First, to keep a green lawn during the growing season, having a permanent in-ground irrigation system will not only save you time in the long run but will also help to conserve on water. However, if the system is not properly installed, then you could be wasting more water or ensuring that the proper amount of water is dispersed throughout your lawn. Plus since the system is programmable, you can leave town without worrying about your lawn dying during your absence.
A permanent in-ground sprinkler system sends water through a network of pipes underground to the sprinkler heads throughout the yard. A control panel is installed in the garage that regulates when the sprinklers run, how long and where in the yard, also known as zones. The zones will have several sprinklers in a particular area that you have designated to water at a certain time and length. The reason for implementing zones is that is helps with water pressure, as there is only a certain amount that can run through at one time.
The two different types of in-ground irrigation systems are manual and automatic. An automatic system will run through a programmable control box, as discussed above. The control box will allow you to program when and for how long the each zone will water the lawn. There are some systems that are equipped with moisture sensors that detect when it is raining, thus will not turn on. A manual system just means that the homeowner has to turn the valves on and off by hand.
When shopping for the different sprinkler heads for the new system, ensure that you have chosen the right heads for different parts of your yard. More specifically, some sprinkler heads deliver a mist-like spray, while others are a rotary sprinkler, watering a larger area. There are also pop-up type sprinkler heads, that pop-up when water pressure is introduced. A professional installer will be able to help you determine what type of sprinkler head will work best in the different areas of your yard.
The layout for the sprinkler system can also be complex and are installed in either a triangular or square grid layout. Whatever the type of layout you choose, ensure that the sprinklers water the yard evenly and completely. Most sprinkler heads are adjustable, so you can observe where the water is hitting and where it is missing and adjust the heads accordingly.
One way to determine if your sprinkler system is watering evenly throughout your yard, place empty cans, such as tuna cans, in your yard and run the system. Once you determine which area is receiving more or less water, you can adjust the sprinkler heads and/or length of watering time.
In essence, an in-ground automated sprinkler system is a valuable investment in your lawn. Although this is a project that anyone can undertake, if you do not install it correctly or have problems with it down the road will be costly to repair or change.