Irrigation troubles **Pic

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by ericlemson, Jul 6, 2008.


Would you ever install a drip system (plants) and a rotors (turf) on the same zone?

  1. Absolutely, nothing wrong with it!

    3 vote(s)
  2. Are kidding me? Hell no!

    30 vote(s)
  3. I don't use drip systems.

    2 vote(s)
  1. ericlemson

    ericlemson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    Hi everyone. My inlaws just had landscaping and irrigation installed at their home. The landscaping is great, but we are fighting with the irrigation system. We are having grass and plants die and I wanted to get your opinion and I wanted to get your professional opinions.

    The front of the yard is the main issue. Zone 1 hits everything in the front yard which has 3 main sections. 2 areas of turf (left and right) and 1 area of plants. The left side turf is doing great, the plants are doing bad and the right side turf is doing horrible. The sod is covered by rotors and the plants are on drip. So here is my first question:

    Should rotors covering turf and drip systems covering plants, be on the same zone?

    Here is my other issue. To the left of the house, the turf is doing great as each blade of grass is being double covered by the rotors. The right side is also on rotors, however, most of the turf is only single coverage because of poor design and those spots are dying. I can’t increase the time because the left side is staying soggy in some areas and is being overwatered. Now the plants on the drip system are dying because of a lack of water. Again, because it’s connected to the rotors, I again cannot increase the time for the drip system without even more overwatering the turf.

    Additionally, the turf to the right side of the house is wasting lots of water. In some cases the rotors hit more than half of the two lane road. To me, the right side should have had pop-up sprayers. **I will try and attach a diagram of the right side turf.

    Lastly, I have contacted the irrigation installer and he has said that he feels like having rotors covering turf and a drip system covering plants on 1 zone is normal and he has no problem with that. When I brought up the fact that I thought he should replace the rotors on the right side with pop up sprayers (and add a couple additional heads to make sure I have double coverage) and put the drip system on a separate zone, he said he could, but for an additional charge. I said even though it was poorly designed? His response: “ it was working when I left”.

    So anyway, if you are still reading, please tell me what your thoughts are. If parts of this are confusing, let me know and I will respond to those parts. I’m not sure what I am looking for, maybe just a affirmation that this was a poorly designed system and that any normal, honest irrigation expert would replace or reconfigure to make sure it was doing the job correctly.

    In addition to all of this, 4 plants on the backyards drip system were completely dead 4 weeks later. When I finally looked at the drip line, there were no drip nipples installed in the line (just a hose going by a plant). I guess he forgot.




    Attached Files:

  2. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,209

    Thats a bogus system..should of been sprays for the tight area..

    also sounds like things are getting double watered. Which is not good....
    id take the pgp's out and put in sprays with triangle spacing..

    good luck.
  3. ericlemson

    ericlemson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    Note that the photos were taking a couple days after the system was installed and don't show the dead grass and plants.

    Also, we were charged for 4 zones, and he confirmed over the phone last week that he only installed 3!
  4. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,209

    that guy gave it to your folks pretty bad..

    Looks like a builder system...

    I would suggest separating the drip n rotors @ once...

    this joker is not even coming close to matching percip rates...

    how much did he charge for the system?
  5. lotec25

    lotec25 LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 8

    wow that is a messed up design. you can have the drips on the same system but usually plants need watered more then grass. So the plants should be on there own zone. Also there is no need for rotor heads in those small areas. i few 180's and a few 90 would do that fine. I really do not see a need for rotors unless you have a huge area to cover. That is way over watering i would call the guy tell him he needs to come out and look at it. Explain to him what is happening and let him know it has to be fixed or you will have to take action.
  6. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    You've been had. I wouldn't even bother to have him "fix" it, as I'd get someone else.

    Drip and rotors on one zone isn't a huge sin, depending on the nozzle, the rotor zone may need to run for 45 minutes or so, so that gives adequate time for the drip.

    However, as you can tell my the overspray, that area is completely misappropriate for rotors. If switched to proper heads for the area (Sprayheads) the runtime will be reduced down to just 10-15 minutes. This means the drip must be separated from the sprayhead zone, as they do not match precipitation rates at all.

    Unfortunately, the retrofit may be painful. We don't know what size pipe is in the ground, and doing it properly with about 12 sprayheads will use a lot more water. So zones may have to be split.

    In short, you need to find a better irrigator and have it done again.

    Just out curiosity, what did you pay for this masterpiece?
  7. ericlemson

    ericlemson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    My inlaws paid 600 a zone or 2400. But remember, he didnt install the 4th zone. The builder of the home (just finished in April) recommended this landscaper. Apparently, irrigation is not his forte. Last week, we contacted the builder and told them the situation for some backup.

    Messages: 18,668

    Got what you paid for. 2400 is pretty cheap. Ditto on all that has been said so far. Need to just get a new one. Maybe you can get London Rain to check it out and see it it is salvageable. Course he is really busy right now.
  9. ericlemson

    ericlemson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    2400 is what I paid for my 4 zone system and I think thats about what they go for around here. It was a great system too. My inlaws are about 45 mins. down the road, so we had to go with a reference from the builder. I actually called Londonrain last year for mine and he was backed up!
  10. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,932

    Everyone felt your pain so bad that no-one commented on the beautiful dogs...

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