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Lawn irrigation - Sprinkler head placement? #4450916
07/05/17 11:49 PM
07/05/17 11:49 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,168
USA
Reddy45 Offline OP
Reddy45  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,168
USA
I am in the process of planning and installing a Rainbird DIY kit.



I don't expect this to be anywhere close to a pro installed system, but will make it much easier to water the lawn on a scheduled basis. We are looking at a rather dry summer here, and our clay soils shrink when dry and cause foundation damage. I figure a irrigation system should keep the soil moist and keep the grass from turning into dust.

When it comes to sprinkler placement, I see that the general trend is to place sprinkler heads along the perimeter and have each do a 90 degree sweep. In this pic I found that resembles my backyard, you can see how they use 6 heads to get complete coverage of the rectangle area.



But if the sprinkler heads can do 360 degrees of rotation, then I don't see why I wouldn't put the heads directly in the middle of the lawn and try to get circles of coverage that overlap by a foot. This way I can use 4 heads to cover 90% of the rectangle area, and the remaining 2 heads can be put on the sides where there is grass that needs watering. (not my pic but conveniently similar to what I am suggesting)



Is there some functional reason to not put sprinkler heads in the middle of a lawn or is it just aesthetics/coverage?

Re: Lawn irrigation - Sprinkler head placement? [Re: Reddy45] #4450924
07/06/17 12:07 AM
07/06/17 12:07 AM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,228
CA
CharlieBauer Offline
CharlieBauer  Offline
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,228
CA
If you don't do head to head placement (of the same family of sprinklers), you won't get even coverage.

You have to place a sprinkler in every corner and then fill in from there.

Rainbird will do a free design for you.


It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that ain't so.

- mistakenly attributed to Mark Twain
Re: Lawn irrigation - Sprinkler head placement? [Re: CharlieBauer] #4450934
07/06/17 12:46 AM
07/06/17 12:46 AM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,378
CA
user52165 Online content
user52165  Online Content
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,378
CA
Originally Posted By: CharlieBauer
If you don't do head to head placement (of the same family of sprinklers), you won't get even coverage.

You have to place a sprinkler in every corner and then fill in from there.

Rainbird will do a free design for you.


+1 This.

Highly recommend you rent an aerator first to deal with your clay. Otherwise the water will run off and water unevenly even if you have good sprinkler coverage.

BTW - Milorganite is the best!! Beats Scotts junk by a mile and much less $$. I have clay soil, St Augustine grass and my lawn has never looked better since I aerated and switched to Milorganite. I probably have the highest water rates anywhere so have to do it right.

Last edited by user52165; 07/06/17 12:52 AM.
Re: Lawn irrigation - Sprinkler head placement? [Re: Reddy45] #4451085
07/06/17 08:39 AM
07/06/17 08:39 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,268
NJ
Leo99 Offline
Leo99  Offline
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,268
NJ
My sprinklers only have 5 heads max on one zone. They changed the zoning in my town and you can no longer install heads between the street and sidewalk. Check your town for its rules. Also had to submit the drawings of the zones and head placement to the town for approval. My front lawn has the heads in the middle. The installer said it's better to put them on the perimeter but the town zoning wouldn't allow it for the front lawn.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles
2004 Rav4 359,000 miles
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Re: Lawn irrigation - Sprinkler head placement? [Re: Reddy45] #4451088
07/06/17 08:42 AM
07/06/17 08:42 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 6
Seattle
m_peterson6 Offline
m_peterson6  Offline
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 6
Seattle
I did mine years ago and I would recommend putting the heads in the planting beds, if possible, then you do not have to worry about running over them with the mower or hitting them while edging.

Re: Lawn irrigation - Sprinkler head placement? [Re: CharlieBauer] #4451113
07/06/17 09:14 AM
07/06/17 09:14 AM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,352
MI
doitmyself Offline
doitmyself  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,352
MI
Originally Posted By: CharlieBauer
If you don't do head to head placement (of the same family of sprinklers), you won't get even coverage.

You have to place a sprinkler in every corner and then fill in from there. Rainbird will do a free design for you.


Yes. Rainbird should know their distribution patterns better than anyone else. Rotating heads don't shoot out even patterns. Their design engineers have run tests with computer analysis of each nozzle design to get the most uniform pattern possible, which is nothing near 100% even.

Also let them know your soil type so they can design an application rate that is efficient and doesn't exceed the soil absorbtion rate.

Fun stuff! I studied it years ago, but haven't kept up with it.

Re: Lawn irrigation - Sprinkler head placement? [Re: Reddy45] #4451118
07/06/17 09:18 AM
07/06/17 09:18 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,212
Outer Banks, NC
NormanBuntz Offline
NormanBuntz  Offline
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,212
Outer Banks, NC
The reason for 90 degree placement is that when most rotating heads reach 90 degrees and reverse, the spray pattern is different as it returns and waters the underneath area. When a rotating head goes 360 degrees, the coverage usually is less complete.

I base this on my experience maintaining my Hunter 11 zone system for the past 14 years. Of course, your Rainbird heads may be different.


2017 Honda Odyssey SE, 15K
2013 Honda Accord LX, 58K
2007 Honda Ridgeline RTS, 87K
2007 Infiniti M35, 106K
Re: Lawn irrigation - Sprinkler head placement? [Re: Reddy45] #4451161
07/06/17 10:38 AM
07/06/17 10:38 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,168
USA
Reddy45 Offline OP
Reddy45  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,168
USA
To clarify - I am installing this myself and NOT using a pro.

The kit is sold as a DIY solution and does not come with any support besides a product warranty.

Re: Lawn irrigation - Sprinkler head placement? [Re: Leo99] #4451163
07/06/17 10:40 AM
07/06/17 10:40 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,168
USA
Reddy45 Offline OP
Reddy45  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,168
USA
Originally Posted By: Leo99
My sprinklers only have 5 heads max on one zone. They changed the zoning in my town and you can no longer install heads between the street and sidewalk. Check your town for its rules. Also had to submit the drawings of the zones and head placement to the town for approval. My front lawn has the heads in the middle. The installer said it's better to put them on the perimeter but the town zoning wouldn't allow it for the front lawn.


Do you get adequate coverage of the lawn with the heads in the middle? And does the grass grow in such a way that it is evident that water is not reaching the edges or corners?

Re: Lawn irrigation - Sprinkler head placement? [Re: Reddy45] #4451173
07/06/17 10:59 AM
07/06/17 10:59 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 288
Florida
ToadU Offline
ToadU  Offline
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 288
Florida
You must have head to head coverage and 100 percent overlap.

Very important. You must match the precipitation rates of you heads. MPR. Very important.

Simple concept. A 360 degree rotor will only make 1 pass over a given area in the same amount of time a 90 degree rotor will make 4 passes over its given area. Therefore a 90 degree rotors gallons per min will be X, a 180 degree rotor will be x times 2, 270 degree rotor will be x times 3 and finally a 360 degree rotor will be x times 4.

This way all of the rotors are actually putting out the same gallons per min per square foot.

GPM per rotor is controlled by nozzle size and selection.

Last edited by ToadU; 07/06/17 11:00 AM.
Re: Lawn irrigation - Sprinkler head placement? [Re: NormanBuntz] #4451175
07/06/17 11:02 AM
07/06/17 11:02 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 288
Florida
ToadU Offline
ToadU  Offline
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 288
Florida
Originally Posted By: NormanBuntz
The reason for 90 degree placement is that when most rotating heads reach 90 degrees and reverse, the spray pattern is different as it returns and waters the underneath area. When a rotating head goes 360 degrees, the coverage usually is less complete.

I base this on my experience maintaining my Hunter 11 zone system for the past 14 years. Of course, your Rainbird heads may be different.


Not true with geared rotors. True with impact rotors which are dinosaurs now.

Re: Lawn irrigation - Sprinkler head placement? [Re: Reddy45] #4451179
07/06/17 11:07 AM
07/06/17 11:07 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 11,855
Idaho
CT8 Offline
CT8  Offline
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 11,855
Idaho
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
To clarify - I am installing this myself and NOT using a pro.

The kit is sold as a DIY solution and does not come with any support besides a product warranty.
It says easy on the package!


2015 Ford F150 2.7
2018 Ford F350 6.2
Re: Lawn irrigation - Sprinkler head placement? [Re: Reddy45] #4451188
07/06/17 11:14 AM
07/06/17 11:14 AM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 430
pennsylvania
GGorman04 Offline
GGorman04  Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 430
pennsylvania
I really would love to add an irrigation system to my house.
Just so expensive though...

Re: Lawn irrigation - Sprinkler head placement? [Re: Reddy45] #4451236
07/06/17 12:07 PM
07/06/17 12:07 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,268
NJ
Leo99 Offline
Leo99  Offline
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,268
NJ
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
Originally Posted By: Leo99
My sprinklers only have 5 heads max on one zone. They changed the zoning in my town and you can no longer install heads between the street and sidewalk. Check your town for its rules. Also had to submit the drawings of the zones and head placement to the town for approval. My front lawn has the heads in the middle. The installer said it's better to put them on the perimeter but the town zoning wouldn't allow it for the front lawn.


Do you get adequate coverage of the lawn with the heads in the middle? And does the grass grow in such a way that it is evident that water is not reaching the edges or corners?


You can either get adequate coverage and put a lot of water into the street or miss some edges. I miss a corner but it's near my utility box so it's ok. We had a big fight with the sprinkler people as they installed the head between the street and sidewalk not in accordance with what they submitted to the town. The town inspector said it had to be fixed. The sprinkler company told me to just turn them off and tell the inspector it was fixed. I was shocked they would even suggest that. They finally moved the heads and made it right.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles
2004 Rav4 359,000 miles
2015 Camry 59,000 miles
Re: Lawn irrigation - Sprinkler head placement? [Re: ToadU] #4451283
07/06/17 01:02 PM
07/06/17 01:02 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
sleddriver Offline
sleddriver  Offline
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
Originally Posted By: ToadU
Not true with geared rotors. True with impact rotors which are dinosaurs now.
Really....didn't know that. I have the later. What ways are the former superior?


1998 Volvo V70 T5 228,880 mi. Original Owner.
M1 10W-30 HM
"It's never a mistake to buy tools, defined broadly. They're not a cost, they're an investment." - J.B. Peterson
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