Irrigation preferences?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Dirty Water, May 5, 2005.

  1. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    First off, let me introduce myself. I work for a small company in a rural area of Washington with many retiree's that have lots of money and nothing to do with it :)

    Therefore, the landscaping and irrigation business is booming. Our company is the only company in the area that just does strictly irrigation. We've been around 18 years and have a very well established client list.

    Around here, it seems like all the landscapers do a rather shoddy job, from using thin pipe (a bad idea in our horribly rocky soil) to cheap heads and slip valves.

    Some of the things I prefer to do/use:

    • Use a vibratory plow as much as possible to reduce damage.
    • Use only Sch 40 pipe, only as small a 3/4" for a water line, proper calculation of zone sizes lets us usually run 1" or 1 1/4" mains.
    • Use Rainbird DVF threaded valves... I hate slip valves, and cannot fathom why anyone would use them.
    • Use funny pipe swing joints on all heads.
    • Use only Hunter PGP's for rotors and Rainbird 1800's for Sprays, occasionally use a Toro Streamrotor for landscapes on customers request.
    • Prefer to have valve manifolds with only 2-3 valve boxes per job, instead of many single valve round boxs.
    • Use multiconductor Direct Burialcolor coded irrigation wire, instead of single conductor wire. Occasionally we will pull in 1/2" conduit for it.

    Anyone else care to list some of their preferences?
  2. Broker

    Broker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    Might be easier to list what we don't like. We are one of the few companies in the area that will actually sell more then one brand. Most companies will just push one brand.
  3. sprinkler guy

    sprinkler guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    Im not sure about your area Jon, but in Southern California contractors have the luxury of using any brand they want, or any mix of brands. The suppliers here all sell every brand, and I mean every brand. The argument for Rain Bird vs. Hunter vs. Toro has almost become a Ford vs. Chevy vs. Dodge conversation. They all have a fine line of products, all competitively priced, and if you wanted to use only one brand you pretty much could do any residential or small comercial job with one brand. But why would you? The manufacturers buyer rewards programs offer some incentive, but not enough that you should compromise on your product of choice. Use products that don't result in call backs, earn you a fair dollar, are simple enough for your guys to put in, and maybe give you an advantage over your competition. Guys who use slip valves are doing so to save money and time, not because it is better for the job or client. When I was an installer in Las Vegas we used tons of them on tract production work. If they are put in right, there is nothing wrong with them. Most guys are so focused on their bottom line, they don't take the time to teach the guys how to properly put them in.

    I've worked on the supply side for a few years now, but I get asked all the time by my customers what would I use if I was contracting again.

    -Timers - Hunter PRO-C and ICC, optional remote and Rain-Click on every job.
    -Sprayheads - 1800 PRS or Hunter Institutional Spray with all Rain Bird nozzles.
    -Valves - Superior brass for inline (they haven't changed the design in decades, and very competivie with plastic). Here in CA people still use lots of anti-syphon valves, I like Rain Birds ASDVF, the threaded version.
    -Hunters pre-fabricated swing-joints (the retro version) over funny pipe.
    -Single strand 14 gauge with each valve getting it's own color. We sold a job in San Diego last year that had 56 different colors on it.
    -Sch 40 for anything 2" and below, Class 200 for 2 1/2" and above.
    -Never more than 2 valves in a standard 12 x 18 valve box. I like King gel-filled wire nuts for water proof connections.

    This is what I like, have found to work for me (and the folks I recommend it to), but stick with what works for you.

    Sean Billante
    Sales Manager
    Aqua-Flo Supply, Inc.

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