Disabling sprinklers for pool construction

All,
We had a home built by a local builder about 3 years ago, and now want to put in a pool. I took pictures of almost everything during construction except for the sprinkler layout (I was out of town). Now we want to put in a pool, and I want to cap one of the 5 zones of the sprinkler system (as the pool's decking will cover it forever). For another zone, I want to ensure it won't be in the way of excavation, because it will be useful after construction so I don't want to cap it at the source.
Any tips on locating buried water lines (aside from "going caddyshack" on the backyard!). Any pointers to a typical setup for residential sprinkler systems? I want to cap the zone at the right place. Not sure where in the system the right place to cap for a zone is.
TIA!!
cj
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In alt.home.repair on Fri, 29 Jul 2005 02:58:04 GMT Chris Jarshant

Call the sprinkler company that did the work and get a copy of the plans.
If they don't have that, sound very disappointed, say you will send them a diagram of your house and yard and ask for them to draw what they would normally put in a 5 zone system like yours. Better yet, go there when a designer is in.
I wasn't even the original owner but I called the architect 6 years after the house was built and got a copy of the blueprints for the cost of copying them. 10 or 20 dollars. Blueprints. (Of course this was a 109 unit townhouse all with the same blueprints.) They weren't as useful as I thought they would be, so far. But I still think I should have them.)

The whole zone? Won't that be at the water valve and isn't that a known location?

Are you supposed to drain them every winter? Does that mean you know where the far ends are? Open one drain at a time and see which heads are on the same line, because they are the ones that won't have much pressure, or which will stop spraying first when the water turns off. Or disconnect/turn off one zone or all but one zone at the valve, if that is possible (surely it is) and learn which heads are in the same zone that way.
Make a map of all the heads. Color them over with one of 5 different colors. Then draw the simplest 5 lines between them that you can. That'll be it, probably.

Meirman -- If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter. Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
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meirman wrote:

That is a fantastic idea. I am normally skeptical of the subs that build homes around here, somehow I doubt they keep blueprints. Case in point, we had a fence installed a few years ago. Before the fence could go in, the utility companies had to come out and mark where the buried utility (water, electric, phone, cable) lines were. I knew where they all were (except for water of course), and when the guys came out to spray paint my grass, they were *waaay* off. Luckily I didn't care 'cause the fence was going in the backyard and both the actual lines and the waaay off painted lines were on the side of the yard. But it just shot to hell my confidence in construction subs to accurately document what they do except when it a) costs a lof of money, or b) lives are at stake if the result of what they do is misused.
Anyway, I'll give them a call and see what I can "dig up" so to speak.

Umm.. you're talking to a sprinkler idiot. I know what a "valve" is but I don't know where the valves are in my system. I assumed they were in some nether region in one of my walls. I'll see what the contractor says.

No winter draining, why would one want to do that anyway? If it's for protection from freezing/bursting, no issues here, I'm in central florida and the ground never freezes. As for the zones, I can map them (as you suggest below) as I have independent control over all zones. I know which heads are on which zones. I just wonder how the pipes snake from the main water supply around to the heads. For example, the one zone that I want to preserve costs of 4 rotary heads, all at the back fence in the back yard. Does the supply line cut straight back in the middle of the backyard, form a "T", with each end of the T supplying 2 heads? Or does the supply line come up the side of the backyard, and run across the whole back fence?
cj
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In alt.home.repair on Fri, 29 Jul 2005 17:31:24 GMT Chris Jarshant

Just for the record, those guys don't go by documentation afaik. They use a detection device to find lines. For one thing, documentation can be bad. IIRC, the phone number in Md. is 800 MISS UTILITY, or MISS UTI.

But lives are at stake if they cut a gas or electirc line. Rarely, but they're trying not to kill anyone.
I know they do use documentation for the water mains in my n'hood. The builder economized on pipe and didn't use the flexible stuff, and we've had at least 3 water main leaks in 26 years, and we only have 4 or 5 blocks of streets. Each repair is about 10,000 dollars.
They do come with a diagram of the streets, or the water company comes out first with a microfiche, and marks where the pipe is near the visible leak. I think they have been close to accurate, if not perfect. OTOH, our main water main is in a the shape of a P, and everyone lives on the top circle part, and they're supposed to be able to turn off the water in two locations with only 10 or 20 houses without water. Instead they always use the main valve and none of us have water** They seem to say they can't find the other valves.
**No big deal to me, but others complain.

They're not IN the walls. They inside the basement or more likely just outside the basement wall. The water comes from the basement or pops out of the ground, and then comes the elecxtric timer, the electric valves, and the outputs, going off to all the zones. AFAIK, no one ever buries all this.
Even if when things are buried, I think there are sometimes valves accessible with a long wrench and a hole. Maybe I'm thinking of golf courses, with manual valves to turn on sprinklers.

Yes.
Yeah, you're right, good question. Generally the shortest run but there are other factors. Putting more than one line in the same trench for part of its run is a factor.

Meirman -- If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter. Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
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