Landscape Irrigation – The Bits and Bobs

Now that you have your new sod, or plants, you will want to make sure that they get enough water. In the heat of the summer you don’t want to spend excess time watering every day, or worry about your plants when you leave for your summer adventures. With the right irrigation system, you don’t have to worry about it. Our team knows sprinklers and as part of your landscaping, we can make sure that you get the water you need where you need it. Don’t rely on dragging hoses to keep your landscape looking amazing. Below are some of the elements of sprinkler systems. 

The Bits (essentials)

Irrigation systems generally start with an isolation or gate valve. Installed off the main water line, this valve will shut off the water to the irrigation system but allow water to continue to flow to your house. In the event that something breaks in your system (due to roots or accidental shovels) you can turn the water off yet continue to have water in your home. 

In the state of Oregon, it is a requirement that any irrigation system hooked up to the municipal water must have a backflow preventor. This is also called a double-check. These allow water to flow through, to your irrigation system, but if the system ever becomes depressurized it will prevent water from leaving the irrigation system, which isn’t sanitary, and re-entering the city water and polluting the house water (which people drink) with possible contaminates. 

Controllers, clocks, timers, are the electrical portion of the sprinkler system. With a controller installed you can program your water to turn on when you want it. Maybe you need to water your new sod more often due to the summer heat, the controller gives you the flexibility to water your grass multiple days, or even multiple times per day. Maybe you want to take a much needed vacation. The controller means you don’t need to pay the neighbor boy to come over and fiddle with your sprinklers. Set the days and times and then enjoy your relaxation.

Zone Valves are installed for each area of the landscape that needs to be watered. These are what the controller opens and closes to allow water to flow through. The number of zones needed is dependent on a couple of factors: the type of landscape, the water pressure (PSI), and the flow (GPM). Unfortunately, you can’t expect to have enough water pressure to have 1 zone cover the entire front and back yard of any property. Maybe you have grass and flowerbeds that need to be watered. These will all determine how many zones you will need to have for your landscape. 

The Bobs (not necessarily essentials)

How do you get water to the park strip on the other side of the sidewalk, or maybe you have a paver pathway or retaining wall as part of your landscape. A PVC sleeve can be installed underground that will allow the pipe and wiring to bypass the hardscape that may be in the way.

In the day and age of smart homes, you may be pleased to hear that there are WIFI and Bluetooth compatible controllers. These adapters can be installed to give you access through an app on your phone so you can see what is going on, even when you are on vacation (but really you should relax and enjoy the time away). 

Irrigation systems are as unique as the landscape they water. You will want to make sure you get the right system for your landscape to keep your beautiful plants, trees, shrubs, and grass alive.  

(Good sprinkler work doesn’t have good pictures because it should blend into the landscape and be unobtrusive. But during the installation process, it can look a total mess.)

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