You are not logged in.

Reply

Dear visitor, welcome to SPRINKLER TALK FORUM - You Got Questions, We've Got Answers. If this is your first visit here, please read the Help. It explains how this page works. You must be registered before you can use all the page's features. Please use the registration form, to register here or read more information about the registration process. If you are already registered, please login here.

Attention: The last reply to this post was 1356 days ago. The thread may already be out of date. Please consider creating a new thread.

Message information
Message
Settings
Automatically converts internet addresses into links by adding [url] and [/url] around them.
Smiley code in your message such as :) is automatically displayed as image.
You can use BBCode to format your message, if this option is enabled.
Security measure

Please enter the letters that are shown in the picture below (without spaces, and upper or lower case can be used).

The last 10 posts

Friday, July 30th 2010, 10:43am

by kao_nevar

Static (no-flow) pressure should be a factor of elevation as much as anything else. If you measure 42 psi, then a close neighbor at the same elevation should also have 42 psi. Unfortunately for lawn sprinkling, 30 psi is actually considered adequate for supplying a home. The purveyor doesn't 'owe' you a higher water pressure. If your static pressure can get as low as 30 psi, then you are looking to install a booster pump. Have you considered the possibility of drilling your own well? In return for the initial investment, you get all the pressure you want, and cheaper water besides.


Actually, in the state of Texas, they are required to provide a steady rating of at least 35psi so yes, I can demand at least that. I guess I'll be looking into a booster pump.
How complicated is drilling a well? And it that allowed inside a city? While rural, I'm still in a city. I wasn't aware that I could do other than city water.

Friday, July 30th 2010, 5:48am

by Wet_Boots

Static (no-flow) pressure should be a factor of elevation as much as anything else. If you measure 42 psi, then a close neighbor at the same elevation should also have 42 psi. Unfortunately for lawn sprinkling, 30 psi is actually considered adequate for supplying a home. The purveyor doesn't 'owe' you a higher water pressure. If your static pressure can get as low as 30 psi, then you are looking to install a booster pump. Have you considered the possibility of drilling your own well? In return for the initial investment, you get all the pressure you want, and cheaper water besides.

Thursday, July 29th 2010, 3:03pm

by kao_nevar

I have to agree with the other posts. 40 PSI static is very low for a sprinkler system. Most rotary sprinkler heads operate at their optimum
at the 45-50 psi range. You're starting out with 42 PSI. By the time you figure all your pressure losses in the service line, meter, backflow device, valves, piping, elevation, etc. etc. you could very well be operating at best in the low 30's but likley in the 20's. You might want to inquire with the three contractors what they figure the pressure is going to be at the base of the heads for the worst zone. A booster pump is looking good for this application. I doubt you will have much success any other way. Where did you come up wth 70-100 heads on seven zones with 30-50 PSI?


The 70-100 heads with 7 zones on the 30-50 psi is what some of my neighbors say they have (ones who just had systems installed recently). I did find out that my neighbors are mostly staying in the 45-55 psi zone where I am not. At the street level, I'm averaging between 28-42, a fluctuation that the city says shouldn't be happening. My response--Gee, really? So fix it!

If all you can count on is 42 psi, then you deal with it. Pipe sizes are bumped up. If there was going to be a master valve, that could be eliminated, getting you back about 3 psi. If you already have a one-inch water meter, then you can't do anything there. Flow losses in a one-inch meter should be less than 3 psi, if your flow is less than 20 psi.

You still have the losses of a backflow preventer and a zone valve. 3 psi here, 5 psi there, and it adds up pretty quick. In your best scenario, you will be lucky to have as much as 30 psi at the sprinkler heads. The best designs will be very conservative. Better to have 10 zones that work, than to have 5 zones that don't.


The $4900 quote means we won't get a system. We can't afford that so it would be a year or two before we looked at a system. During which, we're stuck hand watering a monster lot or using hose sprinklers that just aren't getting everything. The 7 zone $2600 price is something we can do. There is not a single person on my street with 10 zones. They are all 6-7 zones. Their systems have no problems so I know it is possible.

I know what you are saying. But I also have to look at what I can afford as well.

Thursday, July 29th 2010, 12:30pm

by Wet_Boots

If all you can count on is 42 psi, then you deal with it. Pipe sizes are bumped up. If there was going to be a master valve, that could be eliminated, getting you back about 3 psi. If you already have a one-inch water meter, then you can't do anything there. Flow losses in a one-inch meter should be less than 3 psi, if your flow is less than 20 psi.

-

You still have the losses of a backflow preventer and a zone valve. 3 psi here, 5 psi there, and it adds up pretty quick. In your best scenario, you will be lucky to have as much as 30 psi at the sprinkler heads. The best designs will be very conservative. Better to have 10 zones that work, than to have 5 zones that don't.

Wednesday, July 28th 2010, 7:51pm

by pass1

I have to agree with the other posts. 40 PSI static is very low for a sprinkler system. Most rotary sprinkler heads operate at their optimum
at the 45-50 psi range. You're starting out with 42 PSI. By the time you figure all your pressure losses in the service line, meter, backflow device, valves, piping, elevation, etc. etc. you could very well be operating at best in the low 30's but likley in the 20's. You might want to inquire with the three contractors what they figure the pressure is going to be at the base of the heads for the worst zone. A booster pump is looking good for this application. I doubt you will have much success any other way. Where did you come up wth 70-100 heads on seven zones with 30-50 PSI?

Wednesday, July 28th 2010, 5:42pm

by kao_nevar

There is a tremendous difference between 40 psi and 50 psi, when it comes to a supply pressure you can work with. If your pressure is subject to fluctuation, then different companies might be seeing a different picture, depending on when they measured pressure. (I myself, encountered an extreme example of this, and submitted a design and bid that was more than double anyone else's, on account of having measured a supply pressure less than half of what was usually present)

Since Texas has curbside meters, an installer can minimize pressure losses, unlike other states in the north, where meters are in basements, and pressure gets lost in the pipe supplying the home.


I had the city out today. We're 2 miles from the water tower, downhill no less. My neighbors are all getting 50-60 psi. They measured me today, at noon (when everyone is not using their water much) and we were at 42psi. They said they can't guarantee more than that and tried to hand wave me. I told them they would be providing me with the same water pressure as my neighbors or they'd be paying for my sprinkler system. So now they are going to monitor our pressure for a bit and see what's what.

Wednesday, July 28th 2010, 3:15pm

by Wet_Boots

There is a tremendous difference between 40 psi and 50 psi, when it comes to a supply pressure you can work with. If your pressure is subject to fluctuation, then different companies might be seeing a different picture, depending on when they measured pressure. (I myself, encountered an extreme example of this, and submitted a design and bid that was more than double anyone else's, on account of having measured a supply pressure less than half of what was usually present)

Since Texas has curbside meters, an installer can minimize pressure losses, unlike other states in the north, where meters are in basements, and pressure gets lost in the pipe supplying the home.

Wednesday, July 28th 2010, 12:08pm

by kao_nevar

Texas lawn sprinkling became a lot more expensive with their new rules. Anyone who does the work by the book is going to be significantly more expensive than some no-account trunk-slammer.

40 psi is extremely low for sprinklers
All of the companies who gave me quotes are licensed companies that have long histories (10+ years) of work in this area. None of them are "no-account-trunk-slammers." All of them claim to be following all of the new state laws (head to head coverage, permits and plans filed, freeze/rain sensor, etc.).
The problem is, I can't control a rural city's water pressure. The pressure is like this all over the city, yet over half the houses in it have sprinkler systems. Somebody must be doing something right.
All I can say is 40 psi is a joke. No way will 5 zones cover your property. I highly doubt 7 zones will either. I would install some sprinklers above ground as a test. See how many sprinklers you can run. I've never seen a functioning sprinkler system with 40 psi unless it's a dripline.
Apparently they exist because your neighbors have them. Check out your neighbors sprinklers and see how many they have on one line. Compare it to what the three guys have in mind. Just remember that a full circle is 1 sprinkler. 2 half sprays is equal to 1 full. So if see 6 sprinklers at your neighbors on one line and they're half sprays. Don't expect you can run 6 full sprays in your yard.
With all that said keep in mind I'm not a landscape architect. I do however repair sprinkler systems full time. Working with systems that have very low pressure is a pain in the rear. In my opinion the more valves you have the better your odds of everything working correctly.

Everybody in my HOA who has a sprinkler system, has 30-50 psi, so obviously it is possible. We are planning to go talk to neighbors--good advice there. I'm hoping we can figure out what kind of systems they have that work. The quote with 7 zones is on par with my neighbors. Most of them have 6-7 zones, with about 70-100 heads.
Even without the new Texas requirement (your local mileage may vary) about leaving trenches open for inspection, having a 40 psi supply pressure makes for an expensive sprinkler system. Every conceivable means to conserve water pressure gets utilized. No master valve, for instance (use zone valves with flow controls for operating reliability). Even then, heads won't throw as far as usual, so they get spaced closer together. Pipes may be oversized, because you want near-zero losses. Flows will be limited, according to your water supply pipe size and water meter size. This all costs money. Sometimes, it's so much extra money that boosting the pressure with a pump is considered.

Is the pressure boosting pump something that is part of the sprinkler system, or is that something that would be installed at the city line to boost pressure for the entire lot?
If it were one company quoting way under, I'd be concerned. But I have three companies--all with bids in the $2000 range and one with a bid of $4900. It just makes the $4900 look way over priced and like over kill.

Wednesday, July 28th 2010, 8:45am

by Wet_Boots

Even without the new Texas requirement (your local mileage may vary) about leaving trenches open for inspection, having a 40 psi supply pressure makes for an expensive sprinkler system. Every conceivable means to conserve water pressure gets utilized. No master valve, for instance (use zone valves with flow controls for operating reliability). Even then, heads won't throw as far as usual, so they get spaced closer together. Pipes may be oversized, because you want near-zero losses. Flows will be limited, according to your water supply pipe size and water meter size. This all costs money. Sometimes, it's so much extra money that boosting the pressure with a pump is considered.

Tuesday, July 27th 2010, 10:19pm

by mrfixit

All I can say is 40 psi is a joke. No way will 5 zones cover your property. I highly doubt 7 zones will either. I would install some sprinklers above ground as a test. See how many sprinklers you can run. I've never seen a functioning sprinkler system with 40 psi unless it's a dripline.
Apparently they exist because your neighbors have them. Check out your neighbors sprinklers and see how many they have on one line. Compare it to what the three guys have in mind. Just remember that a full circle is 1 sprinkler. 2 half sprays is equal to 1 full. So if see 6 sprinklers at your neighbors on one line and they're half sprays. Don't expect you can run 6 full sprays in your yard.


With all that said keep in mind I'm not a landscape architect. I do however repair sprinkler systems full time. Working with systems that have very low pressure is a pain in the rear. In my opinion the more valves you have the better your odds of everything working correctly.