Sprinkler systems can be complicated, but only if you don’t know what you’re doing. The good news is that our landscaping pros at Purple Care are experts when it comes to sprinkler repair and installation. We’re here to answer all the questions you may have regarding your sprinkler system, and to assist you in resolving any issues associated with it. Keep reading for the ten things everyone should know about their sprinklers and remember that if you’re considering a sprinkler upgrade, Purple Care is the company to call.
The Top 10 Things You Should Know About Your Sprinkler System
- Where the Controls Are Located: In most cases, you will be able to access your sprinkler system via a control box on the side of the house. While some modern sprinkler systems have more advanced settings, it should be easy enough to program your sprinklers for the results you want as long as you know where the box is located. Finding the lines can be complicated, and may require you to call for professional assistance.
- Where Your Sprinklers Are Aimed: While it may sound obvious, the fact is that it can be too easy to overwater your yard or for your grass not to get enough water if your sprinkler heads aren’t aimed in the right direction. Sprinkler systems work in a very specific way, and do not just shoot water everywhere and at everything. For instance, your system could end up a liability if you are sending too much water to a sidewalk, so make sure to talk to a professional landscaper about exactly where you want your sprinklers to aim before putting a system in.
- What the Water Pressure Should Be: When it comes to sprinklers, the general rule of thumb is the higher the water pressure the better. Look for the markings on your sprinkler heads if you want to make an adjustment. While you don’t want to overpower the pumps, you want to make sure the water pressure is at least as strong as what you get in your morning shower.
- Which Type of Sprinkler Heads You Have: There are two main kinds of sprinkler heads—fixed and rotary. This is an important distinction, as each type disperses different amounts of water. Fixed heads are small and spray out a fan-shaped pattern of water. Rotary heads are roughly the same size, though they are often thought to be more efficient than traditional spray heads due to the fact that they produce less “mist,” which then evaporates before it can reach the ground. Some people have mixed sprinkler heads, although this can cause big problems, especially if you have not had a professional perform the installation. In rare cases, you may also use what are known as bubbler irrigation heads. There are also drip sprinkler systems, which are designed to supply water directly to your soil.
- What Type of Connections You Have: While most sprinkler systems are connected with poly pipe, there is a specific type of piping called “funny pipe” that is usually attached to sprinkler heads. Together, these pipes are extremely durable as well as flexible, and can withstand the significant water pressure your system needs to generate to do its job. If your sprinkler system is not made with poly and funny pipe, you may want to consider calling for an upgrade to help it last longer.
- Are There Tree Roots in the Way: As any plumber will tell you, tree roots can cause a ton of problems for any water lines you have put down in your yard, and when it comes to irrigation, sprinkler lines are no different. It is best to know where any overgrown tree roots are in your yard before you put in a sprinkler system, as you do not want to have to get rid of those roots after the fact or be forced to repair your sprinklers because the water from your system has caused the roots to grow and damage the lines.
- How the Valves Work: Sprinkler valves have a specific name called “solenoids.” These valves send water to specific zones in your yard, shutting your system off after a specific amount of time so your grass does not get overwatered. Solenoids are controlled by low voltage wiring, so you may need to have an electrician take a look if your valves don’t seem to be working right. And remember, the solenoids are basically the most important part of your sprinkler system, so if they are not functioning correctly, it is also an extremely good idea to have a professional landscaper inspect them.
- What Time Your Sprinklers Go Off: While it is extremely common for many people to run their sprinkler system at night, the ideal time for your sprinklers to go off is actually in the early morning. While an excess amount of water can often generate mold and mildew as moisture levels increase at night, that sun will get rid of that water by midday when you set your system to go off in the morning. Plus it’s easier to shut your system off if you need to during the day, rather than having to run out and deal with it at night.
- Do You Have Rain Sensors: All modern sprinkler systems should have rain sensors, and any landscaper who tries to sell you a sprinkler system without them is trying to get you to buy out-of-date equipment. Today, rain sensors are required to be installed with sprinkler systems by law. Moreover, rain sensors can also save you a ton of cash, as you do not want to waste money watering your lawn when the rain is going to do it for you. These sensors should work automatically, so you don’t have to worry about doing anything if rain has fallen overnight. Plus, they can easily be accessed and programmed from the side of your home, where the control box is located.
- How to Winterize Your Sprinkler System: When it starts to get cold out, you will want to be able to winterize your system so it does not keep running in the off-season. This is especially true if you live in a part of the country with harsher winters that often come with snow. You can usually do this by hooking up an air compressor to your sprinkler lines, which will shut off the system’s primary valve located inside your home. Excess water will then be pushed out of the lines so they do not freeze, expand, and break as the temperature drops. Even if you live in a part of the country where it is fairly temperate year-round, it is still a good idea to winterize your sprinkler system, as you do not want to waste money watering your lawn when it is hard to keep it looking good throughout fall and winter.