Irrigation Help

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DavidR, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. DavidR

    DavidR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    I'm a homeowner with an irrigation system already installed. The system has 64 RainBird head, a Hunter SRC controller. I live on just under 2 acres.

    The problem I'm having is that I have one or two RainBird heads that go bad every year and constanly need adjustments. Is there a better head that I could start replacing these with when they go bad that would be more maintenance free?

    Second question, what are essential tools for working on this system that will make my life easier when replacing these heads and working on the system?

    Also, is replacing the heads the best thing I can do to upgrade the current system? Should I do something else that would make the system more maintenance free?

    BTW: All of my heads are rotators.

    Thanks for all your help for this new guy.
  2. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Give us the model types of the Rainbird heads. If they're rotors there are mini, mid, large and golf type rotors on the market. Makes a big difference as to the model and nozzle number.

    Slip joint pliers (like Channel Locks) and the manufacturer's adjustment tool, pullup tool or other sprcific aid for the sprinkler models you have.

    That's about it without knowing all the specifics of your system as it relates to your plantings and being able to look at an asbuilt plan.

    Rotators or rotors? There's a big difference as to how the water is put down and infiltrates the soil, especially on slopes.
  3. DavidR

    DavidR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    Thanks for the response.

    After looking at the RainBird web site, it appears that I have the 32SA model rotors.

    As for the as built plan, I don't really have that available. I can tell you that I have heads that surronding the yard, then I have twelve heads that circle 360* spead through the center of the yard.

    Hope this helps to diagnose my needs better.
  4. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    The 32SA is a 1/2" inlet DIY rotor sold by Rainbird through the big box stores. It's a DIYer and may not be as reliable in the long run. Mileage will vary though due to a lot of factors; sprinkler head height as compared to soil grade, soil type and/or turf variety that riser pops up through, straightness of sprinkler, cleanliness of water supply, etc.

    As they go out you might want to replace them with contractor grade rotors of similar function such as the Rainbird 3500 or the Hunter PGJ. You'll probably have to purchase these from an irrigation supply house.
  5. Rotor_Tool

    Rotor_Tool LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    2 acres? Is this a well system? The 32SA is a consumer product sold at Lowe's and Home Depot. You will be better off to replace the current equipment with 3500's from an Irrigation Distributor. If the water source is a well, you might check to see if the water is clean and free of debris, as this could cause any rotor fail.
  6. Remote Pigtails

    Remote Pigtails LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    Just don't be in the supply house the same time I am. I give DIYers buying at my supply house the evil eye.
  7. andersa

    andersa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Remote - you are looking at us DIYs the wrong way. Look at us as a great opportunities waiting instead. Once we have ruined out systems to the point that no grass will ever grow, our wives will make us call a pro and you can charge whatever you want :laugh: is a much better deal for the DIY anyway.
  8. DavidR

    DavidR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    Remote- WOW!! Thanks for the great advise. You really helped contribute to this post...thanks for that great insight:waving:

    I appreciate the comments from the rest of you. I started replacing the broken head. When I pulled it, I found out that the 5000's are what are actually installed. I guess I need to get more familiar with these RainBirds and learn how to adjust and fix my system.
  9. Remote Pigtails

    Remote Pigtails LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

  10. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 807

    Are you sure about that? BR 32SA is a 1/2" inlet; 5000 is a 3/4" inlet. I SUSPECT that what you are really wanting is a 3500 which is the contractor grade 1/2" model

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