Irrigation problems and solutions

12 useful tips when using or building an irrigation system.

  1. When it comaes to figuring out your zone size, check your GPM ( Gallos per minute) and PSI (Pounds per square inch) coming out of the house. This will tell you the maximum size zone you can have
  2. When construsting a zone, dont use all your GPM on your zones. While they will run fine for the most part, when it is peak water useage time on your street, your zone running effectiveness. Always reduce your zone total by 0.5-1.0 GPM to avoid any issues at peak times.
  3. It is always beneficial to have a shutoff on the outside of the building on your mainline, and make sure it's before the blowout connection. Having this will allows the neighbor to turn off your sprinkler system when youre not home, if there is a problem. It also stop air pressure going against your indoor shutoff when having the sytem blownout ready for winter.
  4. Putting a label on the sprinkler shutoff, lets anyone looking for it find it easily.
  5. There are several different styles of irrigation heads. It is advisable to have seperate zones for beds and lawns. (Gallons per Hourare heads like Micro and xeri, but regular Sprays, Rotors andlarger style heads use Gallons per Minute (GPM). Also different plants ie shrubs and turf need different amounts of water. Its almost impossible to get them to work side by side for your landscape effectively).
  6. Always try to get irrigation and lighting run in conduites when going under any hardscape. Alot of contractors try to save money here, and while it may work for them....it never benfits the homeowner as it makes for a costly repair if you have to start lifting hardscapes.
  7. When wiring up the valves, the industry standard is to use the white wire as the common.
  8. Silicon filled Marrets are the best way to cover and join any wiring connection, using electrical tape will only cause you problems in the future
  9. Any contractor that buries valves under turf or in beds, is only doing so to try and keep you as a client. It is not good practice to hide valves and is a real headache to find when buried.
  10. ‘While pipe pulling is quicker to install a system, it doesnt necessarily mean pipes are at a consistent depth. This means you may run into problems when doing things like aerating the lawn.
  11. Failing to blow out the system in the fall, will only run you into problems with freezing. Its a costly repair when you get a leak from a fractured line or valve, especially if your on holiday
  12. If your having issues with an area of your landscape, dont always think that adding more water is going to solve the problem. Too Much water can be as much of a problem as not enough water. Check to see what the problem is ie plugged head, bad spacing

Over 60% of problems in any garden can be attributed to irrigation or drainage. Getting your system professionally built and maintained by a certified irrigation tech is a good solution to save you money and give you piece of mind for the future.