This multiple part blog is going to look at different short cuts some irrigation contractors take.
This past Summer I had a friend ask me to come out to evaluate an existing lawn sprinkler system. I was happy to do this for a friend and it gave the a chance to examine another contractor’s work. What an adventure it turned out to be. The system was a builder’s special or lowest bidder installation. In our industry there are contractors who specialize in installing cheap sprinkler systems. To do this they take short cuts you need to know about to understand the difference between a cheap sprinkler system and a properly installed system.
- Improper Plumbing: The plumbing for the sprinklers system had been attached to a 3/4″ faucet line. This is a common short cut to save on plumbing costs, no additional copper needs to be run and the existing water shut off is used.
- The controller was not straight and was held up by one nail on the wall. The wires running to the controller were draped across the back wall of the garage. The wires exited the garage and were bare and without conduit.
- Too many heads on each zone and over spacing of heads. The front yard only had one zone, the heads were over-spaced and too many heads were on the zone. This combined with the poor plumbing meant the front yard was not being watered properly. The heads were 40′ feet from each other and the heads only sprayed 20′ – 25′, this was creating dry spots and a head that wouldn’t work.
- Poor head placement: Also in the front yard, the boulevard was not being watered properly. To save labor the heads for watering the boulevard were placed in middle of the front yard. The heads watered over the walk and onto the boulevard. This created over watering and dry spots due to poor coverage. Over the period of several years the water wasted would cost more than installing the system properly.
Tips 5 – 8 to be continued next month, see you then!
- Rob Cooper, Certified Irrigation Contractor (CIC)