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Need Some Quick Advice on What to Buy

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  • Need Some Quick Advice on What to Buy

    Hello Friends -

    Longtime homeowner, finally coming to the realization that truly: if you want something done right, you really do have to do it yourself.

    We just moved into a new home and have several sprinklers that shoot too far and hit the house and several others that are broken. Can you please help me with advice on what I should buy? Quality, durability, etc, is more important to me than cost.

    1) I need to replace several pop up sprinkler heads that shoot too far. I have a narrow strip of grass in my front lawn that is maybe 6-8' wide. Currently both sides overshoot, one side hitting the house, the other side hitting the sidewalk. They are typical, cheap, pop up heads (that don't rotate). I see there are different nozzles options that make the sprinklers shoot from like 4' to 15'+. So I figure I need to buy replacements, and probably find some that shoot about 6' or so at the most. Again, ease of installation, quality, etc is my primary consideration so even it it were possible to just swap out the nozzle, if its easier to change the whole head with a nicer one with the correct nozzle, I'd be inclined to do that. Seems some sprinkler heads come installed with a nozzle that shoots it a certain distance, others don't and you need to buy separately. Confusing.

    2) I have lots of bushes. Some I can see get plenty of water because they have a drip line with a shower-type head. I like that veer much because I can see it getting plenty of water. Other of my bushes have those drip lines connected to that plastic spike in the ground so I can't siee its watering levels. Others have a different head that seems to barely give them any water. I'd prefer to swap them all out for the shower type. Any suggestions/thoughts on that?

    3) Any general advice on watering trees with automatic sprinklers? I've never owned a tree before. This is my 3rd house and I've got about 10 of them now. I don't quite understand how water that is okay for the small depth of grass or for tiny bushes is also adequate for massive trees. How do people deal with such different watering needs on the same zone? I've got trees in my front lawn that get water from my normal lawn zone up there. I've got trees along the backyard fence that are in the 'bush' drip line zone. How can you balance that?

    I live in Phoenix, AZ for what it's worth. Any advice you can give me along these points or general advice is helpful. Brands to buy, exact product to buy, where to buy, etc. I'm obviously not super knowledgeable. I've changed out 1 sprinkler head in my life; wen't just fine, but have always hired a company to fix other issues. I'm determined to fix these issues myself though because I just am at the point I don't trust companies to take care of my issues with the care that I know I would.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Re: Need Some Quick Advice on What to Buy

    I would recommend finding a reputable irrigation company to look at your system for you and make recommendations. Even if you just pay them to take a look and you do the work based upon their recommendations. This would be worth your while.

    The problem though is there is a plethora of irrigation companies out there with a wide range of skill sets. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Find a local company which has been around for 10+ years and is licensed (if required in your city)...talking a licensed irrigation company...not just lawn company.

    You'll get a lot of opinions on what spray head bodies (and nozzles) are best. I myself prefer Rainbird 1800 bodies. However, the Hunter Pro-Spray is about the same thing. I would never ever, I mean NEVER use Weathermatic products! And some people love Toro products and others hate em - I hate em. I don't know what you have, but chances are, they are of the Rainbird 1800 type which use a female thread nozzle. If this is the case, you can swap out different brand nozzles to different brand bodies - they're all compatible - well except for Toro (just one reason why I don't care for them). So if your spray bodies are fine, and it's just the nozzles, then just replace the nozzles. Keep in mind you actually do want a little overspray to compensate for wind. If you go by the book, you need to account for at least a 20% loss of throw due to wind etc. So a 10' head becomes 8' in reality. Nearly all nozzles anymore also have adjustment screw which allows for you to reduce or increase the throw distance. You might try those before you replace the nozzles.

    The shrub irrigation. Sorry, not much I can do you help you here. This is why I mention to call an irrigation company to take a look for you. It sounds like the zone(s) are quite a mess, perhaps the result of DIY tinkering. I'm not saying it's all wrong, but it sounds like the precipitation rates are all over the place which leads me to believe it needs a good trained eye to look it over before advice to correct it can be given.
    2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and future 2015 LSF RECEPTED AWARD recipient!

    Hortikulture Kolledge Grad + Licensed Master Irrigator + Certified Backflow Technician +
    Licensed Fert & Squirt Applicator = Jack of all trades, master of none.