Can my irrigation be (easily) improved?


#16

Yes, the Watts product appears to be a pressure reducing valve. That is usually installed after the backfflow. Your electric valve resembles an old Buckner valve. They are out of business. Is the valve brass? If you have high water pressure you can try adjusting the pressure reducing valve or install pressure regulating sprays. Drip zones are supposed to have a drip zone kit (valve, pressure regulator and filter). Looks like your system is pretty old. Check out the Watts model on line to make sure it is a pressure reducing valve.


#17

I looked at the Watts pressure reducing valve again. The tag says it is preset at 50 psi and can be adjusted between 25-75 psi. If you have high pressure try turning the screw down.


#18

@robertokc. I’ll pick up a gauge and will give it a shot. Any downside for the rest of the house if I need to reduce the pressure at the regulator for the sake of the irrigation? I have a pool and whole home water softener in case it matters.


#19

Well it would result in your whole house having lower water pressure. I prefer my showers with good pressure so I wouldn’t want to do that but that may just be me. Never had a pool or water softener so I don’t know how those would be impacted. An inline pressure reducer after the sprinkler valve is also an option and might be cheaper than replacing every sprayer with a pressure regulated ones depending on how many sprayers you have. Would take more work though since you would have to dig the valve up and do some pipe work.


#20

It is just the reverse at our home. The sprinklers are tapped off prior to the pressure regulator. An in-home burst pipe can be a disaster.


#21

I know nothing about what you guys are talking about, but having a pool, i don’t see how lower pressure is an issue. It’s not like the pool is filling up at a high rate, it’s a very gradual addition of water to make up for normal loss.


#22

@Modawg2k Good point, the auto leveler is about all that I need to worry about and it’s a fairly low flow rate.

@JPedrego Thanks for the comments. I’ll keep it all in mind when I figure out my configuration.

Thanks!


#23

If you are in Phoenix or Tucson try Sprinkler World of Arizona. When I lived in Scottsdale I found them helpful for irrigation parts and advice.


#24

Thanks @robertokc Coincidentally I went out this afternoon to purchase the hardware that I need. I went to a Ewing ship that I didn’t even realize that I had within 5 miles of my home. I took my self-audit and mentioned the MP Rotator recommendation you had. I previously bought the pressure gauge that @JPedrego recommended. It read 48psi, so I dropped it to 44psi last night and ended up purchasing the non-regulated MP1000s. The regulated version was a few inches taller so I would have need to add swing joints as well. If I had to go that route it would have cost me extra in materials and I would have had to dig out more of my yard.

So now I just need to dig out around my existing narrow bodies to allow the wider MP bodies to fit. I’ll play around with the throws and do another audit. The guy at the shop said that the usual recommendation is to use a throw that goes from one head that terminates at the adjacent heads. That doesn’t work so well for my yard since the spacing isn’t uniform (see the yard and RED dots for the heads in the original post above). Any recommendations on how I might adjust throws based on the situation would be appreciated. Otherwise I’ll just play with it and see what works.

Thanks to all of you in this thread. You’ve taught me quite a bit in less than a week.


Zone duration seems too long
#25

You are right on the money. MP rotators work best at 45 psi. Their precipitation rate is much lower than regular sprays. So you will need to the run the zones longer. You already probably figured that out. They have great wind resistance.


#26

@robertokc. Glad to hear the you agree the psi should be good. Even more glad to hear about the wind tolerance. Our monsoon season can really kick up wind speed around here.


#27

Alright guys, I changed out my heads per your recommendations.

  1. PSI checked and adjusted at the home’s supply line from 48 psi to 44psi
  2. 10 pro-spray bodies installed (non-PRS). It turned out I my previous install had heads of 3 different lengths, and 2 different manufacturers. 3 were 12’ throws, 7 were 15’ throws.
  3. Installed 10 MP1000 rotators (1 45-105 for location #6, 9 90-210deg for all others )

BEFORE:~56% uniformity and a precipitation rate of 1.41, lots of overspray
AFTER: ~63% uniformity and a precipitation rate of 0.39, much less overspray

The sprinklers numbered in RED, and the Orbit catch cups are shown in YELLOW in with the milliliters accumulated in during the test.

BEFORE (10 MIN DURATION):

AFTER (20 MIN DURATION)

There is undoubtedly an improvement, especially with the overspray. My problem child right now is that lower left side, near sprinkler #3. I reduced the throw from #1 (14.5’ away from #3) to reduce the overspray near head #2. I cranked up the throw on #4 (12’ from head #3) to max and it’s barely reaching the 15ml catch cup. The only thing I could do now is crank up the throw on #1 to max, but I’ll get more overspray behind head #2, and I doubt it will reach #3 anyway. I’m hoping that the fact that the 15ml cup is at the bottom of the slope will benefit from water runoff from the upper part of the slope, but I can’t be sure yet. Let me know your thoughts, and thanks again for imparting your knowledge. I’ve learned quite a bit through this exchange with all of you here.


#28

I tend to agree that overwatering at the top of the slope would have less of an impact as overwatering at the bottom of the slope.

All the efficiency setting does in the Rachio is to make the zone run slightly shorter/longer to account for poor distribution.

You’ve addressed the overspray (which I need to do at my house too!!!), I converted most of my zones to rotors, but they don’t make shapes for some of my areas so I’m stuck on a few. I would personally set the efficiency up on the rachio and carefully watch the grass. As long as everything stays healthy, you can still water less.


#29

Well done… After 2-3 weeks, hopefully you see a nice improvement in grass uniformity. I started with all MP1000s as well but ended up switching a couple out for mp2000s to get better coverage. In my case the MP1000s weren’t quite reaching head-to-head so there were some coverage gaps. Not sure of your dimensions but maybe your #3 (and maybe #4 & 5) could benefit from that. Something to keep in mind…

edit: BTW, aren’t MP rotators fun to watch!? Or is it just me… :smiley:


#30

@johnny2678. Thanks , and yes on the fun to watch. :wink: I put a MP2000 in #4. It got me up to 20ml in that lower left, up from 15pm. I’m not sure if it’s worth it. So you think adding the MP2000 to #3 will help that 15ml cup? I was thinking I needed to get more water to it from an adjacent heads vs. the closer one.


#31

You’re probably right… I wasn’t thinking about the catch cup… just head to head coverage between 1-3 & 3-4.

Still, even just having one at #4, you went from 15ml to 20ml… that’s a 33% improvement. If you’re using standard 10 minute catch cup cycles then you’re realistically talking about adding another 20-40 ml in that area during normal watering by using an MP2000.


Care to share your favorite threads?
#32

This thread is fascinating, and awe inspiring. I’d be run off this forum if you saw my setup :wink:

:cheers:


#33

Me too… I’m think I should rent a trencher and dig up my backyard to fix the mess I have… But alas, not that motivated. I’ve got a rectangular back yard, none of the sprinklers are in proper lines so they don’t hit head to head no matter what I do. Have obstacles through the yard (trees/shrubs) that were not considered. All MP3000 now, but still not enough range to make it. Yuck. Gotta just subdivide it… then I get lots more fun sprinklers to watch :slight_smile:

I did get my front yard tuned pretty well though. And flex is happily dealing with all of the rain and rain forecasts we have had the past few weeks. So I’ll take small victories.


#34

@johnny2678 I’ve gone this far, so I might as well try once more. I’m going to move my MP2000 from 4 to 1 to see what happens. The overspray from it being in #4 is hiring those boulders, rolling back down and causing a lot if run off. At least where it will overspray being in #1 well water my foliage. I’ll post back the results.

@franz. No way you’d ever be run off these forums. Who would answer all of our silly questions?


#35

In an ideal irrigation system, there would a row of heads at the top middle and bottom of a slope. Then, Rachio could create a programming option for top of slope, middle and bottom. When I had the original WeatherTrak, that was a program option (Weather Trak is no longer in the residential market, plus it was a pager signal based product.

I have no complaints about Rachio. It is the best irrigation product ever.