1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, in the Franchising forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Rotor Head Hookup question

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by turbosl2, Jul 6, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. turbosl2

    turbosl2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    Again, thanks guys for the help so far. This has been a 2 yr battle. In the spring (May) my yard looks like a golf course. Its so perfect it could be in a magizine. But as the season goes on it gets worse.

    Some info to answer some of your questions.
    I live in NY, saratoga county. The soil is pure sand.
    I have a 1" poly line going to my house from the main. Its 550'. It enters the house and is converted to 3/4" copper right off the foundation wall. The sprinkler system is 3/4" copper, outside where i convert it to 1" poly. The whole main line is 1" poly, and so are the manifolds and valves. The saddle valves are 3/4" NPT where it then has like 2' of 1/2" swing pipe to feed the 5000 heads.

    The brown was a wonderful red thread that the lawn fertlizer company brought into my property. I did it myself last year but this year i decided to try a service that is a liquid slow release. I am not happy with it yet. Everyone that is suppose to be an expert tells me 20-30mins a zone is what your are suppose to water, and the locals say dont even try to keep your grass green in july. Its impossible. I run 45mins a zone every other day and by the end of the first day the surface is dry as a bone, but the front is holding is own,the back is not as nice. When you have 16zones its really hard to do much more, your talking 12 hrs of watering. I have to split it to every other day, one day the front, the other day the back. The front gets shade until about 8-9am, while the back gets sun starting at like 6am.

    The red thread is out of the lawn now and its just starting to fill back in after a high N dose. The fert company tells me to reduce watering to 20mins, and i told him he was crazy. The sun exposure i have and the soil tells me 45mins is not enough. I dont think he understands my size lot, he is prob used to the .25acre lots where the soil is clay or topsoil. I say this because when you have a 38' radius, it takes some time to cover some decent amount of water into the ground. So i decided to add a few zones to water every day just to see how it works out, and it is greening up in those areas. The thing that still bugs me, and the reason for this thread was i dont get enough water (at least to my liking) close to the head, larger droplets form at the end of the curtain, its not really bad but maybe you just cant get it that perfect. I have never watered more than 45mins a zone.

    I wish i could amend the soil but its way to expensive to do 75k sq feet of yard. When i designed and built the house i had to have 6k yards of dirt moved to level it out. I then realized at $25-35 a yard for topsoil, thats not going to happen. To put down 3" it would be like 8,000 yards of topsoil needed. You can do the math on that one. Even if it was $5 a yard its to much

    I can take pics of the heads in action tomar morning. And some of the soil.

    I do not water at night but i do start my sprinklers at 3:15 AM because it wont finish half the yard until 9:15 (6hrs later), and thats only half. If i watered at night the grass would def stay wet but i hear you shouldnt water at night, then i hear its a myth. So plain and simple i just dont do it.

    The other thing is 6-7GPM seems like crap
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,184

    It's a regional thing. Here, in CO, we have minimal humidity. So running them at night is no big deal, as things won't stay wet all night long. Areas with high humidity may be different though.

    You're going to have to find a compromise, and live/accept the faults of the system unless you want to re-install and re-design. Don't go with the Falcons. I highly doubt they will help, and actually may operate worse than what you already have.

    I'm not a MaxiPaw fan, but they may do the job.
  3. turbosl2

    turbosl2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    Ya i just looked at the falcons, they have a min pressure of 30psi at the head. I am barely at 25psi. I may order a few maxis. Does you have a certain type of head that may give more uniform watering that you suggest? I figure i order a few of this, and that and see what happens.

    Maybe i should look into boosting the pressure for the sprinkler system. I have 2 sprinkler pumps but i really didnt want to pay the electric to water the lawn.Not sure how much it would cost. 6hrs a day for an electric pump may add up. I have points but never even tried it because its so sandy here and i am higher up in elevation i dont think i could hit water.
    I also dont think a point can supply 2500-4000gallons of water. Maybe it could though
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,218

    Drill a well - that cures everything in one swell foop - electricity to pump well water is a fraction of the cost of metered city water
  5. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,606

    you mentioned your lawn was all sand.dont do 45 min every other day as you are just wasting about 3/4 of it. Go the other way . less time more ofton. Thatsa the correct way to water sandy soils.
  6. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,944

    We need to know what type of turf he has. I doubt the turf is down on straight sand since he had a "golf course lawn" a year ago. Here, turf comes with at least 1/2" of soil and even the cheapest builders will put down 6" of top soil.

    With mist heads, I need between 15 and 20 minutes of precipitation to percolate water 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch to the root zone (mpr's a little longer). Rotors (PGP's... I know :dizzy:) require 3 to 4 times as much using a #5 nozzle.

    Looking at this guys #'s, I'm surprised he can lift any rotors at all. As opposed to trying to rig the irrigation from his existing water meter along with all the mickey mouse reductions, etc. Size the service line and install a separate turbo meter, a larger PVB, larger main, at least 1.5" or 2" and loop it (1" main is ridiculous for a 1.5 acre site); increase the size of the laterals to at least 1" and get rid of the swing joints.

    A separate water meter will cut down on his cost since sewage is based on water usage and it will eliminate all the other line restrictions. A better bet would be to drill a well, this guys water bill has got to be more than my mortgage payments. Another suggestion is quit fishing here and get a local irrigation company, who is familiar with the local conditions, to evaluate the system.
  7. turbosl2

    turbosl2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    I did some research and was told that can promote shallow roots and alot of weeds. I am not expert and over the last 2 years really have not found what works best.

    Here are some pics of the #5 nozzles in the heads. I renozzled about 75% of the system.


  8. turbosl2

    turbosl2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    Turf is pure sand. I built this house on a private lot and the cost of topsoil was was to much. All the soil that was on top of the site was moved to a driveway area to raise it up. 6000 yards was moved, what i have left is 100% pure sand. Its like trying to grow grass at the beach. My sewage is not based on water usage because we are on a septic.

    The laterals are all 1". The swing pipe is you think could be holding me back?
    The lawn looked like a golf course 2 years in a row now, but only in the spring for the months of April & May
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    How much money are you going to spend in irrigation, ferts, pesticides as a result of poor soil conditions? With respect to your irrigation, you need to stop guessing and listening to the "professional" idiots and do a full audit of your property (irrigation, soils, plants) .... that is unless you want to keep shooting in the dark and hoping it all works out.

    The irrigation pics are worthless, the soil pics are not and you are quite likely not on "pure" sand. I pull a soil report from a random 22000 acre area in your county and the soils are predominately sandy loams, silt loam, loamy sand. Sands are marked mostly as fine to very fine with the loamy sands running sand content in the 70-90% range. All other soils, which make up the vast majority of the area I selected, have sand contents well below that range.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012
  10. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,585

    You keep asking about the swing joints I think they are the least of your problems. My lawn looked great in April and may too and I don't have an irrigation system.
    Posted via Mobile Device
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page