If you’re like other homeowners who have contacted us about installing a state-of-the-art irrigation system in their yards, you probably have a few questions about the process, the equipment, and the reasons for choosing an irrigation system over a simple “sprinkler system.” We have put together the following answers to help you understand the key benefits of lawn irrigation and see for yourself the difference that a professionally-engineered lawn irrigation system from Christianson can make in your yard. (Note: Lawn Irrigation services are currently offered in the Austin Metro area only)
Q. What are the pros of automatic irrigation systems? Aren't they wasteful?
If installed and programmed properly, automatic irrigation systems can even save you money and help in water conservation. Dead lawn grass and plants are expensive to replace. But the savings from automatic irrigation systems can go beyond that. Watering with a hose or with an oscillator wastes water, because neither method targets areas precisely. Both can leave dry spots and the possibility of turf fungus on overwatered areas. Automatic irrigation systems can be programmed to discharge precise amounts of water in a targeted area, which promotes water conservation.
Q. What equipment is required for automatic sprinkler irrigation systems?
Irrigation systems consist of underground piping, a backflow preventer connected at the water connection, a master valve to allow water to each control valve, control valves to allow water to specific zones, spray heads, rotors, drip irrigation, wiring from each control zone to the controller, a control unit and an optional rain sensor.
Q. What's the difference between "spray" lawn sprinkler heads and "rotor" heads?
A spray head functions by discharging a fine, uniform spray. The largest droplets reach areas farthest from the head while the smaller droplets water the area closest to the head. Rotary heads are used to irrigate large areas and have a continuous stream of water that rotates from one to the other.
Q. Why should types of sprinklers matter in lawn irrigation?
Different types of sprinkler heads are designed for different types of applications in your yard. Our licensed irrigators will design your plan with different heads to maximize the coverage and water usage eliminating water runoff as you water. To insure matched precipitation across your yard, spray heads and rotary heads are not placed in the same zones.
Q. Why are there so many sprinkler heads in my irrigation system design plan?
Christianson employs irrigation standards in all of our system design plans. To insure coverage and matched precipitation it is important to have head-to-head coverage. The number of heads really has nothing to do with the amount of water used; it only controls the distribution of water across your yard.
Q. What are drip irrigation systems and how do they promote water conservation?
Drip irrigation is the slow delivery of water to the root zones of plants using low pressures and low flow rates. Drip irrigation works on gallons per hour rather than gallons per minute due to the slow release of water. Drip irrigation eliminates water runoff and evaporation, allowing water to soak deeply into root systems instead of running into the street.
Q. What are irrigation zones, and what role do they play in landscape irrigation design?
Irrigation zones are used to focus water usage on specific parts of your yard at specific times in the watering cycle. Using hydraulics, Christianson determines the amount of heads that will be needed to efficiently cover a single zone. Spray heads and rotary heads will be on separate zones. Some zones are designated for turf, and others for landscape beds. The control valve at each zone receives a signal from the controller. The valve opens and allows the water to enter the zone and water the specified area.
Q. How does soil type affect lawn and garden irrigation?
Soil types are important in determining the amount of water needed to water your yard and landscape. Using soil type information, we can calculate runoff and absorption rates to determine the correct amount of water to be dispensed.
Q. How can rain sensors work with irrigation timers for water conservation?
Rains sensors “sense” the amount of rainfall received and keep your controller from irrigating your yard during rainfall. Rain sensors will also place your irrigation system on hold until they dry and detect the need for irrigation to continue.
Q. Is sprinkler installation a do-it-yourself project?
Irrigation systems should be designed and installed by licensed irrigators. Each irrigation system installation requires filing a permit and locating buried gas, cable and electrical lines before digging can begin. Finally, a simple “sprinkler system” is going to either over-water or under-water your yard, and will cost much more to operate than an irrigation system. A do-it-yourself sprinkler system is a far cry from a professionally engineered irrigation system that is designed to save you money. While there are many projects that homeowners can feasibly perform on their own, installing an irrigation system is not one of them.