You are not logged in.

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.


New Member

Posts: 4

Location: USA


Thursday, August 25th 2005, 12:26pm

Need help in making sprinkler buying decision

I plan on accepting a contract tomorrow morning for my home -entire property. Estimates range from $3500-$5000. Each company envisions different installation. Two companies will do all beds with sprays whereas one company wants to run about 1000 feet or drip line with holes and emitters every foot. I think it is the Rainbird Drip line.

The property is 1/4 acre with inground pool and a lot of new landscaping (Over 75 plants with 60 being 4ft to 10ft.) Just finished a major backyard renovation. Want to get the sprinler system in before the sod.

Questions are as follows:

Drip vs. Sprays - I am leaning towards sprays because I am afraid that there may be problems with the drip line in the future that won't be visible and I will lose plants before I figure it out. (What's your opinion?) The person that wants to do the drip would install all of it on one zone which makes me very worried.

One company will reduce price by $500 if I go with Rainbird 5400 heads and rainbird sprays instead of their preferred Orbit 5500 and 5400 sprays and rotors. They said that Orbit offers a 7 year warranty as compared to Rainbirds 5 year and they have been installing Orbit for 7 years with very little problems. (What is your opinion on Rainbird vs Orbit?) In either case, they are still going to use the Orbit 200 series valves and Orbit Control Center. (Do you think I am missing out on anything if I save $500.) Everything else about this company seems great as far as design. They are getting into all the beds with approx 70 misters, grass with 16-18 rotaries, and approx 10-12 zones. They are the most expensive $5000 or $4500 (rainbird option) but they are going under my driveway, under a number of walks, installing sleeves for future lighting use and even a new hose bib on the side of my house that has none.

Trying to decide by tonight.


Supreme Member

Posts: 314

Location: USA


Thursday, August 25th 2005, 5:13pm

1. I prefer drip over sprays for a few reasons. First, especially if there are already plants installed, it won't damage them during sprinkler installation, because the drip line stays above ground. I think you are more likely to notice a problem with your drip line because everything is exposed, whereas the sprays, with the exception of the sprinklers, everything is underground. Secondly, most delicate plants do not do well with water being sprayed on them, this can cause diseases on the foilage and can even kill the plant over time. Drip systems are more efficient because they put the water where it is truly needed, at the base of the plant, directing the water at the root system. For 1000 Ft. of drip, I would suggest two zones, depending upon the emitters used.

2. Coming from a professional, I wouldn't trust anything that isn't of professional grade, and I certainly don't think that Orbit products meet the professional grade standards. You really have to watch the Rain-Bird products as well, because they have both home improvement store models, and Professional series products. Orbit is the Hunter Irrigation home improvement store grade products. Stick with either Hunter or Rain-Bird professional series.

Also, you'll want to make sure that a backflow device is included and properly installed to protect your drinking water supply. Sounds like you've got some decisions to make, and quite the investment. I would take the time, spend the money, and do it right the first time. Good Luck!
Tony Posey
Ridge Run Landscapes


Advanced Member

Posts: 101

Location: Canada


Thursday, August 25th 2005, 6:58pm

Drip vs. spray is a complex issue. A lot of it will depend upon the soil conditions in your area. Where I'm at, we very rarely use drip line because there is so much clay in the soil that we don't get good percolation and end up not getting good performance from the drip line.

As to Rainbird vs. Orbit... take the $500 and enjoy better quality product for a lesser price. As RidgRun said, make sure they are using professional grade product. There is a big difference in quality between consumer outlet stuff vs. professional stuff.


Senior Member

Posts: 16

Location: USA


Monday, August 29th 2005, 10:31am

would strategically placed bubblers do just as well as drip?

Rate this thread