Friday, June 29, 2012

Automatic Sprinklers For the Frugal

Early on, we needed to start watering the property. It had not been watered in months, if not a year, due to the drought in 2011.  We know the foundation needs work, so sprinklers at the foundation were a priority right from the beginning.

So, after a couple weeks in the house, and when it was clear the rain was mostly done for the summer, I decided to get sprinklers installed. An irrigation company quoted me more than $4000 to install underground automatic sprinklers. So, the husband and I went to Lowe's to see what we could find.

My final setup is working very well. After trial and error, I found the equipment I really like. I have completely covered the property with sprinklers for...$800 - a far cry from $4000.

I tested a variety of different manufacturer's products. This is my favorite piece of equipment. It is made by Orbit. This is the only one that delivered what it promised - automatic timing of sprinklers. I actually had one product work only one time - when I manually set it. sigh.

With Orbit, I tested the two-valve and the four-valve timers, and I chose to use only the four-valve timers. The reason for using these is simple - it is the only one of the series that allows you to set the time by day of the week. The others only had settings for every certain number of days. To me, this is superior. Last year, due to the drought certain addresses were assigned certain days of the week for watering. So, if that happens this year, I'm ready for it!

So, having decided on four-valves per spigot, I now had to draw up a plan. This was more difficult than I thought. I am using multiples of the following two types of sprinklers. The top one has a 24' diameter spray, the bottom has an 84' diameter spray.  Both can be adjusted to spray in a half-circle or even quarter-circle (though I haven't figured out how to do that with the top sprinkler).

The tricky part is that I have an acre to water, which means lots of sprinklers. But, I only have four valves per spigot. So, I am daisy-chaining sprinklers. It works, however, the output is diminished due to reduced water pressure.

Made by Gilmer

The other challenge in getting sprinklers set up was a lack of working water hoses. sigh. The previous owners left a lot of hoses - only one of which worked. sigh. Just like all their other yard supplies and tools. Then, many of my hoses were damaged in storage. I wasted a day or two just working through hose issues. sigh. I needed to use my drawing to determine what size hoses I needed to buy, again tricky because of the decreased output due to daisy chaining.

I now have three of the four quadrants of the house working well. The fourth quadrant has a leaking issue. Still trying to figure that out.

If you want to see my sprinkler plan, let me know. I'll upload a scanned image.


Post a Comment

Copyright (c) 2010 Emerging Providence. Design by WPThemes Expert

Themes By Buy My Themes And Web Hosting Reviews.