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Old 04-14-2009, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Charlotte. Or Detroit.
1,455 posts, read 3,653,594 times
Reputation: 3264

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Since water restrictions keep getting mentioned, I think it's important to empahasize this -- in Mecklenburg County, as of April 7 there are no watering restrictions. Here it is straight from the horse's mouth -- the news release on the country's website. (http://www.charmeck.org/NR/rdonlyres/el47hslhhuutr3k32osc343d4l2eddoolpauinrrvqsgmo3jxv znknfivm6d7g42zjhldwfweb4narjdmqnrqqhnnpe/040709RestrictionsendWEB.pdf - broken link) And if you don't live in Mecklenburg, you still may not have restrictions any longer. Almost immediately, other cities and counties began lifting restrictions when Charlotte did. The drought is OVER.


My personal opinion is that there are very few things in the world more important than a lawn sprinkler system. Priorities in life should look something like this:
  1. Family
  2. Country
  3. A professionally-installed lawn sprinkler system
  4. God
  5. Work
Something like that anyway. I can understand if some people may want to tweak the order a little bit. By the way, I assure you this has nothing to do with the fact that I install lawn sprinkler systems for a living.
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Dover, DE
1,802 posts, read 3,837,917 times
Reputation: 2499
Quote:
Originally Posted by car421 View Post
Good suggestion. But if you are handy you could fix it yourself for probably less than 20. Just turn off the water, dig out where the hole in the line is, cut off about 2 inches each side and bring the piece of pipe to Lowes or Home Depot plumbing dept and tell them what you did. They will help you get what you need.
I would love to do it myself, unfortunately DH is still in PA since we haven't sold our house yet up there and I'm on my own down here. I will attempt a lot of things, but plumbing unfortunately isn't one of them! At this point in time I will let them do it and then it's on their head if they don't do it right. If hubby was here, then definately he could do it. I just talked to the main guy there and he has agreed to come out and actually make me a diagram of everything by the end of the week.

I also need to find out why there is a huge piece of insulation down in the hole with the valve?? It's a royal mess down there!
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Charlotte. Or Detroit.
1,455 posts, read 3,653,594 times
Reputation: 3264
Quote:
Originally Posted by rothbear View Post
One thing I will stress to everybody who has one is to make the company who installs it give you a schematic diagram of the position of all the heads and pipes in the lawn. About a month ago I decided to get a shepherd's hook to hang some plants and a hummingbird feeder. When the company came back to summerize it they discovered that although I put the thing in the middle of our postage sized back yard, I managed to pick the ONE spot to damage the pipe. I figured the pipes went from head to head around the edge, but nope they actually must have put one right through the middle of the yard. So now I have to spend almost $100 to get it fixed. I have now demanded they give me a schematic and will continue to call and request it until the day it shows up.
I'm gonna go ahead and defend the sprinkler company here. It's not their fault you didn't do any homework before working in your yard. Assuming where the pipes go makes about as much sense as assuming how your utilities are run. The way to avoid hitting sprinkler lines - or cable, or phone, or gas, or electric - is to look for them before you work in the area.

As far as demanding a schematic, good luck. They probably don't have one. You may be able to get them to come back (asking nicely will probably get better results than "demanding" ) and recall to the best of their memory where the lines were run, but that's about it. Most residential installations are very simple, and don't require a whole lot of schematic work.

Oh, and if it's under a hundred bucks to fix the leak, that's not a bad price.

Your main suggestion - to get a schematic of where the pipes run - isn't a bad idea, but this is something you should mention before the installation. It is not standard in the industry to even have one for a residential install, let alone provide one for the homeowner. Anyone who is that concerned about pipe location would do themselves a favor by being home the day of the install and mapping it out along with the foreman, when no one has to rely on memory.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
246 posts, read 503,705 times
Reputation: 160
I'm going to make an even bolder suggestion and say that you should plan, map, and install your irrigation system yourself. Materials for a typical yard, including a ditch witch rental, will probably run you about $500-$600.

By using a ditch witch/trencher to bury your lines, you can usually get by without needing to winterize in this climate. You also eliminate the risk of hitting sprinkler lines when you aerate and do other "light" digging.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Dover, DE
1,802 posts, read 3,837,917 times
Reputation: 2499
Timm............I actually did ask nice (and they have agreed), but the record of this company is not very good with us, so I won't hold my breath until the guy actually shows up with it. They have screwed up this installation from day one. They were supposed to have already installed it when we were down for closing March of last year, but they charged us for it and then totally forgot to do it. When I called the guy to come over and do the "training" the day of the closing he mumbled around and then finally admitted that they hadn't even bothered to do it. We weren't down here again until Memorial Day and they installed it when we weren't around. They scheduled a time to come and put in the control unit and again do the "training" when we were here and never showed up at all. Then the guy came at 7am one morning to put on the rain sensor (which they forgot during the initial install) and didn't even let us know he was there........all of a sudden we were woke up by stomping on our roof! Scard the living heck out of us. Finally after 3 tries they showed up to do the control unit, and then only when we threatened to have them rip the whole thing out and dispute the charge with the credit card. We told them that we were having some cement work done, but they installed the heads in the incorrect position anyhow and it took them three visits to get it right, one of them the day the cement was being poured!!

I did look where the heads were located and did a "logical" thought of where the pipes should be. I guess being logical was too much to ask of this company. I really think that that schematic should be part and parcel of the whole install. That would be a very good idea for a company to offer and set them apart. Let's face it, it is NOT cheap to install one of these, and I really don't think it's too much to ask to know where everything is, especially if they install it with nobody around (people work as well......). You shouldn't have to call a company and wait for a day or 2 or more for them to come out and point to a pipe in the ground just so you can put in a plant holder, birdhouse, etc. Maybe you should suggest this to your company........
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Dover, DE
1,802 posts, read 3,837,917 times
Reputation: 2499
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBGNCSU05 View Post
I'm going to make an even bolder suggestion and say that you should plan, map, and install your irrigation system yourself. Materials for a typical yard, including a ditch witch rental, will probably run you about $500-$600.

By using a ditch witch/trencher to bury your lines, you can usually get by without needing to winterize in this climate. You also eliminate the risk of hitting sprinkler lines when you aerate and do other "light" digging.

I really, really wish we had! Unfortunately not being down here full time yet (and the HOA being a real stick in the mud about the look of the lawns), we really didn't have much of a choice. I do know that once hubby finally gets down here he will probably do the winterization/summerization himself. Not rocket science, I guess. Me being 56 with arthritis in my hands precludes me from doing some things that I don't have the strength for.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Weddington, NC
284 posts, read 531,353 times
Reputation: 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSagess View Post
In a home that has an "irrigation system"... does this mean inground sprinkler system? Is this a necessity in NC in order to keep your yard looking decent? Also, with water conservation laws there, are these "irrigation systems" useless or forbidden to be used during certain parts of the year?

Thanks for the info.
If you want to have a fescue lawn that does not die off in the hot weather, an irrigation system is absolutely essential. Anyone saying their yard looks great without one (unless they water very regularly with sprinklers and hoses) must have a huge amount of shade on their lawn. Even then, the lawns need water. Irrigation systems are inexpensive to put in right now given economic conditions, I'd go ahead and do it before prices go back up.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Charlotte. Or Detroit.
1,455 posts, read 3,653,594 times
Reputation: 3264
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBGNCSU05 View Post
By using a ditch witch/trencher to bury your lines, you can usually get by without needing to winterize in this climate.
The key word here is "usually". But you never know which winters you'll need to did it, will you? After the winter we just had, we've been spending lots of time making lots of money repairing systems that people didn't have winterized. It might cost you $50-$100 to get it done each winter. But you'd be surprised at how quickly a repair bill can add up if a few lines split and a couple heads break or the backflow needs to be replaced. In the long run, not winterizing is a big gamble.

My official advice: Don't winterize - I need the money.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Charlotte. Or Detroit.
1,455 posts, read 3,653,594 times
Reputation: 3264
Quote:
Originally Posted by rothbear View Post
Timm............I actually did ask nice (and they have agreed), but the record of this company is not very good with us, so I won't hold my breath until the guy actually shows up with it. They have screwed up this installation from day one. They were supposed to have already installed it when we were down for closing March of last year, but they charged us for it and then totally forgot to do it. When I called the guy to come over and do the "training" the day of the closing he mumbled around and then finally admitted that they hadn't even bothered to do it. We weren't down here again until Memorial Day and they installed it when we weren't around. They scheduled a time to come and put in the control unit and again do the "training" when we were here and never showed up at all. Then the guy came at 7am one morning to put on the rain sensor (which they forgot during the initial install) and didn't even let us know he was there........all of a sudden we were woke up by stomping on our roof! Scard the living heck out of us. Finally after 3 tries they showed up to do the control unit, and then only when we threatened to have them rip the whole thing out and dispute the charge with the credit card. We told them that we were having some cement work done, but they installed the heads in the incorrect position anyhow and it took them three visits to get it right, one of them the day the cement was being poured!!

I did look where the heads were located and did a "logical" thought of where the pipes should be. I guess being logical was too much to ask of this company. I really think that that schematic should be part and parcel of the whole install. That would be a very good idea for a company to offer and set them apart. Let's face it, it is NOT cheap to install one of these, and I really don't think it's too much to ask to know where everything is, especially if they install it with nobody around (people work as well......). You shouldn't have to call a company and wait for a day or 2 or more for them to come out and point to a pipe in the ground just so you can put in a plant holder, birdhouse, etc. Maybe you should suggest this to your company........
Ugh. Sounds like you ended up with a really crappy company. We'll gladly show a homeowner how to use their system, and where their lines are (very few people actually care to know), but I really doubt that a schematic is going to become standard. To be of any use, it would have to be accurate. To be accurate, you'd either have to make it beforehand and follow it to the letter, or measure everything afterwards and carefully plot it out, etc. Either way, you're talking about a bunch of time, which translates into a bunch of money. I know it sounds like a good idea to you, but I think most people would rather pay less for a schematic-less system, than pay more for all the extra time involved in making an accurate one. I've done this for sixteen years, and can count on one hand how many people have really wanted one. They're the ones that followed me around for the first half of the job with a sheet of grid paper, trying to mark where the lines are being put. Then they gave up. I can and will show anyone where the lines are, but to put them exactly where a plan calls for or to mark precisely where they are on a sheet of paper is a lot harder than it may sound. General instructions can be, and will be, followed though. For instance, if someone says they may be putting a pool here someday or maybe planting trees along here or extending the patio, or whatever - we can take steps to avoid problems, or at least lessen them. Somehow, I suspect the company who did yours wouldn't have bothered though. And I'll be surprised if they're able to give you a very accurate schematic. More likely, he'll want to walk the yard with you and point to where the lines were put, to the best of his memory.
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Wouldn't you like to know?
9,114 posts, read 15,678,820 times
Reputation: 3695
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator803 View Post
If you want to have a fescue lawn that does not die off in the hot weather, an irrigation system is absolutely essential. .
That is simply not true.

An irrigation system is all about CONVIENENCE. If you want to spend $1500 and have the convenience of your lawn being watered, that is your choice. Its the same as any other service (lawn cutting, etc,...) that you either pay for or you do it yourself. Lets not make it an either or w/an irrigation system.

I water deep twice a week in the summer and my lawn looks as good as any landscaped lawn out there. I ENJOY working on the lawn myself.

I do agree though that all landscapers are dying out there for business because no one wants to spend money and all their prices have dropped, so if you are in the market to get an irrigation system, now is as good as anytime to get one....
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