To install an irrigation system or not?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by codybear, Sep 4, 2004.

  1. codybear

    codybear LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Since I probably missed the opportunity to round up and reseed with KBG this fall in N. Illinois, I was wondering if I should have an irrigation system installed instead, either professionally or myself.

    I probably have 14-15k feet of lawn (28k lot). Normally, during periods of no rain, I run a "rain train" on slow speed, but it usually takes 2 days (5-6 hours each) to do the back yard. Front yard can usually be done in 6-7 hours. During this post, I tested the "rain train" and it puts out almost 3.5 gal/min, which means that I need to double the times for 1 inch of water.

    I am wondering how professionals view the importance of an irrigation system or is it overkill?

    If an irrigation system is worthwhile; I am handy and have plenty of time (currenty laid off). Any thoughts on DIY? My wife has a good job so we could go the professional route if DIY is not recommeded.
  2. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    The good thing about an irrigation system is that it will add value to your home. Not sure 'bout the rain train. Maybe if you promise to leave it if you sell?:)

    I'm a fan of irrigation systems as they're pretty much set and forget, and they can water during the (very) early morning hours when you're still asleep. I would suggest a rain sensor though, as you don't want to waste water when Mother Nature is already taking care of it.

    As for installing yourself, there's a lot more to it than gluing pipe together that you need to consider. What flow and pressure do you have? What flow heads are you going to use? How many sprinkler's per zone to get optimum watering? Matching the precipitation rate of different heads? How to zone your property? There is help though. If you go to Home Depot, they have guides that will help you figure it all out. I think you can even map out your property and send it to Toro, and they'll design the system for you.
  3. jsmonroeCT

    jsmonroeCT LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 82

    We have an irrigation system and its worth its weight in gold. If nature doesnt give us rain, I will use once a week for about 30 mins per zone. I agree with Randy J - have a professional come and give you an estimate. Theres isnt a lot of laying the pipe and connecting the heads but you need to know how much pressure you have, the electrical woring to the control board, the heads (spray, stream), etc. I have replaced section of pipe, heads and other parts but I dont know if I would tackle an entire system. Thats me. Good luck and if you have the $$$$$$$$, do it.
  4. codybear

    codybear LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Ok, when I told the wife that we should be running the two rain trains for a total of 20 hours each (during no rain), she said we are installing a sprinkler system.

    Thanks Randy J on the heads up about Toro designing a system for you. I'm going to definitely do that and have 2 or 3 professionals come out and bid the job. With all of the information, I should be able to make the choice I feel most confortable with. Conveniently, I already have a T stubbed in after the meter, so the copper supply should be a breeze.

    I assume poly is now the route to go as we get 2-3 months of freezing here.

    Any suggestions on brand(s) of sprinkler systems to go with. Certainly willing to pay more for it as I do believe in "you get what you pay for".
  5. jsmonroeCT

    jsmonroeCT LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 82

  6. pilotcoplawnboy

    pilotcoplawnboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

  7. F6Hawk

    F6Hawk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    I love the jess stryker site. LOTS of info there, particularly about low pressure calculations.

    If you are using city water, bear in mind that the initial cost will be great (~$600-$1000 if you do it yourself), that includes a city meter at $250, and renting a trencher for $175. BUT....

    You will save money in the long run on sewage! Out local water company charges something like $.40-.45 of every dollar spent just for sewage alone. That kind of savings can possibly pay for the system in 1-2 years, if you water an inch per week.



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