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Sprinkler Quality Testing

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by ninrocket, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. ninrocket

    ninrocket LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I think everyone on this site has a preferred sprinkler brand based on personal experience.

    I would like to perform true statistical testing on some of the medium/large radius designs of single stream, multi stream and impact sprinklers with various nozzles.

    The testing would help determine accuracy, consistency, and overall quality of the sprinkler with each nozzle available...(ex. Rainbird R-50/R-50-SAM with both the Rain Curtain and Radius+ Nozzles).

    I will test each sprinkler at the factory recommended overlaps, flow and pressure settings. I will place catch cans the full length of the radius. I will use computer modeling to calculate the coverage that would be expected in both box and triangular installs.

    The ratings would be generated based on test results only.

    I know that it will be impossible to test all the sprinklers on the market with all the various nozzles...but what I want to test are the models that are most popular with Lawnsite members.

    I will also be interested in testing any other sprinkler/nozzles that the manufacturers are willing to submit.

    Here are some questions to help start this database:
    What sprinkler do you prefer in the 30-40 foot range? Corner? Side? 360? Which nozzle?

    I also would like to ask the help of any manufacturers/distributors on this site who would be willing to send test samples to be used for evaluation and then returned after testing.

    I will post my results on the web and then will continue to test different models/types/ranges of sprinklers.

    My goal is to provide just the facts...so people can make decisions based on there own needs.

    Thanks in advance everyone.
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,265

  3. ninrocket

    ninrocket LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    Are the results viewable by the public or are they just for the manufacturers?

    Can you give us a link to the test results?
  4. ninrocket

    ninrocket LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I think I found what you are referring to HERE.

    This should provide a LOT of information for anyone doing commercial irrigation such as golf courses.

    I should clarify my purpose. I want to collect data for typical home users. These sprinklers would be in the .1-6 GPM range and would have throws of less than 50 feet. 3 GPM 30-40 foot is probably the norm, thats why I requested input in this range.

    If there is data available for home users then please provide a link. It looks like there is no data for Toro, Rainbird, K-Rain etc., that would work for residential applications. These are very common brands. (I don't think most homes could handle more than 1 sprinkler per zone of the bad boys that I found in the link above).

    Thanks again.
  5. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Someone is always trying to reinvent the wheel. :)
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,265

    They already have some data on Hunter I-20 and Rainbird 5000 rotors. CIT has a 200-plus foot room they are collecting sprinkler data in. What are you going to employ? Without still-air data as a reference point, the value of other measurements is debatable.

    This seems to be an odd sort of ambition. CIT does this work in conjuction with the industry and educational facilities. Why would any manufacturer contribute to a more 'amateur' collection of data. And more to the point, if a guy has the time to spare in this pursuit, why wouldn't he also throw in the money it takes to buy several cases of product to do the testing with?

    For the record, my picks for longest lived rotor heads are the Rainbird R-50 and the Toro 300 stream rotor. And the Safe-T-Lawn rotor, while we're at it, although that one is not in current production.
  7. ninrocket

    ninrocket LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I believe still-air testing is very important...even though real world applications would definitely have air movement. From the webpage in your prior link:

    Indoor sprinkler testing to a 100 ft. (30.5 m) wetted radius.
    Outdoor sprinkler testing to any wetted radius and capacity."

    So obviously they also believe outdoor testing is necessary.
    I would obviously perform my testing outside. I have the ability to monitor wind speed using my Davis Vantage Pro II weather station. Wind speed is updated every 1 second by the station. This data is already being uploaded into my computer and to the internet at 1 second intervals. Wind typically moves in distinct cycles during the day(except during storms). It isn't too hard to predict when the wind isn't going to be blowing so that accurate testing can be performed. HERE is a sample graph of 3 days worth of wind data:

    Yes they do. The problem is that the data that I am seeking...aka...Residential... is not publically available. You could purchase a copy of S.P.A.C.E. Pro which they market for $450.00 and it may or may not have the data a home user is seeking. I am trying to make this data available and FREE to the public.

    I have looked at their test equipment. The majority of the test equipment they list is for structural/mechanical testing. They use a simple "catch can" method to calculate spray efficiency. If this testing methodology is good enough for them then it should be good enough for my "amateur" testing.

    Why would they contribute? Good PR maybe. If the data is aquired in a professional manner and provided in a ledgible manner to the public then why wouldn't they? It doesn't hurt to ask does it?

    I don't have a lot of time to spare. I have a full time job, a family of 5 to provide for, not to mention my own work at home. I think the family of 5 should answer the "throw in the money" comment.

    Why can't people sometimes try to do a little something extra to help other people? The data I am seeking isn't available (as far as I know...I am still waiting for a link if anyone has one) and it could be very useful to anyone who uses this website for planning an EFFICIENT irrigation system.

    This is exactly the kind of information I need. As a matter of fact the R-50's will be the first ones I will be testing...followed by the Toro's since I already own both.

    Thanks for your help...and the honest opinions.
  8. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    How many heads of each particular brand and model would you need to do this? Are you going to do it in square and triangular layouts?

    Nevermind the last part, I re-read your original post.
  9. ninrocket

    ninrocket LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I think a minimum of 3 of each model of rotor would be somewhat adequate to pinpoint consistency. Nozzles are normally very cheap. I would probably need to test with a minimum of 6 each of the nozzles. If any major inconsistencies are found then it may require additional nozzles to determine the overall accuracy of a particular model.

    I am open for comments/suggestions/professional criticism on this subject.
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,265

    Maybe I'll start a testing program for Ferraris. I promise to return the test vehicles when I'm done with them. :p

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