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Old 10-07-2010, 11:37 AM   #1
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Sprinkler Systems Suggestions


I am considering installing myself or having someone install a home sprinkler system for me. Can someone give me tips on things to look for or to have added to the system(i.e. water moisture sensors etc.) when planinng one? I am in the beginning stages. I have also been told that sometimes it is cheaper to have one installed in the Fall vs the Spring if having someone install for you. Any truth to this? Thanks!

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Old 10-07-2010, 11:59 AM   #2
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Sprinkler Systems Suggestions


I did an extensive amount of research on this over the past year or two and successfully installed lawn sprinklers for my parents. Tough to give you direction without more specific questions....

I will say that Hunter parts (sprinkler heads, valves, timers, sensors) seem the best and that's what I will be using when I install my own system next year.

Check out hunter's installation guide, useful info:
http://www.hunterindustries.com/Reso...lish_misc.html

Some basic stuff you may not know:

You need a pretty heavy-duty backflow prevention device to prevent contamination of your house (and the neighborhood's) water. Contact your local building department to find out what is required and acceptable. Examples are:

Double-check valve assembly (DCVA)
Reduzed Pressure Zone (RPZ)
Pressure Vacuum Breaker

Where do you live? Freezing climate? If so you need to be concerned with winterizing, and you need two boiler drains, one inside, and one outside (downstream of the backflow preventor).

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Last edited by secutanudu; 10-07-2010 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:45 PM   #3
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Sprinkler Systems Suggestions


A. What is your budget?
B. How automatic do you want the system to be?
C. Do you have any background/experience in plumbing?
D. Here we go with the backflow preventer again!
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:45 PM   #4
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Sprinkler Systems Suggestions


A. What is your budget?
B. How automatic do you want the system to be?
C. Do you have any background/experience in plumbing?
D. Here we go with the backflow preventer again!

A. At this point, I am not sure what budget I am looking at. In my area, Kansas, I hear that systems can be installed in the area of $2500-3000 for an average sized yard. Of course I am not sure what this all includes. I guess that is a price that I could probably live with.

B. As far as how automatic, I am not sure. I would like it to have a water sensor in which when it rain(or has enough moisture), it doesn't come on. I wnat it to have a timer to come on at preset times. Other than that, I'm not sure what to look for.

C. I have basic knowledge in plumbing and have used a trencher from the local rental company but would not consider myself an expert.

D. Here we go with the backflow preventer again! ?????? Not sure what you are referring to?


Any additional guidance would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:10 PM   #5
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Your budget should allow for a reasonable system. Markets may be different from KS to GA but consider the job market overall. Don't hire someone who will do anything to make a buck but hopefully you can find a good deal if you are looking to get someone to do this for you.

All of the irrigation manufacturers have information on their websites to help you design you own system. Getting somewhat familiar would also help in negotiating a job. Controllers can run from a few zones for $50 to a thousand or so. There are systems out now where you program in you zip code and the controller downloads current weather information and updates the settings daily. I prefer a soil moisture monitor over a rainfall sensor. Generally speaking, if it rains the sensors will override the controller. You may have dry soil at the roots but do not get needed irrigation. With the soil monitors, you get irrigation when the plants are thirsty, even if it happens to shower a little.

Since you have some skill in this area, it shouldn't be too difficult for this to be a DIY job for you if you so desire.

There has been a lot of debate over the use of backflow preventers on irrigation systems. I suggest you learn what each safety device is for- backflow, vacuum breakers, etc. My personal opinion is that a backflow preventer on a closed irrigation system which does not have a chemical injector and which supplies tap water and only tap water to the lines does not need a backflow preventer anymore than you need an alligator alarm in Kansas. It is remotely possible that an alligator could get loose in your yard and eat your children, but frankly not very likely. IMO! IMO! IMO!
Check your local codes and follow them.

As far as spring vs fall, I suppose that is somewhat like the nurseries' market. People get the itch to plant in the spring and it follows that those same customers want irrigation in the spring. Those who know, know that now is the time to plant permanent plants. The same perennial that sold for 9.95 two months ago is now 75% off.
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:20 PM   #6
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I have heard debates as to which type of backflow device to use, but I have never heard an argument against using one at all...A watts double-check valve assembly, which is the cheapest type of backflow device, is only around $80....silly not to put one in I think. Besides, most areas require at least a DCVA, some places require an RPZ.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:23 AM   #7
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secutanudu,
I would be interested in your reasoning for adding a BFP within the parameters of my comments, i.e. a closed system. I wonder if you could also give us your understanding of exactly what purpose these devices are intended to accomplish and how they do so.

I think that maybe this should be its own thread and not hijack the OP's request.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:31 PM   #8
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when you say closed system, do you mean not connected to town water?
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
when you say closed system, do you mean not connected to town water?
No, I mean
Quote:
which does not have a chemical injector and which supplies tap water and only tap water to the lines
Compared to commercial irrigation systems which routinely have chemical injectors and are a very real candidate for poor maintenance practices.
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:51 PM   #10
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Well - I know the chances are not great that a "closed system" would be unsafe. But there still are chances. People use chemical pesticides on their lawn. These could seep into sprinkler heads. Hydrant turns on down the street or some loss of pressure, this stuff could make it's way back into the house.

Besides, most if not all localities require it. Even if they didn't, for $80, i'd do it.
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:50 PM   #11
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As a previous owner of a Lawn Sprinkler Company, I can tell you that system quotes can easily be all over the map in pricing. I tried to address most issues and concerns in my blog. I have included things to know as well as what questions to ask. Its best to always stay with a reputable contractor. It may cost you more, but it will be worth it in the long run. http://homeownerbob.wordpress.com/ca...wn-sprinklers/

Last edited by HomeownerBOB; 11-15-2010 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:09 PM   #12
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Does the blog still work? I couldn't get it to come up....
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:56 PM   #13
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Try going straight to homeownerbob.com and click on the sprinkler tab on the right. BOB

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