Located in Fort Worth, Texas     Phone (817) 980-4979     State Irrigator Lic. #741


Sprinkler System-Information and Factors to Consider



    There is more to a sprinkler system than just sprinklers!



In designing a system, available pressure and water flow determines how a sprinkler system is set up and what type of components can and will be utilized to insure a proper working, efficient system. Sometimes the water pressure is not at a level great enough to support some types of components therefore knowing these are critical to the design of a working system. When all necessary factors are known, the proper type of equipment or components can be utilized and included within the design.

Pressure deals with two types of pressure, static pressure and working pressure. Static pressure is the pressure that is available when the water is not flowing. Working pressure is that within the lines when the gallons are flowing. There are charts available and many professionals have learned the figures or have them readily available for access to determine the amounts of flow and pressure loss associated for the size of service lines, water meters, pipes and valves given the flow in gallons for the system design.

Both pressure and flow can easily be determined by some simple tests.

A flow test determines the capacity of your water supply in gallons per minute of water flow available. The desired information is how much water is flowed at the pressure that is needed for the system to correctly function. That can be figured a couple of ways but typically what is used for a spray type system design is the flow rate in GPM at about 35 to 40 psi. Also critical is the planned development in the area in the future and can make a difference and of course, should be considered when designing. The first house built in an area will usually have higher volume and pressure availability at that time then after development is. That's simply the case because there will be more buildings or homes that pull from the supply lines to the area. Be conscious of future needs from others in the years to come that could affect the performance of the sprinkler system you design and install today and it will not need modifications in the future.

There are flow/pressure gauges available that can be used to determine pressure and flow capacity and that, along with a 5 gallon bucket can give a useable figure to work with. Professional irrigation people may often already know these figures from other work they have done in the area, but they still often test again to insure nothing has drastically changed that could affect their calculations of the system design.

Were the pressure and available water flows are too low to work within specifications, there are available remedies that can be utilized. One remedy often used is the addition of a pressure booster pump.

Just as pressure that is to low can affect the design and operation of a system, a pressure that is to high, such as over 85-90 PSI, can result in problems of the sprinkler and can affect the design of the system. High pressures that exceed the manufacturer's recommendations can adversely affect operation and life of the product and can result in damage to the product requiring replacement and wasting water and of course the costs associated. There are two remedies for these conditions and may include something such as a pressure regulator being designed into the system. Your professional will know whether it is necessary.

Another often forgotten pre-install item that can be essential to not running into problems is knowing where lines, cable, wires or other piping is buried within the area you are going to dig in. Most utility companies will readily mark anything they may have at a nominal or no charge to prevent any interruption of service to both you and surrounding building areas. Call them before digging to get them to do a locate for you. It may save you a lot of time and money and is a simple thing to do. Often installers know where not to dig, avoid it or hand dig with caution in those areas. Some even have their own locate equipment and do it themselves if they feel they are getting to close or when they want to insure the location of a "drop" to your building. The gas company may need to mark gas lines, and it's important to know where the gas lines are before you ever start to dig. Simple solution to future problems is CALL before dig and it may never become a problem. Keep in mind also that there may be permits involved that must be obtained and sometimes those may not be issued if "locate" have not been requested. Professionals usually take care of any permits for you, but you should ask about whose responsibility it will be just to be sure.

Also, often people tend to get the cart before the horse and do not consider what they are even watering and jump in to get water there immediately. Then after they decide they want certain plants and foliage here and there, have to modify the system or can't get the proper watering for them with the existing system. Plan your landscaping before you put the pipe in the ground or even before a design is done! Where are your lawn areas going to be? Where will your shrubs, trees and flowers be? What areas will be bedded areas? Will there be foliage that drip or micro will do a better job? Planning landscaping needs can not only affect the design and performance of the irrigation, but can also be done in a manor that saves the water resource and reduces costs to you. Grouping of plants that require similar watering schemes is a recognized practice among professional in the industry and is commonly referred to as hydrozoning.

A professionally designed and installed automatic sprinkler system is one of the best investments that you can make for your home, increasing the value of it, saving you money by efficiently watering the required areas and allowing you to use your time for other purposes such as enjoying your family or other recreational activities.

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Our irrigation people can help you with any and all of your irrigation system needs. We can provide you with what you need on any type of system, by any kind of equipment manufacturers, specifically for any type of foliage and regardless of any soil conditions. We can and will design, install, troubleshoot and repair any irrigation system from the very complex radio controlled to the simplest water conserving drip system. We are state licensed experts and experienced in all irrigation techniques and methods. From microsprinklers used on groundcovers to the largest turf system involving valve in head commercial rotor used in golf courses, we are the ones to talk to!


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