Sprinkler System Upgrade Help

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  #1  
Old 05-24-14, 01:10 PM
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Sprinkler System Upgrade Help

Hi,
I have a 12 zone sprinkler system that is fed by a 1hp well pump. This well was put in for the sprinkler system exclusively. The sprinklers in the front of my house are barely lifting and adding another sprinkler head makes the zone not have enough pressure lift the heads completely up.

A few facts.
I have a 1 inch main to all valves, then 3/4inch pipe after each valve to each head.

The sprinklers that are giving me trouble are 350ft away from the well. 250 ft of 1inch main and the rest of the way 3/4 inch pipe.

The help I need......what options do I have to upgrade my system so I can add another sprinkler or 2 to each zone if I wanted?

Upgrade the well pump/motor? Will this work?

Add a booster pump on the main before the valves? Is this a option?

Adding another well to that side of the house seems like over kill to me.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I can tell you any info you need if will help you help me. I can take pressures at heads, etc. thank you.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-24-14, 01:48 PM
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Pop-up sprinklers can leak a lot of water until they are in the full up position. If they hang-up half way up they can gush water causing the zone's water pressure to remain low and they may never reach the full up position to seal properly. If possible you can replace some of your pop-up sprinklers in the trouble zones with fixed heads, ones that don't have to pop up. If you're having marginal pop-up results now you may have to convert many to fixed if you have much hope of adding extra emitters.

An easy test (and refreshing on a hot day) is to have someone activate the trouble zone and has the heads try to rise. Grab the stragglers and pull them to the full up position. You'll probably see that the entire zone performs better once all the heads are up and sealed which is a good indication that you might be able to support another emitter if you can just overcome the volume required to pop up the heads.
 
  #3  
Old 05-24-14, 03:54 PM
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Problem occurred once I added another head. When I hold the new head down, the rest of the zone works fine. I need to add more capability to my system because the length is so high and or the pump is undersized, I think. . Looking at my first reply, are those any options for me? Would you recommend anything ? I need to add a few more heads to each zone. When I installed the system, I added enough heads to stay right under 20 gpm for each zone. Once I go over that, the zone fails.
 
  #4  
Old 05-24-14, 04:02 PM
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I have a 12 zone sprinkler system that is fed by a 1hp well pump.
What kind of well is it ? Submersible, two line jet, etc.

Increasing the size of the pump may help but do you have any idea what the yield is on your well ? You run the risk of overpumping it.
 
  #5  
Old 05-24-14, 04:15 PM
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Hi, it is a submersible 1hp, franklin, model # 2445089003, .75kw, 60hz, 230v, max amp 9.8, 3450 rpm. Well guys have recommended a 1.5 hp myers, 25 gpm unit but I am not really sure if that is what is right for me for 1200 big ones.
 
  #6  
Old 05-24-14, 05:11 PM
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Well yield is 90 gpm, the well is 50 ft deep, pump is 35ft deep, and static water level is located at 10 ft below ground, pet the report submitted to the njdep.
 
  #7  
Old 05-25-14, 05:35 AM
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You said you held one sprinkler down and the zone worked. Have you tried helping the heads up? This will determine if your existing pump has the capacity to feed all the emitters. If the zone works but can't get over the initial "hump" (extra flow volume) needed to raise the emitters then putting some on fixed risers will help.
 
  #8  
Old 05-26-14, 04:53 AM
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Thank you for your input. I will look into that option but I really want o upgrade my system if that is a option. Plus, I have all mp series heads now, I would like to try and keep the same heads for a clean look. I would like to explore the 2 options from the first post. Does anyone have any knowledge of this or any suggestiins?
 
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Old 05-26-14, 05:09 AM
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Wow! That's the first time I've seen someone specifically want to go the expensive and difficult route.
 
  #10  
Old 05-26-14, 05:40 AM
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Sounds ridiculous, i agree, I just want to get a real feel for all my options. Plus, my existing pump is now 10 years old.
 
  #11  
Old 05-27-14, 07:00 PM
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Anyone have any input to help a fellow diyer? Is the best option to replace my pump with a 1.5hp 25gpm pump/motor or to add a booster pump? if booster, where would i add it, right before my valves for the long run of pipes?
 
  #12  
Old 05-28-14, 07:30 AM
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First look at the electrical supply available. Do you have the circuit capacity to the pump to increase it's size 50%? You may also find that your being restricted by your pipe size, marginal with a 1hp pump but definitely undersized with a 1.5 hp pump. The pipe restriction could mean that you don't get the full benefit of the larger pump. The hard you push (pressure) and the faster the water flows (volume) the more a smaller diameter pipe will hurt.

Then what are your options for powering and controlling a booster pump? It will probably need it's own circuit and controls to only turn it on when it's zone is active (provided you have the booster only connected to the one zone). One thing we don't know is the relationship and distances of all your other zones. You only mentioned the one problem zone that is 350 feet away.

Another option not really discussed is upgrading the size of your piping. For long distances nothing is better than large diameter pipe with no sharp bends. My big irrigation system sprinklers are 150-350 feet from the pump at the pond. The long run up the hill and through the forest to the yard is 2" line where I branch off to 1 1/4" line to each sprinkler (don't think yard sprinklers, it's more like a field irrigation system).

---
Here is a online calculator for pipe diameter, flow, size and distance. I plugged in 1" pipe, 20gpm and 300 feet long with no fittings and the pressure loss is 26 psi. Drop down to 3/4" and add in fittings and you'll see that you cannot move that much water through a pipe that small without a huge penalty.
 
  #13  
Old 05-28-14, 09:11 AM
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Hi... Need more info. too many variables

At what psi does the pump operate at when the zone is running? And what psi at one of the heads in the problem zone?

How many heads on a zone?

Are all the mp's adjusted different? 90, 180, 360????

Those MP's dont even really produce .5 gpm per head. If you had 10 heads thats only 5gpm..

Last. don't know the area you are watering, but rotors may be better. Two rotors spraying 45 ft cover a better area then those MP's for example...

I had the mps, and they are junk IMO...



When I installed the system, I added enough heads to stay right under 20 gpm for each zone. Once I go over that, the zone fails.

Why are you going over 20gpm???? Use less heads on zones then. Split a zone..etc. You kind of answered your own problem...
 
  #14  
Old 05-31-14, 05:03 AM
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Thank you guys. So I counted all the heads per zone and associated gpm per zone. I use all 2000 and 3000 series mp heads so the gpm's adds up rather quickly, especially since I use a lot of the 360 degree heads. Then I took pressure readings of the 3 zones that i would like to address (350ft away) and another zone that is right next to the pump. The 3 zones were operating at 20-23psi and the one close to the pump was at 47psi.

Now, since the pressure was so low on the 3 zones, I ended up using more heads than necessary to get the coverage I needed (smaller spray radius and less effective per head).

Does not seem like replacing/upgrading my existing 10 year old pump will really fix my issue since the psi is so low and the problem seems to be the long 350 ft run to these 3 zones, agreed? and replacing the pipe with larger is not ideal.....I am thinking my only real option is to add a pressure increasing pump.....

If you guys agree, do you have any recommendations of a quality pump? If I put the pump on the main right before the 3 valves that I have issues with, is there something I can install so this only turns on when water is needed for those 3 zones....some sort of back flow preventer? Also, what type of setup should I put the pipe in......union, backflow preventer, pump, union? Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance
 
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Old 06-03-14, 08:33 PM
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Still not sure what to do here. Any last thoughts?
 
  #16  
Old 06-04-14, 05:18 AM
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I'm not sure why increasing the size of your pipes is a problem but you're OK with adding a electrical circuit and running power way out there? Either way your digging up the yard.

Yes you can add a relay that will only turn on the boost pump when one of the three problem zones turn on. The pump will pump in its intended direction, not back towards it's infeed line so I'm not sure what benefit there would be to a back flow preventer.

The easiest and least expensive solution would probably to break your trouble zones up from 3 into 4 or 5 zones to work with the water flow you have available. Simply adding more emitters is counter productive. Your emitter have poor range because of low flow & pressure so you add additional emitters... which consume flow and further lower the pressure for the zone.

You may also be better off reducing the number of emitters in your trouble zones. Use fewer emitters that have larger ranges and overall a lower flow. This would preserve the pressure on those zones and you simply run the zones longer to compensate for the reduced volume.
 
  #17  
Old 06-04-14, 02:38 PM
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Your not sure how increasing the size of my pipes is more work than adding a pump?? You mean digging up my whole yard seems easy to you?? The 3 zones that are not performing are in the front of my house. The valves for these 3 zones are right next to my house. The main travels from one side of my house to the other, in the rear, around my pool and then to the front of the house. Adding a pump would be a minimal amount of work but I struggle with it because of the electric bill increase.

Adding another zone may be the answer but I was looking for other options instead of all the digging.

And finally, if I had all the answers to this problem, I would not ask, trust me. Seems I am annoying you but I assure you, that is not what i was trying to do. I just want my sprinklers to function properly.
 
  #18  
Old 06-04-14, 03:37 PM
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Up till now you've never described the layout of your system other than to say the the trouble zones are 350 feet away. So not knowing wher anything was located I suggested new pipe assuming you'd have to also dig to run power to a boost pump.

I don't think your boost pump will run extended periods so it will hardly show up on your power bill. The expensive part will be the cost of the pump and the new circuit to power it. The good thing is that it will not take much of a pump to boost your pressure about 20 psi to get your sprinkler range back. You want to be careful and not assume that more pressure is better. Many residential emitters mist when you push them over 40 psi.
 
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Old 06-04-14, 04:42 PM
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Like I said previously you may be better off getting rotors. You have to do the calculation on the GPM and coverage.. ( I dont know what your coverage is )..

Just an example: I am on a well. I can only run 1 zone at a time at 4 gpm. ( Actually one head) It may sound silly but that one head dumps 4gpm and sprays some 40 ft...


Now, since the pressure was so low on the 3 zones, I ended up using more heads than necessary to get the coverage I needed (smaller spray radius and less effective per head).
Of course you need to use less heads.. Even one or two oscillating heads may work out better and throw farther but I had them and found the rotots to work best..

Also I could have used two rotors at 2 gpm by changing the nozzles but a small breeze would blow the stream around...

And by all means a booster pump probably would work, but your electric bill will go up.. My statements were trying to spare that expense..

I will try to spend time anylizing this later or tomorrow as I have been busy...
 
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