Make Hand Watering Easy and Save Water with the Leemco L2 Quick Coupler

To help you get going Leemco is now offering a special promotion for a limited time:

GET A FREE KEY FOR EVERY 50 L2QC VALVES PURCHASED 

Quick coupler designs have not changed since their invention in the early 1900s. The L2 quick coupler valve and key from Leemco is a giant leap forward in innovation. It was way past time for improvements in simplicity, use, and safety. We have incorporated all those and more into the new L2 irrigation quick coupler.  

Water management has become critical as the shortages of water become worse. The first step in water management for turf managers should be hand watering. Making hand watering quicker and easier using the L2 will save water and improve turf health.  

Turf and soil do not dry evenly for many reasons such as topography, contours, soil types, sun/shade, and more. The drying out process starts with dry spots only a few square meters in area such as in the photo below. The superintendent has three choices:

  1. Do nothing.
  2. Turn up the time on the nearby sprinklers.  
  3. Use a hose to supplement the area in need (ideal).
The Leemco L2 quick coupler makes hand watering golf courses easy
The L2 irrigation quick coupler (click for animated video)

Doing nothing is not a good option if turf managers want to keep their jobs, so options 2 or 3 are the only actual choices. Since most fairways don’t have easy access to quick couplers, option 2 is the typical choice. The result is a waste of water from overwatering other areas that were not dry, detracting from the playability of the golf course.   

eliminate dry spots on golf courses with the l2 quick coupler
Dry spots on a golf course

Hand Watering Conserves Water And Improves Playability

If four 25gpm+ sprinklers at a 19m radius each are used to irrigate the small dry spots, they are watering about 1,134m2 rather than just a few square meters. If they operate for only fifteen minutes that’s 1,500 gallons of water wasted each time.

Compounding that over the entire course, year after year, the wasted water is SIGNIFICANT. Additionally, the negative impact on playability in the area that was irrigated without needing it means no more “firm and fast”.  

Proper water management applies THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF WATER, AT THE RIGHT TIME, IN THE RIGHT PLACE. That process starts with a hose irrigating only the dry spots in need whether they are greens, tees, fairways, roughs, or any other turf area. Many turf managers are now incorporating soil moisture sensing into their management practices. The L2 allows them the best tool to be able to react to this soil moisture data.  

Sprinkler adjustments are good for adapting to the daily weather changes, but not for the small dry areas that are often the biggest problem. Without a nearby quick coupler, the crew must remove the sprinkler’s internal and “cone” it to access water. That process is time-consuming, and the plastic sprinkler actuators are not designed for this use on a regular basis.

The sprinkler manufacturers do not sell the cones, nor do they condone their use. Also, when “coning” part circle sprinklers the internals are often replaced with the arc adjustment misaligned, so they misapply the water. The problem is often not noticed until the grass is in distress, which could have been avoided. 

stop coning sprinklers and use the l2 quick coupler instead
Sprinkler coning

Pulling a hose full of water for a long distance on the fairways or greens is difficult. To make hand-watering more readily available quick couplers should be added so the entire turf can be reached by a 25-30m hose. At a minimum, all problem areas should be covered. In existing courses, those problem areas are known. However, in new constructions they are not, so adding quick couplers to provide complete coverage should be included in the design.

Adding enough quick couplers to cover the entire golf course turf does not require as many as you would think and the benefits are tremendous. The reduction in water and power use will soon pay for the initial investment and the improved turf and playability will be significant. Then the superintendent is not handcuffed to either:

  1. Doing nothing.
  2. Turning up the time on the nearby sprinklers.  

With ready access to quick couplers, you can greatly conserve water while improving playing conditions.  

Golf architects and irrigation consultants cannot water the grass for the superintendents, but they can give them the tools to do it correctly. The lack of ready access to quick couplers for hand watering when needed is why so many courses are too wet!

Why is the L2 a superior quick coupler and what are its benefits?

The main benefit of the L2 is that screwing the key into the valve is not necessary. As a result, the L2 is quicker, easier, and safer to use. Anyone who has hand-watered knows how dangerous it can be to operate a quick coupler that is under 80 – 120psi of water pressure. The key and valve can quickly turn into flying projectiles.

With the L2 there is no fumbling with the key trying to align the guide with the slot in the valve (in the video the crew member does the process one-handed)! This is not easy to do in plain view, much less in a wet hole in the ground, sometimes in the dark. Because regular quick couplers must be screwed in, they can be difficult to turn on and off when dirt and debris get caught between the key and the valve. 

How many times have we seen crew members kicking the valve key to get it to screw out of the valve? Not with the L2.

The L2 key installs at any angle into the valve. Since there is no rotation of the key into the valve, there is no screwing: problem solved!

With regular quick couplers, if the valve is installed a little too low and the ground is uneven, the handle gets caught on the turf so it cannot rotate. This is when the kicking starts!

the l2 quick coupler key can be operated with one hand only
Operating the L2 quick coupler with one hand only

The benefits of the L2 make it far superior to conventional quick couplers

  • Ease of Use
  • Safety
  • Adjustable Flow
  • Stop Coning Sprinklers
  • Stainless Steel Construction
  • Water Savings
  • Locking Cap
  • Built-In Port for Pressure Gauge
  • Ten Year Warranty

How to design an irrigation system using the L2 quick coupler?

You should design the irrigation system so all the turf can be accessed by a 30m (or less) hose from a quick coupler, to allow for dry spot irrigation. This is especially true where the terrain is undulating and other variables like soil type, sun/shade, and turf type exist in proximity.

Unlike sprinklers, hoses do not need to overlap, so it doesn’t require nearly as many quick couplers as you may think to cover an entire golf course.

The 2-hole example below using 30m coverage circles for the quick couplers only added 7 L2s per par-4 fairway. Each green is designed with 2 quick couplers and 3 per tee for a total of 24 for the 2 holes. For an 18-hole golf course, excluding the driving range, the total number of quick couplers needed would be 184 (greens = 38, tees = 54, fairways/roughs = 92).

quick coupler fairway design
Example 2-Hole Quick Coupler Design with Full Coverage

Quick couplers do not require wire and are typically installed adjacent to a sprinkler with the pipe already available, so the cost to install is low. The complete assembly should only cost around $125, plus a few keys

Quick couplers do not require wire and are typically installed adjacent to a sprinkler with the pipe already available, so the cost to install is low. The complete assembly should only cost around $125, plus a few keys, and is well worth the investment.

That makes the cost of 92 fairway and rough quick coupling valves around $12,000 (contact your local distributor for exact pricing). Not much to save water and power while improving turf quality and playability at the same time.

Normally an investment of 10 times that cost, or more, is required to achieve as much impact and with much more inconvenience to the golfers. Adding quick couplers is a simple task and can be performed by the maintenance staff.  

From our previous example, if nearly 1,500 gallons are wasted each time a dry spot is irrigated using sprinklers, it won’t take long to regain the investment. One occurrence per hole per day for 100 days equals 2,700,000 gallons of water per year!

The players will thank you for the firmer fairways and more roll on their drives. Much cheaper than buying a new driver!

How does the L2 quick coupler key make hand watering easy?  

The 360-degree access to install the key into the valve and no need for turning make the L2 the easiest irrigation quick coupler to use by far.

See how easy the L2 is to use in this short video. It is so easy the crew member installs and activates the key with one hand (click to open).

As you can see in the video the key slides into the valve at any angle making installation simple and safe. The ON/OFF handle rotates with the first 90 degrees of rotation locking the key into place and the next 90 degrees of rotation adjusting the flow rate. Clockwise – LOCK/ON, Counter-clockwise – UNLOCK/OFF.

Once locked in place the L2 offers fully adjustable flow control. No need to add extra valves at the end of the hose. The only way to regulate flow on a conventional quick coupler is to not fully screw the key into the valve which isn’t safe.

The L2 also offers an easy-to-use safety clip and cable between the key and valve for extra safety if desired.

How to install the L2 quick coupler valve?

l2 quick coupler hose swivel with pressure gauge
Hose swivel with pressure gauge

Knowing the pressure at various locations on your golf course can be very helpful to verify that your sprinklers operate as they should.

Turf managers should check their static and dynamic pressures from time to time as part of their routine maintenance. Where and how can that be done on systems now? It’s easy with the L2 quick coupler.

The hose swivel on the key has a built-in port to easily accommodate a pressure gauge (sold separately) for just that reason. When new courses are built, a pressure gauge can provide contractors and consultants access to valuable pressure data.

The L2 can be quickly installed in minutes by either the maintenance crew or a contractor. No stabilizer or wire is required so the process is simple.  

The only materials needed are:

  • Lateral pipe saddle
  • Swing joint 
  • Leemco L2QC key
  • 6” round valve box

Since there is no turning of the key into the valve the stabilizer is not required but can be optionally installed. 

how to install the l2 quick coupler valve
L2 valve installation

Follow the Leemco installation instructions summarized below:

  1. Locate and clean the lateral pipe.
  2. Mount the saddle body onto the pipe. 
  3. Position the lower saddle strap beneath the pipe. 
  4. Align bolts into the top and bottom of the saddle and finger tighten the nuts onto the bolts. Tighten all nuts evenly in increments. Do not overtighten because when the pipe is pressurized it will expand and increase torque significantly. 
leemco saddle
Leemco saddle
leemco lateral angle valve
Leemco lateral angle valve

When you install quick couplers near lateral valves, Leemco lateral angle valves provide a 1” plug that eliminates the need for a saddle.

Just unscrew the 1” plug and install the swing joint directly to the lateral valve. 

The quick coupler is active even when the valve is closed so great to have near greens!

How to change old quick coupler valves on my course to the L2?

How you proceed with a change to the L2 will depend on the number of quick couplers you currently have installed and your budget. Upgrading to the L2 on your course or facility is easy, but you need to consider how to put in place the change. The L2 keys and valves are not compatible with any other manufacturers’ equipment.  

Converting an 18-hole project including fairways and roughs requires approximately 184 quick couplers. The cost of this is an estimated $12,500, excluding labor.

We know money is tight and there are other needs, so the conversion to the L2 can be done in phases over time. This is possible when different personnel handles watering a set number of holes, such as the back nine separate from the front nine.

In our example, 9 holes could be changed at a time so the valves and keys in that area match. When additional funds are available the next phase or phases could be installed.

Once an area is converted you can easily add more L2s as needed. When you see the benefits and ease of use you and your staff will definitely want more!

Contact your local distributor and they can help get a plan and list of quantities prepared using your current as-built drawing. 

Promotion

To help you get your changeout going Leemco is now offering a special promotion for a limited time:

GET A FREE KEY FOR EVERY 50 L2QC VALVES PURCHASED 

CONTACT LEEMCO OR YOUR LOCAL DISTRIBUTOR TODAY TO GET STARTED CONVERTING TO THE L2QC!

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