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Multiple timers after y-valves from a single line

Posted by DannyMcO NJ (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 29, 13 at 10:09

Howdy all --

I have a problem that I am sure is not unique but for which I am having a hard time finding an answer.

I have a 200x75 plot, house set back about 30 feet in front with about 15 feet on each side, over 100 feet in the back...and 2 spigots, both of which have relatively low pressure (we are at about 600' elevation) - it's impossible to run both simultaneously without drastic reduction in output. It's impossible to effectively daisy chain, either.

We aren't installing in-ground sprinklers this year (as there are too many other priority projects ahead), so I have mapped out a system that would run around the perimeter with a minimum of hose on the grass (to accomodate the landscapers - I don't want to have to pick it up every week).

My problem is this - the system I mapped out is dependent heavily on a number of y-valves, which can only run one at a time. After 10 minutes or so, I'd manually close the running one, then open the next one in line.

I have upwards of 10 zones owing to some irregular areas and the size of the propery, and manually switching each one, each time would make the process nearly 2 hours long. I love my lawn, but not enough to give it 2 hours of input twice per day.

I'm looking for a way to use mechanical or battery operated timers - *after* the y valves, such that one side would water for 10 minutes, and then the other side would remain open to feed the next y-valve, which in turn would have 2 timers on it - one to run for 10 minutes at that zone, then turn off and let the next one stay open. I don't know if this is clear so I'll try to illustrate.

water spigot to y-valve at zone 1
y-valve splits to zone 1 sprinker and an extension to zone 2
post-y-valver timer allows 10 minutes in zone one, then switches to close zone 1, and opens zone 2
just before zone 2, another timer, then another y-valve to zone 3
zone 1 extension remains open as zone 2 is watered with post y-valve at zone 2 (that leads to zone 3) is closed
after 10 minutes, zone 2 sprinkler timer shuts off, and extension to zone 3 opens

The thing is, we will probably install in-ground sprinklers next year - or not, if this thing works as planned - but in either event running parallel hoses from a manifold is not practical unless I want 1000' of hose (which, as much as I like hose, I really don't want to have to deal with) - running the sprinklers in series is really the only solution I have. I can spend a few hundred more on it and be OK - it's a pittance compared to the thousands I'd put into in-ground.

Any suggestions? I have not been able to find a solution - ideally mechanical, but battery operated/weatherproof is fine as well if need be. No interest in cutting up the lawn with underground wires.

I could really use an assist here. Thanks for your help - and please, if you have specific product names, feel free to drop them --- I understand that mentioning a product doesn't mean you "vouch" for it.

Thanks much -


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Multiple timers after y-valves from a single line


Unless you have all the sprinklers, hose and everything but the timers your probably going to spend just as much as you would on underground materials AND your going to spend it again when you go underground. If your set on trying it this way I would like to suggest you use underground valves, pipe, sprinkler heads (put them on stands) and controller. This way when you go underground alls you have to do is bury what you have.

You will only have to cut one line with a shovel from your controller to the pipe your not planning on moving for wire. I bet in a couple days you won't know where the cut is.

If still set on using individual timers type "water timer" in google. There is a whack of them that may suit your needs.


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