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crankcase 06-22-2011 09:52 AM

Irrigation Fertilizer injector & gopher repellant applicator
This was the first spring startup for our new irrigation system and we ran into some busy pocket gophers and striped gophers that had chewed holes in my buried sprinkler lines. We have sandy soil, and wen we turned on the system this spring I had several zones where the heads would not even pop up. After 10 minutes of running we sometimes could see a puddle forming which led us to the area of the damaged pipe. In two zones I ended up having our sprinkler guy pulling new lines as a puddle would not show up. He even pulled the heads out of a zone, plugged them with a threaded plug, ran his air compressor at the same time with the water and still couldn't hear or see any leaks.

I have trapped 8-10 pocket gophers and poisoned at least double that in striped gopher holes. I am not seeing any more pocket gopher activity and let me tell you I walk the yard 2x daily looking for any new critters.

We have a big yard that we are working with. The irrigated area is close to 1.5 acres and I have again as much if I expand to the unfenced yard. The area was farmed previously and just developed within the last 3-4 years. We built last fall so we are invading their area. The wife was exited to start on the yard and in hindsight we should have spent more time controlling our pests beforehand but its too late for that now.

crankcase 06-22-2011 10:02 AM

I have built some of the components and will post pictures as I get a chance.
I will be using a high pressure low volume dosing pump to inject concentrated chemicals into the main sprinkler line when the system is running. The concentrated chemical tank will be in the basement and I have run my dosing line and valve box outside where the dosing tip will sit. I am using a relay that is fired off of the irrigation controller to power my dosing pump. I will run the injector system for a short cycle with first insecticide concentration to get rid of the grubs or main food source, then I will continue with a gopher repellant which is a mixture of castor oil, and some essential oils that should dirve them out of the yard and keep them away. Finally I can inject liquid fertlizer so I can maintain the area.

user1007 06-22-2011 05:15 PM

Make sure your anti-syphon and backflow prevention systems are robust or at least code.

crankcase 06-22-2011 07:25 PM

Here is my vaccum breaker and main line from the house, the small PVC line is protecting the injection tubing. Garden hose is for blow outs or I use it for temporary sprinklers.

Here is where my injector tee will sit. This box is located about 6' downstream of my vaccum breaker.

This is my injection manifold setup. Main source enters at top, then you can see the dosing tip, there is a check incorporated in the dosing tip, then I have a manual shutoff to the right, then a secondary ball check. Then the chemical supply input. At the bottom is the mixed output connection to the system. The second tee and plug are for future expansion of the system downstream of the dosing tip.

In the basement I have my timer and relay setup with my dosing pump in the background. The relay is active any time the system is running because I have it connected to the pump relay output of my controller. The timer will turn on power at my specified time in relation to what time I want to inject chemicals. The pump will pump a maximum of 1GPH at 110PSI. There is a check on each side of the diaphragm pump.

I'm still waiting for my 15 gallon chemical tank. which will sit under the dosing pump.

josall 06-22-2011 07:46 PM

check this out

Then you could rent it to your nieghbors lol.

user1007 06-22-2011 07:53 PM


Originally Posted by josall (Post 672297)

Caught some program on Hulu where a couple of Hollywood producer types for American Idol bought a winery and were in way over their heads. They used this system. It seemed like all were having a good time if nothing else. Seems like it would work.

crankcase 06-22-2011 10:17 PM


Originally Posted by josall (Post 672297)
check this out

Then you could rent it to your nieghbors lol.

Yeah, I checked out that system first, only 1 problem. I don't think my sprinkler head warranty covers that kind of damage.

crankcase 06-22-2011 10:35 PM

Here's a better shot at my timer setup, hopefully I can get the hang of posting pic's.
Anyhow I have wired the timer to 120VAC then say I want to fertlize at 10:00pm for 5 min per zone I figure my total time. In my case 16 zones @ 5min= 80 min. I set the timer to turn on at 9:55pm, then off 80 min later or I just have it a at 1:00am. The timer output goes to the open side of the relay. When the system runs, I have my pump start relay/ master valve output from my controller trigger my relay. The relay closes and sends 120VAC to my duplex rec where my pump is plugged in.

This way the relay is on any time my system runs, but 120VAC is only at the relay when my timer is active. This way I can irrigate 3x a day to get my lawn started, even though I am only fertlizing at one watering per day or when ever I decide I want to.

crankcase 06-24-2011 07:19 AM

Still waiting on my tank. It was supposed to be here on Wed. We have had rain all week and today it's supposed to be sunny! The plan is to cut into my main line and I would like to get the manifold in today. I also found a small DC hobby motor that I might fit with an agitator blade and fab a bracket for mixing solution in the tank. I will probably try to run this on a small AC/DC transformer and change my wiring on my timer so the top half of the duplex receptical is always hot and the bottom is switched for my pump. Then whenever I want to mix I will just plug it into the top.

user1007 06-24-2011 04:18 PM

Need a sign for the basement door!

crankcase 06-24-2011 07:29 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks Sdsester, someone pasted that one to my desk at work already!
I hope nothing radioactive is in the ground. Came home to this about 15' off our side lot line.

crankcase 06-24-2011 09:49 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Injection manifold installed and leak tested. Double backflow works as expected. I ran a zone and opened the safety shutoff ball valve with an open injection line outside. Dry as a bone with zone running and full pressure at 70PSI.
I'll backfill in the morning.

crankcase 07-01-2011 08:19 AM

Well my 15 gallon tank finally showed up yesterday. They screwed up and when I picked it up it was molded in black but I didn't want to wait again to have them reorder in natural. I got a few fittings and bulkheads and I am going to put a "sight glass" on the side so I can see the level in the tank without pulling off the cover.

I'm going to try to keep the openings small to help control evaporation into the basement, which would end up increasing my concentration in the tank. My maximum pump output is 1GPH so depending on my frequency of use I could inject daily and refill 2x month, or inject weekly in which case I would be more concerned with the evaporation increasing concentration levels.

Late last week while I was waiting for my tank I made a temporary setup using an ice cream pail and connected my control wires to my irrigation controller and tested in automatic mode. I added blue food coloring to water in the pail and then I could watch the blue water inject into the main line. So I sucessfully injected blue dyed water onto my lawn. :thumbup:

I also finished building my mixer motor and motor mount. All SST. I will follow up with pictures. I wanted the mixer because I can just mix my granules in the tank. The other reason was because my insecticide tends to go into suspension as it sits so I may have my mixer mix at a slow speed when my injector pump runs. I don't want to pull air into the solution which could cause me to loose my pump prime.

Saturday I'm off to the purchase my lawn food and insecticide, and gopher Repellant. The lawn food I can get a powder in a 30# bag specifically for fertlizer injectors for $64. Otherwise I can get a granule similar to miracle gro at $30 for a 25# bag. For the insecticide I was thinking of using Cy Kick CS. That should take care of ants, ticks, or anything on the surface. Otherwise on the phone the guy sugessted a product called Bandit that would kill grubs and larve in the soil. He wasn't sure and had to doouble check if the Bandit was available without a license. Anyone have any sugesstions or reccomendations with these products?

crankcase 07-02-2011 11:57 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Tank fitted with "sight glass" and 6 gallons water mixed with 5# of 36-0-6 of concentrated lawn food.

Here's my mixer that will get mounted to the lid, and the buisness end of the pump along with the mixer power supply.

Next I'm adding holes to the lid for routing the tubing and adding a piano hinge. I just mixed this batch by hand.

I am close to the recommended rate of application by the manufacturer If I fertlize daily at this rate. I found this by talking to the manufacturer and asking how much fertilizer I would need to apply if my lawn at the rate of 751GPH: 750 GPH water plus 1 gallon of concentrate in one hours time. Manufacture sugessted rate is 15# applied once every 2 to 3 weeks. For that to happen I would need to disolve 15# in 1 gallon of water then fertilize once every 15 to 21 days days which isn't going to work. If I just do 1# per gallon and apply daily, my rate comes out to 14# over 14 days.

Now I just need to find the caluculations on my insecticide and repellant, I should be able to apply all three at the same time.

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