Irrigation Tools: What You Need to Know
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Irrigation Tools: What You Need to Know

Mar 17, 2017
Video Length:  1:06:42
Presented By:  Jake Lott


While this webinar might be a review for many of our users, we want to make sure everybody understands the ins and outs of basic irrigation setup using our software. We will discuss why we set things up a certain way, and how to fix any issues you might come across. You may even learn a few techniques and best practices that will help speed up your workflow when creating your irrigation design. We'll also go over the essentials of adding equipment such as drip, sprays, and rotors to a project, as well as placing equipment, drawing and sizing pipe, and creating schedules.


Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Intro/TOC
    • Rules of Thumb
  • Preference Sets
  • The Irrigation Manager
    • Docking and Undocking the Irrigation Manager
    • Pipe Data
    • Copy Along Polyline
  • Schematic Irrigation
  • Irrigation Data & Project Templates
  • Smart Arc
  • Sizing Pipes
    • Reading & Understanding the Size Lateral Pipes Dialog Box
  • Verification Tools
    • Verify Laterals & Verify Mainline
    • Highlight Station
    • Move Piped Equipment
    • Critical Analysis
    • Valve Schedule
    • Spot Elevation

Intro/TOC 0:00 – 10:29

Deleting the source block file for a piece of equipment that is defined incorrectly in your drawing, then using the REDEFINEBLOCK command to redefine the block (5:20)


Rules of Thumb (6:25):

  • Make sure you have the right Preference Set active.
  • Make sure your scale is set correctly.
  • Work in the correct scale. Don’t be afraid to split into multiple sheets.
  • If you’re getting weird results in a project, try the same action in a blank drawing.
  • Highlight Station is your best friend.
  • Check out our Knowledge Base articles on irrigation issues. The solution is probably there! /kb/irrigation-issues.html
  • When in doubt, delete the source block file. (**Use with discretion.**)
  • For basic understanding of how the irrigation tools work, check out our irrigation training videos. /fxtrainer/irrigation.html

10:30 – 28:29: Preference Sets

Preference Sets overview (10:30)


Note: It’s possible to create and use a number of different Preference Sets. Make sure you have the correct one active. (11:10)


Changing the symbol scaling (11:30)


Note: If you change your Preferences after placing objects in your drawing, it won’t update those objects as they appear in your drawing. Instead, any objects placed newly into the drawing will take on the qualities governed by the newly changed Preferences. (12:05)


The available spray symbols (13:00)


More on adjusting the symbol scaling (13:45)


The perils of having the wrong Preference Set active (14:45)


Clearing out the source blocks files to get our new blocks (example, we’ve added background masks to several of our updated irrigation symbol blocks) (16:10)


Using the PRG command to purge an older block from a drawing (17:30)


Editing one of our symbol blocks and redefining it in a drawing using the REDEFINEBLOCK command (20:00)


Demonstration of our keyboard commands for placing irrigation heads (type K when placing heads to see the available commands). (24:20)

Examples include toggling to the previous or next available radius, nozzle, and radius, as well as snapping the cursor to a set crosshair angle (Xhair angle).


Note that our blocks have the prefix LAFX in their filenames (26:00)


Using the Replace tool to replace the existing heads with newer symbols in an older plan (26:40)

28:30 – 36:49: The Irrigation Manager

Docking and undocking the Irrigation Manager (20:30)


Docking the Irrigation Manager allows you to continue working in your drawing while the Irrigation Manager is still open.


Source Data (29:10)

The Source Data tool, available from a button in the Irrigation Manager, allows you to set statistics such as pressure and flow for your water source.


Pipe Data (29:30)

The Pipe Data tool, also available from a button in the Irrigation Manager, allows you to select up to 9 classes of lateral pipe, 6 classes of mainline pipe, and 4 pipe sleeve types for your project.


Using the Pipe Size List to increase or decrease the number of available pipe sizes for the drawing (30:07)

Note: If you don’t see a specific pipe size available to select in your drawing, look for it in the Pipe Size List. If it’s listed there, you can make it available to select by adding it to the Available Sizes list.


Editing the pipe layers (31:25)


Selecting a pipe sleeve type (31:45)


Using the Copy Along Line tool to place an evenly spaced line of heads (32:20)


Piping between placed heads and toggling between pipe classes (33:00)


Copy Along Polyline (33:50)

The Copy Along Polyline tool allows you to snap a line of heads to an existing polyline in your drawing. Note that the heads will place on the same side of the polyline as the original head you selected to copy.


Note: You can set the default pipe data for your project in the Irrigation Preferences. (36:10)

36:50 – 39:15: Schematic Irrigation

Note: The available Schematic Irrigation categories are based on your Preference Sets. If you don’t see any Schematic categories in the Schematic Irrigation Zones dialog box, you can populate these categories by selecting a different Preference Set.


Want to set your Preferences from scratch, not based on any existing Preferences? Use the Default Preference Set. (37:30)


To fill out all the available Schematic categories, select either our Imperial or Metric Preference Set. Both of these Preference Sets include all our default Schematic categories. (38:15)

39:16 – 42:09: Irrigation Data & Project Templates

We’re often asked why irrigation data isn’t included in project templates. It’s because irrigation data is constantly changing. For example, manufacturers discontinue certain products and make new ones available. They may also offer different performance data or nozzle and radius sizes for the same equipment. If you were to include irrigation equipment in your templates, you would be constantly scrambling to make sure it’s all correct. (And chances are, it wouldn’t be.) It’s just as quick and easy to add the equipment freshly to each new project.


It’s also possible to import irrigation equipment from other projects – you just have to make sure you’re diligent about bringing in the correct equipment and data. (41:50)

42:10 – 45:29: Smart Arc

Our Smart Arc tool allows you to pick the appropriate points for a head’s spray arc. Once you’ve selected the points, the tool will place the appropriate nozzle for those points.


Smart Arc will also rotate your head blocks appropriately according to the points you pick. (44:10)

45:30 – 51:38: Sizing Pipes

Sizing the lateral pipe for one valve at a time (46:20)


Reading & Understanding the Size Lateral Pipes Dialog Box (46:34)


Reading the Pressure Variation in your laterals (47:24)


Reading the flow rate for each pipe size in the Pressure Required section (48:40)


Elevation Loss for the laterals (50:25)


Loss Through Valve for the laterals (50:45)

51:39 – end: Verification Tools

Sizing the Mainline (51:39)


Verify Laterals & Verify Mainline Tools (52:00)

These tools check your pipe layout for errors such as unpiped heads.



Highlight Station (53:29)

Highlight Station shows you the components of a valve station in your design. It’s a valuable tool for checking whether you’ve piped everything correctly for that valve.

Note: It’s extremely important to size the laterals again after using Highlight Station, in order to account for any updates in your system. (53:45)


Using Verify Mainline to check for errors such as valves that aren’t connected to a water source (54:10)


You can also use Highlight Station on the water source, which will highlight the entire mainline layout that’s connected to the source – and as a result, locate any disconnections or other errors (example: a deleted pipe fitting). (54:40)


Move Piped Equipment (55:20)

Using our Move Piped Equipment tool to move equipment that’s already been piped, along with the pipe that’s connected to it (55:20)


Sizing the laterals and mainline again (57:30)


Critical Analysis (58:30)

The Critical Analysis pops up then you size the mainline – or you can place a Critical Analysis manually using the Critical Analysis tool. It shows important data about your system layout, including water meter size, available pressure and flow, elevation changes, etc.


The Critical Station (59:05)

Listed in the Critical Analysis, the Critical Station is the irrigation station in your design with the highest pressure and flow needs. It’s an important indicator of your system’s overall needs.


Valve Schedule (1:00:35)

A Valve Schedule helps you see all the different pressure and valve loss statistics across all the valves in your design.


Spot Elevation (1:02:10)

Placing Spot Elevations and using them to help define the amount of pressure loss your system will experience based on elevation differences (1:02:10)


Using Spot Elevations when sizing the mainline (1:03:30)


Reading the elevation pressure loss in the Critical Analysis (1:04:45)


Using the Valve Schedule to read elevation pressure losses and friction losses (1:05:20)

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