5. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    I agree w/ Jon about the walks, get as close as you can. The drive on the other hand........I always leave 6" to a foot because people just can't drive. Don't know why this seems to be the case, but give'em a sprinkler system and suddenly, they have to drive on the grass. I try to leave enough room at curbs and drives for the tire to completly leave the pavement and still miss the head. Using rotors and head to head spacing, I never have any trouble throwing back behind the head for that little bit and you don't see stress there except for the very worst part of summer.
  6. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    I like 2" out from sidewalks because it gives just enough room to get your hands around a PGP.

    Any closer and your scraping your knuckles on concrete.

    And if you think sprinklers are car magnets, you should try putting them on a riser...its perfect job security :D

  7. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    I see your point on the triangles, John. Looks like 2" on the sidewalk, and 6" on the driveway. One side has rotors, the other sprays. I can use VANs to get behind the heads, if necessary.

    I got a ditchwitch, a small one, don't remember the number, but I know I can't lift it out of the ditch myself if a tire gets stuck. (Go ahead and laugh, I don't mind!) :rolleyes:
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,650

    Depending on soil conditions, you can live with a six inch distance between spray head and driveway, because the water can move within the soil by way of capillary action.
  9. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    I try to keep heads about four fingers away from curbs, walks and drives. This will give room for most people to run an edger by without cutting the head, or a string trimmer loaded with .105 ripping the top off.

    As for the water along the edges, I have found that 4"-5" is not really critical if you have head-to-head coverage, expecially along the curb. Water will percolate that far if the watering time is set properly.

    Just my $.02


    (and after work I like about four fingers of sour mash on the rocks)

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