At a minimum, it is highly desirable to have a pressure gauge pre-installed on the zone downstream from the zone valve (solenoid valve) and one pre-installed at the end of the zone to show pressure loss in the zone.
A flow meter is handy for measuring the flow during the test to give an idea before and during the test about the discharge of the sprinklers. The actual recorded flow can later be compared to the expected flow based on the flow meter reading. It is good to know the expected flow so that the length of time for collecting water in the cans can be set. A collection of nozzle discharges can be used to compare to initial specs for the nozzle and to help to find nozzle wear. The set of drill bits should be used to check for nozzle wear on older systems. Compare drill bit fit to the fit on a new nozzle of the same size.
The duration of the test should match the normal operating time of the sprinkler irrigation system. This provides an accurate measure of the uniformity of coverage in a typical irrigation. If the irrigation system is automated and already programmed into the controller, then running the system on its normal schedule is more representative of factual operating conditions. Be sure to time the test period with a stop watch – do not assume the controller is entirely accurate. In fact the stop watch should check the controller for accuracy.
Data Sheet – make a table to include these:
Sprinkler spacing = feet x feet
Diameter of sprinkler coverage (throw) = feet
Initial nozzle pressures: psi
Initial nozzle discharge: gpm
Initial wind speed:
Final nozzle pressures:
Final nozzle discharge:
Final wind speed:
Average wind speed:
Length of time the system was run for data: