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One of the best ways to keep your lawn in great shape is to keep it watered. But the reality is that watering your yard isn’t always as simple as setting up a rotating sprinkler and calling it a day.
You need a lawn watering system.
A professionally installed irrigation system can take the stress out of keeping your lawn healthy and green. No more standing outside with the hose. No more forgetting to turn off the sprinkler and flooding the grass.
But exactly how does an irrigation system work?
Keep reading to find out!
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What is an Irrigation System?
An irrigation system is a system of sprinklers that waters your lawn automatically, on a schedule you set. Sprinkler system professionals know how to choose the best sprinkler heads to ensure that your entire lawn gets the water it needs.
How does an irrigation system work?
The most important part of a lawn sprinkler system is the controller. The controller is what makes the entire system work. This piece of technology used to be called a timer, because that’s what it did: it timed the sprinkler heads to turn them on and off.
These control units are now far more sophisticated. They use the same Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology as a home automation system. Most of them can be controlled remotely via an app on your smartphone, and many of them even connect to weather stations in your area. This means that your irrigation system won’t run during a rainstorm.
Once your sprinkler system is installed, you will need to set up a watering schedule. Your irrigation professional will help with that, since they know roughly how much water your lawn will need. From there, the system’s sensors will fine-tune the schedule.
How do sprinkler system zones work?
If your lawn is fairly large, your sprinkler heads might be divided into zones. These zones are all controlled by the system’s controller.
A zoned system means that all areas of your lawn will get the water they need. This prevents a shaded area from getting the same amount of water as a full-sun spot.
Regular sprinkler heads work well for most grass lawns. Drip irrigation lines are great for gardens and planting beds with temperamental plants. The advantage to a drip irrigation zone is that the water goes directly to the base of the plants. This minimizes water loss through evaporation. If you have plants that don’t do well when their leaves get wet, consider opting for drip irrigation lines in those areas.
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Sprinkler System Maintenance
The nice thing about a lawn sprinkler system is that it takes the time and guesswork out of watering your lawn. But that doesn’t mean it’s maintenance-free.
To keep your sprinkler system in good shape, plan on two maintenance visits each year. The fall service visit is when your system will be winterized. During the spring visit, the technician will start your system up for the growing season.
Check out the following overview of what to expect during each visit.
Fall winterization service:
- Water supply to the system will be turned off
- All water lines will be drained and blown out to protect against water freezing in the pipes
- The controller will be shut down
- All exposed parts (like sprinkler heads) will be insulated or covered
Spring start-up service:
- The water supply will be turned on and all lines will be flushed of dirt
- Zones will be tested, if applicable
- Sprinkler heads will be tested to ensure they’re at the right angles
- All filters in the system will be cleaned
- The system controller will be tested and reprogrammed, if necessary
Let the pros take the lead with these service visits. An irrigation system that doesn’t run efficiently is a huge drain on resources. You’ll be wasting water and running up your utility bills. That isn’t something anyone wants to deal with.
Regular maintenance visits keep the sprinkler system running well. They’re also great opportunities to learn about new technology that could take your lawn to the next level.
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