Who Doesn’t Love Dazzling Before And After Pictures?
This is an account we’ve had for years in Broadmoor. They had an automatic sprinkler system in the backyard, and an old manual zone in front. The front lawn was watered by old brass heads that didn’t pop up high enough, oversprayed, and generally wasted water. I’ve met some people that are fond of these old heads. They are brass, they seem ‘vintage’, right? Well, would you want ‘vintage’ electrical wiring in your house?
Installed correctly, new 4″ (for turf, taller heads for shrubs) plastic pop-up heads are far superior. The best sprayhead in the industry, hands down, is the Rainbird 1800 series. There’s some brands that come close to its quality, but I haven’t seen a match for its patented wiper seal. The wiper seal is a white rubber gasket surrounding the riser in the center of the collar. It prevents ‘blow-by’ which is water leaking around the riser upon activation. Blow-by can prevent risers from building the required pressure to pop up and spray properly. If the head is installed at the right grade, the Rainbird wiper seal’s smooth design allows the riser to pop up and retract dependably. If a head is too low, it can retract dirt or sand into the seal which will cause the riser to stick.
So- here we converted the old manual valve in front to a new main shut-off for the system. We installed a PRV, or pressure regulating valve which brought the existing high static pressure down to 55psi. Pressure higher than 60psi degrades sprinkler performance. Water is wasted by misting and floating off in the air. After the PRV we installed a double check valve backflow preventer, as per code. Backflow preventers keep your drinking water safe from heads siphoning icky lawn water contaminated by fertilizer, chemicals, doggy do, etc. Next we install a new electric valve for the front yard zone, and run new lateral lines to new heads, as seen in the top picture. We extended the new mainline to the backyard system making it backflow protected.
The middle picture shows the trenches backfilled, grass restored, and heads spraying. The grass looks pretty bad from the inadequacy of the old system. Now look at the last photo, taken about a year later. Nice new truck, huh?