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Friday, August 12th 2011, 4:30pm

17 zone design calls for 2 controllers/timers

I received a sprinkler design from rain bird and it says I need 16 zones for my yard and 1 for my flower bed. It recommends 61 sprinkler heads not including my garden. My yard is about 7200 sq. ft. I have about 70 psi out of my outside faucet and I get about 10 GPM.Rain Bird also recommends 2 contollers/timers because they don't make anything more than a 12 zone residential controller. Am I going to be unhappy with 2 controlers to worry about?

Thanks for any input.

Central Irrigation

Supreme Member

Posts: 371

Location: Central Minnesota


Friday, August 12th 2011, 6:14pm

I personally can't stand seeing two controllers on one water source. Too many programs to keep track of, and too many start times to worry about. Many other manufacturers offer controllers up to 48 stations. Pricey, yes, but much less complicated in many ways. Even with 2 Rainbird ESPs and modules, you're probably still close to the same price as an 18 zone controller.

Be careful having Rainbird design your system. They are in the business of selling product, needed or not. I would still contact a professional and see what plan they come up with to compare the two. Not sure if Rainbird actually visited your property, or not, but designing anything off of blueprints and e-mails is asking for trouble.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,308

Location: Metro NYC


Friday, August 12th 2011, 6:27pm

17 zones for 7200 sq ft fed by ten gpm does not compute - get a second opinion


Friday, August 12th 2011, 8:14pm

Thanks guys for the quick responses. I thought 17 zones
seemed like a lot. Do you think the 61 sprinklers heads seem excessive? I know
it is somewhat hard to comment without seeing my yard layout. I also did the
free design service from Home Depot (Orbits) web site and it came up with
almost exactly the same results. I am bound and determined to do this all
myself and am trying to learn all I can before starting the project. I hate to
ask a professional to come out and give an estimate because I would feel guilty
because I have no intention on hiring someone. I have already learned a lot by
this and other great websites/forums.

I would sure like to be able to cut my plan back to 12 zones but that is such a
big drop from 17. It just doesn't seem like I have enough GPM to power 61 heads
on only 12 valves. One of my problems is I have a 4 ft. wide part that goes the
whole distant of my yard. (168 ft) And according to rain bird design it
requires 13 heads. This sound right?

Thanks again!


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,308

Location: Metro NYC


Saturday, August 13th 2011, 9:28am

Why not try a local distributor? For certain, they offer better parts and material. Ten gpm on a quarter-acre lot should not work out to seventeen zones, unless the landscaping is so tortured that nothing but fixed pop-up sprays can be used.


Saturday, August 13th 2011, 2:30pm

I found a distributor just down the street from my office. I will go see him Monday. Thanks for your help.


Sunday, August 14th 2011, 10:37am

Can anyone tell me, as a general rule, how many square feet can a properly designed sprinkler system cover assumming my GPM is 10 and my PSI at my water source is 70 psi. For simplicity sake just assume a totally square area.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,308

Location: Metro NYC


Sunday, August 14th 2011, 3:15pm

No general rule applies. Many a quarter-acre lot has been covered by 6 or 7 zones.


Sunday, August 14th 2011, 4:00pm

Thanks Wet Boots

Thanks Wet Boots for the good answer but I now realize that I asked the wrong question. I'm wanting to know how many square feet can be watered in a single zone with 10 GPM at 70 psi.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,308

Location: Metro NYC


Sunday, August 14th 2011, 5:23pm

I don't know your location or soil or climate. (and I'm not going to send an engraved invitation asking for the info) If you want hand-holding, get your checkbook out.

Keep reading webpages and you might learn enough to do the math that can answer your question.

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