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best way to flag out sprinkler heads-before aerating

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by ant, May 15, 2005.

  1. ant

    ant LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,466

    i am intimidating by the new timers that are installed today.when i aerate a lawn i get the client to flag out the system but i lost a few jobs due to that (client never got around to it.) so i am going to flag out the heads my self.
    i am used to the old rain bird timers with the push pins.(easy to do) now that they are all different it's hard to figure out with out screwing up there timers...

    whats the easiest way to activate the timers with out messing up the times?

  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    On a Rainbird ESP, Turn the dial to "Auto"

    Then hit the "manual Start/Advance Button". Zone 1 will come on.

    When your done flagging, hit the button again and Zone 2 comes on.

    On a Irritrol Rain Dial, Turn the 3 way switch at the bottom to Manual, and the move the dial to the zone you want and hit Manual Start.

    The Hunter Pro-C works similar to the ESP, but I don't install them, so I cant give the final word.
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,258

    Hunter controllers of recent years allow you to start a cycle with the right-pointing-arrow button, and move through the zones with it. Most controller manufacturers have put their manuals online, so you can download one and peruse it in detail.
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    ant,just turn the valves on manualy,if you know where they are.All timers are basicly the same you have real time,station run time,start time,and manual run,most you just turn the dial or push a button to the station ya wanna run then turn a dial or push a button that says manual run or start.
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,258

    Opening valves manually at the valve box, and not from the controller, is risking the (slight) possibility that the valve will stick open, which would be a real pain in the rear if you can't get at a shutoff valve for the system. This is a risk that's dependent on the specific equipment in the system. Not a common occurrence, but one of those Murphy's Law examples you want to be prepared for.
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    well Iv'e had to run that risk many times and never had that happen,and if it did I would shut off the main and fix it.Alot of times controllers are locked in a garage and you need to use the valves manualy.
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,258

    You don't mean that valve that's four-and-a-half feet down, for which that landscaper doesn't have a key, do you? A good system, with an outdoor shutoff, means you aren't left with constantly running water, in the event of a stuck valve. It's the older sprinkler systems, with no shutoff capability, that would be more likely to develop this problem. Warm-weather climates will have shutoffs within easy reach.

    Again, very unlikely. But never say never.
  8. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    I offer this suggestion reluctantly. When winterizing or marking systems, I sometimes by pass the actual controller for various reasons. A small alligator clip jumper wire from the AC terminal can be run to each zone valve one at a time for your purpose. BUT, I caution you! if you do not know which is the correct terminal just DON'T. And if the system has a Master Valve, you either have to open it manually or jump it along with the station you wish to activate.

    I use a jumper wire when winterizing a LOT. I can set the controller to run one or two min / station, and then short cycle other stations at the same time. Gets me in and out faster.
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Its a good habit to buy various sizes of valve keys and keep them on your truck.

    My 2' one has saved me a bunch of times, and I actually had to turn off a street once with a 4' one.
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,258

    I have keys, but it's in my best interests to do so. For the landscaper flagging heads, it's a different story.

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