Residential Sprinkler Systems and Repairs

A residential sprinkler saves time and money when properly installed. Read helpful information about residential sprinkler systems and repairs today.

Installing a residential sprinkler system for your lawn requires research, time and effort. The time it saves over the long-term is well worth it for homeowners who have run out of patience with the time it takes to maintain their lawns each year. This is especially true for homeowners who live in consistently warmer climates, such as those in Florida, California and numerous other states. Regardless of location, however, a residential sprinkler saves you time and money when properly installed. Continue reading for helpful information about residential sprinkler systems, maintenance, and repairs.


Brief Overview of Sprinkler Systems

Residential sprinkler systems are not overrun with overtly complicated components. Their primary function is to water your lawn, garden, and flowerbeds. Each system is comprised of a computerized control center, which functions as the brains of the system. The control center operates a timer, which informs the system which sprinkler heads should turn on and at what times during each day. The sprinkler heads are connected to a series of valves, which determine how much water flows into specified zones of the overall system. The valves function as faucets, and the programmable zones help keep healthy amounts of water flowing to areas of your property at appropriate times.

Water typically runs through underground piping. Most sprinkler heads retract to or near ground level, elevating only when called into action by the control center. This way most of your sprinkler system is barely visible, if visible at all until the sprinkler heads in specific zones become operational.

Types of Residential Sprinkler Systems

Even though the components which make up a sprinkler system are logical and generally uncomplicated, multiple types of residential systems are available. Residential sprinkler systems are also (either loosely or specifically) referred to as lawn or landscape irrigation systems. These systems operate in different ways depending on the type and model chosen. 

Basic lawn sprinkler systems are the go-to choose for homeowners with properties consisting of large patches of grass or similar types of plants. These types of systems are best to have running early in the morning before the sun burns the moisture off the grass or plants, or in the evening once the sun is dipping beneath the horizon. Running lawn sprinklers during the day is unhealthy for the plants or grass receiving the water. The direct sunshine not only evaporates the water, rendering it mostly useless. It also heats the water in unhealthy ways, scorching your grass or plants. Fortunately, even the most basic lawn sprinkler systems are equipped with timers to ensure watering happens at ideal times each day and is avoided when the sun is hottest. 

A drip irrigation system is best suited for gardens consisting of multiple types of plants. Drip irrigation systems allow a customizable fine-tuning of the amount of water plants receive during vital times each day. Hoses used in these systems are porous and send water directly to the roots of the plants (as opposed to the surface). The plants tend to shade these systems and the water they release, which prevents excessive evaporation. Drip irrigation systems also pose no risk of scorching your plants. One of the best features of drip irrigation systems, however, is the ability to send water to different types of plants with different irrigation needs.

Some drip irrigation systems are connected to rain-catchment systems. Rain barrels capture water and send it to the plants when the rain stops. The water is delivered by gravity and these system attachments are not controllable by electronics or computers. Rain-catchment drip irrigation systems are excellent for money-saving purposes because they allow you to use natural rain fall to water your lawn, plants, or garden in semi-controllable ways. Some U.S. states have rainwater harvesting regulations, however, so it is important to research the viability and legality of using such a system on your property. 

A bubbler irrigation system combines functional elements of both sprinkler drip irrigation systems. Bubbler systems send out large amounts of water but do so from approximately six inches above the ground. Bubbler systems water plants from the root systems, are operable on timers and have programmable emitters to control how much water goes to each type of plant. Unlike drip irrigation systems, bubbler systems are best for identical plants in localized areas. Please note: Bubbler and drip systems are both usable on the same property to meet all your residential irrigation needs.

Repairs and Installs

Installing a residential sprinkler system might take a few days or a few weekends. This depends on if you are installing it as a DIY project or hiring a professional service provider. This also depends on the size of the system and property onto which it is installed. The installation process involves multiple steps. First you must assess your property for its specific watering needs. Next, you must locate any utility lines, create a plan, purchase supplies (if done as a DIY project) or hire a professional residential sprinkler installer service.

A smart residential sprinkler system functions in the same way a thermostat functions for your inside HVAC system. Watering and irrigation schedules are enacted and stopped automatically so you never have to worry about watering your lawn, plants, or garden except for general upkeep on the system itself. Smart residential sprinkler systems also optimize irrigation settings by adjusting to weather patterns and other regional climate scenarios, which helps maximize your plant’s or property’s health and growth potential. 

Upkeep maintenance is generally required every spring and fall season, and overall systems require replacement approximately every ten to fifteen years. Cost for installation depends on if you do the installation yourself or hire a contractor. An automatic underground residential sprinkler system installed onto a 2,500 square foot lawn might cost between $2,000 and $2,500 (including parts and installation). Prices do not increase proportionately with increased lawn sizes, however. For example, an automatic underground residential sprinkler system installed onto a 5,000 square foot lawn might cost approximately $3,500. Some of the best residential sprinkler systems available on the market today include: