automatic sprinkler system

I am about to have a sprinkler system installed. Any pointers about what to watch out for like the preferred type of pipe and heads? Will be for lawn plus a drip system and light mist system for plant beds. Thanks.
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I've been happy with rainbird, but I suspect they are all good, so I would choose the brand that has the best availability where you are.
If you are doing this yourself, I think all the brands make a cut-rate level that is carried, intermittently, by the big stores, such as home depot, but they also make a much better grade that is sold only through irrigation supply stores, and doesn't cost that much more. So look for an irrigation supply company, where the components are better, and the clerks know the answers to your questions.
I think most professional installers would use the better grade of parts, as they don't want to have to deal with early failures, but I would ask the installer where he will get the parts. If he is running down to Home Depot, you probably want another installer. I don't mean to pick on Home Depot; all stores of that ilk do the same thing.
Art wrote:

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Don't scrimp on stations. Paying more now for what you might think are too many stations could pay you back in the long run. For example, in a few years, you might turn part of your yard into a garden. Having a separate station there is a good idea.
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Don't shoot water over the sidewalks, use pop up's to water between the curb and the street, if I were to do another system I would have nothing but pop ups in the entire yard.
Tom

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1) You have to make a choice: store vs Pro.
Pro is better, but if you need parts lowes & HD, etc only few minutes away vs week(s) mailorder.
Pro stores in my area are out of they f***ing mind. They are trying to sell box of Hunter PGPs for $449.
2) Pipe: Sched 40 PVC vs poly.
Sched 40 is more rigid, but must be glued. You must wait for Sched 40 PVC to dry before testing. Sched 40 joints could and will crack if it gets below 32F.
Poly easy to assemble (couple of clamps) . Better in the cold climates, can be pulled under your lawn, can do some angles. etc etc. Some people claim it does not last as long as PVC. (Never seen this issue)
3) For poly you could trench your yard, or pull under.
4) For poly you could use Ts or saddles.
5) Timer not as important as many people think.It used to be that Hunter Pro-C was the king. Now it seems that RainBird ISMs just as powerfull. ISM9s gives you 9 zones for $55, ISM6 - 6 zones for about $40.
And timer can be easily changed. So if you only need <= 4 zones cheap $17 rainbird would be just fine.
6) Backflow, get Febco ( they look cool anyway )
7) Are you comfortable with attaching pipe to the mainline? Cut the right side! Not kidding....
8) Attach blowup adapter for compressor.
9) Automatic drains vs manual.
etc etc etc
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Brian wrote:

aviation boards. But, I have had a sprinler system installed about 15 years ago by a "pro". Some lessons learned.
If you have clay soil, back fill each head with a sandy loam or sand. Make repair a lot easier and you will be replacing heads.
The pro installed Hunter heads. I replaced with Rainbird. The Hunters do not last and the Rainbirds do.
Use ball valves for the cutoff and not stop valves etc. With me they seem to leak. I have had no problem with the ball valves.
With a automatic system do not water during the heat of the day. You loose to much to evaporation. Water in the very early morning. We have people and businesses that water during the 100 degree summer afternoons with the wind blowing. And if you do not have rain control, turn off your system if you have had 3" of rain the day before. Sorry, this is a personal soap box
Finally, learn about systems and how to glue pipes. It is easy and you will be making repairs.
--
Regards, Ross
C-172F 180HP
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Some things I have learned:
Buy good stuff. It lasts.
Make your manifold for more stations than you need so later, if wanted, you can just add pipe out from the manifold.
Buy a good timer.
On your drip parts, don't skimp on a pressure reducer. Lots of people don't even know you need one of these. You are going from a large line down to a very small one, and when the full force of the water hits it, lots of little spray heads and connectors go flying. With the pressure reducer, it doesn't get hit with those pressure spikes.
Put cleanable filters in upstream from your valves.
Learn how to add heads, particularly on the drip mist system. It ain't rocket surgery, and you can save some serious buck$ by maintaining your own and adding/subtracting waterers.
Get good RainBird pop up sprinkler heads, and learn how to care for them. Get extra parts. I like the 4" that pop up above the grass to water, then disappear back down into it.
A few more buck$ now will save you time and headaches later. It's nice when it just works, and you don't have to fool with it. Which ain't often. But that is better than a cheapo poorly installed system that is fouled up all the time.
Steve
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biggest thing I would say that has not been said is to make sure you have triple coverage on all areas and that the zones are laid out in a logical order and that you get a diagram listing all the heads along with the coverage they have and the zone that runs them. Make sure the timer allows you to cut back on all the times on the zones easily. I can adjust mine to 85% for springtime when it is not that hot and then go to 100% for the summertime. I also have 3 programs I have one with each zone on for 3 minutes for when I want to test the system in the springtime.
Wayne

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I think RainBird will design a system for you (free of charge unless you want expedited handling). If your local store doesn't have the form, you can get it on line.
You'll need to give them a plan of the yard, with trees, shrubs, garden beds, etc. marked in. You'll also need to be able to tell them your water pressure, I think. I may have missed other things.
Perce
On 05/19/05 11:25 am Art tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

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http://www.hunterindustries.com/Resources/Design/design_guide.html
Software for designing your layout online it can be fun to play with
Wayne

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Make sure your landscape plan is really finalized before you add underground sprinkling system. This is hard to change something already buried underground when you later decide to change a part of the lawn into a garden. If this is your new house, you may want to postpone doing this until you have lived in the new house for a couple years in order to fully visualize what the landscape that you really want.
Also you need to setup in a way that the water won't spray near the house foundation. You may need to spray chemical on the house foundation to prevent carpenter ants from entering your house. Spraying water on the house foundation will wash away the chemical and your house will not be protected. If the stripe of foundation garden is too narrow, the contractor may choose to place the sprinkler head very close to the house foundation, and that will not be good. This will not be a problem if you put drip irrigation system instead of sprinkling system on the foundation garden.
Jay Chan
Art wrote:

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Art,
As others have indicated, you want a system with many small area misters rather than a system designed to rely mostly upon several "big guns." The poorer quality systems that I've seen have too many impulse sprinklers attempting to do too much of the workload. This is an easier and cheaper installation method since there are fewer system heads to install. But the water distribution is poor with some areas getting too little water and other areas getting swamped. Water waste due to run off is likely. Plus, the labor and materials cost savings frequently are not passed on to the customer.
I also support the suggests that you get a system which is somewhat "over engineered" to make it easy for any future modifications or upgrades.
Good luck, Gideon
================== Art wrote in message ... I am about to have a sprinkler system installed. Any pointers about what to watch out for like the preferred type of pipe and heads? Will be for lawn plus a drip system and light mist system for plant beds. Thanks.
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Thank you everyone for your advice.

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And if you are going to do it yourself, make sure you call "Miss Dig" and find out where all your existing pipes and cables run. Just heard about a guy around here that dug up the cable company's optical-fiber cable (i.e., this was a cable serving many subscribers, not just his house) while trying to put in a sprinkler system, and now he has to pay big bucks for the repairs.
If you have a contractor do it, he should check for pipes and cables too, but at least if he messes up it won't be you that has to pay for it.
Perce
On 05/21/05 04:24 pm Art tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

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