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First time???

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Mortymower, May 17, 2005.

  1. Mortymower

    Mortymower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    I do alot of landscaping, but i have never done more than repleaced heads or broken lines, but this summer i am going to put one in at my house and try to get into the buisness. I really don't know where to start, but my first question is I dont want to pay extra on my sewer bill for the extra water, so how do i get the city to come add a second meter for the system. Also do you do this when puttin in a residential system? Also since I hvae never put in a new system, have any of you seen the thing on the toro website, where you can send your house layout and all of the specs in to them and they send you back a complete design with all parts necessary. Is this a good idea or should i do it myself? Thanks :help:
  2. Flatbed

    Flatbed LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 39

    If you need someone to design it for you, you are probaly in over your head. If there is a market for irrigation in your area, and you think you can stay busy, hire someone that has been doing irrigation installs for a while. If you decide to do it, plan on investing alot of time and money for the first three to four years.
  3. Mortymower

    Mortymower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    Thanks for the information on going big, so what about just doing the one for my residence?
  4. kerdog

    kerdog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 129

    Hey Mortymower---

    To get an idea of what you might be getting into, you could look at Rainbird's web-site. They have some info. there, for those wishing to install themselves.

    Most people don't want to spend the money up-front, to have a dedicated meter installed, for irrigation. It can be expensive. But, over the long haul, can pay for itself, provided it's billed as water usage only (no sewer).

    Find someone locally, see what they would charge to do a 'design only' for you.

    And find out if you have to licensed, to do irrigation!

    See ya---kerdog
  5. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 562

    Ok, I'll bite. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    first figure out if you have reasonable pressure. Reasonable pressure is 40-50. Higher means spread the sprinklers out. lower means problems.

    Next, layout. to lay out a sprinkler system, start with the corners. You can always spray out of a corner, but you cannot spray into one wihtout getting whatever is behind it wet.
    Sprinklers go 30-45 feet or so in radius, and you want double coverage as much as reasonably possible.

    So, now that you have started in a corner, is the area over 25 feet away? if so, then you can use gear drives. Otherwise, you are stuck with sprays. Each "area" should be sprays or gears. Don't mix the two together in one particular patch of ground.
    Gears cover a lot more area, and use less water per minute, so use them as much as possible, and save the sprays for smaller areas.
    Once you have the corners, then look at the edges. Put sprinklers along the edges between the corners so they cover each other, barely. Now look at the centers. Is all of the centers of the areas double covered? If not, put more sprinklers out in the centers.
    So now you have your sprinkler locations.

    Now you need to break them into zones. Figure out gallons per minute availalbe to the system, and gallons per minute, approximately, for your style of sprinkler. Divide the two numbers and you will have how many sprinklers per zone you can run. If on city water, split it up more. If on a well, add more sprinklers, as cycling the pump is BAD, as is overloading it by running too high pressure.

    When you have your number of sprinklers per zone, figure out how to put them into zones. If possible, try not to put 90 degree sprays with 270 or 360's, keep shady areas together, sunny, etc. Basically, you are trying to keep like sprinkler waterings in groups. All compromise from here.

    Now call digline. Now dig a hole everywhere you have a sprinkler. Dig up the main line, and hook it up. pull pipe. build manifold. place control box. hook up sprinklers using saddles. hook it all up. turn it on. check for leaks. fill holes. turn it back on, and final adjust.

    Have at it experts!
  6. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Not even going to start. Yes, every Fireman, etc. installs sprinklers in his spare time. Keeps a true profesional in buisness and keeps me from having to attempt to compete in the install market. I LIKE repair work. I really enjoy fixing one somebody fouled up because they were sure the right way was to put the "correct" number of heads on each zone. If you don't understand why this is wrong, I promise no one can explain it so you will understand via this format. But, please do keep on keeping on. Repairing disasters is so much more profitable than installing new systems. payup

    And FWIW, one of my best balanced installs I have ever done (just ended up near perfect 6 zones all within 2gpm of each other) Has six rotors on zone 4 and only 2 on zone 3. Zone 3 is 8gpm and zone 4 is 9. and yes that beats the 25% requirement they preach in design class :)
  7. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 562

    so my approach is to run similar nozzles in all sprinklers, and zone by arc and sunshine requirements.
    To be fair, I'll throw half sized nozzles in the 90 arcs to match the 180's, or double sized in the full circles.

    How do you do it?

    Saying it is too complicated to explain tells me you don't really have a firm grasp on the concepts.
  8. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    "If you don't understand why this is wrong, I promise no one can explain it so you will understand via this format. "

    No where did I say it was to complicated, I said explaining it to someone who had already made up there mind was a waste of time and space. I still feel that way. Flipping back that you will now consider nozzle size is exactly the kind of mess I see every day. You have to account for gpm per head before you pipe it or it doesn't work properly. And doubling your fulls vs halves can be the biggest mistake you can make. Depends on your options and which heads you are using. Same goes for someone saying that a well system automatically has more available water than the house on a meter from a water district. The factors aren't what type of equipment, but what resources you actually have. I've spent over 20 years getting to this point. A good study can get the basics in a couple of days with a good instructor. Your not going to pass on the necessary basics in a chat forum.
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Its pretty straight forward, if I have 15 GPM to play with, and I'm using rotors then I attempt to keep every zone using the same GPM. This may mean one zone has 6 rotors spraying 180 degrees with #4 nozzles, and another zone has 3 rotors spraying 360 degrees with #8 nozzles.

    Also, I disagree with you about always having to use sprays in small area's. I've found with proper adjustment (You can get a PGP to spray around 8 feet if you fuzz it up with the setscrew and possibly tilt it), you can occasionally water a small area just fine with a few rotors compared to 8-10 sprays.
  10. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 562


    If you are on city water, why do you need each zone to use the same amount of water?

    I did not say that wells automatically produce more water then city. I said that it is safe to underutilize the water available on a city system. But on a well system, it is safer to overutilize the water and suffer pressure drops then to underutilize the pump's GPM, and force the pump into high pressures or cycling.

    You are a better man then me if you can make a PGP go 8 feet and have sharp sides to not spray a house.
    How do you do it? Everytime I crank the nozzle it sprays sideways a bunch.

    Is there a book out there on this stuff? Maybe this would be a great book to write.

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