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Supreme Member

Posts: 372

Location: USA


Thursday, January 22nd 2004, 5:53am

The reason I run so long is so that I deliver .3 inches of water 3-4 days a week giving me 1 inch of precip per wk. I also live in a flat area that is very, I mean very sandy, therefore I have no puddling.
I also like the theory of watering long and deep to promote deep root growth for the hot and dry summers



Supreme Member


Friday, January 23rd 2004, 5:54am

Another reason to CYCLE is that soil can only absorb so much water (intake rate). Both spray heads and rotor heads apply more water than soil can absorb. If you cycle your sprinklers for short run times, you allow the turf/soil combination to absorb more of the water you are applying.

Example- 5 zone system, 2 are spray zone, 3 are rotor zones.

Cycle 1 - starts at 3am, the sprays water 6 minutes each, the rotors 15
minutes each for a total of 57 minutes.
Cycle 2 - starts at 4am, the sprays water 6 min each, the rorors 15 min each
Cycle 3 - starts at 5am, the sprays water 6 min each, the rotors 15 min each

So, after the 3rd cycle is complete, you will have watered each spray zone 18 minutes and each rotor zone 45 minutes.

If your interested in more info read , "the complete irrigation workbook" by larry keesen.

I have applied this watering technique to every one of my irrigation customers. I have been able to save them water and provide a greener more drought resistant lawn. In the area I live, Colorado Springs, we have been allowed only 2 DAYS PER WEEK watering for the last 2 years do to drought conditions. I have had customers that watered everyday that were skepitical until they had no choice but to water only 2 days per week!


Supreme Member

Posts: 372

Location: USA


Saturday, January 24th 2004, 4:47am

Thanks for the info, I will take that into consideration



Thursday, February 5th 2004, 5:50am

To address the water scheduling question I would like to add some information. Every region has different limitations and restrictions on watering, but here in WA we aren't limited on our watering. Things to be considered when cycling the different zones are: infiltration rate for your soil, rooting depth, monthly gross irrigation required for your specific turf and region (10.27"/month in July at my location), available water capacity of your soil, and the precipitation rate of your sprinklers (GPM). Without this information, you are making a "best guess" for your water scheduling and run times. After you have been working in the industry for awhile, you get a pretty good feel for your run times. All of this information is available from your local Extension Office.


Advanced Member

Posts: 229

Location: USA


Wednesday, March 10th 2004, 6:42am

You need to determine what type of soil you have.

Sandy: Fast absorb rate. You can run longer times without to much run off
CLay/Hard Soil: Slow Absorb rate. Running Cycles of only 6 minutes at times is needed.

You need to consider all this before deciding on a controller. SOme controllers have only a couple of cycles, Others have more

As for static and dynamic: They are related but different. Your total dynamic is what you will need to focus on inorder to run certain heads and sprays.

Every component in a system has friction loss info. You need to subtract all these from your static to equal out to your dynamic. You also need to consider any elevation changes which is a simple formula .433 x elevation will either equal a minus or plu to your calculations. FLow going down= adds pressure Flow going up: decreases pressure

If you go to, they have a great "technicalManual" you can download that explains the physics of water hydraulics


New Member


Friday, April 22nd 2005, 10:15am

Research Labs at the Texas A and M, Turf and Grass Division put out information that indicates established lawns should be watered deeply once a week if possible. Depending on soil types clay, sandy loam, or clay, the amount can vary from 3/4 inch to 1.5 inches per week. This also minimizes problems that can occur from more frequent waterings, a constant threat to the other of the plant material and bldgs from being exposed to unecessary moisture that can cause mildew, rot, fungus, algae, and so on. People with bedding plants and flowers such as roses integrated throughout the yard understand this.


New Member

Posts: 4

Location: USA


Monday, August 29th 2005, 6:48am

The run time and cycling that Tom presented above makes sense to me. Cycling through the same zones for shorter periods of time instead of running it one time for x amount of minutes because of soil intake.

I never owned a sprinkler system and I am trying to decide between two estimates. Do all controllers accomodate this type of cycling of the same zone? Does the Rainbird ESP Modular? Does the Orbit Professional Control Center?


New Member

Posts: 13

Location: USA


Tuesday, April 18th 2006, 12:12pm

I too need to break a bad habit, I am watering everyday, 3 zones 24 minutes each. I want to at least go to every other day. So should I water every other day at 48 minutes per zone? Or just stay at 24 minutes per zone for every other day? Kansas dirt.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,277

Location: Metro NYC


Tuesday, April 18th 2006, 12:57pm

Start with double the time, and adjust from there.


Supreme Member


Wednesday, April 19th 2006, 6:51pm


are your zones sprays or rotors?
what kind of soil ?
are your zones on level ground or sloped?

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