Automatic Sprinkler Systems:
Frequently Asked Questions
Like most people, you probably have many questions that you would like to ask before finalizing your decision to purchase an Automatic Sprinkler System. The information below should provide many answers for you, but please do not hesitate to ask your irrigation contractor any additional questions that you may have.
Q. What are the advantages of owning an Automatic Sprinkler System
A. Many people say convenience is the biggest advantage to an Automatic System since they don’t have to spend their time watering by hand or moving the hose around the yard. Others say extended plant life and lower water usage are the most important benefits. Still others believe a sprinkler system is one of the best investments that they can make in their home, since a home’s appearance is a key factor in determining market value. And guess what — they are all right!
Q. Will an Automatic Sprinkler System use more water than I am currently using?
A. No. — In fact, an automatic sprinkler system will conserve water. You will never have to worry about runoff from over-watering or about wasting water if you forget to turn off the hose. Plus, with a Rain Bird moisture sensor your system will know when it is raining and simply turn itself off when water is not needed.
Q. Does having a sprinkler system really save time?
A. Yes. — You won’t have to spend another minute of your valuable leisure time watering the lawn. Your new system will do all the watering for you – even when you are away from home!
Q. Will an Automatic Sprinkler System water as well as I do when I water by hand?
A. An Automatic Sprinkler System will actually do a much better job because it is a professionally designed system that delivers exactly the right amount of water to specific lawn and garden areas.
Q. We generally get 40 or more inches of rainfall a year. Do we really need a sprinkler system?
A. If it rained at your house every three days — the same exact amount each time — you probably would not need a sprinkler system. But nature doesn’t work that way, and the only way to ensure a healthy, lush yard is to make certain that your lawn and plants receive a regularly timed and evenly measured amount of water. In the dry season when there is little or no rain, your yard can suffer damage after just a few days without water.
Q. Are there different sprinkler systems from which to choose?
A. Although every system should be tailored to meet one’s individual needs, a typical system is comprised of a controller (which functions as the brains of the system), valves (which open and close to release and stop the flow of water to underground pipes) and sprinklers (which distribute water to specific areas). It is best if all of a system’s components are manufactured by the same company in order to ensure that they will work well together. Unlike Rain Bird, most companies make only one or two components of a complete system. However, Rain Bird, designs and manufactures all of the major components that comprise a complete irrigation system. Rain Bird also has a nationwide network of distributors that support contractors who install their systems.
Q. How do I know what type of sprinkler system is best for me?
A. It is always best to work with a professional irrigation contractor who is knowledgeable about factors such as water source and pressure, soil type, planting materials, and weather conditions. A professional will take all of this into consideration when designing a system specific to the needs of your landscape.
Q. Can I save money by installing my own system?
A. No! In fact, it could cost you more money in the long run. A professional irrigation contractor will design and install the most cost-effective and energy-efficient system possible. You can be confident that he will use the best equipment for the job and effectively schedule any maintenance required to keep your landscape in top shape.
He will pay special attention to important factors such as sprinkler patterns (it is important to overlap the patterns so that the outer edges receive sufficient water for healthy growth) and backflow prevention (which is necessary to protect your drinking water). Because your contractor is familiar with local plumbing and electrical codes, you won’t have to worry about costly pipe installation or wiring mistakes. He can do the job faster — with less disruption to your existing landscape — and will guarantee his work.
Q. Will I have difficulty operating my sprinkler system?
A. Your contractor will help you select the best controller for your needs, and he will program it with your customized watering schedule. Your contractor will also explain the system’s operation to you. Then, if necessary, you will be able to easily change the watering schedule by simply following the easy instructions on the inside of the controller cabinet.
Q. How much will a good sprinkler system cost?
A. The price of a system depends upon many factors such as property size, type of landscaping, and special designs. But you can count on your professional irrigation contractor to design a cost-effective system comprised of quality Rain Bird products. He will be familiar with Rain Bird’s many professional series products and will know how to put the right ones together in a system in order to achieve maximum results. He also knows that Rain Bird, as well as its nationwide distributor network, stands behind all of its products and is serious about commitment to quality construction and after-sale service.