Don’t allow your landscaping costs and the environment to go to waste. Installing and managing your home sprinkler system may be a confusing and frustrating experience for homeowners.
However, if everything is set up correctly, there are several advantages. Keep in mind, though, that once it’s set up, you can’t simply leave it alone. Watering schedules must be adjusted as plants mature, as seasons change, and as it rains.
But no worries, managing your home irrigation system doesn’t have to be overly complex. Keep on reading for our full breakdown of everything you need to know about watering the lawn like a professional, all in three simple stages.
Table of Contents
1. Home Sprinkler System 101: How It Functions
Let’s start with the basics.
Sprinkler systems, as we all know, can be a little perplexing. We can help you find irrigation valves, figure out which wire goes where, or figure out how to use an outdated controller.
Understanding what you’re dealing with and being proficient (and efficient) at lawn management is the first step.
Learn about the essential parts of a typical municipal water sprinkler system in the paragraphs below.
When you have a sprinkler system, the water only comes from the city and goes to you. Backflow prevents polluted water from returning to your pure water source in the event that the water flow is mistakenly reversed.
After you start watering your lawn in the spring, the backflow is switched on. It is then shut off in the fall when you have completed watering your grass for the season.
Sprinkler Valve Box
You’ll find your manifold and valves in your sprinkler valve box most of the time.
There are times when valves are above ground. Start looking for your valves around the permitter of your home, which is you’ll find most of the valve boxes.
The manifold is responsible for distributing water to all of your valves. And, these valves connect to an individual one.
You can consider the manifold as the main white tubing, which splits out from the large single tube to form smaller branches.
Control Valve for a Water Pump
In order to reduce hydraulic surges, a pump valve regulates the start-up and shut-down of water flow automatically.
It’s an essential part of keeping the whole system running and preventing any self-sabotage.
The irrigation system’s primary water supply is controlled by a master valve, which is an electronic valve. A defective station valve can only leak while the master valve is delivering pressure to the system, therefore having a master valve reduces water loss significantly.
A master valve controls water loss if the irrigation mainline is damaged, allowing you to repair it without having to turn off the water. If you have zone valves, then an electric master valve is the same as a zone valve, but it is positioned upstream of the zone valves on the mainline.
Water Nozzles for Lawns
Sprinkler heads may be divided into three categories based on the average amount of precipitation they generate each hour (measured in inches). This is an average of what we’ve seen.
You have other working parts that you should get familiar with. For instance, the spray gun with a fixed nozzle. This is a stationary pop-up sprinkler. There is the head of the rotor, the rotary nozzles, the drip line, and the misters.
2. Designing an Efficient Home Irrigation System
Now that you’ve become familiar with the working parts of your irrigation system, you’ll want to learn how to use them in an effective manner.
Alright, here’s how to avoid being soaked by your landscape. Your system will be more efficient and not waste water if it is constructed correctly using drip irrigation.
First, your turf and plant sections should each have their own set of valves. Use the same valve for plants that have comparable water requirements to save water. Trees, bushes, and groundcover should all have their own valve.
And, in order to avoid irrigation water backing up into your drinking water supply, make sure a backflow preventer is fitted. You’ll want to stay away from the grass that is unusually shaped or thin (under 10 feet wide). Watering them effectively is a hassle.
In the dripline, which is the region beneath the plant’s outer canopy, install emitters. Install a sufficient number of emitters of the appropriate size to adequately moisten the root zone of the tree.
Moreover, large trees might need up to 12 emitters when they reach maturity. Small trees, especially trees that have just been planted, may only need 3–5 emitters.
And, never use more than 200 feet of poly tubing for a drip system, from valve to end cap. No more than 200 gallons per hour should pass via each valve. And, you’ll want to make sure not to go over 6 feet with the micro-tubing (spaghetti line).
The Secret to Simple Landscape Watering
In certain situations, as much as three-quarters of the water used in our landscapes comes from our homes.
So, one of the finest and simplest methods to conserve water is to water your lawn properly. Watering your garden plants correctly is essential to their health and appearance.
Learn how much water your plants need and keep an eye out for leaks. And, make sure you know how much water your watering system uses before you start.
Use Smart Controllers
If designed correctly, an irrigation controller may help you conserve water. Visit our Irrigation Controller page to learn more about this subject. Using technology makes irrigation more effective and prevents overwatering.
You can adjust your water application to landscapes automatically by “smart” irrigation controls. They provide the appropriate quantity of water to the landscape based on meteorological data and site factors such as plant kind, slope, and soil type.
A rain sensor only detects the presence of rain and is usually connected to your controller via wire. Any regularly scheduled irrigation shuts off after a certain volume of water.
If a soil moisture sensor detects the right level of moisture surrounding the root system, it will override your automated watering system. Turf irrigation systems with multi-stream rotor nozzles provide water slowly and evenly over a wide area, are very wind-resistant, and decrease runoff.
3. Specialized Winter Preparations: Setting up Your Sprinkler System
Preventing freeze damage to your irrigation system by winterizing is a smart move. Follow these procedures to get your sprinklers ready for the winter.
Next spring, when it’s time to water the grass again, your yard will be grateful.
Comply With the Hookup Procedure
Turn off the backflow preventer’s two valves.
After that, unplug the blow-out port’s connector and attach a quick-connect hose adaptor instead. Connect the compressor’s other end to the airline you just attached.
Setup of the Compressor
A simple quick-connect connection allows you to clean your sprinkler system of water in time for the winter using your air compressor.
However, even the most powerful home compressor will not be able to completely remove the system’s moisture at once. However, if you take it zone by zone, you may be able to destroy it.
You can calculate the total GPM of each zone by multiplying the gallons per minute (GPM) shown on the original irrigation arrangement by 7.5. The CFM you’ll need to blow it out is a result of this method. You can rent a 10-CFM compressor and hose at your local tool rental store instead.
Depending on whether you’re using rigid PVC pipe or flexible black polyethylene tubing, you’ll want to set the compressor air pressure regulator at 80 psi or 50 psi, respectively.
Set the sprinkler system timer to just open one zone and switch off the water supply. After that, turn on the manual drain valve at the zone’s far end (if equipped). Finally, attach the air hose to the blow-out port by connecting it to it as illustrated.
Then, with the air hose still connected to the compressor, blow out the rest of the system. The nozzles should erupt and squirt water all over the place. When the hoses are completely dry, remove them from the system and discard them.
Don’t overdo the blowout—plastic gears may melt in less than a minute without water cooling. So, go on to the next area and give the heads a chance to cool down. Then return and do a second zone detonation.
Okay, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, you can check out this comprehensive guide on how to set up the perfect system with a timer, done by Holmes Lawn & Pest.
Lawn Care Tips: Simplified
If you’ve been dreaming of lush and vividly green lawn, you can rest assured that you don’t have to sell your soul (or soil, get it?) to the devil to achieve that luscious green haven.
Hopefully, our guide has shed some light on the three main steps of the home sprinkler system care you need to apply to manifest the lawn of your dreams. And, if you enjoyed reading our tips and tricks, you’ll find many more in our home improvement section.