Tips & Advice
How do you perform an irrigation system performance check?
To implement an irrigation-system performance check, audit all parts of the irrigation system. Pay special attention to aspects that can cause irrigation problems, such as sprinkler spacing, nozzle pressure, or tilted sprinkler heads. Set up catch devices at various points to measure the amount of water being distributed. It's best to conduct the audit during normal operating conditions.
What type of irrigation system is the most efficient?
The most efficient system for watering plants is drip irrigation. This system delivers water slowly and frugally, and it uses a fraction of the water consumed by alternatives such as overhead spray devices. Drip irrigation is a good choice for clay soils, since the system's slow delivery gives this soil type enough time to fully absorb the water.
What is a drip irrigation system?
With a drip-irrigation system, water is delivered directly to the roots of the plants using a network of pipes and tubing valves. Drip irrigation minimizes evaporation and water runoff, and it provides a slow but steady supply of water to plants. The tubing used in this type of irrigation system is quite versatile, and it can easily be adjusted to fit the shape of irregular patches of land.
What are the different types of irrigation systems?
There are many different types of irrigation systems, and they vary based on how the water is distributed to the land. With surface irrigation, there is no mechanical pump used; instead, water is distributed solely with the help of gravity. Other types include drip irrigation, localized irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, and manual irrigation.
Will a sprinkler system use less water than manual watering?
Though it's more tedious and time consuming, manual watering uses less water than an overhead sprinkler system. However, drip irrigation is your best choice if your goal is to maximize water conservation. Drip irrigation uses pipes and valves to deliver a gradual supply of water directly to the roots of your plants. This slow delivery method gives the roots time to absorb all the water.
How frequently should a lawn be watered?
In most cases, watering a lawn once per week will suffice. If you live in an exceptionally dry climate, more frequent watering will be necessary. Conversely, if you live in an area that gets lots of rain, you might need to water less frequently. Installing a rain gauge on your lawn can help you decide if your lawn's weekly water requirements have been met. Some cities also regulate how often a lawn can be watered if there is a drought.
If a sprinkler is located on a slope or hill, this can cause water to be wasted as it drains from the system's pipes. A check valve stops this drainage by trapping water in the pipes. Drainage doesn't just waste water; it can damage your landscape by causing flooding or erosion.
What is the best time of day to water a lawn?
The best time of day to water a lawn is early in the morning before the temperature climbs. If you water when it's too hot outside, the water will evaporate before it has a chance to reach the plant roots. Avoid watering late in the evening, since this can cause water to cling to the grass overnight, creating conditions that can trigger fungus growth.
How long should sprinklers be operated per day?
To determine how long to run sprinklers, you need to know the water flow of your home's sprinkler system. Set shallow empty cans around the sprinkler heads, and let the system run for 15 minutes. Then use a ruler to measure how many inches of water the sprinklers have left in the cans. Multiply that figure by four to get your sprinkler system's hourly output. It's recommended that most grasses get 1-2 inches of water per week. If your sprinkler has an hourly output of 1 inch, running the system once every seven days for a one-hour interval will give your lawn an inch of water per week.
How much does it cost to change a sprinkler valve?
It can cost $40 or more to change a sprinkler valve. Before replacing the valve, it's important to make sure that a faulty valve is the actual cause of the problem. Sprinkler issues can also be caused by defective heads and compromised sprinkler lines. Timely repairs are important, since a sprinkler that delivers poor performance can adversely affect the health of your lawn.