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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a funny shaped yard with a few "islands" of grass separated by sidewalk in the front, a long strip of grass that from 3' to 4' x 73' or so, and then a small portion between us and the neighbors that is 5' by however long the driveway is maybe 25' to the sidewalk. I generally end up having to waste a lot of water on the concrete areas to do it with a sprinkler, hand water which takes forever and rarely done unless absolutely needed, or hope it rains enough.

It would have been nice to have an in-ground irrigation system done at the same time as the house was built but for a few reasons just didn't do it. I still have some reservations and was wondering if any of you all could help me through it.

I'm mostly concerned with the winter and spring maintenance and whether it is easy enough to DIY to save $2-300 a year companies around here charge for both combined, general repairs to sprinkler heads and more extensive stuff like in-ground leaks, the initial cost, and the feasibility of changing things around if needed as the yard is rearranged especially in the back.

The front likely won't change much other than maybe getting around to adding a raised tree ring with some more flowers. The two flower beds out there will stay where they are.

The back yard has been an ever changing array of trees and garden bed positions. The gardens are better, but still not perfect but workable. The trees were randomly placed around the back, and despite my best efforts, I did not get them where I wanted to make it easier to mow. I also think there's a couple too many so if they die off again I'm hoping to get it limited to what is replaced. I just don't think we need 3 peach trees and 3 apple trees in a 3500 sq. ft. area. There's also kids stuff out there that will surely get replaced as time goes along. One of the peach trees is a dwarf that sits on the porch so I could live with 1 more in the yard, then two apple trees to cross pollinate. We haven't had good luck with the winds and hail keeping them alive or bearing fruit.

I don't feel comfortable messing around with the water lines, and I don't have enough free time to be able to get it done in a reasonable timeframe so it would have to be contracted out. It seems this adds quite a bit to the price since it largely seems labor intensive.

Before I go about starting to try to get some quotes, anything in particular I should push to try to get it done? One of the issues with having the builder do it was it was likely going to be premium money for basic equipment and cut corners. I saw some addons that would let me run water soluble stuff that sounds interesting but not sure if it was something I would want to pay for upfront or whether it would be worth it.
 

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5.6ksqft Bewitched KBG in Fishers, IN
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Push for head to head coverage. That means that the spray from one head hits the next head. The strip sections should use strip heads (a rectangle of 5*28ft). This should also have opposite heads for even coverage. Demand a layout of the system before you hand out money. Make sure they don't place the valve cover in the middle of the yard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
g-man said:
Push for head to head coverage. That means that the spray from one head hits the next head. The strip sections should use strip heads (a rectangle of 5*28ft). This should also have opposite heads for even coverage. Demand a layout of the system before you hand out money. Make sure they don't place the valve cover in the middle of the yard.
I like that about making sure to have a layout in hand. Will definitely keep that in mind.
 

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Starting up in the spring is easy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r70Hbtkuwu8

Getting the water out of the lines requires a high flow air pump. Not high pressure, high flow. So most likely you'll have to hire someone to do that. The pumps are pretty expensive. I've debated every year about buying one vs hiring them. Maybe this year..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Budstl said:
Here's the layout the company gave to me after it was finished just to give you an idea. He did draw it up for me at the time of the bid too.
GrassDaddy said:
Starting up in the spring is easy:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r70Hbtkuwu8Getting the water out of the lines requires a high flow air pump. Not high pressure, high flow. So most likely you'll have to hire someone to do that. The pumps are pretty expensive. I've debated every year about buying one vs hiring them. Maybe this year..
Thank you both. So at least turning it on in the spring would save at least $100 since that seems to be the going rate I've seen them charge.

I thought of another question. I understand part of its related to water pressure and what not, but how would the zones ideally be setup? Like would it best to try to get the flower beds on their own, the front yard all on one, back yard on one and fruit beds on one?
 

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I'd ask about a rain sensor as well. You'll probably have to have your backflow tested every year. I'm assuming that's code for every place. That costs me $75 where i live. Ask their process of pulling pipe too.
 

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A lot of variables to say for sure. The beds need to be on their own zone because their watering needs will be different than the turf. It would be ideal to have the front lawn on a single zone but that depends on what heads you are using, your PSI/GPM and the how many sqft it is. Splitting them isn't bad either just a little more expensive with an extra valve, piping and depending on how many zones you end up with the controller. Same with the back.

Do you know what kind of heads you are wanting installed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Budstl said:
I'd ask about a rain sensor as well. You'll probably have to have your backflow tested every year. I'm assuming that's code for every place. That costs me $75 where i live. Ask their process of pulling pipe too.
I will make sure to ask about any yearly requirements. Couldn't find anything from the city other than inspection of backflow and licensure requirements for installers by the city.

J_nick said:
A lot of variables to say for sure...Do you know what kind of heads you are wanting installed?
Ok so about what I figured about zones. Not sure what the pressure or flow is as I've never checked. No idea what heads I want.
 

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Where in Oklahoma are you? I don't think many people blow out their lines around here - the ground rarely freezes down more than a few inches. My system has automatic drains at the low points on all the laterals and main line. These bleed off the laterals at the end of each cycle, and the mainline will drain when I close the manual valve at the meter and drain the back flow in the fall. They may not empty completely, but enough that if the little bit of water in them did freeze, they wouldn't burst. In a warmer climate, both winter shut down and spring start up can be a DIY project.

On the back flow testing, it depends on where you live. In my city, they make sure you have one, but do not require annual testing. In the larger city near me, I think they require annual testing for commercial irrigation, but not residential.
 
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