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My First System w/Photos

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by The Stig, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. The Stig

    The Stig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I guess it's kind of backwards to install a system and then ask questions, but I read lots of threads on here before and during my install which I just completed a few nights ago.

    I am a homeowner and pretty skilled DIY'er. I decided earlier this year to do an irrigation system after one of the guys that works for me did his place, but was a bit leery of following his approach. My yard is bigger and a lot more complicated than his and I wasn't thrilled with trenching up everything without a bit of professional guidance.

    I found an experienced company that offered a collaborative DIY program. In hindsight this meant, "we sit on the maxi-sneaker and you do all the work", but I'm OK with that as I learned a lot and got a bit of DIY pride out of it.

    The system is laid out in 12 zones, 5 front and 7 rear, using Hunter PGP rotors and Hunter Pro Sprays (36 heads in all). The controller is a Hunter ICC and I also added an SRR remote control.

    Lots of pictures here: The Stig's System

    Let me say that I have a lot of respect for you guys who do this every day. It's hard work and you earn every bit of the money you make. All told I put about 80 hours into it including lawn repair. The hardest part was all the hand trenching in the utility corridor through the limestone and clay that makes up our area. It was also a huge PITA getting under the sidewalk.

    Now some questions if I may:

    * The pro who sat on the maxi-sneaker gave me some nozzle guidelines for the PGP rotors: Red 5 for 90 deg heads (run 15 mins), Red 7 for 180 deg heads (run for 30 mins) and Red 9 for 360 deg heads (run for 45 mins).

    I have not installed the regular program yet as I am trying to germinate the new seed so am just dampening things every few hours throughout the day.

    Are those good guidelines? Should I be shooting for an inch a week? Any hints on setting up a good program?

    * How about low heads? Should I install a check valve to keep the zone from draining out after it turns off?

    * Any way to extend the range of the SRR? I can't get good coverage in the back yard.

    * When the system is running, I am hearing a bit of rhythmic pressure fluctuation in the copper and out through the Wilkins 975XL. Is there anything I can install in the system to smooth things out?

    Thanks very much!
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,158

    We could pick any system apart & might this winter, but for some honest mistakes,
    that pretty neat, good going! All of us should do as complete a photo as-built as you
    did: will come in handy if problems come up. :clapping:
    Mite get some wire ties & move wires should solenoid or diaphragm service
    is needed.

  3. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,931

    Very impressive for a rookie DIY job.:clapping:

    I've seen experienced pros do much, much worse.

    Hey Mike Leary: no comment on the 6" VB's?:)
  4. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,158

    I said we'd rip it end to end as soon as the season is over, how about the
    PGPs being too close to the sidewalk?
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,582

    When you reach the point where your SRR isn't working, place the top of the transmitter against the bottom of your chin, like it was an electric razor, and try again (not responsible for any brain damage)

    Only when every last bit of air is out of the RPZ, will it achieve maximum stability. Even then, it can spit water when a zone shuts off.
  6. The Stig

    The Stig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Well thanks for the kind words!

    As for layout and equipment choice, my professional did that part. I had done a layout myself, but his was much more redundant in coverage. His company has been doing this since 1946 so who was I to argue.

    As far as I could tell, the owner took my CAD layout and hand sketched the head locations and whether or not they were sprays or rotors. It was then up to the maxi-sneaker guy to configure the main and lateral lines for each zone and make the pulls so all the connections could be made by me. He was only marginally successful as some of his perpendicular pulls were 6 off in depth and many were not so perpendicular. When he pulled across a line he pulled right through and the resulting tear in the PVC was too ragged to just cut off and put on a T. Usually I had to cut off more and push more pipe into the hole to make the connection.

    As for the rat's nest in the valve boxes, that was based on his advice. He told me I would have to cut all the neat wire bundles apart if I ever had to work on anything and that they never took the time. It pains me to look in there, but I took the advice.

    I have one PGP that is too close to the sidewalk to get an edger past. Should they have been even farther away?

    And yeah, those little valve boxes suck. They supplied, I put 'em in.

    I will try the brain cancer route with the SRR. :)
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,582

    T-Bear looks readier to work than half the applicants I see.
  8. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,193


    nice work hoss

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