Installing an automated residential irrigation system is one of the best ways to keep your lawn and landscape beautiful and healthy by ensuring every blade of grass and every plant has the proper amount of water at the correct time. In addition to the convenience of automation, a residential irrigation system can also help minimize wasting water, time, and money. Planning carefully for a reliable, flexible irrigation system that can grow and evolve is one of the most worthwhile things you can do for your landscaping.
What is the Difference Between Irrigation & Sprinkler Systems?
In most cases, these terms can be used interchangeably. Different kinds of irrigation systems, such as drip irrigation systems, are usually referred to as such.
What is the Best Irrigation System to Use?
In general, this will depend on the size of your system and what you need it to achieve. Most yards and landscaping will benefit from standard sprinkler irrigation systems, but it is a good idea to consult with a certified professional to determine the best irrigation system for your situation.
Plan for Now
The most immediate goal for your sprinkler system is to make sure it can adequately care for your current lawn and landscaping needs. On top of making sure your system can water everywhere you need it to, make sure you are doing the following:
1. Meet Code Requirements
Include the right backflow prevention device for your area. These devices prevent irrigation system water from contaminating the water supply and are required by the National Plumbing Code for all residential irrigation systems.
2. Dig Deep
If you are putting in lines yourself, make sure they are installed deep enough to protect them from damage from aeration and other lawn maintenance.
3. Check Water Pressure
Low or high pressure can significantly affect sprinkler performance. Make sure to choose sprinklers that take the water pressure on your site into account.
Plan for the Future
Even if you love how your landscaping looks today, you should always leave room for evolution. Choosing a residential irrigation system with flexibility and technological adaptability will make any future additions or changes easier on your landscaping and wallet.
1. Install Excess Capacity
Irrigation zones are areas that are watered by the same irrigation valve and plumbing. Installing extra connections now makes it easier and less expensive to expand your system later.
Use Components That Provide Flexibility
Different plants have different watering needs, and these needs may change over time. Your system should allow you to apply the right amount of water for each type of plant by the most effective method.
Include “smart” controls that automatically adjust watering based on rain, soil moisture, evaporation, and plant water use.
Make the Investment
Take the time to research your irrigation system options to make sure you are getting the most out of your time and money. The cost of a new sprinkler system will depend on the amount of lawn and landscaping you need to cover, the part quality and the installation fees (if you hire out that work). Considering the savings on time, effort and water, investing in a good irrigation system is well worth the money.
1. Buy the Best
Use the best components you can afford to minimize future maintenance and total lifetime cost of your system.
2. Look for Savings
Many water utilities offer rebates for certain water-efficient products. Before finalizing your new system, consult with your local water provider.
3. Hire Carefully
Even the best irrigation system won’t perform well if installed incorrectly. When hiring a designer or contractor, always get multiple bids, check references, and confirm all vendors are insured. To find an IA-certified professional to design, install, maintain or audit your irrigation system, visit irrigation.org/hirecertified.