Here are some other frequently asked questions:
1. As a landscape installer, or a home or business owner establishing new beds, I want the new irrigation system to provide water when the plants are first planted - Is this a reasonable request?
Not really, since the irrigation system should normally be the last phase of the landscape installation. You should allow for 2-4 days of supplemental watering until the irrigation system is up and running. Irrigation systems are for the long term rather than for the short term. They take time to install, flush and test before they can be reliably allowed to take care of the landscape.
2. When a new shrub or tree is planted, will it have enough water from the irrigation system?
Normally the larger the tree, the more supplemental watering will be required. Sprinkler systems do a great job for turf but will take a few days to wet the soil down to the root zone of recently planted trees. Use "Tree Gators" to establish newly transplanted trees for a month or more - until trees are established.
3. How much water is required to operate an automatic pop-up system?
It depends on the design. Commonly 8-10 gallons per minute at 60 psi are considered an average for residential needs.
4. How many sprinklers does a normal system have?
It depends on the dimensions of the property and the size of lawn versus gardens. If the system is designed and operated properly, the uniformity of precipitation will water the entire property. Hose - end sprinklers usually water certain areas. Some areas are over- watered where the sprinkler is placed and under watered around the edges!
5. What does a normal irrigation system cost?
It depends on the degree of sophistication desired. It is better to do a portion of the property properly than to do the entire property marginally. Normally, an irrigation system for a residential 1/2-3/4 acre lot will cost $2000 to $3000. This number could go higher ($3000-$4000) when landscaped beds and small areas are to be watered separately from the lawn. Price is always site specific.
6. How long does it take to have a system installed?
This depends on the type of system desired. A simple "wall to wall" irrigation system could take 1-2 days whereas one that treats individual gardens and lawns separately could take 3-4 days, depending on the soil and diversity of landscaping.
7. What happens when I want to change the landscaping and add on to the irrigation system?
If a scale drawing of the property and irrigation system were on file, it would be relatively easy to extend and/or modify the irrigation system. Don't forget - pipe and wires aren't easily rerouted once they are installed!
8. When is the best time to water a lawn?
That depends. A lawn normally should be watered in early morning (4 am to 9 am) to avoid evaporative loss and to take the dew down. Early watering allows the water to penetrate the soil and prevent diseases from getting a foothold in the wet lawn. Also the very early morning water pressure is better since fewer neighbors are using water at that time.
9. How much water should I apply for each watering event? How often should I water? I am considering planting sod instead of grass seed, how do irrigation requirements differ?
See the Aquarius Helpful Tips section for answers to these questions!
10. OK, what do I do in winter - water freezes, you know!
Just like with an unheated summer camp or swimming pool - you need to drain the system by using an air compressor to force air through the system and evacuate the water. The size of the compressor is important - too high a pressure or too much "cfm" of air and you could break some fittings or damage a few sprinklers. Too little volume of air or too low a pressure and you will fail to evacuate most of the water. Residual water may lead to a possible winter freeze-up and damage! Aquarius provides winterization services or can recommend the procedure for the "do it yourself" clients!