Shocking. A customer didn't tell the whole truth.....

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by drmiller100, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    Bid a system 2 weeks ago. Out in the country. Customer has an on demand well (variable rate), and swore he had 15 gallons per minute. No sand, no iron.

    I give the bid, and in WRITING in the bid it says "If sand or the well will not produce 12 GPM, Contractor has the right to stop work forfeiting all work to date."
    Then I tell the customer "it is your well. if it doesn't produce enough water or has a bunch of sand, I'll work with you to fix YOUR WELL, but it will be Time and materials."
    So we tap the main, run the water into 5 gallon bucket. Bucket is muddy. Clean bucket out. Fill again. Still muddy. Stick hand in bucket, pull out sand.

    Customer walked out at that EXACT moment. Umm, sir, you have sand in your water.
    OH NO, that's not sand. that is MICAH. You didn't ask about Micah!!!!

    sigh. Sir, you need a Micah filter to make your sprinklers work.
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,875

    Mica really sucks. I generally use a 100 mesh stainless-steel-screen strainer on well water, just to protect my work.
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I'm a lucky one, Out here we are either in hardpan clay or rocky fertile soil. Either area has very nice clean water.

    We only need to install filters on systems fed by irrigation ditches.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,875

    When I first encountered that nasty stuff, I was just starting to use Irritrol (then Richdel) jar-tops, and the softer diaphragm material actually 'trapped' some of the particles on the seat, and the valves started weeping. It was about then that I decided that some kind of filtration would be a good precaution.
  5. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    Did you swith to 204's? filtration helps, but the 204 is a much better dirty water valve w/o much increase in cost.
    And it's got a track record almost as good as the 2400.
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,875

    I had been, and still would be (if there was greater availability) a user of the original R204 (or R205, for the flow control) valve, but I liked the jar-top idea, and I was experimenting on ways to cram more valves in a box (while maintaining serviceability) and the jar-top was a bit more compact. Since you can get a version of the 2400 valve with a bolted-on cover and flow control you can turn by hand (2500TF) - I look to use those on jobs with high static water pressure. The choice of 100 mesh filtration was partially due to information from the Richdel techs, when I asked them how clean the water needed to be, not to be a problem with the solenoids.
  7. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    great info.
    i was wondering what size screen to use. we tried one of the small inline filters the other day. it came with a 50, and it was too coarse in that junk messed with the valve shuttiing off.

    OTOH, it had no where near the volume of filter to run a system.......

    i've got a cyclone filter laying around somewhere we'll be trying next.

  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,875

    Look for a Vu-Flow or a Russco strainer. These are spin-down types with a clear plastic outer cover. You can't really user them in a below-grade installation, but in PVB territory, that's not an issue. They also sell an oversized one they call a sand separator. The customer can see the material at the bottom of the strainer, and open the drain until it's gone.

    Also, a new Rainbird item is a basket filter with a color-changing full indicator (QKCHK-100) - it's a drip item, with a 200 mesh screen, but there are coarser screens available.
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  9. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,875

    You might have an extreme situation, and I'm guessing this is an irrigation-only well, or the homeowner would have problems in his house plumbing. If it were all fine mica, I would start to think in terms of trying to simply blow it all through the sprinkler system, even if it means heads and valves out of the ordinary.

    By the way, that tall device you linked was also known as a Lakos Separator, A product of the Claude Laval Corporation. I've never installed one, but I could see it providing relief in extreme situations.

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