Doing it Right/Judgement Call/Some Background

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by AWilsonCreativeServices, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,550

    Sounds like a horizontal loop dug out in the yard.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. AWilsonCreativeServices

    AWilsonCreativeServices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    Hey y'all-

    Thanks for the comments and support. Looking back at my original post, I realize the way I presented it was to make the reader sympathetic to my side, but that is how I still feel after having slept on it and calmed down. I am not going to compromise my quality, and will have to pass on this job.

    To answer some questions-

    I would have quickly recommended mp rotors for watering such an easy area, as the "L" shape would be a snap. However, the other side of his front yard (which is a backwards/mirror "L" of the damaged side) has 6" pop-up sprays, and that's what he wanted. I have also read some newer literature that makes a case for using sprays on a sod zone to more evenly water; you just water for shorter periods of time, etc. Regardless, he seemed adamant on only doing what was there before, even with the old design not covering all areas. He even asked me to move heads on the plan so they would spray towards the sidewalk through shrubs as opposed to away from the sidewalk towards the shrubs.

    I have the landscape contract for my church, and receive a lot of work because of it (3 years and counting). It's almost an entire city block in the downtown area, and is almost 200 yrs old, and includes a formal garden/ boxwood parterre, x2 courtyards, and landscaping along the church, which has downtown streets on x3 sides of it.

    The potential customer also is/has been my go-to when we need an architect (3 or 4 times in my 4 years, as we also do a little remodeling in the winter and have performed relandscaping when homes are remodeled or expanded).

    While I put in probably 200+ (mostly residential) systems when working for the previous irrigation guy, I haven't put in a system since being out on my own (didn't have my dingo and all until 2 yrs ago). I do tons of repair work, system expansions, and changing sprinklers due to relandscaping (also had a few calls bec of pest control and cable tv/internet contractors hitting unpressurized lines and keeping right on going). That being said, I feel pretty comfortable with installing a system- just have to do the math and use good judgement. My foreman (my 1 fulltime employee) has as much or more experience than I, and I frequently work and sometimes consult with a retired landscaper in town who now only does irrigation repair and calls us for trenching and the like.

    The geo-thermal well would be great as an irrigation pump and water supply (which they thought about), except that the water it pumps is very high in iron. Stains everything pretty quickly, they discovered. They had to abandon some part of the pump system and redo something because of it.

    Thanks again, Roll Tide, and I'll prob be posting some this year with questions, advice (yikes!) and definitely send in some "Hall of Fame Hacks" I find.
  3. cjohn2000

    cjohn2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 570

    Sprays watering more evenly than MPs? . . .
  4. TTM42

    TTM42 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    Just a little added thing I have found out in my installations, I NEVER manifold all of my valves in the same valve box, if a valve needs to be replaced you are opening up a can of worms and a big headache, I learned the hard way :(
  5. cjohn2000

    cjohn2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 570

    That and pulling larger boxes is more time consuming than a econo box. Less time when it comes to connecting laterals to the valves
  6. AWilsonCreativeServices

    AWilsonCreativeServices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    Well... I feel dumb now. I meant using ROTORS to reply to a previous comment, as watering the "L" area with rotors would be easy. You are correct, using the rotators/ spider nozzles in the spray bodies would be optimal for this whole situation.

    My thinking on sticking all my valves in one box/ all in 1 area is that if you cluster them all together:
    1. They area always easy to find, and you can control where they are located ( ex-sticking them away from a high traffic area and out of sight around a corner, etc)
    2. I feel it looks more professional than having 1 valvebox here and 1 valvebox there scattered willy-nilly around a yard
    3. If they're scattered around, that seems to attract people to plant something pointy& prickly right next to/on top of a box, run over it with a mower or vehicle, etc .
    4. If you build 'em with lots of room (I always think to my self, "If I had to come rebuild any one of these valves at any time, is there enough room to do so without tearing the whole thing out?") they're just about as easy to work on. I might stick 3 or 4 in a Jumbo box and 2 in a large box next to it if I had a 5 or 6 zone system. (Recent repair job- a customer had x3 valves in seperate boxes that were 6" off the inside of a curve of his circular driveway, which was tight. He seemed to always be running over a box, so after replacing 1 valve and 2 boxes, and having him rebreak the same valve, we trenched over abt 20-30ft and put all 3 valves in one jumbo box which was around the corner of his house. He was cheap too, but finally saw the value in doing it Right).
  7. Sprinkus

    Sprinkus LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,283

    The dude needs to place his faith in more than one place. I've seen way too many architects with huge egos, and usually at great cost to the customer, but with very little, if any thought to the contractors.
    You want to do what is quit thinking about it and just do it! More work will come your way because of it.
  8. cjohn2000

    cjohn2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 570

    I work on almost all commercial systems now, but I used to install residential. I would cluster valves three and four at a time off from the side of the area they served. I wound up using econo boxes in the end because I could do simple repairs through the top and if I had to replace a valve one small box is alot easier to remove and replace than a jumbo box.

    Hindsight usually precedes foresight.
  9. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,907

    Generally speaking

    1 clustered manifold system = easier to diagnose and repair but more expensive to install

    Extending your main line and wire through out the yard for a small cluster of valves in each area or single valves is a cheaper way to install but with a longer diagnosing / repair time for future work.

    You seem to have a good head on your shoulder.. and you aren't joe smo looking for a quick buck.. So stick to your guns and continue saying you follow a professional standard of irrigation installations. Since he is the way he is, urge him to inform himself online on how system designs are. If you can't come to an agreement, then you might want to back out.

    A geothermal installation is no short of a huge investment and can take sometime to return that costs. If the guy is balking at a 3 of 4k irrigation installation then you might not want to him to be your client to begin with.
    In my mind if someone is willing to invest in a geothermal system and not have a understanding that its going to cost money to redo the irrigation system. Time to find someone else
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    water costs money

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