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Old 07-15-2019, 03:58 AM   #16
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Re: Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?


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Originally Posted by anonymous1977 View Post
Hello - thanks. I don't feed from a well. I replied in detail to another post for the estimate provided. The bottom line is that the guy is asking me to change the valve, timer and sprinkler heads. Is this something I could do as DIY?

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I don't see any reason why you couldn't do all of that. If you replace your timer with a new one and use the same number of zones, you wouldn't need to replace the wiring that runs from your controller to the solenoids. And if the controller and the solenoids are close to each other, even that might not be a problem. (My controller is in my house and the wire runs underground across my yard to the well. If I wanted to add more zones to my system, I'd have to dig up the wire and replace it with another one that had more internal leads to go to the extra zones I added.) Before you replace the controller, try testing it to make sure it actually needs to be replaced. If you have a cheap multimeter, you can test it.
Changing the sprinkler heads should be very easy to do. Take a small garden trowel and a bucket out to your yard and carefully dig one up, it shouldn't be buried too deep. The head should be connected to the riser by a short hose that screws onto the riser on one end and the head on the other end. Replace by burying the new one flush with the ground and using a small tool or a screwdriver to set the rotation and distance of the spray.
Generally, you can rebuild the valves if they have problems, there's no need to replace them. Typically the diaphragms in them may need to be replaced or the solenoids that control them. All that should be simple enough that anyone could do it, too.
There are lots and lots of videos on youtube showing how to do all those tasks, as well as written articles online and even "how to" books at most hardware stores. Take a look at some of that stuff and decide if you'd be comfortable doing it yourself. Lots of people do. It's easier than you think!
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:27 AM   #17
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Re: Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?


Replacing controller takes 15 minutes. Google "Hunter Pro C" and you will find many places looking to sell you controllers.


Cable has one common, and then one wire for each valve. You don't need to change underground cable unless somebody put a shovel through it.


If you want add zones, take the plastic cover off your controller and see if you have spare wires. The original installer did not inventory 4 conductor cables for systems with 3 valves, 5 conductor cable for systems with 4 valves, 6 conductor cable for systems with 5 valves, etc, etc. He probably only stocked a couple of sizes. Good chance the existing cable has some spare wires.
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:35 AM   #18
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Re: Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?


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Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
Replacing controller takes 15 minutes. Google "Hunter Pro C" and you will find many places looking to sell you controllers.


Cable has one common, and then one wire for each valve. You don't need to change underground cable unless somebody put a shovel through it.


If you want add zones, take the plastic cover off your controller and see if you have spare wires. The original installer did not inventory 4 conductor cables for systems with 3 valves, 5 conductor cable for systems with 4 valves, 6 conductor cable for systems with 5 valves, etc, etc. He probably only stocked a couple of sizes. Good chance the existing cable has some spare wires.
I am not adding zones right now. I have 7 zones. The wifi controller I would probably buy is Rachio 16ZULW-C Sprinkler Controller, 16 Zone, White https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CZ5K355..._TrglDbNKPY1VY

Having said this:

1. I need to replace valves
2. I need to replace timer (is it really necessary, I don't think so)
3. I need to replace sprinkler heads
4. There is a leak in one of the lines that needs to be fixed
5. There is one wire that runs through basement which is disjointed as in connected at the halfway distance which the sprinkler repair guy said he would instead run a continuous wire

I don't think any of the above in isolation is difficult but putting them all together is a lot of time and effort that I don't have on my hands. As I said the parts only add up to $700. I need to ask the guy if he can only charge me for labor. If not I probably need to find someone else.

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Old 07-15-2019, 11:08 AM   #19
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Re: Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?


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Originally Posted by anonymous1977 View Post
I am not adding zones right now. I have 7 zones. The wifi controller I would probably buy is Rachio 16ZULW-C Sprinkler Controller, 16 Zone, White https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CZ5K355..._TrglDbNKPY1VY

Having said this:

1. I need to replace valves
Replacing valves is easy. You can buy the same valves and just replace the top half. Or a lot of valves share similar bodies, tops or connectors so remove and replace is an easy way to do it as well. l

2. I need to replace timer (is it really necessary, I don't think so)Everyone has told you to replace the timer, why do you think that you don't? Besides, They are inexpensive and provide better control than ones as old as yours.

3. I need to replace sprinkler heads Very easy to do. Just by ones that match the spread pattern that you want to achieve. Rotor, Spray, etc.. Some of the new ones are much more effecient. Orbit has a
pop-up spray that has to spray zones, one for near and one for far. I love the coverage it gives my lawn. Just dig around the head so you can get to the bottom and then unscrew and replace. Now would also be a good time to raise it if you want.


4. There is a leak in one of the lines that needs to be fixed As long as you know where it is, just dig down to the pipe, clean out around the pipe and clean the pipe as well. Hopefully, the cut is small so you can just cut it and put a connector where the cut is and then clamp it down. If it is a longer cut. You might need to put in a piece of pipe.

5. There is one wire that runs through basement which is disjointed as in connected at the halfway distance which the sprinkler repair guy said he would instead run a continuous wire Again nothing to complicated. And it is easy to do. Just get the correct wire for your system, and the correct length, and run the wire along the patch of the old wire.

I don't think any of the above in isolation is difficult but putting them all together is a lot of time and effort that I don't have on my hands. As I said the parts only add up to $700. I need to ask the guy if he can only charge me for labor. If not I probably need to find someone else.

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Yes, it is a log of effort. But you don't have to do it all at one time. You can do it as you have time. The order I would fix them would be:
1) Fix the hole. Leaking water is never a good thing.
2) Replace the wire and Timer/Controller
3) Replace the valve controllers
4) Replace the individual sprinkler heads

As you have mentioned before, you feel that you you don't have time. And are will to spend the money.

Why do you feel that others aren't worth their time.

Remember, The bulk pieces come to ~$700, what about the other related pieces? How about his overhead? His people? You have gotten quotes which are similar. Why the objection?
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:14 AM   #20
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Re: Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?


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Yes, it is a log of effort. But you don't have to do it all at one time. You can do it as you have time. The order I would fix them would be:

1) Fix the hole. Leaking water is never a good thing.

2) Replace the wire and Timer/Controller

3) Replace the valve controllers

4) Replace the individual sprinkler heads



As you have mentioned before, you feel that you you don't have time. And are will to spend the money.



Why do you feel that others aren't worth their time.



Remember, The bulk pieces come to ~$700, what about the other related pieces? How about his overhead? His people? You have gotten quotes which are similar. Why the objection?

I am not saying his time is not worth it but let's break it up. Cost of a completely new system including adding three zones in backyard is $3500. Cost to repair existing one $1800 plus $1200 for three zones in backyard in $3000. It's only a $500 difference.

Cost of all materials is $700. He is only one person who is going to do all the work. So the extra $1100 works out to $137.5 an hour for an 8 hour day. Is this reasonable?

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Old 07-15-2019, 11:51 AM   #21
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Re: Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?


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Originally Posted by anonymous1977 View Post

Cost of all materials is $700. He is only one person who is going to do all the work. So the extra $1100 works out to $137.5 an hour for an 8 hour day. Is this reasonable?

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He's not making $1100, unless you think all of his overhead is zero, his time and expertise is worthless, and going into business to break even is normal.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:00 PM   #22
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Re: Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?


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Originally Posted by anonymous1977 View Post
I am not saying his time is not worth it but let's break it up. Cost of a completely new system including adding three zones in backyard is $3500. Cost to repair existing one $1800 plus $1200 for three zones in backyard in $3000. It's only a $500 difference.

Cost of all materials is $700. He is only one person who is going to do all the work. So the extra $1100 works out to $137.5 an hour for an 8 hour day. Is this reasonable?

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It's not unreasonable.

A better question is:

Is a totally new system, with the added zones, worth $500 more? No worrying about possible cracks in any 19 year old joints, connectors, etc..

You get a new system that is designed to provide better coverage for your lawn and to use water more efficiently with much less waste.

You will also have much less worry about the system.

I hate to suggest this, but... Do any of the systems include an automatic drain? This opens and closes depending on the system pressure. (Typically around 5 PSI. Once the valve to the zone closes, the PSI drops and the drain valves open and water drains out. It is great in freeze zones before the system is blown out.

Regardless about which way you go, pick a path and do it. You originally posted 10 days ago, and who knows how long you thought about it before. Stop being wishy washy and just pick a way to go and do it. You can think and think and weigh the odds all you want but in the meantime, you waste water, your lawn is not being watered efficiently, and you are probably driving your friends and family nuts.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:01 PM   #23
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Re: Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?


Me, I only replace the controller if its not working. I only replace a solenoid when the wire breaks. I only replace a valve if it is broken. I only replace a sprinkler head if it stops rotating. My system about 15 years old. Maybe I am just cheap, but I don't replace things just because they are getting old.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:04 PM   #24
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Re: Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?


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Originally Posted by ktownskier View Post
It's not unreasonable.



A better question is:



Is a totally new system, with the added zones, worth $500 more? No worrying about possible cracks in any 19 year old joints, connectors, etc..



You get a new system that is designed to provide better coverage for your lawn and to use water more efficiently with much less waste.



You will also have much less worry about the system.



I hate to suggest this, but... Do any of the systems include an automatic drain? This opens and closes depending on the system pressure. (Typically around 5 PSI. Once the valve to the zone closes, the PSI drops and the drain valves open and water drains out. It is great in freeze zones before the system is blown out.



Regardless about which way you go, pick a path and do it. You originally posted 10 days ago, and who knows how long you thought about it before. Stop being wishy washy and just pick a way to go and do it. You can think and think and weigh the odds all you want but in the meantime, you waste water, your lawn is not being watered efficiently, and you are probably driving your friends and family nuts.
Not wasting any water. So the time I have bought the house I have not used the sprinkler. The lawn is dying in most places.

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Old 07-15-2019, 12:08 PM   #25
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Re: Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?


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Me, I only replace the controller if its not working. I only replace a solenoid when the wire breaks. I only replace a valve if it is broken. I only replace a sprinkler head if it stops rotating. My system about 15 years old. Maybe I am just cheap, but I don't replace things just because they are getting old.
I have had three irrigation companies look at it because the valve shows short on the controller and when you rotate again it starts working. This happens across all valves. It's sporadic. This is the feedback.

Company 1 - most likely it's the solenoid. We can replace solenoids at $75 a piece and see if that addresses the issue. If not then we can investigate the timer and go from there. Cost unknown since we have to do in pieces and investigate. Else replace it with a new system for $3500.

Company 2 - replace the valves, broken heads and timer. You cannot buy anything yourself. Even the controller is something I will need to buy and you only have a choice between hunter pro c and one more with a wireless. The guy was even unable to investigate the wiring disconnect on one zone.

Company 3 - this is the guy I like but his price is as I stated above.

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Old 07-15-2019, 01:09 PM   #26
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Re: Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?


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Company 1 - most likely it's the solenoid. We can replace solenoids at $75 a piece and see if that addresses the issue.

Company 2 - You cannot buy anything yourself.

These are the solenoids I use. See where the wires enter the body -- should be a rubber strain relief there. Wires break off right there where the wires enter the body. Happens commonly.
Installation instructions:
-remove two wire nuts.
-unscrew old solenoid from valve
-screw new solenoid into valve
-replace two wire nuts


If I get real motivated, I buy the wire nuts with the dielectric grease. Otherwise I just use what ever wire nuts where there before.

You can buy everything yourself.
.
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Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?-hunter-solenoid.jpg  

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Old 07-15-2019, 01:16 PM   #27
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Re: Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?


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Me, I only replace the controller if its not working. I only replace a solenoid when the wire breaks. I only replace a valve if it is broken. I only replace a sprinkler head if it stops rotating. My system about 15 years old. Maybe I am just cheap, but I don't replace things just because they are getting old.
I agree, otherwise my wife would have gotten rid of me long ago!

The sprinkler guys he has had over, all say to replace the controller. Seems to me they all think the controller is bad. Time to replace.

The system has been dry for a long time. He bought the house a few years ago and has never run it. Now his lawn is not doing well and he wants to use it. The seals may have dried up, there is at least one crack/hole in the piping. And most, if not all, the heads are not working well. (All three of the lawn guys suggest replacing the sprinkler heads)

With that much stuff going wrong, I would think that replacing the system instead of repairing the system would make more sense. Plus, the 3 new zones is going to give added coverage, or coverage to new areas of the lawn.

And, the new heads are much more efficient, using much less water and providing better coverage.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:28 PM   #28
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Re: Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?


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I agree, otherwise my wife would have gotten rid of me long ago!



The sprinkler guys he has had over, all say to replace the controller. Seems to me they all think the controller is bad. Time to replace.



The system has been dry for a long time. He bought the house a few years ago and has never run it. Now his lawn is not doing well and he wants to use it. The seals may have dried up, there is at least one crack/hole in the piping. And most, if not all, the heads are not working well. (All three of the lawn guys suggest replacing the sprinkler heads)



With that much stuff going wrong, I would think that replacing the system instead of repairing the system would make more sense. Plus, the 3 new zones is going to give added coverage, or coverage to new areas of the lawn.



And, the new heads are much more efficient, using much less water and providing better coverage.
Let me clarify.

1. House was built in 2000
2. I purchased it in August 2018
3. I tried testing the sprinklers manually and they sporadically show short

The rest of the diagnosis I have explained already.

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Old 07-15-2019, 01:34 PM   #29
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Re: Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?


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3. I tried testing the sprinklers manually and they sporadically show short

What does that mean ?
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:38 PM   #30
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Re: Do I repair or replace sprinkler system?


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What does that mean ?
On the timer you can manually cycle through the zones. When you go to the zone and try starting it says the zone is short. And when you turn the dial around a couple of more times and try a couple times it starts working. This sporadically occurs across all zones.

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