Dirty water heads

LawnCruiser

LawnSite Member
Location
Connecticut
Looking for sprinkler head advise for a newly installed lawn irrigation project that uses pond water.

For the past few months I have been using a 1hp sprinkler pump as a single zone and can run 5 maxi-paw heads with good throw. I chose maxi-paws as I read impact heads offer the best resistance to clogging, I have only a screen on the foot valve at this time.I plan to add 12 more heads, 3 zones of four, and don’t want to be cleaning/replacing the nozzles any more the necessary.

I spoke with sales at Rainbird today and was told the 5000 rotors with the SAM (check valve) option would also be a good choice for dirty water sources. Somehow the SAM helps keep the head from clogging, but I find this hard to believe.

Has anyone used the 5000 rotors with dirty water? Should I stick with the maxi-paws for this? I’m in Connecticut so I’ll be draining the system every fall if that’s makes a difference. Any advise would be appreciated!
 

jdmccay

LawnSite Member
Location
Colorado
With rotors, the problem isn't clogging so much as the gears getting gunked up and will stop rotating.

But if you're pulling pond water, you're going to want to make sure you have good filtration anyway to keep your valves from sticking.

As long as you have enough water, maxi paws will be the most trouble free. Rainbird 5000s will work just fine too though, as long as you make sure your filtration is adequate
 
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LawnCruiser

LawnSite Member
Location
Connecticut
Thanks for the input! Thought a picture might be nice for the thread. Its just a side yard so the coverage doesn’t need to be perfect. I could probably get away with less heads with the maxi-paws.

Guess I should get some filtration in the system either way. The other side yard has a pond as well where the single zone is just controlled by turning the pump on, this has worked well all year without any filters or valves.

BBD0B151-34BA-4A44-806A-4F9E535BCB0E.jpeg
 

jdmccay

LawnSite Member
Location
Colorado
Thanks for the input! Thought a picture might be nice for the thread. Its just a side yard so the coverage doesn’t need to be perfect. I could probably get away with less heads with the maxi-paws.

Guess I should get some filtration in the system either way. The other side yard has a pond as well where the single zone is just controlled by turning the pump on, this has worked well all year without any filters or valves.

View attachment 386744
Very nice. I like the fire place :)
 
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LawnCruiser

LawnSite Member
Location
Connecticut
So I’ve decided to go ahead with the 5000 series rotors as they are quieter and more precise. I went ahead and ordered the 5004+ with PRS SAM, model 5004pcsrsam. These are the green tops with individual shut offs, pressure regulation at 45psi and check valve.

I can only seem to get 3 to pop up correctly at one time with my 1hp sprinkler pump. Does the pressure regulation or check valve rob the system of much pressure? Also, Is the check valve a nuisance when draining the system for the winter?

Thanks for any insight!
 
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LawnCruiser

LawnSite Member
Location
Connecticut
Another question about pipe size on an incline...if my distribution point is 15-20’ above the pump and 150’ away, would it be better to use 1-1/4 pipe or 1”? In my mind it would take more energy to lift the larger column of water but perhaps it is a wash with the line loss.

I may add a booster pump even further up the hill about 10’ height and another 150’ away to service the other side of the property. With that in mind would 1-1/4 be the better choice anyway?
 

jdmccay

LawnSite Member
Location
Colorado
Another question about pipe size on an incline...if my distribution point is 15-20’ above the pump and 150’ away, would it be better to use 1-1/4 pipe or 1”? In my mind it would take more energy to lift the larger column of water but perhaps it is a wash with the line loss.

I may add a booster pump even further up the hill about 10’ height and another 150’ away to service the other side of the property. With that in mind would 1-1/4 be the better choice anyway?
There's so much more that goes in to it when sizing your pipe. But here's a crash course. You'll lose about .43 psi for every foot in elevation change. Regardless of pipe size.

As for psi loss over distance you'll also have friction loss. The bigger the pipe the less psi loss. Check out the charts here. https://www.rainbird.com/professionals/friction-loss-charts

You'll know which table to used based on the gpm of the nozzles you're using, times how many heads you have.

But... You don't want to size your pipe too big either because you don't want to out-run the pump inlet.

What size inlet are you using? How far is the pump from the source? How high above the source is the pump? All of these factor in to psi loss. That said, if you were running maxis before and you switched to rb5000s and now the heads aren't popping up, either you have pressure loss now that you didn't have before (i.e. cavitating pump, or a leak) or your maxis weren't performing the way they're supposed to from the beginning.

Sorry to word vomit, there's just waaaaaayy more info needed to size the pipe correctly.
 

jdmccay

LawnSite Member
Location
Colorado
Another question about pipe size on an incline...if my distribution point is 15-20’ above the pump and 150’ away, would it be better to use 1-1/4 pipe or 1”? In my mind it would take more energy to lift the larger column of water but perhaps it is a wash with the line loss.

I may add a booster pump even further up the hill about 10’ height and another 150’ away to service the other side of the property. With that in mind would 1-1/4 be the better choice anyway?
maybe a good place to start would be to throw a psi guage on close to the pump when it's running and see what you are working with at the source, and design out from there
 

Garrett1234

LawnSite Senior Member
Not a pro. So what I say is merely my experience.
I have a 5hp Gould’s booster. It’ll run more psi than you need. Heads pop up easy. I can share photos of it throwing if ya want?
I run 3000’s, 5000’s, falcons.
Anyhow. The part I wanted to address was the pipe size.
If you opt for a bigger booster down road and want to run many valves at once (booster big enough to do it). Running inch and a quarter doesn’t allow enough water to adequately run as many valves as I’d prefer. (And my water source is level not up hill).
I could run for example (25) 5000’s simultaneously with their 3 to 4 rated insert however when I open all the valves like that it starves for water.
Not a big deal, but if your yards large you don’t wanna be watering for 3 hours. All at once would be easier (in my case at least).
And I have choked down from a 3” run to inch and a quarter. Wish I’d gone bigger. Upcoming projects I will. I’m sure I’m missing some massive important details others can help with or phrase better what I’m trying to say, but wanted to share.
 
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LawnCruiser

LawnSite Member
Location
Connecticut
This a new area I’m working on now. Different pond and pump from the one running 5 maxis.

On this area I have a 1” foot valve through 15’ of 1” pipe at 5’ head to 1” inlet and outlet on the centrifugal pump. Here’s where I need to decide between 1” and 1-1/4” pipe to run another 150’ distance and another 15’ head. From there I plan on 3-4 zones, running mostly horizontal and back down the slope.

I have read enough to know I’m going to do this by the book, so I guess trial and error is my only course of action. It’s a fun project for me, not an occupation. I know this may annoy the experts and for that I apologize, but I don’t have 5k to drop on my side yard at this time. I do however have tons of water and some ingenuity on my side!
 

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