Month: March 2019

Push Fittings–Why you should switch.

 

Push Fittings are the next generation, cleanest, fastest and most dependable way to install and maintain an environmentally-friendly, professional-grade sprinkler system. WARNING–if you keep reading this you won’t ever want to go back to traditional fittings again. Here’s why:

 

 

Revolutionary Technology

With the “push-and-go” design, installation has never been faster or easier. In fact push fittings have proven to be 3X faster to install than traditional fittings. Say goodbye to using glue or primer and waiting 24 hours for it to dry. Say goodbye to tools, torches, and clamps. Just push on the fitting and the stainless steel teeth will rotate on the pipe and lock into place.

Releasable

Made a mistake? No problem, push fittings are easy to remove using the release tool. You no longer have to cut the pipe off and start all over again. You can even rotate push fittings 36o degrees! Push fittings can even stand hot or cold temperatures without separating from the pipe.

Reliable

Push Fittings are IAPMO certified–meaning they’ve passed a bunch of tests that prove their performance. They also eliminate the need for harmful glue and solvents that can be hazardous to your health and the environment. To learn more about why you should switch follow this link: https://www.hydrorain.com/pushfittings/

5 Tips to Starting up your B-hyve Hose Faucet System

1-Replace Batteries

To achieve the best performance from your timer, replace your batteries (AA) at the beginning of each season.

2-Update Firmware

If you have not recently updated your firmware, make sure to follow the steps below:

Open B-hyve app > go to settings > devices > select your hose tap > select update firmware. 

IMPORTANT! While updating firmware make sure you are within Bluetooth range, and keep the B-hyve app open until firmware update is complete.

3-Clean Filter

Clean any debris that may have accumulated in the filter. If your timer needs a new filter, you can find one here.

Watch the video below on how to clean and replace a filter:

4-Flush Timer

Attach the B-hyve timer to your hose faucet. Turn on the water and start a manual cycle by pressing the button on the timer for 3 seconds, or from the B-hyve app. Let this run for a couple minutes to ensure any debris is flushed out of the timer.

5-Check for Leaks

Connect your hose and observe connections both at the faucet and the hose, looking for any leaks. Water spraying from the faucet connection may indicate that the connection is not tight enough, or that the washer needs replacing. If you notice any leaks in your hose, resulting from a crack or cut in the hose itself, you can fix them easily with a hose mender.

Start Watering

SHOP SPRINKLERS

4 Products to Boost Your HoseEnd

Hose faucets are a great utility for keeping any yard in top shape. They’re so versatile with all the tools and devices you can attach. Today, we’ve got four products (and one bonus product) to help beef-up your hose faucet and turn it into a powerhouse of productivity and garden beautification.


1. Quick Connects

All the great attachments for a hose have one slight annoyance: the constant on/off. Sometimes you need a pistol, sometimes a wand for high, hard to reach places. Sometimes you want a sprinkler. Well, no more spinning these things off only to get drenched by left-over water. Quick connects let you swap out one tool for another in a matter of seconds. Plus, their innovative design means they can be used with the water still running and prevent all that excess water from pouring all over your shoes.

2. Hose Guides

These nifty little devices blend into the landscape but let your hose carefully wind it’s way along the path you want it to go. No more having a hose sweep across your prize-winning flower garden, crushing everything in its path. You’re in charge.

3. Hose Hanger

When it’s time to clean up, a hose hanger is the perfect way to store it neatly. This hose hanger has a handy shelf to keep your nozzles and sprinklers in one place. It’s made from high impact plastic, to give you years of worry-free use. And it easily attaches to most surfaces (brick, stone, wood, stucco).

4. Water Flow Meter

Ever wonder how much water you’re really using? The water flow meter gives you an accurate readout. Find ways to save; know the flow.

Bonus: B-hyve Faucet Timer

The B-hyve faucet timer is the cutter edge of hose faucet smart watering. Besides being the faucet timer we’re all used to, it’s controllable via your smart phone. And if that weren’t enough, it’s smart! What does that mean? Well, via real-time weather updates based on your location, the B-hyve can use all sorts of information about your landscape to automatically adjust your watering schedule and run time to keep your landscape looking green and colorful.

 

6 Tips to Get Your Garden Ready for Spring

1. Get a Jump on Cleaning
Spring is just around the corner and your bulbs and plants will be popping up soon! Start by clearing all the broken branches, leaves and other debris out of your garden beds and lawn. Trim off any dead or broken branches on your trees and bushes. Deadhead your blossoms by removing the drooping or fading flowers from the rest of the green, healthy stem. This will encourage new growth saving you from turning to seeds to regrow your flowers.

 

2. Prepare your soil
In areas with winter snow and rain the soil becomes very wet and compacted. One of the biggest mistakes inexperienced gardeners make is planting and working the soil too soon. Test whether it is ready by picking up a ball of soil feeling whether it is compacted; if it stays in a ball then it’s still too early, but if it is soft and breaks apart easily then you’re ready to start planting. When the soil is ready for planting, start by turning the soil over with a pitchfork and then raking out any weeds or leaves. Make sure to add some compost to your soil a couple of weeks before planting to allow time to mix nutrients into your soil while not burning your plants roots.

3. Make Sure to Mulch
Flowers, bushes, and trees love mulch. It forms a protective barrier around your plants and bare soil. Mulch insulates the soil providing a buffer from hot and cold temperatures, helps retain water keeping the roots moist, and prevents soil compaction. Mulch is also a great way to prevent weeds from growing and looks great in your yard!

4. Start Growing Plants Indoors
For those who still have snow on the ground, growing plants indoors is a great option, especially for vegetables that require a long growing season. Starting seeds indoors will give you a head start on the growing season and is less expensive than buying starter plants from a nursery. Purchase a seed-starting mix rather than using soil from the garden to ensure that the soil will drain well and make sure whatever container you choose to use has drainage holes. Check the seed packet for the planting depth.

5. Edge your Beds
Save yourself from some work this spring by edging your garden now. Edging helps prevent weeds and lawn from encroaching on your garden bed. Not to mention it makes your yard look fantastic.

6. Make a Plan
Above all, prepare for spring by making a plan for your landscape. Check out each zone in yard and determine which plants you want and where. Have a good mix of perennials and annual flowers so you can have color blooming throughout the season. Plant according to height to ensure that taller plants are not blocking the sun from the shorter ones. You don’t have to rely on plants alone to add a splash of color to your yard. Consider colored pots, chairs and whatever else you can imagine to make your yard stand out.

 

4 Tools that Simplify Fixing Sprinklers

We all know that feeling of our hearts sinking when we accidentally run over the sprinklers with the lawn mower or when testing the sprinklers and it looks like you have a geyser in your yard. Having a yard is definitely a lot of work, but these four Orbit tools make fixing the sprinklers easier.

1.Sod Cutter

As a home owner the sod cutter is a must have tool. With the sod cutter, you won’t be trimming your sprinklers instead of the grass anymore. It does a great job of cutting away any excess grass that is  blocking or clogging up your sprinkler heads, while still giving a clean look to your lawn. It’s also super easy to use, just place it over the sprinkler head, and twist.

2.Spray Head Pull Up Tool

With the spray head pull tool, replacing and installing nozzles is a snap. Just use the teeth to pull up the nozzle or stem and then clamp the tool to the stem to hold it up while you install a new nozzle. You can even use it to pull up spray head sprinklers with or without an installed nozzle.

3. Sprinkler Nozzles

Nozzles allow you to get the perfect performance out of your sprinklers and are very easy to install. They allow you to adjust the flow rate and distance of your spray. All you need to know is the spray distance, pattern, and threading to get the right nozzle, for more information on this become a sprinkler nozzle expert.

4. Voyager Adjustment Key

Save yourself from replacing the sprinkler head and instead use this key to adjust your spray pattern, spray distance, or to replace your nozzles.

For more videos on adjusting the Voyager II, check our series on YouTube

 

5 Techniques to Prevent Water Runoff

Have you ever felt like you were wading through a river when walking on your lawn after a rain storm or watering your yard? This is due to water runoff where some of the water is not absorbed by the ground. Water runoff not only drowns your lawn and wastes water, but it also can pick up pollutants such as pesticides, fertilizers, trash, debris, oil, and pet waste. These pollutants ultimately end up in local streams, creeks, rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Here are five techniques that you can use to prevent or slow water runoff in your yard

1.Rain Gardens

A rain garden is a great way to help water to slowly collect and gradually soak into the soil. According to the Groundwater Foundation, “Rain gardens are effective in removing up to 90% of nutrients and chemicals and up to 80% of sediments from the rainwater runoff. Compared to a conventional lawn, rain gardens allow for 30% more water to soak into the ground.” Rain Gardens have native, drought tolerant, non invasive vegetation. Native plants have extensive root systems and have long roots that will pull surface water down to be used as ground water. Rain Gardens are planted on a natural slope of your property, remain dry the majority of the time, and then after a rain storm will drain within 12-48 hours.

2. Soil

Adding organic matter to your soil such as compost or mulch will make your soil nutrient rich helping reduce runoff. It’s also important to not leave a lot of soil in your yard exposed. Instead plant vegetation or try covering it with mulch, wood chips or gravel. You could also create a rock bed to direct water away from areas you struggle with.

3. Make your Sprinklers Smart

Sprinklers and rain are not compatible. When you have one you don’t need the other. Rain delay’s on most modern timers are key to making sure you don’t over-water your yard. But it can be hard to remember to set those rain delays. So take the guesswork out of it and upgrade to a smart sprinkler timer, like the B-hyve. No more remembering required. We look at real-time weather updates for your location and set the rain delays automatically. And we’ll adjust your schedule afterwards to take account for the rain that fell. Check out all the smart options today.

4.Rain Barrels, Cisterns, & Dry Wells

If you’re looking to capture water that is draining off of your roof, you could use rain barrels, cisterns, or dry wells. Rain Barrels are a great option if downspouts release water on the driveway or sidewalk. They allow you store the runoff water from the roof that you can then use to water plants in the summer. Cisterns serve the same purpose but can capture about 250 gallons of runoff which means you need more space to have a cistern. If you have limited space then Dry Wells are a better option because they store the water in a container underground. They also have punch-out holes to release the water slowly into the ground but they are a more expensive option.

5.Berms & Swales

One of the least expensive and easiest methods to save water are berms and swales. Berms are rounded slightly raised areas that direct water to swales which are shallow, low depressions in the ground. These methods are ideally used in landscapes where there is a slope in order to slow and capture the water runoff.

 

 

 

 

 

The Key to Get Grass as Green as a Golf Course

Want to avoid brown spots on your lawn? Head-to-head spacing is vital to getting an even amount of water and without over-watering in the process. But you have to make sure you have proper spacing? Below are a few tips to get spacing just right.

As the name implies, head-to-head means the spray from each sprinkler head overlaps the spray from the sprinkler head beside and across from it. If the spray is not overlapping this is called using a “stand alone” method and you will probably see those brown doughnuts due to insufficient watering. The actual distance between the sprinkler heads is determined through knowing what the water pressure of your system is, and what the gallons per minute of the nozzle will be as well. You can test these two things by performing a static pressure test and bucket test.

The most common type of spacing is called, “square spacing” because it looks like a square when you draw a line between four sprinklers and each of the squares that are formed will receive spray from four different heads. This is a great method to use for a landscape that is roughly square or rectangular. The other common type of spacing is called, “triangular spacing” because if you draw a line between three adjacent sprinklers it looks like a triangle. This method is great for large open areas, but is difficult to fit the spacing in smaller areas.

To learn more about sprinkler installation visit: https://www.orbitonline.com/lib/InstallationGuide.pdf

 

 

3 Tips for Hassle Free Valve Boxes

Valves are the heart of your underground sprinkler system. They control what zones are on and off, when and how much water passes through. And valves live in a harsh environment. Hot & cold, condensation and humidity.

 

Eventually, almost every valve box needs some repair. It could be as small as a new solenoid or diaphragm or replacing the whole valve altogether. And there’s nothing more frustrating then having to get to valves that are awkwardly placed or difficult to work on. So here are three tips for anyone planning a sprinkler system that will make your valve boxes hassle free.

 

Preassembled Manifolds

Putting together valves can be tricky. Finding all the right parts, gluing the fittings together, threading the valves and then hoping your pipe connections will match up. But that sort of hassle isn’t necessary. Orbit’s Preassembled manifolds are the perfect solution. Straight out of the box you have everything you need in a durable, preassembled nature. So easy, these manifolds just drop right in. These come in two and three valve configurations, and you can expand with a simple fitting.

 

A good foundation

 

Usually a valve box protects the valves from weather above, but just as important is what’s below. Instead of placing your valves on the dirt, which over time will turn in to mud, place 3-4 inches of crushed pea-gravel. This provides a foundation that will drain any excess moisture, prevent weeds and mud from coming up and provide a solid base that won’t shift over time. As an additional measure, the valve box base fits our preassembled manifolds, with pre-cut inlets and outlets that perfectly match up.

Location, Location, Location

 

This rule doesn’t just apply to real-estate, it’s for valve boxes too. While we acknowledge a valve box isn’t the prettiest thing in the garden, there are ways to make valve boxes easily accessible while remaining inconspicuous. Make consideration of what your landscape will be like 5, 10 or twenty years down the road. The valve box that seems easily accessible now may have rose bushes on either side in five years. If you or your contractor have to get to those valves, for anything from repairs or simply turning on your system in the spring or winterizing in the fall, then those bushes are going to be a major hindrance.

 

Instead, make sure you’ve got plenty of room to kneel and get into the boxes. Perhaps consider plants that aren’t a huge investment and could be easily removed if necessary. We’ve seen people place potted plants over their valve boxes. You may even want our granite or sandstone rock covers to hide them.

 

These simple solutions ensure hassle free repairs if and when you ever have to get to your valve boxes.

 

 

Designing your Sprinkler System? 5 key steps before you start.

When designing your own sprinkler system, it’s hard to know where to start. But we’re here to help. Below are five critical pieces of information to gather about your system to get you started and on the right track. Once you have these you’ll be ready to start designing on your own, with the Orbit Sprinkler System Designer creating your custom plan is simple and FREE!

1. Know your Water Source:

Before getting started on your design, it’s important to know where you’ll be getting your water from. Is it municipality (such as a water district) or a well or pump? Getting your water from a municipality is most common. Only if you have a well or pump that directly supplies your system should you check Well/Pump.

2. Determine your Pipe Type:

Three types of pipe are generally used: Copper, Galvanized, and PVC. To find out which type your home has, compare your source (at your water meter) to the pictures in the figure at the right.  If your water source also supplies your house then you can usually determine the pipe type at the location in which it enters your home. If not, then it’s time to get your hands dirty and dig down to the pipe to see which one you have.

3. Measure String Length:

For this step, just take a string and measure the length of string that’s required to wrap once around the water source pipe. Connect the two ends and take record of the length on a ruler. Pipe diameter affects flow rate.

4. Static Pressure Test:

The next step of the Static Pressure Test is super important.  You’ll need a pressure gauge to get the reading. Try to perform this test at the time of day you will be using your sprinkler system, which might mean getting up early or staying up late. Regardless, make sure other water sources are being used in your home at the time you perform the test, because these will artificially lower the reading. To learn more about how to perform the pressure test, check out the video below:

5. Bucket Test:

Almost there! The last step is the bucket test. Any sized bucket will do as long as you know how big it is. Like the pressure test, it’s best to do these tests as close to the time of day as you’ll be using your sprinkler system. To perform this test, record how long it takes to fill up a bucket from from a hose faucet. Here’s the formula for knowing flow rate: Flow Rate = Bucket Size (gallons)/ Time (seconds) *60. To learn more about how to perform the bucket test, check out the video below:

With this information you’re ready to get started designing a plan. Visit the Orbit Sprinkler System Designer to get started.