0Make your irrigation system more efficient by replacing plastic nozzles
Make your irrigation system more efficient by replacing plastic nozzles
When it comes to smart irrigation, successful groundsmen and greenkeepers depend on reliable irrigation components and their own intuition for solving specific problems on their sportsfield or golf course. Addressing these problems can be aided by suppliers who really understand their products and the challenges those products are designed to handle.
"To maintain the efficiency of their irrigation systems, turf professionals can upgrade their sprinkler system by replacing the internal plastic parts with metal ones," said Mark Faris from FCI (Full Coverage Irrigation).
Speaking with 30 years' experience in the industry, he adds that the obvious strategy is to replace the whole system in one go. "Many, however, upgrade their existing systems hole-by-hole, spreading the work over a period of time. It takes just 3-5 minutes to remove and replace a worn plastic nozzle.
"The metal nozzles last much longer, have fewer blockage problems and provide a more accurate coverage of the entire spray pattern." He adds that while a quality plastic nozzle can last 3-5 years, metal nozzles endure 15-20 years, the life expectancy of the sprinkler itself, resulting in significant long-term savings. An important feature of the FCI nozzles is that the inside of the nozzle is made from stainless steel while the outer housing is made of brass. The steel lining is more hardwearing against tough water conditions and offers less friction. The brass and stainless combination saves energy, prolongs the life of the sprinkler and improves the overall sprinkler pattern.
Systems, if designed well, perform well. But when plastic nozzles start to wear or become blocked, the quality of irrigation suffers. Water may not be applied accurately, leading to 'donut' effects, hotspots and flooded areas, contributing to outbreaks of disease.
Poor irrigation uniformity is often blamed on system design, low pressure, wide sprinkler spacing and poor work on the part of the course manager and his staff, when the actual cause is often sprinkler nozzle performance.
Upgrading to metal internal parts makes it possible to keep the heads in place without changing the complete rotor, keeping the expense as low as possible. FCI replacement nozzles can provide as much as a 10 % - 20% + improvement in performance over plastic, which could mean significant savings over the year for not only water but energy (pump station) costs too.
They're designed to fit Toro, Rainbird and other national brands of sprinkler. In some cases, replacement requires no tools at all. You simply pop out the old nozzle and insert the FCI replacement. Occasionally a screw driver or snap ring tool may be needed but replacing nozzles is simple and fast, regardless of the sprinkler's design.
Faris emphasizes, "We want groundsmen, course managers and greenkeepers to know there are solutions out there. You can upgrade your system, improve your course and save money at the same time."
For more information, visit www.fcinozzles.com or phone +44 (0)1483 268091.