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Some help from the irrigation guys.

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by drsogr, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    Here is the deal, I install a lot of sod yards. About every 3 jobs I break a sprinkler head doing dirtwork. Usually when they are not marked, or there are high weeds around them. I am trying to bring down that number, but I always seem to find one of those little guys. Anyway, I am trying to put together a tool box so that when I do break one I will have everything to fix it. I have fixed all of them so far, but I have had to chase down parts. I just want a tool box to do this with.

    I am not trying to steal work from the irrigation guys, I don't want to do irrigation, I just need to be able to fix my own mistakes. Now all of these are new yards, so I just need new technology.

    These are the 3 main irrigation people in this area.

    Nelson (Which I love because they always replace for free)

    Some Toro...but all I have seen has been home owner.

    Can you guys tell me some common sprinklers heads for these companies? And some common parts I might need, that I am not thinking of.

    Here is my list so far.

    rotary sprinkler adjustment tool (all types)

    needle nose pliers
    regular pliers
    miscellaneous connectors
    Piping - Different sizes

    Hunter PGP Rotary Sprinklers
    Hunter Pro Spray Heads
    I am unsure what is commonly used for the other companies.

    Instructions on how to adjust the different heads from the companies websites..
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799


    Hunter PGP Rotor, or Hunter I-20 Rotor (Stainless shaft, 5 year guarantee)
    Hunter Pro-Spray Sprayheads


    Rainbird 5000 series Rotors
    Rainbird 1800 Series Sprayheads
    Rainbird R-40 Ball Drive Rotors

    I almost never see Nelson out here, and if I did, I would replace it with a PGP.

    As far as Toro, we see a fair bit of 300 series StreamRotors, so you might want to have a few of those handy, as well as a nozzle box and a box of arc discs/seals.

    As far as a universal adjustment tool, I like to carry a "Irritool" with me, I think its $25.

  3. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    Wow thanks man...I didn't even realize that there was a universal adjustment tool. Good info too. I too mostly come see hunter and rainbird. I might try to keep a few of the others around though. I have always gotten the free ones from the dealers.
  4. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    I have been keeping a nozzle box basically a fishing lure box. Although I usually just throw in what was in there, so I don't screw up the flow. But was is an arc/seal box.
  5. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Jon was referring to the Toro 300 Stream Rotor when he mentioned the arc/seal box. Unless you run into a lot of these it wouldn't be worth it to stock up. The sprinkler has a seal that sets into the head, then an arc disc (stainless steel disc that basically blocks water from coming out of certain nozzle ports and the remaining water comes out in a predetermined arc, i.e. 90*, 180*, 270*, 360* and a whole bunch inbetween) and then a nozzle on top of all this.

    I'd stick to the basics and it seems that you are on the right track. Stock only the bare minimum of what you actually run into and adjust accordingly. I don't know if you run into connection breakage very much but it might be worth it to carry some swing joint material also. Again, there are several ways of doing this so I'd concentrate on what you most commonly run into whether it's poly or PVC.

    I'd also carry 1/2" through 1" threaded PVC caps and some glue caps of those same sizes. That way if you run into a sprinkler that you don't have you can cap it off until such time you can retrieve the proper sprinkler. Then the rest of the zone can be actuated if necessary.

    As far as tools go I'd add a medium sized pair of Channelocks to your box. Great for helping break sprinklers apart and for doing the final adjustments where you have to rotate the sprinkler body.
  6. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    Thanks for the added insight. I appreciate it. I like the ideas for the caps, thats a great idea. That could have really helped me at times this year.
  7. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Along with with those Channelocks, it's also a good idea to have a similar size pipe wrench. More than once I've had to use both at the same time.

    And here is a Homedepot link to some other tools that are handy to have in your tool box. These are Orbit, but no big deal in this case.


    The riser extractor is real handy because sooner or later you'll break off a threaded riser with part of it still stuck inside of a pvc fitting. This tool will back the broken part out - unless if someone in their bright wisdom glued it in.
  8. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Whats wrong with just using two channel locks?

    I have a handfull of pipe wrenches, (even a 3' one), but I prefer using two channel locks if I can.
  9. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 609

    How about funny pipe and 1/2 and 3/4" barbed elbows and pvc cutters?
  10. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    I kinda assumed he had a standard set of pipe tools and just needed a few pointers on some odd stuff, Here is what I carry with me a in plastic tool tote, I have lots more tools on the truck, but these go all over the job with me.

    • 2 Channel Locks (with 2 larger ones on the truck)
    • Victor PVC Cutters
    • Poly Cutters
    • Wire Cutter/Stripper
    • 5/16" Nut Driver
    • Phillips and slot Screwdriver
    • Duct Tape
    • 1 Can IPS 725 Aqua-Blue
    • 1 Can IPS P-70 Primer
    • 1 Can IPS Blue-Azul
    • Roll of paper towels
    • Small Clothe towel.

    I have a set of nipple extractors on my truck, and I carry a Leatherman Wave in my pocket.

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