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Netafim installation problem

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by dgreenly, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. dgreenly

    dgreenly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I am installing my first netafim drip system under sod. I have sandy soil and am using the .6 GPH drippers that are spaced 12 inches apart in the techline CV drip line. Each line is about 4 inches down spaced 14 inches apart.

    I have a zone where I have a header and exhaust and the longest drip line between them is about 65 feet long. Well within the specifications.

    I have everything connected and the pressure regulator is 45 psi.

    The whole "grid" is on a very mild slope up and when it is turned on the lower half of the grid is looking great - I see water saturation perfectly. (The sod is not down yet)

    In the mid to upper parts though the drippers are not working. Nothing is coming out at all. Except for just a couple way up high that seem to be flowing way more than .6 GPH. The one that is flowing very fast is on a very short piece of line. Like basically - the connecters and the dripper right between them.

    So I guess the question is, could the "very short line" be causing the dripper to flow to fast, and could this drop the pressure of the grid so that the check valves in the dripper will not open?

    Any ideas on how to trouble shoot this. The zone is about a total of 2000 Sq Ft. The header and exhaust are both about 65 feet long in a triangular shape. At the bottom of the triangle is about 65 feet apart closing to about 15 feet at the top.

  2. Midlo Snow Maker

    Midlo Snow Maker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    OMG you are nuts, make sure next spring when you turn it back on you check every drip hole to make sure it's working properly:rolleyes:
  3. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I would talk to a netafim rep, not the sprinkler house guys but a company representative. I met them at IA last year and were very helpful answering questions.

    I have used netafim a lot in the past and have stopped using it in turf for the following reasons. I have had similar problems in that on a slope if the top looks good the bottom is soup or the bottom looks great and the top is tundra. Netafim works good for a stoleniferous turf like bermuda but when I over seed with the winter rye it looks like little pyramids of healthy rye, (right where the emitters are) to get it to look good all over I know I am wasting water. I should also let you know this is on a heavy clay soil that holds the moisture very well. I would be frightened of a sandy loam. I love using Netafim in crowded bedding areas and in places where the homeowners like to bring home plants to add to the landscape.

    My oldest Netafim systems are in the ground about 5-6 years now. I only did two or three lawns with the stuff and would only use it again for flat areas with bermuda type turf and only if sprinklers were a pain for some reason shape, over spray, pressure etc.

    Glad to hear you are smart enough to check the moisture pattern before you sodded.
  4. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,445

    sounds like you have too much pressure, or not enough on the lines
  5. Rainman7

    Rainman7 LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 291

    Are you feeding the Netafim from both sides?
  6. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    dgreenly- I estimated the flow for that zone to be 17 gpm, way too high. Netafim has an equation for total zone flow. I used your numbers of 2000 sq ft, .6gph emitters, 12" spacing and lines spaced 14" apart.

    I too am in the springs and have installed 3 netafim systems for lawns. send me an email at grdmas@aol.com if you like. -Tom
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,219

    Do you not realize they do this for some installs? Or are you just busting his balls?
  8. dgreenly

    dgreenly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for the info everyone– Turns out I do not have enough pressure – I talked to the netafim people and I put a water pressure gauge at the top of the zone (At the top of the header) and it had 0 pressure. He was saying I should have 15 psi at 10 gallons per minute.

    I have a header on one side feeding the zone and an exhaust on the other side - both are 1 inch poly with T's cut in to connect the netafim to. (Exactly as the techline CV guide says to do it)

    I am in the process of breaking up the zone – Looks like the problem is at the “bottom” of the zone the coverage is great and there are a lot of T’s and elbows in the netafim lines themselves because I had to get around trees, small patio area etc…

    That seems to be taking all the water.

    At this point I am going to run a line directly to the top part of the zone which does not have lots of T’s etc in the netafim lines and see how far down I can get that zone to go with the correct pressure.

    Not a real difficult task due to the design I have with header/exhaust - just have to find that sweet spot.

    I have seen many many people say - "Don't use it" while many others say it is great - I have seen it working in several places and want to make it work. I wonder if the people who "don't like it" just don't understand it enough to "make it work" or throw it together and hope for the best.

    I am going to make this work one way or the other - this stuff has been used for years in other countries and here in Colorado Springs it is so dry I want to try and save water while still having nice grass.
  9. dgreenly

    dgreenly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for the infor - that is all good to know and I am quite thankful I did not just throw sod down. - :rolleyes:
  10. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,219

    Good job, way to work through it.

    Nice to see we have 4 Colorado Springs area contractors on here.

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