Mixing heads within the same zone

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by JimLewis, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I know we're usually taught to not mix different kinds of heads on the same zone. For instance, you normally wouldn't want to put a RB 1804 spray head on the same zone as a RB 5000 rotor. And you normally wouldn't put a MP Rotator on the same zone as zone that was otherwise 1804 with regular nozzles.

    Matched precip. rate is usually desirable. But I've found certain cases where it was NOT desirable. Where it actually created problems and the solution was to change out one or more heads to a totally different kind of head that had a lower precip. rate.

    I just wanted to start a discussion. In your experience, what circumstances is it acceptable to throw in different heads with totally different precip. rates within the same zone? Or if you think that's never acceptable, tell me why.
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,148

    Hey Jim, it's not winter yet & we're not sitting around with our feet up, yet.
    That said, I've mixed & matched many times on spray & rotor zones.
    Reason? Sun/shade in the same zone, different water requirements from
    plants in the same zone (lavender & hydrangeas), poor soil conditions causing
    runoff can be partially fixed by smaller nozzles than adjacent heads. With the
    Weather Matic 5503 brass, we can use with drip or MP Rotators depending
    on plant needs.
  3. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690


    We use them often for either oddly shaped areas where I cant reasonably shoot a rotor into, or extremely shady areas where I want considerably less precipitation.

    On renovations or repairs, maybe an MP out in the middle to catch a hot spot.
  4. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    Sometimes there is a huge difference between 'book teaching' and the real world. One needs to do what actually has to be done to get the area watered correctly especially if the budget is a factor. It may not be right on the drawing board but by gawd it works in the field.
  5. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,148

    Only experience will teach the real world knowledge & the brass to break
    the "rules".
  6. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129


    Messages: 18,668

    Ditto to every post in this thread. Do it all the time. I'll use a brass nozzle in a hot corner on a plastic nozzle system. several other things I do the purist would frown on.
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    I'll only do it in a pinch when renovating. If the system was designed properly to begin with, there would be no need for mix-matching. Course we all know how well systems are typically designed. :cry: :cry:

    Let's take the example of trees in a turf zone. Now one might think it would be OK to mix mp rotators with sprays in order to meet the trees water requirements, however consider how much water you will be wasting in order to do that (given a 3-4 day cycle for the turf). This would be a case where I would keep the nozzles matched and run a schedule to deep water the trees instead of trying to mix-match. Of course, depending on how large an area that zone covers, you could very well be wasting more water than your saving by doing the deep water.

    If we extend this scenario to shading, we have an entirely different problem, especially if sprinklers cover both shade and sun areas.

    In short, there is no easy answer. In the end I let the site and plants tell me what to do.
  9. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    If money grew on tress then every system could be designed properly... with shade zones, tree zones..shady turf zones....etc...:laugh:

    Messages: 18,668

    On top of that every system would have a Calsense timer, moisture sensors at three levels on each zone.

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