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stoorie

New Member

1

Wednesday, August 7th 2013, 5:38pm

Attaching new risers?

Hi, just new here. I have taken over maintenance of a patio home complex. The original irrigation system was in my opinion installed incorrectly and now there are many popups, that rise up 6 inches, now hitting shrubs that have grown in some cases up to 5 ft. This resulting in lawn areas not getting enough or any water. The heads were installed behind the shrubs with the lawn areas being in front of the shrubs and so the lawn areas are not getting enough overlap. I have been trying to lift the risers, in some cases having to install two 3ft half inch threaded nipples together, supporting it with rebar and changing to shrub heads or nozzles and pruning the shrubs down. Some of the shrubs can only be taken down 6 inches as to not spoil the shape. Is this my only option or does anybody have any other suggestions? The only other thing I can think of is to reroute the heads to bring them in front of the shrubs and installing adjustable nozzles but I don't think the strata budget will go for it. I am a certified horticulturist but have dealt more with plants than irrigation systems. Any help or advise? many thanks

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,087

Location: Metro NYC

2

Wednesday, August 7th 2013, 10:35pm

You should evaluate the entire system, starting with the supply plumbing, because the act of raising sprinklers can create code violations.

So....
  1. Where is your location?
  2. What form of backflow prevention is in place?
  3. How does the elevation of the backflow preventer relate to the height of the newly raised sprinklers?

stoorie

New Member

3

Thursday, August 8th 2013, 10:55am

Thanks for your reply.

I am located in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada. In response to the other two questions, I am not a certified installer and would have to do some research on the system they have in place to determine the answer about the backflow. They got the original installer back to try to revamp the system and the installer ended up putting the pop ups and rotors on top of 2 ft risers (half inch and three quarter threaded nipples) which in some cases are still not high enough to go over the shrubs. The rotors seem too heavy to put higher so I had planned to change to shrub heads were I can. They are a bit lighter and I can help support with rebar. I can change some to nozzles but the 15ft spray will not get me far enough to go over the shrubs and hit the lawn. I know this is not the best solution. I am trying to deal with some original bad landscaping (in my humble opinion) with rotors and pop ups being placed behind plants that have grown and blocked any water reaching lawn areas. I would have been fine after original installation and planting when everything was small but now 15 years later there are parts of the lawn suffering from lack of water. There are no pop ups in the lawn areas just around the back of the beds with rotors and 30ft nozzles (some are the old Nelson rotors) and so the water stream hits the foliage but doesn't get to the lawn, hence the solution of raising the risers and pruning the shrubs down (as much as I can). thanks

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,087

Location: Metro NYC

4

Thursday, August 8th 2013, 8:39pm

Your solution is to put the lawn-watering heads in the lawn itself, and deal with the shrubs separately.

stoorie

New Member

5

Friday, August 9th 2013, 6:50pm

Hi Wet Boots, thanks for the reply. Yes that was my first thought too originally, just to add pop ups on the lawn but unfortunately the strata doesn't want to pay for a company to come in and add anything to the system. Well, this year at least. They wanted me to try to get some solutions with what was there. I'm hoping to convince them to think about for next year and maybe get some quotes. We also have had little rain here for the month of June, none for July and August looks like no rain too. We have had one of the driest summers on record for here so that isn't helping. I have upped the zone run times where I can but I have only just taken over the maintenance of the complex (in the last 3 weeks) and I don't think the lawn will be coming back properly until we get some real rain.
Don't know why they didn't opt for pop ups in the lawn to begin when they installed the system with but that's another story......
many thanks

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,087

Location: Metro NYC

6

Saturday, August 10th 2013, 7:08am

For a zero-dollars investment, you prune the shrubs. Prune the bejeezus out of them and get the heads back to their original locations.

stoorie

New Member

7

Saturday, August 10th 2013, 11:29am

Yes, that will work in some cases and in some cases I have had to remove the plant altogether as it was completely blocking the head with no option for me to attach a riser. If I was to do that with the all the heads that are causing a problem though there would be nothing left or it would look pretty decimated!! 4ft plants that are all shaped don't look good being brought down to 1ft tall, all I would be left with is bottom trunks and bare stems! It sounds like my options for the meantime is to do what I'm doing and try to convince the strata to have pop ups in the lawn installed and then when that is done bring the risers back down just for the shrubs. Seriously if you saw were heads were placed and then saw that they had planted directly in front it would make you wonder. There are shaped Pyracantha (Firethorn) that are 5ft tall and 3ft wide with a head directly behind them so that the water stream hits the shrub, waters it great but blocks any water getting to the grass in front causing dried yellow grass in patches all over the different lawn areas. This is repeated throughout the housing areas with some heads being completely covered over by shrubs. The real solution I think is to get the pop ups installed as it is the grass that is suffering. The shrubs are all looking great and not suffering at all. The trouble is also that I have to now mix rotors and spray heads in the same zones and find a run time that will work for the rest of the season. Isn't there a minimum time that they each have to run for to adequately water? The system comes on 3 times a week Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday.
thanks again

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,087

Location: Metro NYC

8

Saturday, August 10th 2013, 12:50pm

One problem with raising sprinklers, is that their increased height can overtop the backflow preventer, when said backflow preventer is a PVB, which defeats its functionality.

Of course, you look at the plantings in term of how they look and fit. If you simply have five-buck builders shrubs that have overgrown their original space, then who cares if they live or die. If you have thousand-dollar specimens, you leave them alone and move the sprinklers instead.

Your situation is also an opportunity to add beauty and value to the watered areas, maybe by replacing shrubbery with flowerbeds.

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