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PVC or Poly?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by SteveG66, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. SteveG66

    SteveG66 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Good Morning everyone,

    I searched this site and was not able to find this topic, so i'm posting this to the irrigation professionals.

    I am a homeowner with .5 acre yard. I am going to have a system installed yet this spring.

    I have had two contractors come out and look at my property and quoted a price.

    Contractor 1 is about $500 more expensive using rainbird equipment. He will use all PVC.

    Contractor 2 will use pvc laterals and poly to the spray heads.

    I live in Indiana with typical winter issues.

    My dad has a system of PVC and he's had it for 25 years. I don't know much about poly?

    Contractor 1 said that there is a reduction in line pressure from Poly and he likes pvc better.

    I'd appreciate everyones unbiased opinions, please.

    Thanks in advance for all your help,

  2. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Reduction in pressure? I"m not sure about that.....

    Assuming this means he will use 1-2 feet of funny pipe per head.....so essentially he is using all pvc as well....

    Contractor 1 will not use pvc to the heads exactly...he will use poly or a swing joint...or perhaps he will use risers from pvc.....?

    There are many different reasons to use poly vs pvc....poly usually does better if the pipe happens to freeze due to bad blowout or early/late freeze....
  3. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 807

    Poly tends to be a northern climate solution and PVC used everywhere else.

    Poly will have higher friction losses due to the way fittings are inserted into the pipe wherease PVC fittings are glued on the outside of the pipe. Proper design should ensure that this isn't an issue.

    How are the contractors putting pipe into the ground? Trenching or plowing. If your yard is already landscaped, plowing is quite a bit less destructive.

    You said that Contractor 1 was going to use Rainbird components. What is Contractor 2 using? Contractor grade materials vs. home improvment store grade materials is easily worth $500.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,603

    Most sprinkler repairmen who have had to replace split PVC pipes, digging up at least twenty feet of a lawn to do so, are never likely to consider using any PVC in a lawn, except for making up a valve manifold.
  5. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    rainbird vs. hunter
    ford vs. chevy
    trenching vs. pulling
    bud vs. coors
    contractor 1 vs. contractor 2

    when will that madness end.........
  6. SteveG66

    SteveG66 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Boy are you all fast!!!

    I am sorry that I left out some details:

    Both contractors will be plowing in the pipe, contractor 2 will also be using Rain Bird.

    I agree, i'm probably splitting hairs here.

    Any irrigation specialists in Indianapolis that check this forum? Please get a hold of me, sgrytz@msn dot com.

    I know this question is probably asked quite often.

    thx again,
  7. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    As what Tony said, both contractors sound as if they are using PVC. Just disgregard the short runs of funny pipe to the sprinklers. So is poly even an issue here? Only if Contractor 2 is actually going to be pulling long lengths of poly should this matter.

    However, since there can be a big difference in the quality of components, such as valves and controllers even under the same brand name, this could really be the selling point for one contractor over the other.
  8. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    As far as I can tell, contractor 2 is going to pull in a PVC mainline, and then plow poly for the laterals, not just the swingjoint.

    This is fairly common, as some people don't believe in constant pressure poly.
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,603

    You could get by without a mainline on a half-acre, depending on the geometry. I can think of a few designs I would rework, to probably have a mainline, now that copper for the indoor plumbing has become so pricey.
  10. SteveG66

    SteveG66 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Thanks to all for your input. It is greatly appreciated.

    For whatever reason, I just feel better with the higher contractor. He was willing to give me a written quote and also was upfront with the materials he was going to use. He also followed up. THe other guy, shot me a price and I havent received a written proposal from him. He eyeballed the property and gave me a verbal.

    He is using the 5000 series rotors from Rain Bird, ESP Controller from Rainbird, and PVC all the way around. The rotors, I noticed from Rain Bird's website, are plastic. I noticed they also carry stainless steel, is it worth the little extra to discuss SS with the contractor? Maybe they'll last longer? They'll certainly look better (not that anyone would know but me).

    Does the RB equipment sound about right?

    Thanks again,

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