PDA

View Full Version : Rapid Rain or Micro Rain sprinklers



Indy-lou
Jun. 14, 2008, 09:13 PM
Has anybody had experience using the Rapid Rain Sprinkler system for their arena? I realize it's not anything more than a sprinkler on wheels that automatically moves and then shuts itself off, but I am interested in how durable and reliable and anything else your experience may be with such things. I have an outdoor arena, and thought I could set this thing in the morning to water at a certain rate and come back later (without babysitting it) to a watered arena?

slc2
Jun. 14, 2008, 09:27 PM
Oh boy. Where to start.

One does have to be very careful and follow the instructions rather well. Or one will flood one's arena. Some will flood one's arena multiple times, and gradually discover additional instructions and guidelines that need to be followed.

If one gets any sand, say, or grit or anything like that in one's hose, or say, in the threads that connect the hose to the sprinkler, one can count on it clogging the sprayer and having an alarming effect on where the water goes, or if it goes out of the sprinkler at all. And if it doesn't go out of the sprinkler, it will burst some connection somewhere else.

If one were to forget, say, to re-engage the gear and tighten down the knurled knob after setting out the sprinkler, one would find, when one came back an hour later, that the sprinkler had stayed in the original position and completely flooded the arena.

Or, one might not put the main unit on a stable surface (a plastic box lid under the main unit may prevent this), it may tip down the slightest bit and the lever will not turn off the sprinkler, and it will completely flood the area NEXT to the unit.

Or say, one might for example not have enough water pressure at some point, or the turbine might at some point not be sufficiently lubricated, and the hose will stop at some point and flood THAT area of the arena.

Then there is the possibility that you will forget to maintain it over the winter, and the water turbine will cease turning at all.

Then there's the problem of disassembling the sprinkler if it gets clogged with above dirt. That can take some time, and there's a certain inscrutable nothingness that makes the sprinkler work, that takes a long time to discover, especially if you reassemble it incorrectly. Oh and keep plenty of spare parts and teflon tape around if you take the sprinkler off the delivery pipe to maintain it.

Oh. Don't overtighten any of the parts. Lots of the parts are plastic. And some are plastic parts that screw on to the metal delivery tube, and it's VERY easy to overtighten them and have them crack, and then you have to try to figure out where to get spare parts.

All in all, it will help you discover how many different ways you can flood your arena.

Then there is the issue of how the width it sprays changes mysteriously. Grit in the sprayer? Change in water pressure? You may wind up going down the track on both sides of the ring, and spraying them with a hose after the waterer has done, and you may also need to spray your corners, because the sprayer makes a circular pattern, and misses them.

Oh. Don't leave it out in an unheated area if it gets cold. Don't store it in an unheated area. And it won't work if it's very cold, but water probably won't help you much then anyway, unless you add something to keep it from freezing.

I'm really kidding. It is a very nice piece of equipment overall, well made and decently sturdy.

But unless you really are into following directions - unless you really LOVE the concept of following directions, and set it up exactly the same every time, and plan to maintain it a few times a year and especially before storing it, you are going to get frustrated.

Indy-lou
Jun. 14, 2008, 09:35 PM
Hmmm...a cautionary tale, to be sure. Do you have the smaller one or the larger one? How old is yours? We have very hard water here. Hard doesn't even really begin to describe it. Will this thing gum up?

FriesianX
Jun. 15, 2008, 05:43 PM
Don't forget the other problem - you'll have a very wet soggy line down the middle of your arena, and very light water on the edges where you ride. After a while, this will affect your base and footing. For the price, pay to have someone drop a few sprinklers around your ring!!!

slc2
Jun. 15, 2008, 06:02 PM
Ours is very new, a year old. We have the smaller version.

We are looking into having sprinklers mounted on the kickboards that spray out horizontally. I don't like the idea of ceiling nozzles. Every system we've seen drips and makes slipperly puddles, or misses areas, or douses the kick boards.

I saw a system in Europe that is mounted behind a kick board, and pops out when it's time to spray. They don't have as much trouble draining and dripping, and they don't miss as large an area of corners.

As for dripping down the center line - we changed to the 'fast' gear on our Rainmaker and it sprays much less water, and it didn't drip much til I had to dismantled it over and over to get grit out. After breaking the piece that goes on the steel tube several times while trying to eliminate the 'center line drip phenomenon, I found replacement parts at the discount stores and keep a bunch on hand, but I am still afraid to tighten the piece down too much and break it again.

Indy-lou
Jun. 20, 2008, 03:51 PM
Where did all the grit come from or how did it enter into the contraption? I think if I try this thing, I'll get the lesser priced model. Thanks for all your posts, really informative.

slc2
Jun. 20, 2008, 05:32 PM
Grit is any dust, sand, dirt or the like, that is on or in the hose you hook to the rapid rain.

movo
Jun. 20, 2008, 10:17 PM
I have an outdoor arena (in Florida) and we own an irrigation company. I very much like what I have in my arena and that is: I have a sprinkler head every 30 ft. They are on risers (4' 6" tall PVC pipe) and attached to the fence posts on three sides. They are rotary sprayers, you can set for whatever part of a full rotation you want and they throw water about 40 ft. I don't have any in the middle, but I do have a privacy fence on the fourth side and they are in the ground there and popup. I don't have any problems riding that side at all, or dragging. The heads are not visible at all when they are not popped up. They are tucked right next to the fence. Our entire arena gets watered and we set the schedule on a controller. We water it mostly at night. That's convenient and the water gets a chance to soak in and not evaporate before it does what we want. You will not get puddles, or dripping, or uneven watering.

I think most of the labor could be done by a handy person. It's not that hard. Most of the parts could be bought at Home Depot. We use commercial grade heads, but those are also available to individuals by contacting an irrigation supplier.

I love it. No dust at all and keeps my footing base perfect.

If it gets to freezing where you are in the winter, then you would just drain the system before that weather season comes. Of course, in Florida, we do not have to bury pipe very deep because we don't freeze very often. If we do, then it's not for very long.

I'm EBO
Jun. 20, 2008, 10:59 PM
Small world--I just ordered the larger Rapid Rain. I wanted one to irrigate my pasture, which is Bermuda on heavy clay soil. I'd tried flood irrigation, but, ugh, what a mess. The run-out-and-move-the-sprinkler business got very old very soon, but still better and less hard work than flood irrigation.

I asked a bunch of questions before I decided to order the larger model, but if I wanted to water an arena, I'd definitely get the smaller unit. The reason behind my choice is that I'm moving water to the pasture with a gasoline-powered pump--it runs about 1.5--2 hrs on 1/2 gallon of gasoline, so I want to put as much water out there on the grass as I possibly can per tank of gasoline.

If you order the RapidRain, you have your choice between a pasture gearbox (slow) or an arena gearbox (faster).

I thought about putting in a system such as movo has, but I've got 7 acres in the pasture that will get sprinkled, so any system I use almost has to be portable. And, I was afraid that the horses would destroy the sprinklers, and probably the pipe, as well.

I also looked at the Nelsons and the Smith Waterreels. They were nicer and more complex than the RR, but cost twice as much--always a factor.

Indy-lou, I'm also in California. I'm using canal water now, but may go to our well water after our irrigation season ends. Our water is so hard that I'm surprised it's even liquid. If I use the RR with it, the RR will get a vinegar bath after every use. (I have to soak our shower heads in vinegar periodically or we have about two working spray holes after a little while.)

movo
Jun. 21, 2008, 09:16 AM
I have sprinklers all over my pastures. They are on swing-joints. That means that when the horses/tractor step on them, they sink into the ground and come back up when the pressure is gone. I have absolutely no problem with riding, driving my carts, dragging, or anything else. In fact, I have to turn them on in order to tell where they are.

We use water from our pond to irrigate and if the pond gets low, we fill up the pond from the well. It keeps the pond water from getting stale and prevents any nasties like algae from forming, also prevents mosquitoes. We are in Florida and have no mosquitoes on our property. (we also have two sprinkler heads spraying the pond to keep the water moving).

We can also inject different things into the sprinkler system to fertilize through the sprinkler system, or put out fly and mosquito killer. (We use stuff that does not harm the horses, dogs, etc.)

Here's what water can do for you. ------ Here's a corner of my pasture. Neighbors pasture behind. This is a small pasture about 1-1/2 acres with three horses on it.

http://www.dropshots.com/movo#date/2008-06-14/12:06:30

Here's another pasture. This one has about one acre with four ponies. You can see the sprinklers on the arena fence line in this pic.

http://www.dropshots.com/movo#date/2008-06-14/12:05:11

We have done the same type of systems for different customers with boarding barns, etc. and they haven't had any problems. You have to bury the pipe a little deeper in very high traffic areas (like lanes) or avoid the high traffic areas with the pipes. Having the system also enables you to put hose bibs (water faucets) just about anywhere.

My pastures look like lawns. The down side is mowing.

slc2
Jun. 21, 2008, 09:35 AM
yours sounds similar to a system i saw - a lady had a system in her indoor arena that popped up and forward, and sprayed horizontally. each sprinkler sprayed about 35 feet and the spray patterns met in the middle of the arena; there were sprinkler heads all down the long side of the indoor arena, i'd guess, about 1 every 30 feet, about a half dozen of them on one long side of the indoora rena. that's what i'd like, not an overhead system.

I'm EBO
Jun. 21, 2008, 11:12 AM
slc2, do you use your unit strictly for arena wetting, or do you squirt your lawn and pasture as well? If so, how does it work?

slc2
Jun. 21, 2008, 03:22 PM
SURE we used it on our pasture! That's how we came to need a new well pump!!!! Cha ching!

I'm EBO
Jun. 21, 2008, 06:25 PM
A new pump????:confused:

How did that come to pass?

RapidRain
Aug. 21, 2009, 11:20 AM
This is a great topic and I am glad to see everyone is happy with our product here at Rapid Rain (http://www.rapidrain.com). It is very interesting to read all of your replies.

We take pride in our customer service so if you have any issues with your product please do not hesitate to call our corporate office. We would be glad to assist you. If you are also needing any parts or accessories we can help you there as well.
Rapid Rain - 1-888-734-7246

We have a lot of big things planned for the coming months so you should most definately keep up on our blog, social networking sites, and website if you are in any industry that coincides with mobile irrigation. Lots of freebies too in the coming months :)

Rapid Rain Twitter Site (www.twitter.com/rapid_rain)

The Rapid Rain Blog (http://www.rapidrain.blogspot.com)
-There are some great articles on the blog about us, drought info, and editorials-

We have recently announced a T-Shirt slogan contest where the winner will receive a $300 dollar cash prize RAPID RAIN T-SHIRT CONTEST (http://rapidrain.blogspot.com/2009/08/rapid-rain-t-shirt-slogan-contest.html)

Thanks,
Tommy Field
Marketing & PR
Rapid Rain
tommy@rapidrain.com

thatmoody
Aug. 21, 2009, 11:44 AM
I have an outdoor arena (in Florida) and we own an irrigation company. I very much like what I have in my arena and that is: I have a sprinkler head every 30 ft. They are on risers (4' 6" tall PVC pipe) and attached to the fence posts on three sides. They are rotary sprayers, you can set for whatever part of a full rotation you want and they throw water about 40 ft. I don't have any in the middle, but I do have a privacy fence on the fourth side and they are in the ground there and popup. I don't have any problems riding that side at all, or dragging. The heads are not visible at all when they are not popped up. They are tucked right next to the fence. Our entire arena gets watered and we set the schedule on a controller. We water it mostly at night. That's convenient and the water gets a chance to soak in and not evaporate before it does what we want. You will not get puddles, or dripping, or uneven watering.

I think most of the labor could be done by a handy person. It's not that hard. Most of the parts could be bought at Home Depot. We use commercial grade heads, but those are also available to individuals by contacting an irrigation supplier.

I love it. No dust at all and keeps my footing base perfect.

If it gets to freezing where you are in the winter, then you would just drain the system before that weather season comes. Of course, in Florida, we do not have to bury pipe very deep because we don't freeze very often. If we do, then it's not for very long.

This is what we have as well - plain old sprinkler heads mounted on the posts on the fence around the arena. It really freaks the stallion out when I turn him out there and turn the sprinklers on :D.

RapidRain
Aug. 21, 2009, 12:52 PM
Small world--I just ordered the larger Rapid Rain. I wanted one to irrigate my pasture, which is Bermuda on heavy clay soil. I'd tried flood irrigation, but, ugh, what a mess. The run-out-and-move-the-sprinkler business got very old very soon, but still better and less hard work than flood irrigation.

I asked a bunch of questions before I decided to order the larger model, but if I wanted to water an arena, I'd definitely get the smaller unit. The reason behind my choice is that I'm moving water to the pasture with a gasoline-powered pump--it runs about 1.5--2 hrs on 1/2 gallon of gasoline, so I want to put as much water out there on the grass as I possibly can per tank of gasoline.

If you order the RapidRain, you have your choice between a pasture gearbox (slow) or an arena gearbox (faster).

I thought about putting in a system such as movo has, but I've got 7 acres in the pasture that will get sprinkled, so any system I use almost has to be portable. And, I was afraid that the horses would destroy the sprinklers, and probably the pipe, as well.

I also looked at the Nelsons and the Smith Waterreels. They were nicer and more complex than the RR, but cost twice as much--always a factor.

Indy-lou, I'm also in California. I'm using canal water now, but may go to our well water after our irrigation season ends. Our water is so hard that I'm surprised it's even liquid. If I use the RR with it, the RR will get a vinegar bath after every use. (I have to soak our shower heads in vinegar periodically or we have about two working spray holes after a little while.)

This is great input. I'm glad you are enjoying our product :)

If anyone has ordered a Rapid Rain with the pasture gearbox and you feel you may be mechanically inclined enough where you would like to change the gear to an arena model gearbox for personal preference please send me an e-mail with your contact information and I would be happy to have our logistics team mail you the part for free.

Thanks,
Tommy Field
tommy@rapidrain.com

Lambie Boat
Aug. 21, 2009, 08:41 PM
why did I mis-read it as Mr. Tommy Field is throwing a wet t-shirt contest, with a $300 first prize? :winkgrin:


Mr. Field, trust me. You don't want to see it :eek:

myhorsefly
Aug. 21, 2009, 11:05 PM
I have an arena Rapid Rain Sprinkler. The company is very nice to deal with.
However, here are my misgivings:

First I had it hooked up to a hose, and had pressure problems. The supposed coverage of the head did not live up to what it was supposed to be. The sprinkler head was rather cheap (plastic parts). I went to a landscape supplier and got a really GOOD quality head, made of solid brass (no plastic) and that improved it, a little. I also hooked it up to a hydrant, for more pressure. It didn't help, and here's why: the diameter of the valve you connect your hose to is too small (standard hose size), therefore, even if you use a hydrant with tons of water pressure and a larger hose, you will never get any more water into the machine than it's valve diameter is capable of. Consequently, it still doesn't get the edges of the arena wetted properly.
It would be nice if they would redesign the water valve size.

inca
Aug. 23, 2009, 06:39 PM
myhorsefly - which model do you have - the smaller one or the larger one? I am seriously considering buying one and my hubby thinks I need the larger one. $1,595 is a LOT of money so I want to be sure it will actually work! I would feel better experimenting with $695 for the smaller one but I think it would not get the edges of my arena at all since my arena is about 75' wide, if not a little more.

myhorsefly
Aug. 24, 2009, 01:27 AM
Inca,
I have the cheaper one, however I spoke at length with the company support team, and they assured me it would work (claiming the width of spray would cover my 20 x 60 meter arena).
I called several times, after using it, and was told the problem was my water pressure. They suggested I use one of their water pumps (which they never have in stock), however:
1. I don't have power at my arena
2. there is no way to force more water through the narrow hose size, it's a matter of physics and capacity.

I then hooked it up to my fire hydrant (which has more than enough pressure) and it still didn't fix the problem.
The new sprinkler head I put on has a wider spread.

My personal opinion is that you can never get more water pressure than the amount of flow possible going through the machine. The problem with the machine is that it has a standard hose hook up and metal tubing, as well as the standard hose connected to the retracting sprinkler. There is no way to allow a large hose's increased volume capabilities, when you have to attach it to the standard hose bib.

petit fromage
Sep. 15, 2009, 12:30 PM
I am using my Rapid Rain (the smaller version) for the second year. Let's see....

At first, it wouldn't turn off..because I had the "turn-off lever" twisted to the side.

One time the sprinkler fell over in the sand and got grit in it. Solved that by spraying in a generous amount of Silicon lubricant.

When dragging the RR around, I am always careful to hold onto a section of hose so not to break the plastic fittings. Also, I store it in the heated garage in the winter since freezing it would obviously be no good.

I change watering patterns in my arena to avoid having the "wet stripe down the middle" thing. Sometimes I spray diagonally, down the quarter lines (have a 20x40 small dressage arena) or even the short way. I find the spray pattern easy to adjust.

That's about it. No water pressure or flooding problems. Does the job I ask it to do.

RapidRain
Sep. 22, 2009, 04:50 PM
petit fromage:

The plastic piece you speak of that you were having issues with is now made in brass. If you would like us to send you this free or charge to replace, feel free to call me at the office.

405-521-0565
Tommy Field - Rapid Rain
PR & Marketing

chism
Sep. 22, 2009, 10:32 PM
Oh boy. Where to start.

One does have to be very careful and follow the instructions rather well. Or one will flood one's arena. Some will flood one's arena multiple times, and gradually discover additional instructions and guidelines that need to be followed.

If one gets any sand, say, or grit or anything like that in one's hose, or say, in the threads that connect the hose to the sprinkler, one can count on it clogging the sprayer and having an alarming effect on where the water goes, or if it goes out of the sprinkler at all. And if it doesn't go out of the sprinkler, it will burst some connection somewhere else.

If one were to forget, say, to re-engage the gear and tighten down the knurled knob after setting out the sprinkler, one would find, when one came back an hour later, that the sprinkler had stayed in the original position and completely flooded the arena.

Or, one might not put the main unit on a stable surface (a plastic box lid under the main unit may prevent this), it may tip down the slightest bit and the lever will not turn off the sprinkler, and it will completely flood the area NEXT to the unit.

Or say, one might for example not have enough water pressure at some point, or the turbine might at some point not be sufficiently lubricated, and the hose will stop at some point and flood THAT area of the arena.

Then there is the possibility that you will forget to maintain it over the winter, and the water turbine will cease turning at all.

Then there's the problem of disassembling the sprinkler if it gets clogged with above dirt. That can take some time, and there's a certain inscrutable nothingness that makes the sprinkler work, that takes a long time to discover, especially if you reassemble it incorrectly. Oh and keep plenty of spare parts and teflon tape around if you take the sprinkler off the delivery pipe to maintain it.

Oh. Don't overtighten any of the parts. Lots of the parts are plastic. And some are plastic parts that screw on to the metal delivery tube, and it's VERY easy to overtighten them and have them crack, and then you have to try to figure out where to get spare parts.

All in all, it will help you discover how many different ways you can flood your arena.

Then there is the issue of how the width it sprays changes mysteriously. Grit in the sprayer? Change in water pressure? You may wind up going down the track on both sides of the ring, and spraying them with a hose after the waterer has done, and you may also need to spray your corners, because the sprayer makes a circular pattern, and misses them.

Oh. Don't leave it out in an unheated area if it gets cold. Don't store it in an unheated area. And it won't work if it's very cold, but water probably won't help you much then anyway, unless you add something to keep it from freezing.

I'm really kidding. It is a very nice piece of equipment overall, well made and decently sturdy.

But unless you really are into following directions - unless you really LOVE the concept of following directions, and set it up exactly the same every time, and plan to maintain it a few times a year and especially before storing it, you are going to get frustrated.

Hahahahaha I couldn't agree more! We had one...it seemed like a great idea at the time. It just wasn't idiot proof enough, heck it wasn't even "gadget handy, can fix anything and everything, barn manager" proof. No matter what we did, no matter how careful we were....either it ended up shutting off when we thought it was watering or flooding the arena. Now it's sitting in the storage area collecting dust, could probably give you a great deal on it. lol

petit fromage
Sep. 23, 2009, 11:34 AM
Rapid Rain,
No issue with the plastic pieces. Since it looked as though they could be snapped by excessive twisting or yanking, I just avoid those motions.
I keep my unit parked in the corner of the arena and use as necessary....except in the winter when it is stored away in the heated garage.

RapidRain
Oct. 15, 2009, 10:05 AM
It is great to hear everyone is enjoying their Rapid Rain.

RapidRain
Jul. 19, 2010, 11:54 AM
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and keeping out of the heat as much as they can. For the members on this thread who own Rapid Rain units, if you have any questions etc give us a call: 405-844-4107.