Lawn Mowers

Valves and Circuits

July 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Sprinkler Systems No Comments »

Valves and CircuitsThe manifold is the control unit of the sprinkler system. It is composed of a group of control valves that deliver water to different parts of the lawn. Position it in a convenient spot, where you can turn it on and off without getting wet. Try to conceal it with a cover or box, since the plumbing is seldom attractive. One manifold each is needed for a front lawn and another is needed for the back lawn. Together they are referred to as valves and circuits.  It should also be placed in a position which is secure and cannot easily be tampered with. You might consider placing the manifold at the side of the house inside the perimeter fence that surrounds your yard for example.

Valves and Circuits

The control valves that make up the manifold are usually globe valves, the same type of valves used for faucets in the house. Globe valve shut off the flow of water by pressing a soft disc against a smooth valve seat.

Control valves offten have anti-siphon valves attached to them. Anti-siphon valves, also known as vacuum breakers, prevent the back flow of water into the house supply. They are sometimes required by local ordinances and are always a good idea to include.

Each control valve controls several sprinkler heads. This group of sprinkler heads is called a circuit. Two factors control the number of circus you need. What is the available flow rate? If too many sprinklers are turned on at one time, the water pressure drops, preventing the heads from throwing as far as they are supposed to. For proper coverage, it is best to turn on one circuit at a time.

The other factor to consider is the watering needs of different areas. For example, if a shrub bed is on the same circuit as the lawn, the shrub bed will be watered as often as the lawn, even though it does not need as much water.

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Sprinkler Heads and Risers

July 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Sprinkler Systems No Comments »

Although a wide variety of sprinkler heads is available for every conceivable application, most residential homes are best served by adjustable, pop up sprinkler heads and risers with full. half circle, and quarter circle watering patterns. When not in use, the head rest flush on the ground, out-of-the-way of the mower and foot traffic. Each sprinkler head discharges a specific number of gallons per minute over a given radius, and each requires a certain water pressure in order to achieve its designed throw.

Sprinkler Heads and Risers

Most sprinkler heads have a flow control to adjust how far the water is thrown. Heads set for a specific arc are the most popular, such as three-quarter, 30°, and 60° arc. Heads with adjustable arcs are hard to find and expensive. If you do buy head with an adjustable arc, check specifications to make sure that this feature does not drastically affect the throw rate. This could change your watering strategy.

Sprinkler heads with a square pattern and a low precipitation rate are also available. A square pattern is useful in narrow areas such as side yards and in parking strips. Use a low precipitation ahead where runoff is a problem due to sloping grade or clay soil.

Whenever possible, group sprinkler heads by the requirements of an area. Besides pop up spray heads, impulse sprinklers are useful for watering large areas. However, they are difficult to use efficiently for smaller ones. If wind is a problem, place a pop-up sprinkler with rotary action in the center of a lawn area. It will disperse water evenly in large drops rather than a spray.


Risers bring the water from the underground pipe to the sprinkler heads. The height of the risers must be carefully adjusted. Several types of risers are available to make this adjustment easier. Cutaway risers have sections of thread in short increments along it’s length. It is easy to cut away small 1/2 inch pieces, one or two at a time, until the proper height is reached. Flexible risers also require proper height adjustment, but if the  sprinkler head is accidentally kicked or hit by a lawn mower, the risers flex rather than break.

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Flow Rate Underground Sprinkler System

June 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Sprinkler Systems No Comments »

One of the most important aspects of installing a sprinkler system successfully is determining the available flow rate: the rate at which water travels through a pipe, measured in gallons per minute. The easiest way to find the available gallons per minute is by using a special gauge. Many sprinkler suppliers will loan this gauge on request.

Another way to deduce the available gallons per minute is to measure how many seconds it takes an outdoor faucet, turned wide open, just fill a 1 gallon container. Dividing the total number of seconds into 60 gives you the flow rate in gallons per minute.

Flow Rate and Piping

For most sprinkler systems, galvanize steel and copper pipes have gradually given way too light weight PVC pipe and flexible polyethylene pipe.

Ease of handling, assembly, durability, flow characteristics, cost, and availability for all reasons for recommending PVC pipe in solvent weld fittings as the piping for sprinkler installations. Use the heavy duty schedule 40 for all pressure holding lines. To save money and materials used class 200 or class 315 pipe for lateral Lines that will never be required to hold constant pressure.

The less expensive but less substantial substitute for PVC pipe is flexible polyethylene pipe. It comes in 100 foot and 100 hundred foot rolls and can be cut with a knife. Fittings are inserted into the pipe and held in place with stainless steel clamps tightened with a screwdriver or wrench. The advantage of polyethylene pipe is that it does not restrict you to following straight lines. However, this pliability is a disadvantage as well. You can cut through it with a spade while digging in your garden without being aware of it. Rodents, especially gophers, like to chew holes in it. And it cannot handle enough pressure for it to be used between the water meter and the control valves.

In general, unless you have a large lawn, three-quarter inch pipe is sufficient for the entire system. If water needs to travel more than 100 feet, the friction of water through the three-quarter inch pipe may reduce the available gallons per minute. Use 1 inch pipe for distances over 100 feet to avoid this occurrence.

Our next post will talk about sprinkler heads and risers.



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Installing Underground Sprinkler Systems

June 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Sprinkler Systems No Comments »

Installing Underground Sprinkler SystemsAfter you have decided to put in an underground sprinkler system, you need to decide how much, if any, of the work you’re going to do yourself. Companies specializing in here in irrigation get can often install a system within a few days. Doing it yourself may take several weekends. If the sprinklers need to be installed before planting a new lawn , The clutter of materials and equipment may not be important. In and establish lawn, however, it may be bothersome, even damaging. Cost is also a consideration. If you are handy with tools and have the time, it is much less expensive to do it yourself.

Installing Underground Sprinkler Systems – Choosing a system

Once you decide who is doing the work, be sure to choose the manufacturer as well as the supplier carefully. Consult neighbors who have underground systems. As well as irrigation specialists,  nursery workers, or your real estate agent for advice about the trade name that best suits your needs. Then either write the manufacture or see your local distributor to obtain detailed information. If you are installing the system yourself, before purchasing it read the installation instructions to make sure they are easy to follow.

Our next post will discuss Flow Rate and piping.




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