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Need a professional's opinion on sprinkler layout

Need a professional's opinion on sprinkler layout

Old 03-30-09, 10:09 AM
Kooter's Avatar
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Need a professional's opinion on sprinkler layout

My HOA's manager deals with our landscaper who sub-contracts out the sprinkler/irrigation maintenance and repair for the homeowners. We have a small island between driveways for growing bushes/plants that measures 4' x 15'. (There are about 60 of these islands in the development.) Currently in each of these islands there are either 3 or 4 Rain Bird 1800 6" pop-up heads using 8H nozzles. (I do not know what the water pressure is, but assume it to be around 15-20psi.)

Our manager tells us that the sprinkler/irrigation company thinks we need to increase the number of heads in each island to eight (8), which I personally think is ludicrous. Even if there are 2 rows of 3 heads using 8H nozzles (total of 6 8H nozzles) and one 8Q nozzle at each end (total of 2 8Q nozzles) for a total of 8 heads being used in the island - I think that is WAY too many. And the spacing just doesn't work out according to Rain Bird's specifications.

I would like an expert's opinion about this recommendation from our sprinkler company. Don't hold back - tell me what you think!

These pictures represent the way a typical island is currently setup with three heads. Maybe these islands could use one or two more heads for a total of 4 or 5, but 8 heads in such a small space just does not make any sense to me. Am I crazy?


Last edited by Kooter; 03-30-09 at 10:40 AM.
Old 03-30-09, 04:23 PM
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I'm no expert, but good heavens! Looks like someone is trying to make some money. It also looks like alot of water is wasted. I would think drip irrigation would be perfect for such an area. Maybe this will help. This first site is for Texas.

These sites are often helpful to folks.

Hopefully someone with better knowledge then I have will be along soon.

Old 03-30-09, 10:24 PM
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the number of heads in my experience would depend on the plants that were put in. What size heads are those? Are they 4", 6" or 12" sprays?

Because the mulch in the middle is higher and the plants would grow upwards, too, the plants may block some of the water from getting to the other plants.

I do not know my plants as well as I could but if none of those plants in there are going to get super tall, you could cover that entire area with 2 heads (1 on each side, using a 6" popup and a 15 SST nozzle or a 12 of the same make).

You could put one on the end, close to the garage doors with what is called an end strip nozzle. You dont want one that points towards a building and hits it on purpose. This causes rot, building damage and all kinds of unnecessary problems.

If a 6" or 12" head is used it will have to be bottom fed or have drains on the bottom to keep them from freezing in the winter... oh, assuming it gets that cold in TX.

If they are using a pump or well to supply the water they may want the extra heads to get rid of water pressure/volume. If that is the case then there are other solutions to that problem.

If this is city water and they are trying to reduce the pressure than they are using the wrong type of heads and nozzles. There are pressure reducing nozzles and heads that can fix it if its a city water issue.

If your plants get really tall then using more heads "might" be neccessary. To see your true coverage, just run the zone or zones for 2-4 minutes and see whats wet. If the area near something is wet, its going to be fine. That water will make it to the roots. I cant imagine really large plants in those islands because it would not make any sense.

You are correct in that so much overkill is not Rainbird's way, and they do not condone watering things that do not grow... like the driveway. You can never avoid it completely and some areas are just too small, but I think you have other options here.

But from what I know so far, you may need nothing more than to replace 1 head per island with a 6" spray instead of the 4" sprays. I would choose the one that is dead center in the middle in each island. Quite frankly, this might not be neccessary. Its something you kind of have to "see" sometimes to tell for certain. A 6" spray could shoot over the top of the plants but I think you would have enough cross-coverage so that it would not matter.

If they used 2" sprays... well, I'll have more harsh criticism.
Old 03-30-09, 10:30 PM
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Oh, I should add that there could be information they have that I do not so before we yell at them too much you should check to see if they know something we do not at the moment. But I would not lead them with any information...

I have seen my fair share of crooked sprinkler companies. I think they outnumber the good ones, but sometimes the good ones make suggestions that can sound crazy if you don't have all of the information. Any reasonable company would take the time to explain their reasoning.

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