Irrigation Lines and Bed Edging

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by GravelyGuy, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,518

    To you guys that operate an irrigation business or have experience working with them. When they come out to mark the system for bed edging or digging, do they mark the heads and the lines or just the heads?

    I don't do irrigation work, but whenever I'm going to be working in the beds they must be marked. Most of the companies around here just mark the heads. How do you guys go about edging the beds without the lines being marked? Even being careful I've cut a few lines so this year I decided not to even come close unless everything is marked.
     
  2. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,518

    Anyone? Did I ramble nonsense?
     
  3. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 807

    Irrigation guy here....

    We mark the heads. Depending on the installation technique, the line could be right under the head or it could be well away from it.... just depends on how the head is attached to the line.

    For the most part, there is no reliable way to find the line unless someone has run a tracer wire with it. Very, very rare... in fact, I've never seen it done... but I've had to quote it a couple of times on large gov't installation bids.
     
  4. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,518

    Thank you Bob,

    When edging I normally just stay about a foot in either direction away from the head and I try to look and see where the lines may have been run from, but it's just a big guessing game and I've still hit them. I don't do repairs so it turns into a big PITA.

    How deep do most of you guys put the lines?
     
  5. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 807

    Boy..depth is a real location specific thing... same as what type of pipe is used and how it got put in the ground....

    In general (and this is real general)

    Northern places us poly pipe (black, somewhat flexibile) and use a vibratory plow to put it in the ground. Around here, lateral lines (the ones with sprinkler heads on them...) are 6" below grade.

    Southern places use PVC (white, hard plastic) and dig trenches to lay it out. I have no idea what depth they use....
     
  6. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,518

    Okay, I've never actually hit the water lines, rather I've cut through the black electric lines. Are some of the heads pressure fed and other electric? Is there a way to distinguish?
     
  7. ryde307

    ryde307 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 540

    Heads are pressure controlled and the valves are elecrtic. So if you hit electric odds are you only hit it once and it the wires coming from the clock to the valves. Alost of times those won't be very deep untill out in the yard normal\y with the main line. A way to avoid this is find the clock on the house look for a valve box cover thats close and odds are the wires run the easiest route to eachother. So avoid the few feet where edging goes and dig by hand. Not sure if that helps or im just rambling
     
  8. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,836

    if I get a call to mark a system I mark all heads and boxes, if I installed the system they have a pipe out line they were given at the time of billing.
     
  9. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,836

    6 to 9 inches, drip much less
     
  10. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,518

    Thanks for the info, I appreciate it!
     

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