RI Lawn Sprinklers Ohio Irrigation Blog

Rilawnsprinklers.com

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wet spots around sprinkler heads

Ok, this time of the year we are getting a lot of calls for wet areas around sprinkler heads. There are a few different causes.

1. Low head drainage: The laws of gravity will prevail. If you yard is slopped the water will drain out of each zone when the system is ran. There are heads with checkvalves built into them but this will not always solve the problem.
Advice: Install checkvalves in hopes of holding the water in the lines, maybe have a checkvalve installed inline along with the heads in more severe cases.

2. Broken head or fitting: The water will only leak during while the zone is running but this can cause a saturation point if the leak is great enough.
Advice: Troubleshoot where the leaks is and repair.

3. Weeping Valve: This would be a constant leak. Unlike low head drainage that would come to a stop within an hour or two, a weeping valve will leak 24/7 until the valve is repaired. You can look at our leak indicator on your water meter to see if you have a weeping valve. Read our irrigation troubleshooting guide to find out more.
Advice: clean and flush valve, if this does not work then replace with new valve.

All three are rather common, especially as the systems start to age.

Any questions? email Bob at info@rilawnsprinklers.com

July 4th 2009 Holiday Hours

We will be working a half-day on Thursday July 2nd.

OFF from July 2nd through July 6th

and returning to work on Tuesday July 7th.

We wish everyone a safe and happy Holiday weekend...

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Watering Index: 6/24/09

The HEAT is ON

Cleveland:
Seasonal Adjustment:
Summer/July Baseline: 100-120%
Spring Baseline 150%-170%
Watering Goal: 1.25-1.5 inches of water per week absorbed 3-5" below ground to the roots of the turf

Columbus:
Seasonal Adjustment:
Summer/July Baseline: 110-120%
Spring Baseline 150-170%
Watering Goal: 1.5inches of water per week absorbed 3-5" below grade to the roots of the turf

Friday, June 19, 2009

FAQ: System Not Working

I have had a rash of calls with customers stating their system is not working. Please remember when you have a rain sensor it may affect the operation of your system for a few days and that not all bypass switches work. If your rain sensor has disrupted the system your timer will count down as if it should be watering but nothing will happen.

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Watering Index: 6/19/09

Cleveland:

Seasonal Adjustment

Mid-summer as baseline: 90-100%
Spring as baseline 140-150%

Looking to achieve 1.25" of water a week between Mother Nature and Irrigation

Columbus:

Seasonal Adjustment

Mid-summer as baseline: 100%
Spring as baseline 150%+

Looking to achieve 1.25" of water a week between Mother Nature and Irrigation

Monday, June 15, 2009

Irrigation Advice 101: Loud Irrigation Pipes

NOISY PIPES
Automatic Lawn Sprinklers are
Does your irrigation system make a loud noise (sounds like someone is hitting your house with a bat) when your system is running? Well I know this can be an extremely frustrating issue with owners that have a two story home or a home with hardwood, marble or tile floors which are more and more popular in newer homes. I have heard some homes where it sounds like the copper lines in the basement are so loud one would think they could break. I am now going to go over the different types of noises. I would like to break the noise down into 3 different types. One would be when the system is pressurizing or basically there is a lot of noise for few seconds when each zone is starting but then goes away. The second type would be a steady noise during the duration of the time the system is running. The last type would be only when a zone is shutting down and will only last a second or two. Before I go into possible solutions, I would like to simply explain a few things about water needs: irrigation vs. house. When you flush a toilet in your home you may use 1.6 gallons per a flush. Now when compared to a residential irrigation system you would have to flush that toilet 6.25 to 7.5 or more times a minute, every minute to realize how much water you are using when irrigating. So if your overall run time is 2 hours it is like flushing your toilet 825 times. The reason for that explanation is when you flush a toilet or take a shower you are only using a fraction of the available water supply in your home. When a irrigation system is running it will pretty much demand the majority of the water supply, this is another reason why systems are best utilized early morning before everyone is up and either cooking or taking showers. If you are having any of these problems you should call a professional plumber or experienced irrigation professional. If you system is making the noise when it starting or shutting down a correctly placed (water expansion tank, dual check backflow preventor, shock arrestor or strategically placed pipe straps) could help solve the problem. If the system is making a constant thumping noise during the duration of entire cycle you may need to call and have a new water meter installed. There is no one solution for every house, it is similar to finding a needle in a haystack. One thing to keep in mind that any irrigation system will make some noise since you do have water flowing at a high rate through pipes and meters.


Any questions: email Bob info@rilawnsprinklers.com

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Watering Index: 6/15/09

Cleveland:

Seasonal Adjustment Settings:
Baseline of July: 80-90%
Spring Baseline: 120-130%

Otherwise: You are looking for 1-1.25" of water per a week between irrigation and Mother Nature.


Columbus:

Seasonal Adjustment Settings:
Baseline of July: 90-100%
Spring Baseline: 130-140%

Otherwise: You are looking for 1.25" of water per a week between irrigation and Mother Nature.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Customers Looking to Save on Irrigation Service

I take calls every day. "Bob, I know it costs $x but can you do it for $x so I can save money?"

I don't get it. Why do so many people put so much effort in trying to save a few bucks on a service call. A homeowner may say to me: "Bob we spend $150 a year with your company for routine maintenance, can you save us a little?"

One day people are going to wise up and instead say: "Bob we spend $800 a summer for watering our lawn, can we keep our landscape green while saving a little?"

My point is why do so many people spend so much effort in trying to reduce a annual service by $5-$10 when they can save $100's of dollars if they just take a minute to realize that the cost associated with an irrigation system is in the water bills and a small fraction of the overall cost is maintenance? There are so many options that can save the average homeowner $100's of dollars a season. I try to educate customers on being water smart, most people seem interested but they never inquire. I will keep preaching and maybe in the next 5 yrs if the cost of water increases by 50% or more then at that time people will realize all of the money they could have saved if they were willing to learn more about ET technology back in 2009.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kudos 101: Rhonda K. Westerville Ohio

It is nice when you get a pat on the back:

Rhonda K. - Westerville Ohio 6/04/09

"Mr. Diersing is an excellent technician. His knowledge and advice was very much appreciated. Robert worked most efficiently and effectively. Thanks."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Copper Pipe from Backflow to ground

Today I was trying to clean up since I actually had a day off of work. I have been collecting used copper parts and pieces for 2 years now. I was looking through a crate of copper scrap and started to notice a pattern. After counting I found 37 copper pieces from systems where the foundation of the house had settled and broke at the copper/pvc connection. When you compare this to PVC you are 35x more likely to have a break with copper since it is so rigid. When the foundation settles and you have PVC going down to the ground the PVC will start to bow and tilt the backflow, when the tilting is noticeable it is time to add more PVC and straighten the backflow. With copper there is no sign that the foundation is settling. Some people get caught up in thinking the copper is the better way to go but I would have to disagree since I have seen more flooded basements with copper down legs then I have seen with PVC on the down leg of the backflow.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Irrigation Thought 101:

May:

Question: In order to irrigate one acre of land with 1" of water, how much water do you need?

Answer: Roughly 27,154.3 gallons of water to achieve the equivalent of 1 inch of water on one acre of land. Now, granted the average home in this area is sitting on a half acre of land minus the home, patio, driveway and other things. But it gives you an idea of how many 1,000’s of gallons of water can be saved a week by someone whom is water smart.

Automatic Lawn Sprinklers (Irrigation) is a great tool in keeping your lawn or garden in peak condition. In April I talked about some basic watering concepts. I would like to continue with going over different types of sprinkler heads. The two most common types of sprinkler heads are the spray and rotor. The spray head is design for smaller areas of 17ft or smaller, such as tree lawns, side of driveways or homes and flowerbeds. The spray head puts out a fan of water and can saturate a small area in a short period of time. Turf rotors are design for the larger areas and when operating the pattern is a stream of water and the head will oscillate back and forth to the desired pattern. Since the turf rotor and spray head distribute water at different rates (sprays distribute water at a higher rate) you do not want a spray and rotor type head on the same zone. If you do have sprays and rotors on the same zone and notice a heavier saturation in the area of the spray heads they do have new technology that can help solve this problem (MP rotator or Rain Bird Rotary nozzle) the new technology distributes the water at a slower rate and will closer match the precipitation rates of turf rotors. This new technology may also be helpful for a homeowner that may have a zone of sprays with some of them in full sun and some in a shaded area. By using this technology on the shaded area you will allow the heads in full sun to put down more water then the area in shade. If you have a similar problem with a zone of turf rotors, you can just down size the nozzles on the heads in the shaded area to reduce the amount of water. The best irrigation system is one that nobody even realizes is there, besides seeing the lush lawn. Submit any questions to Bob: info@rilawnsprinklers.com

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Watering Index: 6/2/09

Cleveland:

Seasonal Adjustment:
Baseline mid-Summer 50%
Baseline Spring 100%

Otherwise: .25inch of water this week

Columbus:

Seasonal Adjustment:
Baseline mid-Summer 60%
Baseline Spring 110%

Otherwise: .35inch of water this week

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