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Old 09-10-2019, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Ohio
1,399 posts, read 1,157,650 times
Reputation: 1550

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My wife and I just closed on a new home in Central Ohio. We're in a semi-rural area and are on a well.

During the inspection, our inspector discovered that we have an in-ground lawn irrigation system and a second well for irrigation. The irrigation system works, but will need serious rehabilitation, new sprinkler heads, and a new controller. The lawn is also horribly neglected, and mostly down to weeds.

We have a 3.4 acre property, and from where I've found sprinkler heads, the irrigation system appears to only cover the front and side yard, which totals about 0.7 acres. The backyard has a pool, some woods, and other things going on, so I'm not worried about that, but it would be nice to have a nice lawn out front.

I know how to kill off and replant a lawn, but I'm clueless as to how to revamp this irrigation system. If I assume the pipes themselves are OK, is this a difficult task? Am I better off just calling a lawn/irrigation company and having them come look at it?
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
1,018 posts, read 904,876 times
Reputation: 1539
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperDave72 View Post
My wife and I just closed on a new home in Central Ohio. We're in a semi-rural area and are on a well.

During the inspection, our inspector discovered that we have an in-ground lawn irrigation system and a second well for irrigation. The irrigation system works, but will need serious rehabilitation, new sprinkler heads, and a new controller. The lawn is also horribly neglected, and mostly down to weeds.

We have a 3.4 acre property, and from where I've found sprinkler heads, the irrigation system appears to only cover the front and side yard, which totals about 0.7 acres. The backyard has a pool, some woods, and other things going on, so I'm not worried about that, but it would be nice to have a nice lawn out front.

I know how to kill off and replant a lawn, but I'm clueless as to how to revamp this irrigation system. If I assume the pipes themselves are OK, is this a difficult task? Am I better off just calling a lawn/irrigation company and having them come look at it?
You can easily replace the sprinkler heads by yourself. As for the controller I am not sure.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,142 posts, read 54,879,526 times
Reputation: 31150
I'm not sure I would classify that as serious rehabilitation. Replacing heads is an ongoing task if you mow one that is stuck in pop-up position, or the water clogs them. Replacing a controller is simple plumbing, as most are fully exposed and accessible. Just practice a couple joints first with some scrap pipe, couplers, and the cleaner and glue. Wear disposable gloves and old clothes. The cement can be hard to get off skin.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:44 PM
 
5,599 posts, read 2,564,215 times
Reputation: 15990
I wouldn't necessarily assume the pipes are OK. Generally installers use schedule 20 pipe and this thin wall stuff is prone to cracking with frost heaves, soil settling, and if the system's ever left in freezing weather with water in. Also, if a head gets run over (too near the edge of the driveway) it can crack the pipe below or to the side and you won't know it till you have a big muddy spot.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:52 PM
 
Location: NJ
24,530 posts, read 30,665,383 times
Reputation: 16479
how do you know it works? if that is the case, then you could probably watch some youtube videos and figure out how to change the sprinkler heads and controller.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Ohio
1,399 posts, read 1,157,650 times
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I'm not well-versed in such things, but from my understanding, the controller doesn't shut off all the zones correctly when it's supposed to. We had to turn off the main valve going to the irrigation system to stop the water flow. It had been shut off and sat unused for several years at the time it went on the market, from what I understand. Previous owners were an older couple. The husband died in 2007, the widow died in ~2016, then it sat in probate, and eventually was sold by the estate.

All the sprinkler heads put out at least some water, except for 2. I guess it's hard to tell right now if there are leaks, since we're not leaving pressure in the lines (it's shut off right now at the main valve). The issue is the existing heads don't spray evenly, the coverage is poor (some areas get drenched while others stay dry). Plus I may want to reconfigure a few areas...some areas of lawn, I may plant shrubs/trees and perennials, and may not need to irrigate that at all, or, place that in a different zone.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:02 AM
 
Location: NJ
24,530 posts, read 30,665,383 times
Reputation: 16479
maybe you get a sprinkler company to go through it and work out a proposal for what to do. you should be able to figure out from them how much work needs to be done and then you can decide to either let them do it or you give it a shot.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:12 AM
 
5,995 posts, read 6,849,942 times
Reputation: 15513
Hire a pro. They can fill the system with air to find your leaks, replace the failed heads and pipes, as well as the controller, and you have saved yourself a great deal of aggravation.


Sure, anyone can change a sprinkler head, until you run back and forth to the store a half dozen times to get the correct parts, only to find that the head is okay but the pipe three feet away from the sprinkler head has failed due to frost.


Just write the check and put it behind you.
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Old Today, 10:42 AM
 
Location: D.C.
2,304 posts, read 1,924,844 times
Reputation: 3589
We had to do much of the same here and had a couple of breaks in it (PVC). It was 15 years old and neglected as well. Our breaks though we’re from puncture holes via some DIY concrete replacement by the previous owner.

My suggestions - just hire any landscaper to come replace the heads that need replacing, life’s too short if you have a lot that need it. Might save some money to buy them yourself via amazon.

Controller - Rachio is awesome!! We have it, swapped out old rainbird for it myself, not hard at all. If you can hook up stereo speakers, you can do this too. I love that I can control it from my phone or computer, pick a zone that needs it and not have to run the entire thing. Total control for whatever you want it to do, and in plain English.
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Old Today, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Lone Mountain Las Vegas NV
13,390 posts, read 5,131,757 times
Reputation: 5957
We have a large irrigation system that is about 25 years old. Ours includes remote valves in the various locations, 3 lawns and 100 or so sprinkler heads.

We maintained ourselves or our gardener did for the last 23 years. We worked out all the parts (generally rain bird) and ordered a few dozen of virtually everything. In recent years we let the gardener take care of it as he has access to stocked parts as well.

Maintenance has mostly been head replacement. The gardener checks every few months and we react to plants drooping. We have also replaced a valve or the solenoid a half dozen times.

We have had a couple of pressure pipe failures but they are rare. Both were caused by tree roots. Other than that the pipes have held up pretty well. The leaks were detected by a spongy spot developing.

Controllers are actually simple gadgets. As someone suggested no more complex than a stereo system. Ours has 16 zones of which 14 are in use. In replacing one I would take pictures and make notes of how it was connected.

One caution. We are in Vegas where freezing is not a problem. You might lose an above ground valve or suction breaker but that is about it.
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