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Quirky irrigation addition, suggestions

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by GreenLight, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. GreenLight

    GreenLight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 521

    Warning, this is pretty long and there is a diagram attached. I have a new client that I just did repairs for on an existing system (home he just recently purchased). He has a large amount of property for a residence and already has a 12 zone system installed that covers the basic highlights of the entire surrounding residence. That being said, he has a large field in the backyard past the existing irrigation coverage that he is interested in irrigating. I did take offs and with a basic rotor head to head spacing he will need another 4-5 zones depending on the pressure I get from the existing system. Well there are a few obstacles. First, the RB ESP modular is maxed out and couldn't handle 5 more zones. The controller is only a few years old and is completely dedicated at this point. If I were to upgrade to a rb esp lx me I could incorporate the entire system, but the original clock would be a waste and I would have to run 18/7 about another 120 feet from the original controller to the valve locations I have in mind. I have included a pic to reference below. Ultimately, a new RB controller with 18 zone expandability, 120 feet of 18/7 and a complete rewire of all incoming wires would cost him about $850. I offered him another option which he appeared to like much more, a simple RB esp with one module to cover the 5 new zones and have room for future expansion. I would then simply run a common and master wire from the original controller to the new, 60 total feet in the basement(original system is controlled by master valve so the new controller would have to open it as well) and only charge him $260 for all of that. He sounded much more pleased about simply having 2 controllers at 1/3 of the price as opposed to one commercial controller handling everything. Now onto the next order of business.

    The main line never even comes close to entering the back yard, in fact it terminates at manifold 3 which ultimately has one zone line going to the backyard. My plan was to cut out valve 12 at the manifold and then couple back the pipe using it as mainline to the back yard, then reinstall zone 12 valve right before the closest head on zone 12. This way I now have mainline to tie into without having to trench all the way around the house to get to it and run all new pipe. Ultimately, from this point I would Tee into the main line and begin feeding main to valves covering the lower field. Any suggestions or differing opinions?

  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,243

    Are you including electronics to isolate the two controllers from each other, since they will both be wired to the master valve?
  3. GreenLight

    GreenLight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 521

    Please elaborate wet boots, my ignorance might be showing a bit.
  4. GreenLight

    GreenLight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 521

    Sorry, now I think I understand, I misspoke about that...I was going to run the master and common wire from the existing master valve back through the basement to the new controller and not wire directly from one controller to the other...WHat I meant, was both controllers would fire the same master valve.

    Ultimately though, I guess that doesn't really change your question, it would still be applicable.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,243

    Controllers might "talk to each other" when they are directly interconnected. I had it happen the first time I used a pair of electromechanical controllers in tandem, with a master valve. I had to add an isolation relay to keep them apart. In its purest form, this isolation relay would have two or more 24VAC coils, so it could be energized from multiple sources that aren't at all connected together. Lacking a multiple-coil relay, one can cobble together resistors and diodes and capacitors and power a DC relay to switch the master valve on and off.

    You have to price this isolation into your bidding. It might make sense to do a bit more shopping for an 18-zone controller.
  6. GreenLight

    GreenLight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 521

    I see what you are saying...Well that does bring mean to one other option as well. Eliminate the master valve altogether and not have to worry about wiring that extra 60 feet at all.
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,184

    If it has a master valve already, don't eliminate it. Especially if you are trying to use part of a lateral line to be used as main line. You have no idea the condition of the pipe, or if it is poly, if it is single clamped.
  8. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 4,257

    I think 1 controller would be better in the long run. If you had 2 it would be hard to sync the 2 up for most homeowners. I have trouble with them working 1 control. You do not have to rewire the existing zones just change them over to the new controller, no big deal there.

    I don't understand how you are going to use the end of zone 12 for a main line without capping off the heads?

    Saving 60 feet of wire not a big deal either. I would just run a dedicated wire to the new manifold/zones through the basement as you mentioned. Don't see the problem there.

    My opinion is do this right and don't end up with a rigged system just to save a few bucks.
  9. GreenLight

    GreenLight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 521

    I don't disagree with you in theory at all. The two problems im facing are the price difference of $600.00 doing it one way vs. the other and the fact that if I get the 18 zone controller his 2 year old 12 zone controller is basically a paper weight in his storage shed. Im all for the 18 zone controller, but he really isn't crazy about it and would just assume dedicate another controller to the back fields. And yes, I agree, don't have to rewire all the valves, but I would have labor spent on dewiring the entire old controller, rewiring, reprogramming, remounting etc...

    As for the zone 12 being used as main, ultimately I would be cutting the zone 12 valve back in right before it reaches the first head. The way it is now, zone 12 is at the manifold, the zone line then runs 125 feet around the house and through a lot of trees before it theoretically ever even gets to any heads. So, I planned on cutting out the valve at the manifold and letting that 125 feet become extended mainline and then right before the reaching the heads (which are piped in series) cut zone 12 valve back in and then run wire from my new controller to this zone (10 feet). Thus basically eliminating one zone from the old controller and zone 12 would now reside as a zone on the new controls along with the 5 other zone additions.
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,243

    Two separate controller locations is bogus. (just noticed that) ~ Use the "crosstalk" as reason to not go with the two controllers. He can always sell the old controller on eBay. No problem laying your hands on an 18-zone controller for less than $350

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