Sprinkler manifolds vs manifolds at each zone?

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by k-n, May 8, 2020.

  1. k-n

    k-n New Member

    Apr 17, 2017
    I've owned 3 houses with "professionally" installed sprinkler systems and each one was quite different. I'm curious as to what is considered "best practice" for proper install given each sprinkler products company seems to tout different ways... I'm going to do this one myself and will only be the front yard which is about 1/3 of an acre and one giant rectangle with a sidewalk cutting across. I'll have to get under the sidewalk but that will be my only real challenge. The three ways I've seen it done on my place:

    First - controller with a master valve to a 4 way manifold. The 4 way manifold fed 4 sections that each had 2 or 3 additional valve boxes controlling those zones. It was a LOT of hardware, wiring, piping, etc. It was a huge yard also but front and back with lots of beds, trees, etc. I think it was 13 zones IIRC

    Second - six way manifold with a master valve. Each manifold piped out to a zone so there was a LOT of pipe, but the only wires were from the box to the manifold directly below it. No additional valves beyond those as the manifold.

    Third - controller and master valve with spread out valves. From master valve, one 3/4 pvc line run around the entire perimeter of the yard with some cutting across. For each zone a line was teed off the main line to a valve at the zone and then piped from that valve to each zone. There was no manifold - just 10 valves around the yard (9 zones plus master). Obviously there was wire going to each valve in the original trench.

    So my question is this: what is the reasoning behind some people using a master valve and feeding the zones directly from there by pipe vs. running a main line around the yard and installing 24v valves near each zone and laying wire in the ground to control them there? Is it really just a matter of "a few zones - use a manifold" vs "a lot of zones - use wiring to reduce all the redundant pipe in trenches"?

    I used orbit's online designer and it came up with 6 zones - almost all rotors - all controlled from 2 manifolds (4+2) then running pipe directly from the manifolds to the zone. The only wire would be from the controller to the main and the manifold.

    Thanks in advance for any insight...
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2013
    One factor is whether this is city (metered) water or your own well.

    With a well, you want to match the sprinkler system draw to the well.
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  4. k-n

    k-n New Member

    Apr 17, 2017
    It is well but I have PLENTY of water flow. I can produce about 20gpm at 50psi with my goulds J10s pump from the cistern. I'm just curious the reason for "wires around the yard to random valve locations" vs. "wires to the manifold with pipes to random zones".
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