RI Lawn Sprinklers Ohio Irrigation Blog


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cracked Irrigation Valve

Irrigation Valves that develop a crack and fail:

OK- a side note since one valve had a bad production run and I want to bring this to your attention so that it is not confused with valves that fail due to improper installation techniques: Rain Bird had production issues with their Jar Top valve in the past and have since corrected the problem. If you have a Rain Bird Jar Top valve(s) that have failed along a seam then you should consult your local Rain Bird supplier for any options you may have.

Valves that develop cracks other then the Rain Bird Jar Top.

The short answer is they most likely the valves were over tightened when they are installed if they are the female thread style. Each female thread valve is connected to a male thread on the manifold tee. By design the male threaded fittings are slightly narrower at the end of the fitting and gradually widen towards the base of the fitting. When someone is assembling a female valve onto a male threaded fitting they should follow the following rule: hand tighten the valve and then turn one additional rotation with the proper tool and as always only use the proper amount of Teflon tape (no dope.)
If someone wrenches the valve one and applies too much pressure they have pushed the female threads into the wider area of the male threads causing an increase of pressure on the valve that will some day fail under the increase of pressure. If you have this problem and you have to replace a valve you should consider replacing the remaining valves if they have to be excavated since the chances are good that the other valves were installed in the same manner.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Zone with low water pressure?

If you have multiple zones on your lawn sprinkler system and one of them is under low pressure, this is a sign that you have pressure loss on that zone. Which is usually caused by a leak, if you found a saturated spot in that zone then you should dig up that area to locate the source of the leak and make the necessary repair. If a saturation area is not obvious then you will need to run that zone until you able to locate area of saturation. If after running the zone for a period of time there is still no obvious area of an leak then you will need to call an irrigation professional for further troubleshooting.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mid Summer Sale

Our postcards will be mailed within the next two weeks: Take advantage of the savings early.

$10.00 OFF
(Valid 8/2 - 9/18, cannot be combined with another offer or discount)

FREE SPRINKLER HEAD with service call. (Valid 8/2 - 9/18, cannot be combined with another offer or discount). Hunter PS series spray head for calls with less than 30 minutes of labor or your choice of spray or rotor with calls over 30 minutes of labor and service call)

Winterization Coupon:
Save $5.00 when you have us winterize your home along with a neighbor’s home on the same day. Each house saves $5.00. Ask us how you can save another $5.00 for a total of $10.00 off your winterization service when you call in to book your appointments.

Outdoor Lighting System Installed w/ 5yr Warranty $900.00
6 professional lights installed with transformer, up to 150' wire, 5 year warranty on Transformer
(Valid until September 18th, limited areas)

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Noisy Pipes when Irrigation System is running


Does your irrigation system make a loud noise (sounds like someone is hitting your house with a baseball 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.

  • System is making a loud noise when the zones are starting, then the noise goes away until the next station/zone starts or only on specific zones.

The cause for this is when a zone starts where water has drained out of the sprinkler heads the force of the water flow does not have any resistance and it will cause the pipes to make noise until the zone is under pressure. Also it could be caused by water turbulence in the interior plumbing of the home. Here's an explanation on how that may occur: When a irrigation system is connected to the house it is done by tapping into a water line (usually close to the meter) the tap is usually a Tee type fitting. Well when the irrigation is running it pulls water from both sides of the Tee fitting. We have found that if you place a check valve on the side of the Tee fitting furthest away from the meter so the water flows through the meter then out to the irrigation it will solve majority of problems associated with noisy pipes. By doing this your are preventing the irrigation system from pulling water from your house pipes which is usually the cause of the noise. If the noise is not that bad and only happens on a few zones then you may want to strategically place check valves on the zones that have elevation change to reduce drainage after that station runs.

  • Steady noise during the entire time the system runs, sounds like a thumping noise.

Your water meter is making the noise and you need to have it replaced. What do I do if the water department says it is not the meter? Tell them you want a new meter or a larger meter, my experience is that if you are hearing a constant noise during the entire time the system is running that it is the meter and take a firm stance to have it replaced.

  • Loud noise when the system shuts down

Water hammer, is caused when a flow of water comes to a fast stop and causes extra force to be applied to various fittings which causes the noise you may hear. You can strategically add a hammer arrestor, I would recommend a 3/4" arrestor and nothing smaller. There are a few different key locations to install it. Email me and describe your set-up and I will make a recommendation. You may also consider to install a pressure tank which will act like a large shock absorber to help reduce the force caused by the sudden stop of flow. You may consider zone valves that are designed to close at a slower rate.

If you are having any of these problems you should call a professional plumber or experienced irrigation professional. 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 and not to expect it to run silently.

Written by: Robert Diersing

Email if you have any questions; info@rilawnsprinklers.com

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Dbowers question regarding humming noise


Here is a pic of a boiler drain:
Boiler Drain

Here is a pic of an atmospheric vacuum breaker
atmospheric vacuum breaker

I have seen both cause a humming noise on sprinkler systems.

If the boiler drain is the cause you will just need to make sure that it is closed ALL THE WAY. The one system I had seen was a boiler drain on the outside of the house, not even connected directly to the irrigation system causing a humming noise. I would just go around and make sure they are all properly closed even they looked closed give them a twist anyway.

If you have a boiler drain w/ an Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker on it causing the humming noise then try to remove the atmospheric vacuum breaker to see if that is the source of the noise. I had seen a system this spring with a AVB causing the noise, after removing the AVB the noise stopped. An Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker is a backflow device and should be installed on certain applications. If installed properly they will not be easy to remove and you might just want to remove the entire boiler drain /AVB combo and insert a threaded plug to test.

I hope this helps you. If not I will probably refer to my plumber and may have a few more questions. Either way please let me know.



Saturday, July 11, 2009

Correction: Online Specials

We have not been able to edit the website due to problems with the host. Our online specials expire September 20th, 2009. Our online Special for Winterizations will be introduced when our current Special expires on September 20th, 2009.

Sorry for any confusion or inconvenience.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Rain Bird® ESP-SMT Smart Control System

Looking to conserve water? Consider installing a NEW Rain Bird ESP-SMT Smart Control System with your new irrigation system. OR upgrade your Rain Bird ESP Modular Controller with the ESP-SMT Smart Control face plate and weather sensor.

This is an advanced yet user friendly product that will improve your watering efficiency by factoring in everything from soil type to the slope of your lawn to the amount of sun exposure different areas receive. All of these details are calculated for every zone of your automatic sprinkler system to help you maintain a lush, healthy lawn and landscape.

Price Point is roughly $400.00 for the product depending on the application.

We are running a special until September 20th: $395.00 to retro fit an existing ESP Modular controller to the ESP-SMT. The price of $395.00 does not include the cost of installation.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Have an Irrigation question?

Please submit any questions you may have about irrigation: repair, programming, water conservation, troubleshooting.

Sometimes I feel that I am just writing to myself, ask a question if you have one.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Mid Season Specials: (July 7th - September 20th 2009)

Go GREEN with a SOLAR SYNC weather device that is compatible with Hunter Pro-C and ICC timers. Product cost: $129.99

Product info: Anyone that spends more then $400 a year will see a return on this product after 1yr in use. The product eliminates the need to reprogram your controller as the weather changes. It uses current temperature, humidity and rainfall and uses the seasonal adjustment button to change the program for you.

$10 OFF ANY SERVICE (valid July 7 - September 20th)
Discount is NOT VALID with or in combination with any other promotion or discount. Print this discount off and mail in with payment.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Promoting Efficient Use of Water: July declared Smart Irrigation Month

Most homeowners in the US tend to sprinkle too much water in their lawn or waste this precious resource through inefficiency. Adopting conservatory habits is essential not just for your personal satisfaction, but also for retaining the water table in your region/locality. In addition, the judicious use of water meant for irrigation is necessary to maintain every community's water supply.

With growing demands resulting in water shortages everywhere, it's important to focus on buying water-saving products, encouraging efficient practices of irrigation and spreading awareness about the need for conservation.

Keeping this in mind, the Irrigation Association has named July Smart Irrigation Month to promote effective water management practices, technologically-superior irrigation products, and judicious use of water resources. Smart Irrigation Month is a well-thought out effort to promote water-saving products and practices. Regardless of which field of irrigation you are placed in - agriculture, landscape or golf course irrigation and your position in the irrigating industry (manufacturer, dealer, contractor or grower), you can participate in Smart Irrigation Month. Conservationists, the environmentally conscious and the general public can take part in the activities and events organized.

Through this initiative, you can learn many tips and techniques for utilizing water efficiently.
Automatic sprinklers for example, provide you control in the maintaining your landscape investment. Irrigation systems enable you to enjoy your yard, while at the same time saving water. While undertaking outdoor irrigation, it is important to use only the required amount of water and only when necessary. By following the smart practices the Smart Education Month aims to teach you about, you can learn to operate your system at peak efficiency. The advice on use of new technology, it offers is also bound to beneficial for those looking to reduce their water bill.

In conclusion, Smart Irrigation Month is an ideal way for the industry to get together and promote innovative water conservation techniques. It will also serve as an excellent method to create awareness about the importance of irrigation and the kind of work involved in this basic agricultural practice. Most significantly, it will serve as the breeding ground for new-age water saving practices, giving people a platform to express their unique ideas for conservation.


Irrigation Advice 101: Cool and Rainy?

Has your weather has changed and a cold front came through bringing cool and rainy weather. If so you may want to just turn your irrigation controller OFF for a few days until it starts to warm up and your soil starts to dry out. My advice would be anything in the 70's you do not need to irrigate nearly as much and to wait until temperatures climb back into the 80's.


Bed Irrigation

Bed irrigation:

There as many different types of bed irrigation as there are different types of restaurants to choose from. So I will go over the basics.

Bed/Garden irrigation with sprays can be an answer to those that like low maintenance and have bed material with similar watering requirements, since you will get an even distribution of water.

Irrigating your bed or garden with drip irrigation can be a great solution when you have plant materials with different water requirements. The downside is they tend to be higher maintenance.

An effective way to water a larger bed would be to use either MP Rotator nozzles or Shrub Rotors. Within each of the three ways to water a bed or garden there are many options such as different heights and nozzles of spray heads. And numerous types of drip irrigation from in line drip, misting to systems designed for hanging baskets, your options for drip are numerous and can be customized to fit your requirements of your garden. My best advice for someone that is constructing a new bed, garden or landscape would be to sit down with a professional and go over the different options to see what would best suite your needs now and down the road. Beware the most common mistake made when someone does have bed/garden irrigation is they over water. Typically flowerbeds require about half the amount of water as grass.