A few years ago, we installed our own sprinkler system. Other than the usual replacing sprayers due to wear and tear or the birds and squirrels using them for toys, our system has stood the test of time. Listed below are the important lessons we learned during and after installing our own system.
Lesson one – Planning. Don’t just plan for the lawn, trees and bushes you have now. Allow for the changes you may make in the future. Maybe drip lines for your garden, bushes, flowerpots and hanging baskets. If you design your system around future possibilities, hopefully, you won’t have to dig up your lines later.
Lesson two – Design. Don’t rule out having a professional design your sprinkler system. Some supply warehouses will design your sprinkler system for free, if you purchase the components from them.
We did have our system designed by a professional. Our neighbor didn’t. Hard lesson learned. His water coverage didn’t reach the corners and he didn’t opt for a larger valve box for expansion. Our professional suggested a larger valve box to allow installation of an extra T or two inside the box. As it turned out a couple years later, we installed a drip line along the entire back yard and we had the ability to do so, without a problem.
Lesson Three – Drains. King drains are a subterranean drain installed at the end of a circuit. Our system was designed without them, by choice. If the drains fail and your lines freeze, repair can be expensive and entail digging up that area of the system, once you discover the failure. While a failure is rare, we just didn’t want to deal with that possibility.
Our choice is to use an air compressor to blow out the entire system each fall and turn on the sprinkler system in the spring after the chance of a hard frost is past. Landscape companies also provide this service for a nominal fee.
Lesson Four – Sprinkler Systems Components. Use a major brand of sprinkler system components for your install, so repair parts should be readily available years down the road.
When we first decided on a sprinkler system, we choose an impact sprinkler head (you know the ones that make a pssst, pssst sound during operation). Our designer suggested rotary sprinkler heads instead, they are much quieter and deliver a more exact pattern.
Ready…Set…Install! Good luck!