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How to Guides



Controller Wiring Guide

June 24th, 2020

Controller Wiring Guide

In the diagram below, you see a clear example of the wiring for a four valve controller system.

1 - The "P" wire

  • The wire connecting to the master valve

2 - The Master Valve

  • The master valve is an isolating valve that is an additional feature on certain controllers. A master valve will isolate your irrigation system and minimize water leaks.

3 - The Common Wire

  • The common wire needs to connect to every valve that will be communicating with the controller.

4 - The Station Wires

  • Depending on the size of the controller, you will have number station zones. In this example of 8 zone controller and stations, 1 to 4 are currently in use in the diagram. Each valve needs its individual station wire, 1 zone cannot control two valves.
Wiring-Controller-Guide



Garden Tap Kit Guide

May 05th, 2020

Brass Tap Kit

The brass tap kit is our collection of products to provide an easy and effective solution to set up an irrigation system and still have access to your house tap. Using a combination of thread tape and sealant you can tightly secure your brass tap kit to a watertight position.

The Brass Ball valve allows you to isolate the irrigation system while still being able to run the garden tap.

The Backflow Prevention Kit is available and depending on your location the council may require you to use one. Backflow preventers stop the risk of your irrigation water contaminating the main water supply line if backflow occurs

Installing the tap kit involves two to three wraps of thread tape and cover with Weld-On Sealant. This allows for a watertight connection. For connecting to a home tap, you may need to be cautious of how many rotations needed to tighten the setup and whether one more rotation will align straight. We like to connect the Tee, Ball valve and Tap before connecting to the house, you can use the setup for leverage in small spaces and help you align straight. Thread tape and sealant is not required after the ball valve as this is where the water pressure is held.

Brass-Tap-Kit-3
Brass-Tap-Kit-backflo-3

The Wingback/Wall Pates and Bracket elbows are the alternative options in connection the Brass Tap Kits. The Plasson Wingback and Jimten Wall Plates allow you to connect directly into medium density pipe e.g. mains water pipe. The MD connection works the same as the retrospective brands and may need tightening with a tool.

The Low-Density Bracket Elbow from Hansen allows you to use one fitting to connect to Low-Density pipe

LD-Tap-Kit-3
MD-Tap-Kit-3

Market Garden Driptape System Guide

April 24th, 2020

Market Garden Driptape System Guide

Driptape is an effective way to irrigate your market gardens. With a thin-walled tube and built-in drippers, Driptape can be rolled out each season and recoiled at the end when harvesting is needed. Driptape is commonly used on produce like strawberries, potatoes, vegetables, pumpkins etc. Ideal for when the planting area needs to be upturned to harvest the produce. The thin-walled tube allows for easy coiling and storage for next season.

The number of rows, litres per hour, dripper spacing, coil length and plant type are all varying factors that you will need to consider when designing your system. Contact our experts on 0800 130 905 for advice.

Manual System

A manual system of driptape requires the user to manually open and close the ball valve to irrigate the produce. The 16mm driptape Valve is ideal for this situation. If you have a 25mm lateral line you can use the 16mm driptape valve x 8mm Barb connection that can be inserted directly into the lateral line. Branching off horizontally the driptape can be screwed onto the fitting and rolled out along your rows.

This system requires you to open and close each valve manually to operate.

Market-garden-driptape-system

Automatic System

Automatic systems allow for the system to be controlled via a controller and solenoid valves. It is always recommended to have a brass ball valve before your solenoid valve in case of repairs. The solenoid valve will control the water that then branches out in 13mm lateral line to your driptape rows. The 16mm driptape valve x 13mm barb is ideal for this situation as you can further control the water and shut the water flow to certain rows in case of repairs or leaks.

An automatic system can provide precise flows to your crops, as well as saving you time and labour of having to manually water your crops. The number of rows controlled by a single solenoid valve can be determined by the amount of water flow.

Market-garden-driptape-system

Driptape Fittings

Tips:

  • Driptape is a thin-walled tube
  • Hand tighten the nut over top of the tape
Driptape-Pipe-Fitting
Driptape-Pipe-Fitting

Presssure Regulator

A pressure reducing valve is recommended for systems with high pressure. The Senninger pressure regulator is an ideal valve for the driptape system, reducing the pressure to either 15 or 10 psi with a 20mm female BSP thread.

Senninger regulators maintain a constant preset outlet pressure with varying inlet pressures, which alleviates pressure differences that can cause an applicator’s area of coverage to change.

Tips:

  • Can be installed above or below ground
  • designed to handle flows from 114 to 3407 L/hr
pressure-compensator

Canopy Drip Irrigation

April 16th, 2020

Canopy Drip irrigation

Drip Irrigation

Drip Irrigation is the use of emitters of water at a lower rate of application. These emitters apply water directly to the source/plant. The benefits of drip irrigation is less water wastage in comparison to sprinklers with more water used directly to the root zone of the plant.

Drip Irrigation is widely used overseas but not as common in New Zeland orchards. The rainfall in New Zealand expands the natural root growth of the plant. Sprinklers can effectively water the more extensive root growth, where drippers are watering the select area.

A sprinkler system is the most common system recommended for large root areas such as Apples, Pears, Stone fruit, Kiwifruit, Truffles, Passionfruit, Avocadoes, and Olives. Drip systems are commonly used in crops such as Strawberries, Blueberries, Vineyards, and smaller orchard trees.

Under Canopy Graphic

Which Dripper?

Drippers come in a variety of flow rates and applications. Standard flow rates for drippers are 2, 4 and 8 L/Hr, but can go much higher.  The example system we are showing is using 2 x 2 L/hr drippers spaced either side of the plant. Benefits to having one dripper as the water area would be less, not covering the growth of the roots.

It's advised to have the drippers away from the plant trunk, so the water drops to the canopy floor. Having the water always on the plants trunk can make it susceptible to disease.

Drippers come as a take-apart or button dripper. The Take-Apart drippers have a top that can be unscrewed for cleaning and unclogging in case any debris got into the line—saving time and money.

Pressure compensated drippers are recommended as you can ensure the distribution of water is even between the drippers. They are allowing for a precise calculation of flows per plant. The pressure compensated drippers also usually have a diaphragm inside the dripper to manage the flow. This diaphragm helps with alternating the clearance width. Helps to prevent blockage from debris.

Aquadrip Dripper 2 Litre per Hour
Drip Irrigation for Under Canopy
Drip Irrigation for Under Canopy Close Up

If you would like to talk to one of our experts on what would suit your orchard, please phone on 0800 130 905, or fill out the form below to email.

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Above Canopy Irrigation

April 08th, 2020

Above Canopy Irrigation

Above Canopy Orchard Sprinkler Systems

Not every orchard in New Zealand is the same, and not every irrigation system will work for everyone. Based on your environment and set up, you will need to come up with a system that can benefit you. Above the canopy, irrigation may work for some situations where below canopy isn't viable, or you need your frost protection to double as your irrigation system.

It is not a simplistic choice, and any decision has long term effects on costs and production, that need to be considered. It is always wise to consult with one of our designers before you decide on sprinkler type, flow rate, spacing etc.

Under Canopy versus Above Canopy

The reasoning for spraying under the canopy is to reduce the amount of disease caused by moisture in the canopy, Irrigating overhead is commonly done in New Zealand for frost protection and cooling.

There are different setups for under canopy irrigation, upright sprinklers on stakes of various types, upside down sprinklers hang via a tube, sometimes with a weight.

Above canopy orchard Irrigation

Which Sprinkler?

You need to consider the plant and specifically the root area that you are watering, for most plants irrigating a large portion of the root volume is essential. New Zealand's climate with regular rainfall commonly produces trees with extensive root volumes. A sprinkler system is the most common system we recommend for large root areas such as Apples, Pears, Stone fruit, Kiwifruit, Truffles, Passionfruit, Avocadoes, and Olives.

Drip systems are commonly used in crops such as Strawberries, Blueberries, Vineyards, and smaller orchard trees.

From all the options available, how do you choose a sprinkler system to suit your orchard?

If you are expanding an existing irrigation system the general recommendation is to stay with the same style of sprinkler you have as this will make management a lot easier, unless the existing sprinklers are causing a problem for you.

The sprinkler we recommend most is the Netafim Supernet, and there are some excellent reasons for this choice. The sprinkler has the best range of flow regulation in the market, and it has a self-flushing mechanism that reduces the chance of blocking, it is a quality sprinkler built to last, it has many stand options and connection options to suit.

Pros:

  • Wide regulating range and floating, self-flushing diaphragm maintains uniform flow across a broad pressure range.
  • Highest distribution uniformity - unique nozzle tube prevents adverse effects of varying inlet pressure on the wetted diameter.
  • The largest water passages on the market – resists clogging.
  • Drop-down “bug-proof” swivel/jet plate prevents entry of insects.
  • Engineering-grade materials and heavy-duty bearing results in superior endurance and long-term reliable uniformity.
  • Everspin bearing has a layer of sapphire material to reduce friction and wear, promoting long-lasting sprinkler performance.
  • Bearing keeps the swivel centred during operation and improves

Common alternatives to the SuperNet sprinklers, for kiwifruit irrigation, are the Nelson R10 and R10 Turbos and the Rivulis S2000 sprinklers. The Netafim SuperNets, Nelson R10s and Rivulis S2000s are ideal choices for a wide range of applications including irrigation, cooling, and frost protection for orchards and groves.

Above canopy orchard Irrigation

A SuperNet Stake or Adapter can assist your above canopy installation. The adapter fits onto either a 6mm and 8mm fibreglass or galvanised rod. These stakes/adapters have a snap-on connection to your SuperNet Sprinkler. Some systems use the stakes inserted into PVC pipe to hold the sprinkler upright for frost mitigation, which can double for an under canopy irrigation system.

SuperNet-and-Stake

If you would like to talk to one of our experts on what would suit your orchard, please phone on 0800 130 905, or fill out the form below to email.

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Under Canopy Irrigation

April 07th, 2020

Under Canopy Irrigation

Under Canopy Orchard Sprinkler Systems

There are many different orchard systems and many different training methods in New Zealand that use under canopy sprinkler irrigation. There are many different products and processes used to irrigate; if you look through our selection of sprinklers, there is a mind-boggling choice. It is not a simplistic choice, and any decision has long term costs and effects on production that need to be considered. It is always wise to consult with one of our designers before you decide on sprinkler type, flow rate, spacing etc.

Kiwifruit canopy graphic

Why Sprinklers?

The choice of irrigating with drip or sprinkler systems, there is no simple answer. You need to consider the plant and specifically the root area that you are watering, for most plants irrigating a large portion of the root volume is important. You may find a lot of information that drip is superior, this is likely crop-specific and climate-specific, New Zealand's climate with regular rainfall commonly produces trees with large root volumes. A sprinkler system is the most common system we recommend for large root areas such as Apples, Pears, Stone fruit, Kiwifruit, Truffles, Passionfruit, Avocadoes, and Olives.

Drip systems are commonly used in crops such as Strawberries, Blueberries, Vineyards, and smaller orchard trees.

From all the options available, how do you choose a sprinkler system to suit your orchard?

If you are expanding an existing irrigation system the general recommendation is to stay with the same style of sprinkler you have as this will make management a lot easier, unless the existing sprinklers are causing a problem for you.

The sprinkler we recommend most is the Netafim Supernet, and there are some very good reasons for this choice. The sprinkler has the best range of flow regulation in the market, and it has a self-flushing mechanism that reduces the chance of blocking, it is a quality sprinkler built to last, it has many stand options and connection options to suit.

Pros:

  • Wide regulating range and floating, self-flushing diaphragm maintains uniform flow across a broad pressure range.
  • Highest distribution uniformity - unique nozzle tube prevents adverse effects of varying inlet pressure on the wetted diameter.
  • The largest water passages on the market – resists clogging.
  • Drop-down “bug-proof” swivel/jet plate prevents entry of insects.
  • Engineering-grade materials and heavy-duty bearing results in superior endurance and long-term reliable uniformity.
  • Everspin bearing has a layer of sapphire material to reduce friction and wear, promoting long-lasting sprinkler performance.
  • Bearing keeps the swivel centred during operation and improves

Common alternatives to the SuperNet sprinklers, for kiwifruit irrigation, are the Nelson R10 and R10 Turbos and the Rivulis S2000 sprinklers. The Netafim SuperNets, Nelson R10s and Rivulis S2000s are ideal choices for a wide range of applications including irrigation, cooling, and frost protection for orchards and groves.

Under Canopy versus Above Canopy

The reasoning for irrigating under the canopy is to reduce the amount of disease caused by moisture in the canopy, Irrigating overhead is commonly done in New Zealand for frost protection and cooling.

There are different setups for under canopy irrigation, upright sprinklers on stakes of various types, upside down sprinklers hang via a tube, sometimes with a weight.

Upright Sprinklers

SuperNet Stake or Adaptor allows for applications on the ground. The push-fit to barb fittings can easily attach to the tube to connect to the lateral line (either above on the frame or laying on the ground). The SuperNet stake snaps onto the SuperNet allowing it to spike into the ground for a sturdy upright spray under your canopy. The SuperNet adaptor allows for a connection to either 8mm and 6mm Fibreglass or Galv rods. The benefits to the rods being the flexibility in heights (useful for orchards that have more room).

The application is to have your SuperNet staked into the ground floor of your canopy. This allows for flexibility in positioning, due to the tube connection. The benefits are that you're well below the canopy and hanging fruit. People also use this application to double as a frost mitigation system in the winter. attaching the stake or adaptor to a stand/rod above the canopy.

With your sprinklers on the ground, you do run the risk of workers or vehicles knocking the setup, possibly damaging the sprinkler or ripping out the tube connection. You also may have the sprinkler obstructed by fallen debris.

Pros:

  • SuperNets allow for easy installation with Push-fit connections
  • Versatility in Stakes or Rod application
  • Well below the canopy and fruits
  • Can double as a frost mitigation system

Cons:

  • Possible obstruction from debris on the ground (fallen leaves, branches etc)
  • On the ground floor, the pipe and sprinklers are at risk from workers or vehicles.
  • The stake/rod needs to be vertically set up to throw evenly to plants.

 

SuperNet-and-Stake
under-canopy-side-view-stake
under-canopy-side-view-stake
under-canopy-irrigation-stake-wide

Upside Down Sprinklers

The versatility of the SuperNet allows for many different applications. The push-fit to barb fittings can easily attach to the tube to hang the sprinkler well below the canopy.

The application is to hang your sprinkler from a lateral line attached to the frame or your canopy. A wire runs along the frame, with Jiffy Clips or cable ties securing the pipe to the wire. This keeps your sprinkler off the ground and out of the way of workers or vehicles. Hanging well below the canopy allows for the sprinkler to have few obstructions when irrigating, and not affected by items on the ground.

Pros:

  • Versatility in application rates
  • Sprung loaded bearing to reduce cobweb and insect problems
  • SuperNets allow for easy installation with Push-fit connections
  • Little obstruction from debris on the ground (fallen leaves, branches etc.)
  • Heavy sprinkler to keep stable in upside-down application
  • Out of pathway of workers or vehicles

Cons:

  • Needs to hang low enough to reduce water on the plant foliage.
under-canopy-irrigation-sprinkler
under-canopy-side-view-upsidedown
under-canopy-side-view-upsidedown wide

If you would like to talk to one of our experts on what would suit your orchard, please phone on 0800 130 905, or fill out the form below to email.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a subject.
Please enter a valid phone number.
Please enter a message.

How to Irrigate a Lawn

March 31st, 2020

How to Irrigate a Lawn

The best practice for irrigating a lawn is to use landscape pop-up sprinklers. The rotator nozzles attach to the pop-up bodies and give you the best and even coverage for your lawn. If you have a larger area to cover, you can move up to the Gear Rotor sprinklers, like the PGP Ultra. The reason we go for pop-up sprinklers over drip irrigation is that though drip is very effective, it becomes very hard to see faults and make repairs.

Have a look at our recommended products for irrigating a lawn

Other important guides to assist you in setting up your lawn irrigation. We will be referring to these guides throughout. 

Measure the Area

The first thing to do is to measure your area that you would like irrigated. This can be either a quick drawing with pen and paper, printing out a google maps image or using software available. This drawing needs to be to scale, have your water source/taps  shown and any objects that may obscure the irrigation, decks, sheds, veggie garden etc

I have created an example plan for us to work through together.

landscape pop up house size
landscape pop up house size

Figure out how much water is available

This can be done with a bucket test or with a flow meter. The Bucket Test is an estimate and not 100% accurate. Flow meters can be expensive though so for us we will do a bucket test. How we avoid the problem of inaccurate bucket tests is to use around 50% of what the total is. If the test gives you 20L/min, you would spec your irrigation to 10 L/min.

(60 / Time) x Litres

Let us say you filled your 10-litre bucket in 15 seconds.

Time = 15 (in seconds)
Litres = 10
So through the equation,

(60/15) x10 = 40

40 L/mn is the total estimate. therefore we will work off of 20 L/pm

tap-bucket-flow-test

Place the Sprinklers

Using the technical sheets provided, you can start placing the sprinklers on your plan. The tech sheets for both Rain Bird and Hunter offer you with the Distances and L/min for each Nozzle Arch.

Using the distances, place markers on your plan where you think the different nozzles should go, aim for good head to head coverage.
Our goal is to cover the whole lawn area, without throwing onto the house or concrete areas. (imagine there is a fence around the property as well, that we need to avoid).

For the example plan, I have used the Rain Bird R-Van Rotators and placed them where I think I can get good coverage. For educational purposes, I have added the spray areas to try and demonstrate the water coverage. Try to get as much of the lawn consistently covered as we can, without throwing into the house, paths or fences. You can't be perfect with every area of the lawn, but the aim is to try and cover the lawn consistently and completely.

landscape pop up spray pattern
landscape pop up spray pattern
landscape pop up spray pattern

For the example below, I have removed some sprinklers from the plan to show the comparison. You can see dry patches throughout the lawn, with grass that would end up dying, leaving a patchy, ugly lawn.

Have a read of the Head to Head Sprinkler Spacing Guide for more information on sprinkler spacings. Link above.

landscape pop up spray pattern
landscape pop up spray pattern
landscape pop up spray pattern

A common question we get is, why so many sprinklers? Can't I just put a strip down the middle doing the whole lawn? Below you can see the disadvantage to doing that. You may save money, but your lawn will die, you'll waste water throwing into the house or on the path (if you have iron in your water this will stain) and you'll end up having to fix the mistake later.

landscape pop up spray pattern
landscape pop up spray pattern
landscape pop up spray pattern

Zone the Sprinklers

Here is where it gets tricky, so if you are having troubles, call our experts on 0800 130 905

In this example, we have given ourselves 20 L/min of water to irrigate the lawn. Each sprinkler requires a certain amount of water to operate optimally. You can see this in the Tech Sheets above.

We have in our plan

  • 17 x R-Van 14 - 90 Degree
  • 20 x R-Van 14 - 180 Degree
  • 1 x R-Van 14 - 270 Degree
  • 5 x R-Van 18 - 90 Degree
  • 5 x R-Van 18 - 180 Degree
  • 5 x R-Van 24 - 90 Degree
  • 2 x R-Van 24 - 180 Degree
  • 1 x R-Van 24 - 360 Degree

R-Van 14

  • 17 Nozzles x 1.06 L/min = 18.02 L/min
  • 20 Nozzles x 2.12 L/min = 42.40 L/min
  • 1 Nozzle x 3.18 L/min = 3.18 L/min

R-Van 18

  • 5 Nozzles x 1.89 L/min = 9.45 L/min
  • 5 Nozzles x 3.82 L/min = 19.1 L/min

R-Van 24

  • 5 Nozzles x 2.46 L/min = 12.3 L/min
  • 2 Nozzles x 4.92 L/min = 9.84 L/min
  • 1 Nozzle x  9.54 L/min = 9.54 L/min

Total Water usage for all the sprinklers is 123.83 L/min
We may need to split the sprinklers into seven zones to get under the 20 L/min limit.

Let's break it down to make it easier to understand and just work on the front lawn, as seen below

Tip: It's best to use the open flow of the nozzle when calculating, even when not throwing that Radius. It is normally bolded in the tech sheet

Front Lawn

  • 3 x R-Van 18 - 90 Degree @ 5m radius = 5.34 L/min
  • 3 x R-Van 18 - 180 Degree @ 5m radius = 10.32 L/min
  • 6 x R-Van 14 - 90 Degree @ 4m radius = 6.36 L/min
  • 2 x R-Van 14 - 180 Degree @ 4m radius = 4.24 L/min

Total = 26.26 L/min

2 Zones are required as we can't run all the sprinklers at once with our 20 L/min. Think of where the pipe will go and what work easiest for you.

landscape pop up zoning

Zone 1 Nozzles (Red)

  • 2 x R-Van 18 - 90 Degree @ 5m radius = 3.56 L/min
  • 2 x R-Van 18 - 180 Degree @ 5m radius = 6.88 L/min
  • 1 x R-Van 14 - 90 Degree @ 4m radius = 1.06 L/min
  • 1 x R-Van 14 - 180 Degree @ 4m radius = 2.12 L/min

Total = 13.62 L/min

 

Zone 2 Nozzles (Blue)

  • 1 x R-Van 18 - 90 Degree @ 5m radius = 1.78 L/min
  • 1 x R-Van 18 - 180 Degree @ 5m radius = 3.44 L/min
  • 5 x R-Van 14 - 90 Degree @ 4m radius = 5.3 L/min
  • 1 x R-Van 14 - 180 Degree @ 4m radius = 2.12 L/min

Total = 12.64 L/min

Our sprinkler will now work within our range, provide room in case of spikes or shortages. I choose these zones to have the pipes not cross the middle of the lawns and keep the trenches straight lines. We would have to dig under the path to connect the sprinklers, so it was easier to zone the sprinklers close by in one zone.

 

landscape pop up zoning