Finding Sleeves

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by bobw, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 807

    We do almost exclusively commercial installs on new construction sites (shopping centers, condo complexes, etc) and probably the biggest issue we face with irrigation is finding sleeves a year after they've been installed.

    Typically, we install PVC sleeves well before buildings are started and they just lie under ground until we come back to do the installation. By then, the buildings are done, pavement and curbs are down..and all of our survey stakes have vanished. :(

    Anybody have any ideas on how to simplify the issue? We have contemplated using GPS systems, but high cost and the specialized knowledge we'd need to have to use it make it unattractive.

    Anyone use detectable tape along the sleeve? or locator balls/disks?

    Once we're done our install, we don't care anymore as we'll have an as-built to work from, but when the sleeves go in, there are very few landmarks to measure off of (and we've tried...boy, have we tried)
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,752

    Some bright outfit is probably already selling lithium-battery-powered pingers for this sort of application.
  3. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    Stick a piece of rebar in the ground by them and use a metal detector?

    I've always thought there should be some sort of marker stick in the concrete for sleeves, like the blue W that's put in to mark water lines sometimes.
  4. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    ELM discs and balls and require a specialized receiver. SoCal has one I believe. It's a Dynatel. Boots has one if you believe him. It's a mumble mumble.

    You're going to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $2300-3600 for a handheld gps system with software (I have been checking) so you had better have multiple uses for the gps unit.

    I used to take a pic of the placement and give them to the GC/superintendent but in years past have placed a length of rebar inside the sleeve and cap or tape both ends. I have a magna-wand id1200 to locate them with.

    Btw, the locator SoCal has is multipurpose, affordable and the markers are about $500 a case and reusable. The locator Boots has requires a vivid imagination and a flux capacitor, it's priceless.

    Try the rebar inside the sleeve and a metal detector. :)
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,752

    Oh ye of little faith. I did get one hit from the eBay keyword search today, but it was for an album of opera music. :headphones:
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Just a note. A high end consumer grade unit will at least get you in the ball park, which might be enough in some cases.
  7. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    It was a play on words Boots, nothing more, nothing less.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 807

    Thanks for the ideas, please keep them coming.

    Kiril, Jim - GPS signals come in two types, L1 and L2. The regular signals (L1) have about a 2m (6 1/2 ft) degree of accuracy, which is too much error factor for us. Almost all GPS receivers use regular. Survey grade survey devices use the L2 and can use RTK (a real time correction setup) to get down to 1/10m (4") accuracy. That's what I dream of. Unfortunately, you're looking 15-20K to set that up. Also, there is a pretty steep learning curve. A huge advantage is that you can go and do a very accurate As-Built quite easily. Jim - If you've found sub-decimeter accuracy for $3500, please, please let me know what you found....

    Jim - The rebar method hasn't worked great in the past for us, too much interference, especially due to rebar in curbs. I really like the thought of the marker balls... any idea on what the locator cost would be about?
  9. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,201

    Burry solenoids in the ground attatch them to a field wire and common?

    field wire is left spare in clock?
  10. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 807

    Capt - these sleeves go into the ground a year or more before we start running wire, pipe or anything else. If we're lucky, they've put in light standards, otherwise all we have for reference points are manhole covers

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