A sprinkler system is a great way to keep your lawn lush and green, and it can even serve as a fun activity to help your kids cool off during the warm months of the spring and summer. However, the right sprinkler system takes expert installation, and sprinklers should also be positioned correctly to ensure you don’t get visitors wet as they walk the pathway to get to your front door. There are also several regulations that you’ll need to be aware of in your area to ensure the sprinklers are installed legally and efficiently.
Here are a few things you should know before getting a sprinkler system for your yard.
In most cases, your sprinklers aren’t installed by licensed plumbers. Then again, if you’re installing the sprinklers yourself, you’re probably not a plumber either. That’s why it’s best to get a professional to do the work. You’ll save a lot of time, and the chances of you having to get repairs are lowered.
Pricing and Code Violations
Irrigation rules are determined by state, so the way your system is installed is not up to you the homeowner, or up to the contractor. Your contractor should be licensed and should install all parts of your system according to code. Make sure that the contractor pulls all necessary permits and see that their insurance and license are up to date.
The most frequent code violations will vary depending on the type of sprinkler installation you want, but some of the most common violations are: failure to call in line locales before digging, throwing water across driveways, sidewalks and walkways, failure to provide a warranty, failure to install a rain sensor, and failure to install a back flow.
For the most part, the higher the water pressure is for the sprinklers, the better. Think of it as giving your lawn and plants a shower. The best water pressure makes your greenery feel refreshed and facilitates growth. Make sure that your sprinklers are regulated so that watering is especially efficient. You’ll find markings on the sprinkler heads to keep you from giving the pumps too much power.
Sprinklers have two main types of heads that you can choose for installation: rotary and fixed. Each of these heads puts out different amounts of water. If you choose a mix of fixed and rotary sprinkler heads, this can wreak havoc on the overall sprinkler system. Make sure you choose the sprinkler heads that will work best for your lawn, and be aware of where all the heads are placed around your home’s exterior.
The roots of the trees in your yard could pose an issue when you’re installing a sprinkler system. It can be difficult to place the sprinkler line around the roots, and sometimes it’s just not possible. It is possible, however, to avoid the roots, but this can be an issue if you have to move the sprinkler installation around too much. Survey your yard carefully and decide whether you need a few smaller systems around your garden or other plants so that you won’t run into roots when securing your sprinkler line.
When you’re installing a sprinkler system, funny pipe is used to connect the sprinkler heads with poly pipe. Funny pipe is pretty much unbreakable and it is very flexible, so your sprinkler heads will be securely in place once you decide where you want them. The pipes also help with water pressure issues, so be sure to ask the team installing your sprinklers which pipe combination is best for your yard, and do a little research before making your installation appointment.
Solenoids are the values that control each area of your yard. The solenoids allow adequate water to enter each of your yard’s zone and turn off after a set amount of time. Solenoids are the “heart” of the sprinkler system and low-voltage wiring is used to control them. Ask your contractor or plumber about where the solenoids are placed so you’ll know how long and how often your lawn is being watered.
It’s best to make sure that your sprinkler heads are focused on specific areas on your properly. Be aware of your surroundings and check to see if your neighborhood allows watering on the sidewalk, so you won’t be liable for slips and falls that occur as a result of water on the concrete.
Hours for Watering
Watering your lawn late at night may seem like the best choice, since there is usually no one in the yard during those hours. However, it’s more practical to use your sprinkler system in the morning. Mildew and mold are more likely to collect on your house overnight, since the water from the sprinkler will not be removed for at least a few hours. If you water your plants and grass in the morning, the water that builds up will be dried up by the sun in the middle of the day.
Rain sensors are a requirement, due to water conservation laws. The sensors will keep you from spending extra money if your lawn becomes over-saturated with water. Professionals should attach rain sensors to your home, which will automatically turn your sprinkler system off if there has been heavy rainfall in your area.
Winterizing Your System
Winterizing your sprinkler system is a sound investment you should make every year. To winterize, an air compressor is connected to your sprinkler lines after turning off the main valve in your home. The water is then blown from the pipes to keep it from expanding and freezing, which keeps your sprinkler lines from breaking in the cold weather.
It’s important to familiarize yourself with your lawn to ensure your sprinkler system is doing its best work. You can draw a replica of your yard and map out where each sprinkler head will be positioned, as well as the corresponding range of the sprinkler. This will keep you from spending too much money on the sprinkler system.
Winterizing also includes selecting plants for your yard that don’t require lots of water. While narrow-leafed evergreens, succulents and cacti are among the most popular, you can also research flowers and shrubs that only require minimal water, so you can save on water bills and avoid overworking your sprinkler system. Choose plants that thrive in sandy or well-drained soil like juniper, lavender, iris, thyme and California poppy. These plants also add appealing color to your yard and make your home more welcoming.