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Thread: TDR's

  1. #1
    Senior Member 1idejim's Avatar
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    Default TDR's

    my experience with irrigation locating started in 99 or 00 while doing plumbing an electrical subcontracts for a pool builder. after my first locate i was hooked and started searching the web and family and friends for information about the business.

    one day i was talking to a client (retired electrican) about locating broken wires, he pointed me towards the megger for fault finding. i ended up at the TDR and OTDR sites on my quest, way interested with the concept of receiving some sort of a measurement from one end of a wire to a fault.

    seems that the TDR is meant more for twisted pairs and cables than for low voltage irrigation wires but with a lot of time in testing and just plain stubborness i am able to take measurements from the controller to any broken pair or to any intact irrigation valve.

    since the majority of irrigation "hacks" just wire the system without any standards (they stuff wires in the controllers and turn the system on) concerning the in ground placement of the valves in relation to the numerical station order at the controller.

    with the TDR i'm able to take measurement readings at the controller and pair the placement, distance from the controller to the valve and station order at the controller.

    example sta#1-966ft., sta#9-235ft. #9 is closer than #1.
    this helps me when i ts a system since i always start at the controller, with my tests. i take rearrange the stations to correspond with the footage readings giving myself an idea of where to begin a search for a buried valve.

    i am the first person to take the TDR from communications to irrigation with success, i've talked to many people about this and only one other has shown any real interest, his name is jim borneman and he is the vp of education for ewing irrigation.

    i also use the TDR as a tool in my onsite locates for excavation (for my own work) to help double check paths in congested areas, if the reading is too long or too short for the utility i'm on i start over or switch locators.

    thanks for letting me ramble,

    do any of you guys trace irrigation for HO's?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: TDR's

    I used to mark homeowner yard irrigation as a favor to nice homeowners. I also hunted down a sprinkler head that was buried and could not be found for one guy.

    I find the systems today are operated by water pressure rather than triggered by individual electric wires to sprinkler heads. So these system I can do nothing.

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    Senior Member 1idejim's Avatar
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    Default Re: TDR's

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    I used to mark homeowner yard irrigation as a favor to nice homeowners. I also hunted down a sprinkler head that was buried and could not be found for one guy.

    I find the systems today are operated by water pressure rather than triggered by individual electric wires to sprinkler heads. So these system I can do nothing.
    actually, there are 2 schools of thought on irrigation valve location.

    (1) group your valves in a manifold as close to the backflow assembly as possible

    (2) install valves in stragic locations (determinded by the hydraulic design) off the mainline. the wires should be installed directly under the main (hopefully) taped to the pipe.

    #1 you'll find in the north and east mainly, #2 in the south and west, both are fine as long as the installer has run his numbers right.

    i usually get the jobs that buried main jobs, valve boxes in the field. over time the boxes are overgrown, or the valves are buried without boxes.

    anyone that is sure that any idiot can put sprinklers in, is just that, an idiot.

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    Senior Member 1idejim's Avatar
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    Default Re: TDR's

    and btw hydraulic valves went out in the 60's

    most valves are either electric or battery operated today

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: TDR's

    Quote Originally Posted by 1idejim View Post
    and btw hydraulic valves went out in the 60's

    most valves are either electric or battery operated today
    I think this depends on if a large commercial site or a very large yard on a residential home.

    Around here most yards are around 10,000 square feet or less. So the electric valves are in a hand hole box right next to the house. From here the plastic water lines go out to the various sprinkler heads which pop up by water pressure when the valves open.

    In large commercial sites there are the valves in hand holes spread around the property but they also go out to pop up sprinkler heads that are water pressure operated. The installer may or may not have installed tracer wire on the lines to the sprinkler heads.

    Perhaps in various areas types of installation have become popular. Like a contractor I met from New Jersey who said there it was difficult to sell a house with a septic tank becasue the public in his area did not accept that idea.

    I am just saying that on residential property in my area the simple pop up by water pressure sprinkler with the vales next to the house is the most popular.

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: TDR's

    i have been asked to by majority of farmers here but tell them no because of the rules of the company....most can not be located without a tracer anyways .....easily that is!
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

  7. #7
    Senior Member 1idejim's Avatar
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    Default Re: TDR's

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    I think this depends on if a large commercial site or a very large yard on a residential home.

    Around here most yards are around 10,000 square feet or less. So the electric valves are in a hand hole box right next to the house. From here the plastic water lines go out to the various sprinkler heads which pop up by water pressure when the valves open.

    In large commercial sites there are the valves in hand holes spread around the property but they also go out to pop up sprinkler heads that are water pressure operated. The installer may or may not have installed tracer wire on the lines to the sprinkler heads.

    Perhaps in various areas types of installation have become popular. Like a contractor I met from New Jersey who said there it was difficult to sell a house with a septic tank becasue the public in his area did not accept that idea.

    I am just saying that on residential property in my area the simple pop up by water pressure sprinkler with the vales next to the house is the most popular.
    i agree with you, you live in an area that uses manifold type irrigation. that's very common on the east coast, the issue with valve placement has more to do with the available water supply (gpm) and the amount of water the heads need to preform, the area being covered, the amount of zones required ect.

    in the east and the north you will see poly pipe being used more than pvc pipe. the states that a pipe plow can be used in without much trouble you will see more poly, if the grounds hard and a trencher is needed, you'll see pvc.

    i have never seen a system with a tracer wire of any sort (even on title 24) to the heads, golf courses on the other hand have what's called valve in head sprinklers, where the sprinkler and valve are one and the same and they will have a field and shared common wire for each head.

  8. #8
    Senior Member 1idejim's Avatar
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    Default Re: TDR's

    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    i have been asked to by majority of farmers here but tell them no because of the rules of the company....most can not be located without a tracer anyways .....easily that is!
    yahoo, are you talking about locating the lawn irrigation valves or crop irrigation valves?

    i use a magnawand ID to locate the crop irrigation valves, you can locate low voltage lawn irrigation with your whatever locator you're using (a wire is a wire) i use a valve locator (521 or pro600) that energizes the solenoid and gives me a traceable tone.

    on the weekend it's an easy way for you to p/u a couple hundred bucks at a time. 2 bills easy to find lost valves, any less and you're giving your time away.

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