How Does An Automatic Sprinkler System Work
No property owner likes dragging heavy hoses around their yard to water it. Plus, they get clogged and snagged way too often. Thats when we often start thinking about installing an automatic sprinkler system.
These use a timer and controller to set up an automated watering schedule which makes life so much easier and saves time and money. Its also a great way to keep your landscaping efficiently watered while eliminating the physical labour it takes to do so.
But how does it work? Lets find out.
Top 10 Tips For The Best Soaker Hose Application
Maintain a lush garden without the high cost of watering it. Don’t use those sprinklers on vegetable or flower gardens because most of that water is lost to evaporation. Your answer is in the form of a soaker hose. These basic hoses have tiny perforations that allow water to seep through and into the ground. To get the most out of your system, try these top 10 tips for the best soaker hose setup.
Tip 1: Start With Level Ground Your soaker hose system design functions best when the ground is level. The science behind these hoses is based on a uniform distribution of water within the conduit. Any slope to the ground forces the water to one part of the hose. This scenario defeats the purpose of the hose’s design. That one area receives most of the water while the remaining soil stays largely dry. Reserve the soaker hoses for flat areas instead of rocky or hilly applications.
Takeaway 1: A flat layout gives optimal performance in a soaker watering system. Tip 2: Skip the Sprinkler Connection
The pressure moving through your sprinkler system is too great for soaker hoses. They might break down the rubber and plastic materials. Connect your hose to a standard faucet. They’re typically found against the home’s wall just outside of your garden. Some homes have more than one so you have some versatility.
Takeaway 2: A soaker hose does not work to connect with a traditional inground watering system. It can, however, supplement areas not sufficiently watered by in-ground systems.
How To Program Your Hunter Sprinkler System
The best way to care for your lawn is by installing a sprinkler system for irrigation. However, a common mistake that so many homeowners make is using their sprinklers too little or too often.
Overwatering your lawn is not only extremely wasteful, but it can oversaturate the soil, making it impossible for plants to take root. This will eventually cause your grass to die, leaving you with a muddy, dead lawn instead. And of course, not using enough water or spraying infrequently will dry out your yard especially during long, hot summers.
This is why programming your sprinkler system is the best choice for both residential and commercial irrigation.
TheHunter Sprinkler System is a great option that is easy to program for a healthy, green lawn all year round.
Here are a couple of reasons why this solution is a game-changer as well as what is needed for a complete watering program.
Read Also: How To Fix Lawn Depressions
How Much Does It Cost To Install A Sprinkler System
A professionally installed system for a typical ¼-acre lot is $3,000 to $4,000. But you can DIY it for under $1,500. The heart of an underground system is pop-up sprinkler heads. An average 2500-square-foot ground, its around $1,500-$2,500, whereas a system for 5000 sq. feet prices about$2,500-$3,500.
Check Your Lawn For Freezes
Prior to de-winterizing your sprinklers, check your lawn for frozen soil. Get a shovel and in a hidden part of your lawn, dig at least one foot into the soil. If you hit frozen ground, it means its still too soon and you should wait for about 2 weeks before performing another dig test.
Starting up your sprinkler system in spring when the ground is still frozen can damage your water lines. If you must water your plants, use a water hose instead while waiting for the soil to thaw.
Read Also: Hydroseeding Mix Chart
The Problem With Lawns
Actually there’s not one but many. The biggest obstacle to good lawn health is a lack of regular watering. I noticed this issue with my own lawn during the long, dog days of summer when the weather here in Louisville, Kentucky, is at its hottest, with high humidity, but not enough rain.
It was within these stretches when small sections of my green lawn began to turn brown. While not a sign of true grass death, it did indicate my lawn was under stress and reacting by going dormant. This paves the way for aggressive invaders such as weeds, insects and other parasites.
Since I’m not lucky enough to own a house with a fancy irrigation system, I combated the problem by watering with a cheap oscillating sprinkler. Unfortunately, the limited range forced me to reposition the sprinkler at least twice, sometimes three times a week, in order to effectively cover my entire yard.
Another pain was that unless I rose at the crack of dawn to water, I’d lose much of my efforts to evaporation under the hot daytime sun. Either that or I’d encourage the growth of unpleasant molds and fungus if I ran the sprinkler too close to nightfall.
Pull The Pipes With A Vibratory Plow
Pulling polyethylene pipe through the ground is faster and easier than digging trenches and doesnt create a huge mess. Here are some things to consider when pulling pipes using a pipe pulling machine:
- Avoid tree roots.
- Shoot for a depth of about 10 in.
- Feed the pipe into the hole as you pull.
- Avoid pulling pipes that are spliced .
- If youre renting a plow, pull all the pipes right away and return the machine. This may allow you to rent for only a half day and save money.
- A vibratory plow may not work in super-compacted soil. You may need a trencher instead. A local rental center should know what types of soil you are likely to encounter.
- Caution: Always call 811 to have the utilities located before you dig!
Recommended Reading: How To Kill Moths In Lawn
Essential Sprinkler System Components
Listed below are the essential parts youll require for installing your lawn sprinkler system:
This essential parts list doesnt include basic tools like shovels, PVC glue, hacksaw or other pipe cutter, landscape flags or stakes, string and a pipe-puller, which you can rent for around $200 at your local machine rental store.
Narrow Strips & Spaces
Specialized nozzles that throw water in a rectangular pattern rather than in an arc can be used to water narrow strips of lawn.
A side-strip nozzle is used on the long end of a strip, a center-strip nozzle is placed in the middle, and a corner-strip nozzle in the corners. For a strip such as the one between the sidewalk and the street in front of many houses would only need one side strip and two corner strips.
Strip-pattern nozzles can cover areas 4 or 5 feet wide and up to 30 feet long.
Read Also: Using Peat Moss To Grow Grass
Last Index=2 Arraywp: Term Objectcheck====garden & nbsplawns
Keep your grass healthy and green by installing a simple watering system.
An automatic watering system has become a viable way to give your lawn the water it needs without wastage.
The type of pop-up sprinklers you choose will depend on the flow rate of your local water supply, which can easily be calculated by timing water as it flows into a bucket.
You will also need to sketch a scale diagram of your lawn, including the position of larger trees, any shady or sunny areas and slopes where water may run off.
Roll Out The Irrigation
- At flowerbeds and trees, connect drip-irrigation tubing to the pressure reducer and microfilter coming from the underground PVC pipes.
- Roll out the tubing along the flower bed, keeping it close to the base of the plants.
- Keep unwinding the spool back and forth throughout the flower bed space the tubing 12 inches apart.
- If necessary, join one length of tubing to another with a push-in coupling.
- When you get to the end of the layout, cut the tubing with a utility knife if necessary, flush it with water, fold it over, and slip on an end clamp.
Tip: Set the tubing in the sun for a few hours and it will soften and be much easier to install.
Read Also: Wirecutter Zero Gravity Chair
Inspect And Clean Your Sprinkler Heads
Of all the steps, cleaning the sprinkler heads takes up the most time, as you will need to inspect and clean individual sprinkler heads and valves. And the bigger your lawn or garden is, the more time you will need to complete this.
Here are the steps to accomplish at each sprinkler head:
Check the sprinkler head assembly for possible damage. Inspect the nozzle for damage. If so, unscrew the nozzle from the head and get a replacement at your local lawn shop. If the entire head assembly is damaged, consider outsourcing the repair job to an irrigation professional. This is a bigger project thats best left to experts.
Clean the nozzles. You can use an old toothbrush to clean each nozzle thoroughly. Make sure to remove any obstruction which can affect a nozzles spray pattern. Wrong patterns may result in uneven watering where some areas can get too much water while others get too little.
Close the sprinkler valve. Ensure the sprinkler valve is closed unless its the one farthest from the main water supply. You need to leave the farthest valve open and the sprinkler nozzle removed to let the air escape when you switch on the water. If your system has more than one branch getting supply off a mainline, open the valve and remove the nozzle of the last sprinkler on every branch line.
Plug In The Water Source
It’s finally time to connect your main water source after your pipe is assembled. Then connect your control valve box directly to the supply line or an existing faucet. At this step, turn off the water at the meter to avoid wasting water and a resulting mud puddle.
We recommend hiring a plumber if your plan is to connect directly to the main line to avoid affecting any other existing underground wires.
If you feel confident doing this yourself, here are some guidelines:
Additionally, connect your PVC pipe to the control box. You can use multiple valves when controlling the water flow to various areas of your yard. After this, attach a riser to each tee connection along your PVC pipe. Risers will connect your water line to the sprinkler heads.
You May Like: Is Peat Moss Good For Lawns
How To Set Up Sprinkler Zones
Unless your yard is very small, chances are you won’t be able to irrigate your property with just one zone of sprinklers. Most properties with any kind of yard require multiple zones because their water pressure isn’t adequate for one zone to cover it all. Also, dividing the yard into zones allows more control over what areas of the lawn get more or less water . This kind of efficiency is why you must know how to set up sprinkler zones properly. To give your property an adequate amount of water that it needs.
Once you decide you need more than one sprinkler zone, how then do you decide on how many zones to do and where to place them? It’s somewhat of a simple process, so follow along:
Adjusting The Arc Of A Pop
The angle formed by the rotating sprinkler is known as the arc. The angle or area of coverage by the sprinkler determines the arc of rotation. If you want the sprinkler to water a semicircular area then you must adjust the arc to about 180 degrees.
To adjust the sprinkler head arc follow this procedure:
- Locate the adjustment socket at the top of the head and tune it to the right. Hold it firmly in place
- Insert the plastic head of the wench and rotate the socket clockwise to increase the arc.
- Do the opposite to decrease the arc of the pop-up sprinkler head.
You May Like: When To Apply Weed And Feed In Iowa
Simple Automatic Sprinkler System
Sprinkler System Installation Guide
Okay, the planning’s done, you’ve bought all the parts, now you’re in the yard, shovel in hand, ready to start. In this helpful video, we’ll show you the steps to a perfect sprinkler system installation, including trenching, connecting the water source, installing shut-off valves, working with PVC pipe, building a valve manifold, connecting wires, installing sprinklers and flushing your system.
- Place a stake or flag at every sprinkler location as indicated on your layout. Use string to show where the pipe will run. STOP! Make sure you know where all gas lines, power lines and cable TV lines are before you start to dig. Be sure to call your utility companies if you need help.
- Hook up your water supply. Did you check with your Rain Bird Dealer to find out which connections are right for your local codes and conditions?
- Place lengths of pipe along the string after laying out the right sprinklers and connectors at each stake.Note: Using swing joints or EZ Pipe makes positioning sprinklers easier.
- Start assembling moving from one sprinkler location to the next. Don’t connect the sprinkler until everything is assembled so that you can flush the system with water to clear out any dirt that got in the pipes.
- Attach the sprinklers after flushing the system with water.
Also Check: Lawnmower Simulator Ps4
How To Decide If You Need An Underground Irrigation System:
The type of grass in your lawn affects irrigation needs.
Some turfgrass varieties have higher water requirements than others.
Your soil type also affects the efficiency of irrigation. For example, sandy soils absorb water more quickly than clay.
An irrigation system gives you better control of your soils moisture content, but if you supply more water than the soil can absorb, runoff is the result.
Planning and purchasing the correct components are the keys to success. But dont be discouraged. Most manufacturers of home irrigation systems have design and planning guides that simplify the job considerably.
Check The Valves And Vacuum Breaker
Open each valve box in the ground and make sure there are no leaking valves or other problems. Confirm that all looks well with the vacuum breaker and the related valves and piping. Check the bleeder on the main shutoff valve . If the cap is leaking, tighten it gently with pliers.
The Spruce / Kevin Norris
Also Check: Does Grass Fertilizer Go Bad
Inspect Your Irrigation Zones
Your sprinklers are now ready for spring watering. If you havent made any big changes to your system or landscaping in the past months, you no longer need to adjust your sprinkler nozzles. Try to test the irrigation of every zone to make sure theyre spraying as they should, in the correct pattern.
Should any of the nozzles need adjusting, note all the changes you need to make in the zone concerned before switching off the sprinklers. Only make adjustments when the sprinklers are off so you wont have to make trips back and forth.
Each nozzle bears a marking that indicates their spray pattern. Adjust a nozzle by unscrewing the ring that keeps it in its position and lift it off the head assembly. Then reinsert the nozzle with the markings pointing in the right direction. Screw the ring back once youre finished.
When in Doubt, Call The Professionals
De-winterizing a sprinkler system in spring can be a tricky job to some homeowners. If you dont know how to get started, it would be best to contact an irrigation professional for expert spring turn-on and maintenance service. Get back to watering your lawn by setting up an appointment with them.
During the inspection, your technician can help you with the following sprinkler system tuning jobs: