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Maintain or replace?

Maintain or replace?: Bailoy Director, Adam Lovejoy, offers some helpful advice on whether you should invest in new or extend the live of your existing equipment.

Nobody wants to spend money unnecessarily, so it is important that any spending is on the correct product or service. But how do you know what that is, who do you ask and how do you know the information is correct?

Maintain or replace?

Maintain or replace?

If you have a little more understanding of how your system is put together, then it should be possible to narrow down your options.

Whether you have a clockwork controller or a computer-based controller, initially, the complete system would have been designed by an irrigation consultant, or an irrigation contractor. When that system was designed, it would have specified the following: A pump, pipe network, cable network, sprinklers, and a controller. Each one of these component parts would have been specified to work together for reliable operation of the system.

Over the years, these components will have required replacing, repairing, or upgrading. Sometimes the original product has been discontinued but there will often be a direct replacement. But why install a direct replacement when there is an improved component on the market?

Depending on the component in question, this is often where mistakes are made that can cause a chain reaction. Apart from must-do maintenance like pipe bursts or cable breaks, decisions on improving a system are often decided on visibility.

What do I mean by this? Things that can be more easily justified logically and seen by management, committees, or members.

The main contender is often sprinklers. With new technology giving improved coverage, better throw, and increased flow why would you not look at them – they can be seen around a green and often manufacturers will give you some free samples to try out.

Most new sprinklers have increased flow rates that can deliver more water in half the time. But that new sprinkler is fed by the existing pump and pipe network and you now require that network to deliver maybe double the previous flow. Maybe the pipes and pump can deliver that but what if they can’t?

So that’s it, you can’t benefit from new technology unless you replace the entire system? Not necessarily!

We see so many sites running computers that are over 10 years old with software even older. And with that old set up the database containing critical site information is also likely to be out of date. But as previously mentioned, they are not visual items, so to spend money on them is difficult to justify.

Maintain or Replace?

Maintain or Replace?: Nobody wants to spend money unnecessarily, so it is important that any spending is on the correct product or service. But how do you know what that is, who do you ask and how do you know the information is correct.

If you have a little more understanding of how your system is put together, then it should be possible to narrow down your options.

Maintain or Replace?

Maintain or Replace?

Whether you have a clockwork controller or a computer-based controller, initially, the complete system would have been designed by an irrigation consultant, or an irrigation contractor. When that system was designed, it would have specified the following: A pump, pipe network, cable network, sprinklers, and a controller. Each one of these component parts would have been specified to work together for reliable operation of the system.

Over the years, these components will have required replacing, repairing, or upgrading. Sometimes the original product has been discontinued but there will often be a direct replacement. But why install a direct replacement when there is an improved component on the market?

Depending on the component in question, this is often where mistakes are made that can cause a chain reaction. Apart from must do maintenance like pipe bursts or cable breaks, decisions on improving a system are often decided on visibility.

What do I mean by this? Things that can be more easily justified logically and seen by management, committees, or members. The main contender is often sprinklers. With new technology giving improved coverage, better throw, and increased flow why would you not look at them (logical). They can be seen around a green and often manufacturers will give you some free samples to try out. (visual both on the course and financially).

Most new sprinklers have increased flow rates that can deliver more water in half the time. But that new sprinkler is fed by the existing pump and pipe network and you now require that network to deliver maybe double the previous flow. Maybe the pipes and pump can deliver that but what if they can’t? Initially, the result will be bad application but more importantly you have increased the stress on your pump and pipe network that may well take it beyond its original design parameters.

So that’s it, you can’t benefit from new technology unless you replace the entire system. Not necessarily!

If you are using a clockwork controller, you are going to be more limited. Any increased flows will have to be manually calculated so they do not exceed the parameters of the design. This may increase the irrigation window, as you will only be able to run a limited number of sprinklers at the same time, but maybe you can live with that.

If you are running a computer-based controller then you have options.

Maintain or Replace?

Maintain or Replace?

Earlier, I mentioned visibility. Below are examples of non-visible items but these can make a big difference to the reliability and performance of your system.

Older controllers may be more basic but, they are likely to have upgrade options. Remember, the controller is also made up of different parts. There is the main box on the wall which contains all the electrical parts, the software running the system and the computer.

The main box maybe be a few years old but, in our opinion, there is no major advantage to replacing this if the software can be upgraded. The software, and the reliability of the computer it is installed on, is the workhorse behind any computer-based system and can often be upgraded quickly to give the user new features and cater for new technology.

We see so many sites running computers that are over 10 years old with software even older. And with that old set up the database containing critical site information is also likely to be out of date. But as previously mentioned, they are not visual items, so to spend money on them is difficult to justify.

To see just how important your data is, see previous articles we have written and published in TurfMatters:

  1. Check your data. Don’t jump to replace your system.
  2. Data checked. Next step Hydraulic tree

We distribute and support the GTI Gemini and GTI Trident range of controllers. Contact us on 0044 (0) 208 897 0125 or visit our web site www.Bailoy.com

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Greenkeepers keen to maintain course

Greenkeepers keen to maintain course: Parkview Golf Club’s green-keeping team has completed a five-day project to mow about three kilometres of the verges along the golf course perimeter.

The project, at an estimated cost of R15 000 is part of the club’s embracing programme to secure the environmental integrity of the course, according to club director, James Searson.

Greenkeepers keen to maintain course

“We are proud to contribute to the enhancement of Parkview, Greenside and Emmarentia where we can,” he said, “and work hard to ensure that the club is kept in top condition not just for golfers’ enjoyment but to add value to the surrounding neighbourhood.”

Searson said the club employs a cleaner whose sole task is to continually remove litter, especially plastic, from the ‘sluit’ through the course, to prevent as much as possible of the litter fouling the watercourse downstream. The process removes tonnes of rubbish each year.

To assist municipal engineers to combat the erosion of the sides of the sluit, the club has opened the property to them and their contractors to set up a site office to store their equipment and gain easier access to affected areas. To limit water usage on the course, the club draws non-potable ‘grey’ water (unfit for human use) directly from the Braamfontein Spruit in terms of its riparian rites, pumps into a dam and then filters and sprays it onto the course. To combat invasive polyphagous shot-hole-borer (PSHB) that has infected some trees and threatens many trees throughout South Africa, the club has engaged an arborist to assist it to control the pest through spraying.

Searson added, “Because we see our club as an integral part of the local community, we offer residents walking and social memberships and welcome casual visitors to a round of golf or a drink or meal on our ever-popular balcony.”

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