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emgee

New Member

1

Monday, July 14th 2014, 12:50pm

Brand New System Not Functioning As It Should

I had a system installed about a month ago by a larger company in my area (St. Louis, MO). It's 12 zones, and a good mix up different heads.
Once everything was hooked up, it wasn't working very well and we installed a 3/4hp pressure booster as I assumed we would have to. That still really didn't bring it up to functioning 100% as it should.
I have a 5/8" lead water service line coming in, and 3/4 copper going out to supply and backflow.
The sprinkler company seems lost as to what is occurring and what would help.

I recently had my plumber change out the water meter valves to 3/4 and water meter to a 3/4 as well as replacing a globe valve with a ball valve. That only slightly improved it.
Was this poorly designed? They didn't do a pressure test, or a flow test, to my knowledge....
It was an expensive install, my grass is destroyed, and while it's working somewhat, given the price, I would like it to function at 100%.
I'm lost, frustrated, angry, and just annoyed.
HELP!

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,147

Location: Metro NYC

2

Monday, July 14th 2014, 3:05pm

If your incoming line is 5/8-inch lead, that is something extremely rare. I've seen lead lines, and I've seen 5/8 copper lines.

The easy answer is to consider doing what should have been done at the very beginning. Replace the supply line, with one-inch tubing, or maybe install a separate tap and supply to feed just the sprinkler system. The separate tap and supply would be the most expensive remedy, but you lose the need for any booster pump.

If you have mistaken a galvanized steel line for a lead line, then it becomes imperative to look to have a new supply installed. Steel has poor flow, along with a tendency to rust out and leak.

emgee

New Member

3

Monday, July 14th 2014, 3:20pm

Thanks, WetBoots. It's definitely lead. I live in an 85 year old house in a suburb outside of STL City.
The issue with installing a new supply line would be cost. Roughly about $4-$5k to run a new 1 inch copper supply line to the main, which is across the street - so I would have to go under the street to tap into main. Then of course totally destroy my yard in the process as it would be about a 60 to 70 foot run from the main, under the street, and into my house.

Central Irrigation

Supreme Member

Posts: 371

Location: Central Minnesota

4

Monday, July 14th 2014, 6:36pm

Booster pumps after the fact are never a good sign. Waste and stop valve replacement is pretty common. Sounds hairy to me.

emgee

New Member

5

Monday, July 14th 2014, 9:01pm

A booster pump was really planned the whole time. I knew I would need one.
As for the lines - I was talking with my neighbor who has had his line replaced - apparently it was indeed galvanized which came into lead about 3 feet from the foundation and through the foundation was lead. He said he could barely see through it when replaced because of build up.
My plumber talked about a chemical they have called sizzle. Said perhaps he could dig a hole at my shut off valve at street, put the sizzle in, and then blow the line into the house and catch all the crap coming out on the other end. Worth it?

pass1

Active Member

Posts: 39

Location: east coast

6

Monday, July 14th 2014, 9:41pm

The issue of having a 85 year old house with a galvanized/lead service line should have been addressed by the contractor before any sprinkler system was put in. That should have raised concerns right away. On a residential project the servive line size, type of pipe, age and length are very critical to a working design. Now , your working backwards to try and get this to work properly. As galvanized pipe ages it corrodes from within and the interior dimension reduces greatly especially after 85 years. You can only push so much water through a tiny hole, even with a pump. The interior surface is also very rough, therefore creating turbulance and increased friction loss. I think your only option now is to replace the service line, and sizing it based on your water demands .

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,147

Location: Metro NYC

7

Tuesday, July 15th 2014, 11:21am

If the supply lines running under the street are galvanized steel, then you are in the soup. These things will fail eventually, so you might as well be proactive and and get it taken care of now, instead of waiting for failure sometime later in the dead of winter.

The good news, is that there is a technology that can send an air missile through the steel pipe, pulling a copper line behind it, so that supply line replacement can be done without tearing up the yard. Figure on a 1-inch replacement line, as it buys you as much increased performance as a booster pump, without the price of the pump and electricity to power it.

emgee

New Member

8

Wednesday, July 16th 2014, 9:54am

my biggest fear is I spend all this money replacing my main water line and then the damn system still doesn't work

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,147

Location: Metro NYC

9

Wednesday, July 16th 2014, 3:15pm

It can be understandable that you could have worries about every last little thing now, but a 'larger' installation company won't be a complete band of fools. They would have done work that anticipated having a supply line that wasn't almost blocked off with rust. Unfortunately, a pressure reading doesn't tell you that a line is severely constricted (just like a voltage reading doesn't tell that there may be bad wire splices in an old system) - Your installers may not be all that familiar with galvanized supply line problems, if those lines aren't commonplace in your area.

Once you get a 'normal' supply, you should see proper performance from a system that was designed for a normal supply. With a one-inch supply line, you can do without a booster pump (this you would insist upon) and get back some money every time you run the sprinklers without having to power a pump.

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