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Re: Flow and pressure testing...

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Wet_Boots, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,686

    Toro makes a Flow and Pressure Gauge Assembly that you can use to evaluate nearly any residential water supply. It isn't the last word in flow accuracy, but if you get a chance to calibrate it, like I have, in a utility room with water meter, hose bib, and sink, you can find a 'set point' where it is dead on, and also see how the accuracy varies as the flow goes higher or lower than that set point.

    Since my installs are almost always from the plumbing in a home's basement, I can do a flow-and-pressure measurement from a hose bib nearest the water meter, and while doing so, note what flow restrictions might be a part of my readings. A long run of 1/2 inch copper and a stop valve, plus the hose bib I measure from, all present a pressure loss I won't have when I plumb right after the water meter.

    The value of the measuring is that I can see with my own eyes how much flow and pressure I can count on having. As it happens, and quite conveniently, the pressure I will lose through my system plumbing, and zone valves, and backflow preventer, is pretty close to what is lost in that hose bib line. That means I can look at the gauges and say "This is what the heads will have to work with."

    Another point of having this tool, is when a lack of indoor access to the plumbing means a system might have to run from the water I can get from one of the hose bibs, and knowing precisely the flow and pressure, can allow me to see if a hose-bib hookup is feasible.

    If you work in a part of the country where you are cutting into outdoor supply lines, where the meters are by the street, it's a lot harder to figure what extra pressure you might count on having, when you compare a hose-bib measurement to what you anticipate from your supply connection.

    But pressure aside, it's the flow gauge that will still serve you well, because you play it safe by not assuming you will have more flow than you measure at a faucet.

    When your clients trust you to do things right, you can re-measure flow and pressure after you do the connection, and zone out the system according to the actual flow you end up with.

    By the way, if you have one of these gauges, remember to take it out of your truck when the cold nights arrive. The gauges can and will break from freezing water (you can't completely drain the water from them)

  2. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    Thanks! Do you know of anywhere I can order that online? My local part house does not carry very many Toro products.
  3. Tadams

    Tadams LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 788

    I got mine at home depot on clearance for 19.99. I think they normally run about twice that.
  4. zman9119

    zman9119 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 756

  5. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Anyone watched the Toro "Code Check" video listed on that URL??? Wondering if it's any good. Imagine it's pretty generic also.
  6. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    Well I ordered the toro model through my local supply house for $70. I can't wait to get it.
  7. The water gage is a great tool to explain and show why their sprinklers aren't working properly. It's been a nifty tool also to show somebody using the right adapters the working flow\static pressure at the head itself.

    For those that have this irrigation house handy, they sell this device at Horizon Irrigation also.
  8. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    Maybe I am missing something. I scanned the instructions. I used the gauge at my house on my irrigation system. At the hose bib, I get a static reading of 45psi, and then a dynamic pressure of 20psi and 4gpms... that sounds low to me? My system pushes 5-6 I-20s... and I believe they are not small nozzles.
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,686

    How is your plumbing laid out? What run of pipe leads to the hose bib? Is there a pressure reducer in the plumbing?

    One thing - when this device was first introduced, hose bibs and stop valves were larger, internally, than they are today. That means they didn't restrict the flow as much as modern ones do. Sometimes, a few stops and an undersized hose bib will really cut the flow.

    By the way, what's the maximum flow you get from the hose bib? (forget the pressure gauge)
  10. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    Not much more than 4... it might hit 5. I tried the gauge on an irrigation job I bid on earlier this month... and I could hardly even get a flow reading. I am thinking the only way for this thing to be accurate will be to use it at the POC.

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