SmartLine vs Hunter with Solar Sync

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by McKinneyMagnum, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. McKinneyMagnum

    McKinneyMagnum LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    I have a few estimates for a residential sprinkler system and I wanted some real world feedback on the two different controllers these installers are using.

    Two of the more expensive guys are using Hunter with Solar Sync. The other guy is using the Weathermatic SmartLine.

    I asked the SmartLine guy if he also uses Hunter (because I had not heard of Weathermatic before) and he said no because Hunter doesn't make their true ET system anymore and he has no issues with the SmartLine at all on any installs.

    Just got another estimate and that installer told me to stay away from Weathermatic because they are cheap.

    Not sure who to believe now. Any suggestions?
     
  2. I've installed a lot of Smartlines. In the hands of a knowledgeable contractor it is a very good controller. Has been out much longer that the HUNTER and the HUNTER has not been vetted on this site at least. I'd go with the WM SL with the Weather Monitor myself until more feedback is available on the HUNTER SYNC. I'm assuming the Controller is the only thing that will be WMatic. What other products are they recommending? Are the designs similar?
     
  3. McKinneyMagnum

    McKinneyMagnum LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    The guy with WM controller is using RB 1804 heads, DVF100 controller valves, 6" valve boxes, 200psi PVC and some other stuff I can't make out :) He has me listed for (57) 4" heads in (7) 1" valves and 7 zones.

    The other guy is Hunter Sync controller and it looks like Hunter or RB heads. He is estimating 7 zones, with (35) 4" heads and (4) drip zones.

    Most of that is greek too me, except for the number of heads. The WM guy wants 50% payment up front and rest at completion. The Hunter guy wants 100% at end of job. Should I be concerned about 50/50 in this business?
     
  4. On the surface I like the WM guy material list better. 4 drip zones makes me a wee nervous. Could be really well done drip. I'd want it explained very thoroughly though. I suspect the drip system with the HUNTER is a lower price as well. I wouldn't worry about the 50/50. I would make sure the contractor has been in business a minimum of 5 years and I would call their references.

    I'm going to bed. As a fellow Texan I'm going to help you avoid grief. A lot of posters will follow and cause you to suffer paralysis by analysis. At the end of the day it is between you and your contractor. If they can't sell you on a quality system and help you understand responsible well done irrigation then you need to keep looking and learning.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  5. McKinneyMagnum

    McKinneyMagnum LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    The WM guy has DRIP in our front landscaped beds and beds in the backyard. The rest of the backyard is concrete patio and deck (no grass). The rest of his plan is heads where there is grass. His estimate is $500 less than the Hunter guy. Will ask for references too.

    Thanks for your feedback.
     
  6. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 1,835

    I like the WM list better. I'd ask for 1804-PRS heads instead of the DVF100 valves and just use the DV100. On the drip, I see you're in Texas and the laws here have recently changed. Do you have any areas where the grass or landscaping is less than 4' wide with hard surfaces on eitehr side of it? If so, you'll be required to use drip in those areas now. DFW seems to be one of the first areas to really be enforcing the new regs so I'm sure the guys are taking them into consideration with the design since they should have to submit a plan to the city before getting permits.

    We do all our bigger projects 50/50 so I wouldn't be worried. Just pay the deposit with a credit card and you're protected anyway.
     
  7. McKinneyMagnum

    McKinneyMagnum LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Nope, the grass between the sidewalk and the street is just over 6' wide and he has those marked as heads.

    About the only thing that is consistent with these estimates it the fact that all mention the new requirements in place for North Texas since Jan 1st...LOL. We originally looked at doing this back in Sept 2008 and held off, now we are paying for it :)
     
  8. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 1,835

    It'll cost more but you'll get a better system out of it that will save you in the long run.
     
  9. McKinneyMagnum

    McKinneyMagnum LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Which system are you referring to? The WM system is less money than the Hunter.
     
  10. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 1,835

    The post Jan 1st system.
     

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