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Trying really hard to learn! HELP!

6182 Views 51 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Bryn
Ok, so I have been in lawn care for around 8 years and I want to add irrigation to increase revenue and profit margins and also as something else fun to do. I really am excited about getting into it!

I have read most of the beginners advice forum here, and I appreciate all the info. One of the first guys on the forum posted a link to a tutorial that he thought was pretty solid, so I started there with my reading. I'm not even all the way thru it yet and I'm enjoying it, but I'm also kinda overwhelmed at all the info involved at some points. I know that once I do it a couple times it will get easier, but I guess I'm just looking for some more starting advice. How do you find best to wrap your head around it all? Besides the tutorial I'm currently studying, is there anything else I should read that has a lot of easy to understand instruction and visuals? (I'm a pretty visual learner). Finally, when I think I'm ready to take on my first system, what is the best way to go about getting irrigation jobs? I put irrigation on my biz cards a couple years ago cuz I had a company that I was going to subcontract but I never really got much attention from it and nothing ever really happened and of course I didn't pursue it much because I was focusing on grass cutting. So how can I land a few jobs?

Anything, any guidance is extremely appreciated. Thanks!
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Google 'Richard B. Choate', his "Turf Irrigation Manual" is a must for anyone starting out.
it is a good book if you can stay awake.
Ditto, it is also rather archaic, but pound for pound, it's a great primer.
Weather*Matic had a lot to do with that book, Dick Choate is (was?) from Texas. I hope it's been up-graded, but the basics are the basics.
There is a book available on e-bay by the guy that taught me the trade, Virgil E. Young. It's called 'Sprinkler Irrigation Systems'. Though dated, it remains current as far as layout goes, that never changes. He was THE MAN and defined high-end irrigation in the Seattle area. He died way too early and his sons ran the business into the ground. No plastic nozzles for Virgil. :clapping:
Stupid stuff like 2 valves shoved into a 4" valve box
I wonder if Carson and Ametek have special factories in Texas to manufacture 4" pit boxes? Leave it to the Texans to use a 4"! :dizzy:
Before you start pounding the pavement, a firm understanding of the trade is paramount. Buy all the rags we've suggested, meet with your suppliers; some of them can be helpfull; many of mine taught me a lot. The first couple of systems I installed were stupid, but they worked, and I learned from them; you've got to do the same. It's the passion that will make you successful and happy.
Here's my splice boxes I attacked today and Russ's new SR zones operating w/RM remote. Hey Jim, your locator found the last of the mystery valves today; still have some wiring issues, but all is good with the zones I've had to gang.

Electrical wiring Font Gas Electricity Fixture

Tire Plant Wheel Car Sky
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We had to cut corners somewhere; the 12'' hi-pops with Hunter low-drain checks cuts into the budget; I wish Toro would provide built-in checks in the hi-pops, but that's Toro.
how hard a find?
Russ is doing damn good good with our 521 wand and your unit; we took your advice and went to my splice box with the Maxi cable and he found it. Put the toner on it and got it, sent him 24-volts from my portable transformer and proved it. The only odd thing, was his v.o.m. showed .33 amps, where our RM was showing it going the other way; never had that happen. :dizzy:
In looking at the previous post, I realized our RM was showing failing amperage, his test at the the valve was 33 ohms, which in a non-W*M world would have indicated nothing wrong. HOWEVER, we are dealing with solenoids that heat up and start to fail. A ohm reading on a cold solenoid means nothing, I'm starting to learn.
somehow i'm in the friggin twilight zone here, i'm reading amps and ohms and bits and pieces of posts..........give this a minute
O.K., the RM clock reads amps, when we see a solenoid get down in the low twenties, we flag it for replacement. Are you tracking? When Russ put his v.o.m. on the solenoid in question, with field wires removed, he got 33 OHMs, which would indicate a good solenoid. However, we've found a cold solenoid will show readings in the 20-60 ohm range, which is within normal parameters, then heat-up and cause our RM to indicate failing solenoid. Testing a cold solenoid for ohms has proved to be a not good indication of the condition. We trust a $5,000.00 RM clock to tell us what's happening, but the issue of "cold" solenoids is what all tech guys should be aware of.
what doesn't make sense is the solenoid is actually water cooled, isn't it? never been around wm's before
All solenoids are water cooled, but if the solenoid gets hot, the water cooling is moot and the fry begins.
Thanks, Ed Hunter, for inventing the Stream-Rotor, the best head ever made. R.I.P. :cry:
Quick update....first I must say that you guys are pretty good at going off on tangents and bunny trails lol.
It's a gift, and we are licensed to hijack. Glad things are going well for you.
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