Our Quality Workmanship
The purpose of this segment is to describe our Quality Workmanship and how other contractors can find ways to cut their bid cost by omitting certain features and taking short cuts. They realize price gives them a significant advantage in receiving the job and applying these tactics can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars saved in material and labor costs. These short cuts can also deplete the quality and efficiency of a system with the initial savings quickly exceeded by premature repairs and wasted water.
Master Valve Use
At one time this was nearly a standard feature, but today most companies have eliminated the master valve, giving them an added way to lower their bid. Our master valve is located in the ground just after the back flow unit. When the timer tells the first section of your system to come on, the master valve opens up and then shuts off once the last section has completed its cycle. Should a section valve stick on, or a mainline rupture, it would only leak while the system is operating, not continuously throughout the day(s) until discovered. In all the years you will be operating your system, just once should this master valve be needed, it can help save not only in added water bill cost but other potential repair costs ranging from basement water damage to erosion of the ground near landscape walls and paver patios.
Zone Valves Properly Installed
Even when somewhat poorly installed, the need for valve repairs are normally years away. Knowing this, many contractors will also use this portion of the system to cut labor an material costs in several different ways. All of these eventually causing unnecessary future expense. Properly installing these valves also allows for easy manual operation of your system. Because these valves are accessible, many times we are able to make repairs without anyone needing to be at home.
Proper Nozzle Sizing
Here we explain the large amount of water wasted by not installing the appropriate size nozzles in both the gear rotor style and the mist style sprinkler heads.
- Gear Rotor Style
To cut bid costs, many contractors do not spend the necessary time to remove the factory installed standard nozzle and install the appropriate nozzle when required. This situation can happen in several locations of your property. The extra time we figure into your bid quickly pays for itself in watering savings alone, not to mention the added cost to resolve potential landscape problems caused by improper watering.
- Mist Style
These sprinklers are designed to water smaller and more intricate portions of your yard ( approximately 15 ft or less ). The manufacturers offer a large selection of nozzle sizes and patterns, but when the bid price reflects quick and easy, the cost of operating your system usually becomes more expensive. Many contractors install the 15 ft series or the adjustable series nozzles that waste water and can cause damage around the home.
The Design of Your System
Location, location, location. Far too often we see sprinkler heads damaged by lawn edgers and car tires because they were installed tight against the cement and in areas along your driveway where potential vehicle damage is a possibility. Also, many contractors designs leave an unsightly finished look especially in the planting beds where gray plastic PVC nipples are left sticking up to spray over taller plantings.
Proper Back Fill Techniques
To properly bury the various components of the system, the ground that is put back around them needs to be thoroughly compacted. If not, it results in the sprinkler heads becoming excessively crooked and the valve boxes along with the ground around them to settle. The same settling occurs in the trenches where sidewalk or driveway drilling was required and at the base of the back flow unit where the master valve is usually installed. We back fill half the hole, compact the dirt then back fill the remainder of the hole and compact the dirt again. This leaves a firm, solid base around the sprinklers, valve boxes, trenches and base of the back flow units discharge line.
Inside Plumbing and Back Flow Unit
Our company uses copper piping inside the basement, through the wall to the outside, into the back flow unit and down into the ground where the master valve is installed. PVC and Polyethylene plastic style piping are not designed for this portion of the system, yet we see it more often than you may think. Our back flow unit properly installed to code and supported by its down stream piping where proper back fill techniques were applied. Without using proper back fill techniques the ground can settle, twisting the back flow unit and putting unnecessary stress on the soldered joints and in the ground where the copper to plastic pipe connection is made.
Most sprinkler timers operate at 24 volts. Their transformers plug into your homes 120 volt wall plug, converting the electricity to 24 volts. Because low voltage has no real injury threat like your homes 120 volts, there are no electrical codes.