how many hose bibs

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by v1rtu0s1ty, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. v1rtu0s1ty

    v1rtu0s1ty DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    my sprinkler project has been stalled for many months due to projects in the office and many unexpected gettogethers. I have already contacted the plumbing company and they can put a second meter. I will just call them when I am ready.

    So, for putting a sprinkler system for a 9500-9700 sqft lawn, do I have to put more than 1 hose bib outside? Or will 1 be enough then I'll just have separate valves?

    What tool can I use to dig at least 5" deep so I can bury the poly pipe?

    Thanks guys!
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    For only 5" deep (assuming you are doing it manually, not a trencher) it doesn't matter much what you use. I would make a single cut through the sod using a sharp flat spade or a dull axe, lay it back in one direction with a mattock, and dig a narrow trench with a mattock or tile spade.

    If the ground isn't too hard and the pipe not large you might be able to just push in the flat spade and wedge a slot wide enough for the pipe.

    You need only one hose bib, if that is what you are going to use for a supply, but it must be able to deliver the full capacity of your sprinkler system. More hose bibs usually don't increase the amount of water available.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,642
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    hose bibbs

    Are you putting in a system for that sized yard and feeding it from a hose bibb? How novel and archaic.
  4. v1rtu0s1ty

    v1rtu0s1ty DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    Is there anything wrong? Please let me know so I can correct it now. I'm still looking for the drawing I made 3 months ago. I need to submit that document to RainBird.

    Thanks!
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Hose bibbs are used for temporary watering, like with a HOSE. The available gallons per minute may be limited. Sounds like you have not condisered backflow protection, required by code in most places. You have a fairly good size yard, compared to my neck of the wood, where lots run in the 5000 to 7500 sq. ft. SO, it merits installing a sprinkler system correctly using main valves connected directly to the main line off the meter, backflow valves, etc.

    One method of installing poly pipe is a puller, which has a vibrating knife blade which pulls the pipe into a slit in the sod, leaving no trench to backfill. You then dig by hand at each head location and install the heads.
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,350
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    In my area, irrigation supply companies will design your system at no charge providing you purchase all of the materials from them. This is really a free service because they don't charge any more for materials than the Big Box stores except that they don't sell the cheap low quality end sprinklers and valves, just the good stuff. I would urge you to explore this option because it sounds to me like you are starting a project without very much knowledge. and it's likely to turn into a much less than a successful project. You will need to take them a good scale drawing of the property, have facts and figures about water supply pipe/meter size and static pressure. You mentioned a second meter. Unless you local authority requires a second meter, you might want to replace the meter you have with a larger one. I would at least discuss this with the irrigation supply folks.
  7. v1rtu0s1ty

    v1rtu0s1ty DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    Oh! I was under the impression that from the new meter, the sprinkler we are going to connect to a hose bib then valves. I will do some more readings again. Like what you said "main valves connected directly to the main line off the meter".

    Will there be benefits if I request 1" rather than 3/4" from the professional plumbing company for the second meter? Or is 3/4" enough? When they install it, is the end of it a shut off valve and not a hose bib? Sorry, I haven't seen any installation of this yet.

    Thanks.
  8. v1rtu0s1ty

    v1rtu0s1ty DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    Will do. :)

    Thanks!
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,642
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    irrigation

    If a 3/4" meter will provide all the water your system can use, then a 1" meter would give no benefits. You have to design the system first and then size the meter accordingly. There is no "generic" system, so we cannot tell you what the company will provide, if anything, as far as hose bibbs and valves. But the first thing after the meter and before the valve system is an approved backflow device, the specific type will depend on the requirements of your water company or building department.
  10. v1rtu0s1ty

    v1rtu0s1ty DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    I was under the impression that we should design after the meter is installed. This is why I was asking if I should request 3/4" or 1". So which is first?
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,350
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    First I would find out if you need a new meter. If you have a 3/4" now, all you have to do is tee off of the line coming out of the meter, install a stop and waste valve on the sprinkler side of the tee, then the back flow preventer. You city's billing system may make a second meter desirable, but certainly check with them before investing in a new meter. From there you would go to a manifold with electric valves for each zone. These valves are wired into a controller which will allow you to set the water days, length of time each zone will run, and allow you to shut the entire system off. It is typically installed either in the house or in the garage. You can run a line the is independent of these valves for a hose line. This line is always on until the stop and waste is turned off for winterizing. We can not advise you much more because there are too many variables that enter in, for example, on long runs, a designer will start with a fairly large diameter pipe, then reduce it once or twice before reaching the area to be watered. This is to reduce the effects of friction on flow. In other words, putting in an irrigation systems is far more than just gluing pipes together.
    As far as the trenching is concerned, it sounds like you will have a fair amount of pipe to bury. It may be that a Ditch Witch would be the best way to go. Guess it depends on how much shovel work you are willing to do to avoid reseeding or resodding where the lawn is trenched.
  12. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Check with the water company. The hookup fee and the monthly base fee for a 1" may be a lot more than for a 3/4". You can certainly design a very adquate system based on a 3/4" meter. Work with that. Do not be surprised if a professional design from Toro, Rainbird, or you local dealer, runs some 1" pipe as the main line, possibly all the way to the farthest valve manifold. This is because even if you start with good pressure and GPM at the source, distance is your enemy, and the fix is larger pipe.
  13. v1rtu0s1ty

    v1rtu0s1ty DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    Since I will be doing the digging, which cutting should I follow? I know it's a tough job but I am confident I can finish it. :) Last May, I finished planting 12 trees. I did all the digging. :D The hard part was removing the grass but removing the dirt is easy.

    Anyways, which below should be done when putting the pipes for the sprinkler?

    [​IMG]

    Thanks guys!
  14. FredC

    FredC New Member

    Messages:
    19
    The B scenario is best. If you check DIY they'll do a design in a day on line or any of the sprinkler mfg's will fix you up with free mail in design. A great help is irrigationtutorials a .com site on the web. This is a good read, check it out before you start, it will be worth a saturday morning. You do not need another meter. Your pipe size will be governed only by your flow. read the tutorial, you've thought the system out in your head. I just finished a 2.5 acre 30 valve system on a well.

    FredC
    Homeowner / engineer
  15. Mr_Pike

    Mr_Pike New Member

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I would not suggest trying to hand dig in a system for a 10,000 square foot lawn. You would be at it for many many months.

    You should probably do some more reading regarding system design. There are a few books out there at the DIY box stores, and the irrigation tutorial website mentioned above.

    If you are installing a second meter, ask for a 3/4" meter to be plumbed with 1" Copper Pipe to your Back Flow Prevention device. This should be able to provide you with enough flow and pressure to design an efficient system for a yard your size. If you want to step it up to 1 1/4" copper pipe, you would have more than enough for sure. There is no need for anything larger than a 3/4" meter, no matter what the supply size up to 2".

    The plumber will need install everything up to the output of the backflow prevention device. Basically you will start at a 1" female threaded fitting.

    Once you have determined the PSI and gallons per minute available from that point, layout your zones using the combined gallon per min output of the heads not to exceed your available supply. You then Run a main supply line to your valve assembly and branch off to your zone runs from there.
    With a 10,000 SF yard, you might run a main line to two or three different valve boxes depending on your situation. If you are a beginner at plumbing, I would suggest renting a small walk behind trencher to do all your digging. This will allow you some wiggle room in your connections, rather than try to learn how to use a vibratory plow.
    Your ditches will be at least 8" deep, likely 12. You have to figure in the depth of the sprinkler heads, plus a connection of some sort to the pipe, plus the height of the pipe.

    I would suggest a lot of research before attempting a system of this size. You are going to be investing a large amount of time and money, and making sure it is done right is going to be well worth the extra effort up front.
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