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'Makeshift' Sprinkler System

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Teach123, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    You don't use the spigot, but rather you tee into the feed to the spigot. If you do this, you should choose one that is the closest to the water meter with a pipe size no less than 3/4". A 1/2" feed will increase your zone count considerably.

    There are a lot of questions you should/could ask, but you need to do your homework first. A good company will first delineate the sites current and potential hydrozones then design the irrigation system around that. Beyond the critical factors involving design and proper hydrozoning, material quality and a highly flexible (smart) controller are also key factors.
  2. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    Exactly what Kiril said. You are not simply screwing onto the spicket, but using the pipe that exits the spicket as your water source to connect your baclflow to. You would use a tee so that you wouldn't loose access to the spicket. I have seen systems which tie directly into the spicket but that is way to restricktive, trying to design a system with that method would cost much more in materials as you would need many more zones, and posibly more smaller heads at closer intervuls.

    If you really want to save money in the long run a good commercial controler is a must with a reain sensor. This way you aren't watering if it just rained yesterday. All of my systems include a rain sensor and I strongly encourage all of my customers to upgrade to a full weather station as that will give them the best control. The biggest thing is get a company known for irrigation, they will test water flow, pressure, and design the most efficient system available; and not a fly-by-night pert time guy who does the same basic design for every lawn.

    In your original post, you said the quotes ranged froom 1500-5000. I am willing to bet that th einstaller for the 1500 system would not save you an ounce of water and would over water many areas while leaving others dry.
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,559

    this is a job for a battery-operated system; fine for small lawns. Use hose. 4 double AA batteries.

    They cost about $49 to $69 at Home Depot. Or Ace Hdwe. Get spike-base sprinkler heads and the special spikes, hide the heads in the bushes. Later, if you decide to bury the heads and hose--you don't have to buy new sprinkler heads.

    With a little careful planning you can cover the front with one half-circle head. And perhaps you can cover the back with two half circle heads. For big areas, one sprinkler head can cover an 80 foot circle, (naturally you need good pressure and you need 20 percent overlap).

    A professional system is required by law to have a permanent backflow preventer. ($500).
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    No offense Riggle, but that melnor junk just barely qualifies for a very temporary setup, let alone a "permanent" one. :dizzy:

    If irrigation is a requirement in the OP's area, then the only realistic solution is a proper irrigation system. A properly designed and managed irrigation system will make or break the landscape. It is the #1 most important part of any landscape which relies on supplemental water. If you don't want to install a real irrigation system, then plant regionally appropriate landscapes that don't require supplemental water .... which is what people should be doing anyway.
  5. platinum

    platinum LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    You can get away with a couple of the orbit or melnor timers, a bunch of hoses and standard sprinkler heads. I used that for 2+ years without any reliability problems. It’s a pretty ghetto way of doing things but it does work for a small setup. If you’re just trying to get by until you have the funds to do it correctly it will work fine.

    You’re not going to get much help on here with a setup like that so message me if you have any questions. Even though I did this for a couple years, I did put a real system in because of some of the issues that come along with a timer system. Below are some of them;
    • Batteries dying
    • Hoses rotting (in buried in the ground which I had)
    • Inconsistent water coverage
    • High water bills. Because of the challenges with zoning you end up watering more then you need in most spots to compensate for some of the dry spots. You also waste a lot of water on hardscapes such as driveways, street, etc.. My water bill was almost cut in half when I went to a real system.
  6. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,610

    And there is your answer.
  7. Teach123

    Teach123 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    Thanks everyone for your input. I have the funds to get a quality system installed by reputable companies. It's just a little more "tearing up" in my basement than I thought. From all the responses, it looks like a permanent system would save money in the long run. Simply getting even coverage in a efficient manner is enough for me. Thanks to you guys, I am now armed with some potential questions to ask. Thanks again!!
  8. brawdyre

    brawdyre LawnSite Member
    from OKC
    Messages: 89

    Here is a possible solution. The company apparently does not make them anymore but a smart guy could buy the parts and put one together. It sanother hose based system but with pro parts. Right now I am using the ghetto orbits timers and hoses but it works for me. Here is a pic of what is called a watermonster.



  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    If you see a green valve, it is anything but pro.
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,559

    Hunter and Rainbird are good brands. Be sure to get the rain sensor. Be sure they guarantee both the labor and parts. The manufacturer usually warrants the clock, heads, and valves,(one year is a minimum, ask for 3 to 5 years).
    The cheaper heads sometimes do not retract. They sometimes stop rotating after a year or two. Be sure the coverage overlaps correctly. Ask that the sunniest and hot areas get a little more water than shade areas. Be sure it will still work correctly if city water pressure drops ten percent during hot days. Other guys can advise about other shortcuts you don't want.

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