Automatic Sprinkler Systems: What's the Benefit
An emerald-green Irish lawn instantly adds beauty and value to your home and property. The vibrant colors send a message to the neighborhood that you are a well-groomed and high-maintenance family. Brown and barren lawns are eyesores that make people feel unhappy about a life that is reflected by the decay of their landscapes. If you want to live in a picturesque home that others admire, it makes sense to invest in the best sprinkler system that money can buy. The efficiency, reliability, and intelligence of modern sprinkler systems makes them worth the investment and overcomes the water-waster stigma that many people associate with automatic systems. A quality sprinkler system will also maintain fragrant lush gardens that breathe joy into the lives of housewives with green thumbs.
How Do Automatic Sprinklers Work?
The mainline is connected to the municipal water source. An anti-siphon device is then required to prevent the water from backing up and contaminating the source water. The water is then distributed through a valve manifold that times when each section of the garden grid will receive water. There is typically not enough water pressure to water the entire garden at once unless you have a small yard. The valve manifold is wired to a controller or automatic timer that opens the valves for a variable set time period.
The controllers may additionally be connected to a smart device that detects rain and moisture content of the soil to determine the volume of water required for each cycle. The manifold valves are connected to lines that run laterally below the ground to the sprinkler heads which deliver the mist of water. Low flow sprinkler heads are becoming more popular as water conservation continues to grow in importance each year.
How are They Installed?
The initial step requires the installer to gauge the water pressure from an outdoor screw-on faucet fixture for garden hoses. The gallons per minute may then be calculated by using a gallon bucket and stopwatch app on your SmartPhone. An accurate measurement of the accessible square footage of your property to install the underground grid of lateral pipes is then required to estimate how many lines, valves, and sprinkler heads you need. If you are doing this yourself, a sprinkler manufacturer will provide you with a blueprint based on your outside water pressure and gallons per minute (GPM). You will then have a variable number of zones, one for each valve.
The number of sprinkler heads will also vary and run off each underground lateral line connected to each valve. Most do-it-yourselfers rent a pipe-pulling machine to get the work done in one day. If you live in a mild climate, PVC pipe may work just fine. However, homeowners who experience freezing temperatures require different piping to withstand the extreme changes in temperature. The plumbing codes may require additional restrictions or safety measures before laying the pipe. Some areas require a building permit, which makes sense when you consider the hazards of underground gas lines and other risks.
How Much Do Automatic Sprinklers Cost?
A sprinkler system adds to the value of your home and therefore has a cost that is more relative than concrete. Typically, owners spend about $2,500 on average for the equipment to irrigate a quarter-acre lawn. The installation can run from $1,500 to $3,500 depending on the overall size of the project and type of materials used. If your property is very large, it may be pragmatic to expand the infrastructure by adding new zones when time and capital become available. You invest upfront in the valve manifold size needed to meet your total needs, but only add lines to water each zone when it is within your budget. The cost-savings on efficient watering may incentivize you to get the job over and done with as soon as possible.
A healthy lawn also freshens the air, cools the air to reduce the need for air conditioning, and purifies water quality. Soil quality is one factor to consider in calculating the installation cost. It is necessary to consider any sloping and other types of landscaping as well. The more difficult the soil and landscape, the more time it will take professions to lay the piping and assemble the project. An inexpensive do-it-yourself installation in a typical quarter-acre lawn can be installed for as little as $500 if your primary drive is convenience in watering.