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The last 6 posts

Thursday, May 26th 2005, 7:14pm

by RidgeRun05

It really pays off when you do your homework and get the bids. Congratulations on your soon to be new irrigation system. If you have any other questions after the installation, feel free to drop back by. Good luck.

Thursday, May 26th 2005, 6:32am

by geotexZ71

Just checking back in! Ended up identifying three highly recommended contractors and asked for quotes from each. Basically all turned in consistent numbers at $500 to $550 per zone and nearly identical layouts of zones, rotors, and sprays. We selected the contractor who had the middle-price, but was willing to work with us on component selection and still cover with their full warranty plus offered 180-day same as cash financing since we are $1000 over what we thought the cost would be. Ended up with a design for seven zones using Hunter I-20 rotors, Rain Bird 1800 sprays, Hunter PGV valves, a Hunter Pro-C controller with rain and freeze sensors, and a Febco backflow preventer. Installation will utilize poly pipe.

I must say that this contractor made us the most comfortable. They may have not been in business quite as long as the other two, but they are a huge outfit and always had time for our questions. They even brought their design to us and walked us through it on our property. I was impressed that they even spent the time working up a blueprint for just an estimate!

Friday, May 20th 2005, 2:42pm

by RidgeRun05

Let me get you some information about fiancing for your irrigation system. We work a couple of different options up here, and I might be able to help you out with that. I think your $2500 budget is a little low for what your going to get, but contractor prices vary depending on different conditions. The PVC that your talking about I've used a couple of times around here, and it is pretty decent, but I still prefer poly, just my opinion though, still a good product. I think if I were you at this point, I would be leaning towards the contractor with the better warranty and the higher grade products. Shoot me an e-mail at so we can talk more about it.

Friday, May 20th 2005, 8:36am

by geotexZ71

Thanks Tony!

I'm looking for a third contractor, but seems to be hard to do! The two I've contacted are the most recommended by everyone, and even do the public properties and sports fields. That makes me think they know what they're doing (in business for 20 and 28 years) and both gave me booklets (literally) of references and recommendations spanning from the late-80s!

About the PVC, it is actually flexible PVC that the one contractor uses and he said it is not susceptible to frost heave breakage like rigid PVC, and that he prefers it because it can be solvent welded and use conventional fittings versus barbed or compression fittings, which he does not use. What do you, or anyone else think? He also warrants the system integrity if we use his winterization service for $65, which seems like a good deal considering the number of zones we're likely going to have, and it's in writing. My guess is he's also going to be the more expensive of the two with the welded fittings, I-20s, 12-station Rain Dial controller, Febco backflow, and his workmanship warranty is longer than the other contractor. Just wish I had a ballpark of what $$$ to expect to see how low my $2500 budget. I fear I may have made a mistake in paying cash for the vinyl fence as neither sprinkler contractor finances or takes credit card, which we really don't like to use anyway...

Thursday, May 19th 2005, 2:03pm

by RidgeRun05

Sounds like you prepared yourself well and did your homework. First things first, I would get at least three bids for your sprinkler system, because it will better help you decide in coming up with a median price for your new sprinkler system.

As far as parts go, each contractor has their own opinion as to which products are the best. I personally have never installed the Irritrol products, but I have serviced them. Both Hunter and Rain-Bird make excellent products, and they stand behind them. I am an exclusive to installing Hunter products, so I know a lot about them, and I highly recommend them.

For your backflow device, I have always installed the Febco brass backflow units, and have had very good experiences with them, I haven't used the Wilkins products before, so I couldn't give you a run down on those.

For the sprinklers, both the PGP and the I-20 are excellent heads, with the I-20 being built a little bit tougher than the PGP, and a few extra options. The I-20 also carries a 5 year warranty, whereas the PGP carries a 2 year warranty. I used to install the 1800 sprays from Rain-Bird, and they are alright, but I now install the Hunter Pro Spray heads, which I think are a lot better built and have a better spray pattern than Rain-Bird.

For the valves, again I haven't used the Irritrol products, but it seems like I do service them an awful lot. We install the Hunter PGV Jar-top valves. They are a high quality valve, and it is very service friendly.

For the controller, the Hunter SRC is a good controller, but is only available in 6 or 9 station, indoor or outdoor. A fine controller for smaller irrigation systems, but if you ever expand beyond 9 stations, you'll have to upgrade your controller. We generally install the Hunter Pro-C , which is expandable up to 15 stations. The Hunter controllers are very easy to use and program, and have a non-volatile memory, which means it will retain its program information during power outages. All Hunter controllers come with a SmartPort, which can be installed for remote control options, as well as other attachments. Also, all Hunter controllers have the capability to support rain, wind, and freeze sensors.

Finally, as for your piping, because you are in New Jersey, a freezing climate, I would suggest the use of Poly pipe over PVC. Up here in Michigan, Poly pipe is all we install. It stands a much better chance in a freezing climate than PVC does.

Make sure you feel comfortable with the contractor you choose to install your system, and make sure he or she has references. Good luck with your system, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

Thursday, May 19th 2005, 11:09am

by geotexZ71

Need help! What to expect?

Hi! My wife and I just built our first home and are working on a lawn! It’s not much at 0.15 acre, but plenty for two career professionals! The lawn was hydroseeded this spring and about 60-65% took so we’ll be overseeding in the fall. So it seems to be the perfect time to consider adding a sprinkler system because the hours my wife and I keep aren’t conducive to watering otherwise.

We have four distinct lawn areas, and three curb strips. In the front we have a plot that’s 25’x 45’, a plot 35’x30’ in the rear, a plot 15’x35’ to one side, and a plot that starts at a width of 25’ and ends at a width of 35’ over a length of 77’. We are a corner property and have a large strip 12’x80’ between the curb and sidewalk to the side, another 2.5’x10’ in front on one side of the driveway, and a third 2.5’x 45’ along the front façade on the other side of the driveway. We only have one planting bed in front with shrubbery that’s 3.5’x15’. So it’s kind of divided in zones already.

We have city water plumbed via 1 inch polyethylene lateral into the basement reducing to 3/4 inch copper with a 5/8 inch meter. Pressure measured 50 psi and flow at 12.5 GPM. As I understand it from online research, these are good numbers for a system. I had the home built with a port off the main water line ready for sprinkler connection and a dedicated circuit is in place.

I had two sprinkler firms out to bid on the work today. Both use Hunter rotaries (one the I-20 exclusively and the other the PGP); Rain Bird 1800 sprays; and Irritrol valves. Each is different for controller with one using an Irritrol Rain Dial and the other a Hunter SRC. The local code requires a pressure vacuum breaker and one wants to use a brass Febco unit and the other a Wilkins unit. For installation, one uses poly pipe and the other PVC.

What are your opinions on these components? Can someone give me a ballpark idea on cost for installing a system this size? All of the pieces, parts, and zones both were mentioning makes me think a budget of $2500 is going to be way too low. Both indicated they’d have their proposed layout and formal bids to me at the end of next week so I’d sure appreciate some feedback for evaluation.