When installing a home sprinkler systems, there is a long list of things that you must take into account before you begin. Unfortunately for me, I knew a lot less about home sprinkler systems when I first started installing my own, but fortunately for you, I learned a thing or two that could help ensure you don’t make the same mistakes I did. In sharing with you the four most important lessons I learned from installing a home sprinkler system of my own, I hope that your install will go much smoother than mine did.
Lesson One: Know how much water you need and where
Not only is the amount of water pressure available important when deciding where to place your sprinkler heads, but also the type of sprinkler head as well. Each sprinkler system had different sprinkler heads available and it is important to make sure that you get exactly what you need. I made the mistake of getting sprinkler heads that didn’t put out enough water and as a result my garden suffered the consequences. If you’re not sure what kind of sprinkler heads you will need, jot down the average water need for different plants in your garden and ask someone from a home and garden department what they would suggest. It’s important that you don’t waste water as it will increase your bill, so try to get as close to your watering needs as possible.
Lesson Two: Draw up your lawn and garden layout before you buy
While a sprinkler system might sound like a great solution to your lawn and garden irrigation needs you must make sure that it will really work. Looking at my yard and my garden it seemed like the system could work in any configuration, but the truth is that’s just not the case. To make sure that you can have the setup you want, draw up plans for different layouts first and mark the sprinklers with stakes. Mow the lawn as you normally would and see if it would really be an easier solution. It’s never fun to plan and pay for such a system only to find out that it’s more of a pain to mow around then its worth.
Lesson Three: The upkeep will be expensive
No piece of equipment last forever and that includes your sprinkler system. If you can do some of the repairs and upkeep yourself that will help a lot with the overall expense, but plan ahead and budget for the future repairs that are sure to be needed. Invest a little more in sprinkler head protection and follow your sprinkler systems guide to regular maintenance. If you live in a cold climate like I do you might want to look into investing in special tubing that is resistant to extreme cold and other adverse conditions.
Lesson Four: Don’t start working until the nice weather is upon you
The worst thing you can do when working on this type of project is fail to check ahead on the weather. I did exactly that and regretted every minute of it as a torrential downpour fell onto my head as I was digging holes. Not only did it destroy the work I had already done, but it put the entire project on hold for many days. Had I checked the weather ahead of time I would have avoided the utter embarrassment of my stupidity. On the plus side I think that was the most water my garden had seen in a while.
-Know your states laws: It is important to know your states laws with regard to sprinkler systems. Some states require that you operate them at certain times and others require that you set them up a specific way.
-Get a sprinkler system with a good warranty: Sprinklers are already expensive as it is and that’s why it’s because to get sprinklers with the best warranty and sometimes pay even more to ensure that your overall cost will be less.
-Get removable sprinkler heads: If you can, find removable sprinkler heads as this will make cleaning and upkeep a breeze, especially during the winter months.
-Mark your sprinkler heads before you mow: Purchase some bright markers and mark your sprinkler heads each time before you mow. They might be easy to see, but when the grass gets high enough they can be easy to miss.