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newbie needs advice

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Squirter, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. Squirter

    Squirter LawnSite Member
    from Zone 5
    Posts: 172

    allow me to welcome myself to the site and thank you, in advance, for sharing your advice and experience. with that said...

    I'm getting ready to hire an irrigation contractor to install my sprinkling system here in central Indiana where the soil is predominantly clay. i've gotten several quotes and each is very different from the others in almost every way. through the quoting process, i've become a bit more knowledgable...which is probably dangerous. as for the designs being offered, some have pop-up sprays and gear drives in the parking strip shooting over the sidewalk at the lawn. others say that's a no-no. some want to use a mix of the RB 1804 SAM-PRS sprays and RB 5000 rotors. Then there's the guy who introduces me to MP Rotator and says a few of these should be used along with rotors.

    As I investigate the MP Rotators, I ask "why not use the MP Rotators for the entire job" ??? Wouldn't they be more efficient and cost effective??? What about maintenance issues for MP R's such as grassy clogged nozzles, etc ? Why would I not be pleased using them exclusively with say...RB 1804 SAM bodies? What about pressure regulators? Wouldn't I achieve even pressure distribution to all heads in a zone? Would anyone recommend using pressure control valves?

    Perhaps my only area of concern (until I hear from you PRO'S) is the 7' wide parking strip (between sidewalk and curb) may not be suitable for MP R's since the best I can hope for is about 6' of coverage using the MP strips.

    And lastly....I'm being told that using gear drives (rotors) in the parking strip along with pop-up's will help eliminate any "striping" or brown-out of the grass coming in contact with the HOT concrete sidewalk. He admits this only effects about 6" of turf. The contractor says rotors sprayed over the walk will help cool the walk and prevent the browning of turf he has experienced when using pop-ups (only) to water the parking strip. HELP!!! By the way, here in Indiana, spraying over the walk is an accepted and legal practice...but not always followed.
  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Get rid of the grass in the mow (parking) strip then you won't need to install sprinklers. In some cities, grass in these areas are strictly prohibited due to the very good chance for huge water waste. Landscape that area with either natives or drought tolerant plants.

    All I can say to this is B.S. Unless your "watering the concrete" on a regular basis throughout the day it will pretty much do nothing to prevent "brown-out". Also consider that you should be irrigating at times when hot concrete is not an issue (i.e. early morning).
  3. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 505

    You most certainly could use mp's for the entire yard
  4. Squirter

    Squirter LawnSite Member
    from Zone 5
    Posts: 172

    I've read somewhere that contractors don't like installing an entire system of MP Rotators. Is it an appearance issue where homeowners don't think an adequate amount of water is being applied? Is it a performance issue? Maintenance???

    What about some of my other questions in the original post such as pressure regulators, pressure control valves, 7' parking strip, striping issues, rotors shooting over walks, etc. Tearing up the grassy parking strip is NOT an option as was suggested. Thanks
  5. We don't know the exact specifics of your job so we probably cannot give you your best answers....

    I am about to start a job w/ MPs...I will post befores, durings, afters etc....the yard is quite small...so it will not be comparable...and I cannot answer those questions for you....I will not have any sort of facts/figures to work from for quite some time.

    Others on here have more experience w/ MPs and they should chime in eventually....

    As for watering cement...I avoid it because it just won't grow like I would like it to....

    Good luck, and be patient...it is late in the season for most of us and we are all doing other things besides looking at these boards on a Sat morning....;)
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Absolutely no problem installing all MPs providing they are providing the DU and AE you require.

    No need for either unless you have unusually high system pressure or are planning on micro zones. If micro zones, I typically regulate at the lateral if pressure loss in the mainline is a concern, otherwise just regulate the mainline after the valve.

    Put it on a dedicated zone/valve, even if you don't get rid of the grass.

    As I said before, the contractor that told you to water concrete is a fool. If you maintain adequate soil moisture you won't "brown out".

    Bad practice IMO and any contractor who recommends it should be shot. The idea is to put water where it is needed, on the landscape, not in the gutter.

    You don't necessarily need "curb to sidewalk" coverage where the "soil is predominantly clay".

    You also might consider buried drip as an alternative for your "parking strip". This will provide the highest efficiency and lowest maintenance of any option available, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
  7. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,974

    MPs are great, having been using them since day one. I'd install a standard
    spray zone on that narrow strip, tho. Rain-Bird 1806 w/ either Weather-Matic
    5510 brass nozzles or standard plastic. As long as the site is flat, you have no
    need for low-drain check valves.
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    At my home I used to have spray pop-ups in the front/side yards and rotors in the back yard. I've completely switched them all out to MP-Rotators and the change was good. I'm using less water and achieving the same good results as before without the run-off usually associated with sprays. I have not had a single one of them clog. In my area there's no winterizing maintenance so I can't address that issue.

    At work we have installed them in many areas and they are quickly becoming the sprinkler of choice for smaller areas due to their versatility; acute angles, narrow areas, being able to mix the different MPRs, low pressure areas, etc. To this date we have not had to replace any due to clogging. We have had one hit by a mower and several needing replacement due to vandalism but that's been it.
  9. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    I have 1-1/2 rooms left and the entire interior of the house will have been repainted. :)

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