Use less water and get more for your water bill
Have you ever walked around your yard with your hose in your hands, spraying water on your flowers and grass, wondering if there was an easier way to take care of your lawn? There is! A home irrigation system will save you time and money, and you will have beautiful flowers and a green lawn.
Putting in an irrigation system might sound like an expensive solution. But, the cost/benefit ratio is in your favor. Once the system is installed, you use less water and get more for your water bill, and your yard looks great. The efficient use of water is one of the key reasons to install an irrigation system.
A well-designed system is a nearly invisible, but practical addition to your home. By adding rotors or pop-up sprays to your lawn, you get consistent watering and therefore a consistent green to your grass. You can choose to have some drip irrigation installed for your flower beds and vegetable gardens, and they will get watered where and when they need, with no concerns about rain or dry spells.
Watering can be scheduled and is as simple as programming the controller, the timer clock that tells your valves when to open and when to start watering. Controllers are easy to install and run, and some models now come wifi enabled so that you can run your system from your phone, wherever you are!
Getting a good system to start with is a very important consideration. If you have little experience with installing the components of an irrigation system, it can be helpful to engage the services of a professional landscaper to help you design and install a system customized to your yard and lifestyle. A landscaper can take into account the types of soil you have, your plants, trees, shrubs, and types of gardens, and they can design a system with proper layouts that will be easy for you to maintain.
Make sure your contractor is licensed by the state you live in, and carries liability insurance. Ask for references and make sure that they come to your home and do a proper survey of your yard and watering conditions, and your goals for the future of your landscape. Your contractor should be able to get any necessary permits and should get your install done in a timely manner.
The components of a sprinkler system are:
- Controllers – placed in or near your garage or home, this small wall-mounted box is the brains of the system. The wires from the valves come into the box of the controller, and the program you select will tell your valves when to come on, and how long to run. Controllers come in many configurations and levels of complexity, but most are easy to run once you know how.
- Valves – the sentries in the ground that control the flow of the water to the rotors or the drip system. Valves open and close using a solenoid, which receives the signal from the controller to open and allow the water to flow through the underground pipes to the sprinklers or irrigation tubing.
- Sprinklers are the pop-ups that live in little canisters down in the sod. They can be rotating, usually called rotos or heads, or pop up to sprinkle in a round pattern, called a spray. They typically use different types of nozzles to direct the spray of the water.
- There are rain and freeze sensors that shut off your system when it the weather warrants it, and there are soil moisture sensors that can also be installed. You can even coordinate your system with your local weather so that your irrigation only come on when truly necessary. These products greatly enhance the efficiency of your system.
- Drip irrigation is a combination of flexible tubing that delivers water to certain areas of your yard, and emitters that bring the water right to the plants that need it.
A well-designed and correctly installed irrigation system will last many years, and require very little maintenance. The savings of time and money over the years you live in your home will be a benefit to you, the homeowner, but it is the beauty of your yard and the enjoyment that you get from it that is the best reason for a residential irrigation system.