Ask a Question forum: Motion Activated Water Sprayers

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Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
May 11, 2017 9:17 PM CST
I have been adjusting my front yard to plants deer like least. But each morning, there is another astilbe pulled up (but not eaten). I am considering a motion activated water sprayer.

I know nothing works perfectly because deer get used to things. But if I move it around so that one week it hits them on the face and another week it hits them on the butt, that might help.

My concern is that a garden hose to a water sprayer device under constant pressure will burst some night costing a lot of wasted water and money. I've had that happen twice by accident when I forgot to turn the spigot valve off. Cost me about $100 both times.

I looked at connecting metal washing machine hoses designed for constant pressure, but those all seem to be gender-benders and not connectable. I could connect them with Y valves.

Short of having a plumber install copper pipe to the motion detector sprayer, any suggestions? The Big Box hardware store clerks just stared at me with incomprehension when I asked.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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Weedwhacker
May 12, 2017 8:02 AM CST
Good question, Yardenman -- I have the same concerns about leaving the water turned on in that manner (as well as the fact that our outdoor faucet near the garden tends to leak when it's on). I hope someone has some suggestions for you...

Have you considered trying the "balloons solution" ? https://garden.org/thread/view...
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Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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Nhra_20
May 12, 2017 1:58 PM CST
Could use pex pipe. They have numerous fittings. If you are connecting to your hose spigot, make sure you get house thread adaptor and not pipe our machine thread
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
May 12, 2017 4:23 PM CST
I've had one of those motion detector sprinklers for years, and haven't ever had a leak. The 'Scarecrow' sprinkler has good quality connection fittings. I generally use it for a couple of weeks to keep birds and squirrels at bay when my fruit trees are bearing. I do check it every day when it's on. It sprays about 50ft. if I use full pressure, so I only turn the faucet on less than halfway, to just give enough of a spray to cover the trees.

Years ago, my husband bought me two industrial grade rubber garden hoses. They're very heavy, but are built to withstand constant pressure. I noticed the other day that Costco had a good looking hose that was labeled "contractor" hose. At the very least, it should have heavier duty, good quality fittings on the ends. Also always use teflon tape whenever you screw a hose onto the house faucet. It helps to prevent leaks, and makes it easier to undo the fitting. (I have weak, arthritic hands . . )
Elaine

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
May 12, 2017 4:49 PM CST
Try plain old irrigation tubing. 1/2" tubing should be enough (240 GPH, I think).

https://www.dripworks.com/1-2-...
1/2" mainline: 240 GPH max
$14 for 50 feet.
$19 for 100 feet

3/4" mainline 480 GPH max
$22 for 50 ft

fittings:
https://www.dripworks.com/drip...
"EZ-Loc" fittings are much easier to attach and swap around.
"Compression" fittings don;t restrict the flow at all.

Those are designed to be under pressure for long periods. Even the 1/2" or 3/4", compression or "Twist" fittings I shoved on ignorantly have never failed for me, even at 45 psi. It did take me a few years to come to trust it. I admit, I usually did not deliberately keep it under continuous pressure. I relied a lot on a non-electrical, mechanical "twist-timer".

Just don't rely on 10/32 1/4" threaded fittings holding in VINYL 1/4 tubing at 45 psi. Use "Rigid Riser" or maybe plain PE 1/4" tubing if you want to use 10/32threads. They blow out in minutes, leaving you with a 40 GPH fountain, whipping around at the end of a flailing 1/4" vi8nyl tube. Exciting!

Antelco 'Quick' threads seem to hold much better then 10/32 threads!

I often see "not warrantied over 30 psi", but the only problem I have at 45 psi is that VINYL 1/4" tubing needs barb fittings, and jet sprayers emit mist at 45 psi, and that fine mist blows away too much.

I think the way to use mini-sprayers without wasting water is to use them around 10-15 psi. Slow, coarse spray that blows less and probably evaporates less.

$8 pressure regulators with garden hose threads, for 10, 20, 30 or 40 psi:
https://www.dripworks.com/senn...

And once you've run some mainline from your spigot to one point, you can have more spigots anywhere along that line for $5-10 each. Attach a few valved Y fittings, and you can have a dozen spigots anywhere in your yard. With short lengths of cut-up garden hose attached to some of those fittings, you can have a hand sprayer constantly available anywhere in your yard without dragging hoses around.
https://garden.org/ideas/view/...

And, if you install a few mini-sprayers where things could sometimes use some extra water, and you're there when the deer arrive, you could open one remote valve by hand and start these loudly-hissing sprayers all over the yard. The noise might startle them, and being unable to avoid ALL the sprayers as they flee might scare them.

One reason I like to have at least one sprayer even if I set up dripline: I can hear and see that I forgot to turn the water off.
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Yardenman
Jun 7, 2017 12:07 AM CST
RickCorey said:Try plain old irrigation tubing. 1/2" tubing should be enough (240 GPH, I think).

https://www.dripworks.com/1-2-...
1/2" mainline: 240 GPH max
$14 for 50 feet.
$19 for 100 feet

3/4" mainline 480 GPH max
$22 for 50 ft

fittings:
https://www.dripworks.com/drip...
"EZ-Loc" fittings are much easier to attach and swap around.
"Compression" fittings don;t restrict the flow at all.

Those are designed to be under pressure for long periods. Even the 1/2" or 3/4", compression or "Twist" fittings I shoved on ignorantly have never failed for me, even at 45 psi. It did take me a few years to come to trust it. I admit, I usually did not deliberately keep it under continuous pressure. I relied a lot on a non-electrical, mechanical "twist-timer".

Just don't rely on 10/32 1/4" threaded fittings holding in VINYL 1/4 tubing at 45 psi. Use "Rigid Riser" or maybe plain PE 1/4" tubing if you want to use 10/32threads. They blow out in minutes, leaving you with a 40 GPH fountain, whipping around at the end of a flailing 1/4" vi8nyl tube. Exciting!

Antelco 'Quick' threads seem to hold much better then 10/32 threads!

I often see "not warrantied over 30 psi", but the only problem I have at 45 psi is that VINYL 1/4" tubing needs barb fittings, and jet sprayers emit mist at 45 psi, and that fine mist blows away too much.

I think the way to use mini-sprayers without wasting water is to use them around 10-15 psi. Slow, coarse spray that blows less and probably evaporates less.

$8 pressure regulators with garden hose threads, for 10, 20, 30 or 40 psi:
https://www.dripworks.com/senn...

And once you've run some mainline from your spigot to one point, you can have more spigots anywhere along that line for $5-10 each. Attach a few valved Y fittings, and you can have a dozen spigots anywhere in your yard. With short lengths of cut-up garden hose attached to some of those fittings, you can have a hand sprayer constantly available anywhere in your yard without dragging hoses around.
https://garden.org/ideas/view/...

And, if you install a few mini-sprayers where things could sometimes use some extra water, and you're there when the deer arrive, you could open one remote valve by hand and start these loudly-hissing sprayers all over the yard. The noise might startle them, and being unable to avoid ALL the sprayers as they flee might scare them.

One reason I like to have at least one sprayer even if I set up dripline: I can hear and see that I forgot to turn the water off.


Outstanding reply! Thank you so much. I think I will try some of those ideas.

And I say this because my previous mention of hostas that the local deer didn't like was wrong. I spent 2 days digging up the hostas the deer were eating and divided and replanted the ones they didn't. I thought it was because of the coarse leaves of Blue Angel and Sun And Substance.

I was wrong. The deer came and ate the Blue Angels in the transplanted spot without any hesitation. So then I thought they hadn't eaten them in the old spot because they didn't like walking on my front sidewalk.

Wrong, they just ate those last!

The good news is that they totally ignore the Bishop's Weed and the Japanese Painted Ferns. Not the least leaf-nibble. So I will expand my plantings of those.

Meanwhile, I will spread chicken wire (surprisingly invisible from just a few yards away) over the eaten hostas and hope they will recover.

Then, I'll try the water sprayer for more long-term help.

Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Jun 7, 2017 9:27 AM CST
has anyone mentioned useing PCV pipe. I would add two hose bibbs to existing water pipe. Run one line to one corner, and one to other corner of yard. Then alternate between the two. If your ground freezes, bury pcv deep enough.
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Yardenman
Aug 6, 2017 3:51 AM CST
Philipwonel said:has anyone mentioned useing PCV pipe. I would add two hose bibbs to existing water pipe. Run one line to one corner, and one to other corner of yard. Then alternate between the two. If your ground freezes, bury pcv deep enough.
😎😎😎



Good idea, but I have a sidewalk in the way and don't think I could auger or dig under it.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Aug 6, 2017 7:13 AM CST
@Yardenman Howdy 😁😁😁
Its not hard to go under sidewalk with pipe.
1 st you get a peice of pcv. Attach a female hose fitting to one end. I used a peice of 3/4 inch hose and car hose clamp.
NOW ! Congratulations 😁 You just made a water auger, or hydraulic drill.
Dig a hole on one side of walkway, the other side a trench in line with hole on other side.
Now ! You let water drill a hole to other side. Turn water on ! You Silly ! You got to get down on your knees, to help auger under walkway. Working it back and forth.
Take pipe out before you turn water off, or your auger will be stuck !!!

I did this across my sister's driveway. nodding

Dont want to get down on knees.
I bet a neighboor kid would love to play with the water. Rolling on the floor laughing They would learn something also. A win-win, for both of you. Thumbs up

Get it ! Got it ! GREAT ! Hurray! ! Thumbs up

GOOD DAY ! I tip my hat to you.
😎😎😎






Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.

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