HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Today we’re going to answer the frequently asked question, “How much does it cost?”. There’s not really a simple answer to that. So, whenever we are talking about how much does it cost, first we’re going to view how much does it cost to install an irrigation system, a brand new start from scratch irrigation system. So there’s a bunch of variables involved here and I don’t want to be really vague and not answer the question. The first thing that we need to recognize whenever we’re talking about cost is the size of the yard. The square footage is what we’re going to be covering, that’s going to be the number one and most important thing. Number two is having a look at the hydraulics of the sprinkler system. Without getting super technical, we need to know how much water we have available and at what pressure. Flow and pressure, two huge design cues to properly laying out and installing an irrigation system.
Once we’ve evaluated how many square feet we’re covering and the hydraulics, then from there it’s going to depend on how many flower beds you have, the difference in your plant material, whether you have different types of grass. For instance, you have Bermuda in the heavy sun, front yard and tall fescue in the backyard. If you have any Zoysia, if you have an edible garden, that’s going to dictate how we would change the design as well. So without skirting the issue, without trying to avoid the question, the average sprinkler system that we install is around $4,000. So obviously going back to all those variables, I can’t tell you precisely how much it would cost to put a sprinkler system in your home, but it’s a good place to start. We have sprinkler systems that we’ve done all the way up into, you know, 20, $30,000. And we also have sprinkler systems that we’ve done for $2,000. But the average system that we do is right around $4,000. So when you’re talking about the average cost of a sprinkler system install, that pretty much answers that question. Obviously we have to take into account all the variables, the square footage, the number of flower beds, the type of grass, the different types of plant materials, the direction your home faces, all of those factors.
Now, the average cost of a sprinkler system repair. So those numbers are a little bit easier, but we’ll talk about common issues and kind of sort of address those things. So the most common call that we get is for a broken sprinkler head. So our rates are this, a service call is $85. So that includes the arrival and the first half-hour of labor. And then our labor rates are $95 per hour. So a broken head, for instance, that’s going to get repaired very quickly. And then from there, your average cost is going to be under a hundred dollars. So we take pride in when we arrive. We’re not just going to fix the broken sprinkler head and just leave. We’re also going to take a look at the rest of your sprinkler system to ensure that it’s functioning the way that it should and its optimum capabilities. We’re going to go and evaluate through our 13 points diagnostic checklist, all of the other things that that in an entailed in your spanker system, but obviously we’re going to fix that broken sprinkler head. So once again, to go over those numbers again, our service calls are $85. That includes the arrival and the first half-hour of labor and our labor rates are $95 per hour.
So that’s on our service. The things that are most common would be a controller that’s not functioning properly. So we’re going to come in and we’re going to reprogram it or we’re going to reset it and go through the troubleshooting on it and get it fixed. That’s going to be a hundred dollars unless we have to replace the controller. So if you’re replacing a controller, if you upgrade to the current new wifi controllers, it can cost anywhere between $250 to $500 depending on the size of your system and the setup. And then, another really common phone call that we get is a leak. So repairing a broken pipe is always typically done in that first half-hour. So that would be included in that service call and then a few dollars in miscellaneous parts. So that’s most commonly done within the first half-hour.
So typically a leak is around a hundred dollars. Now more complex leaks, for instance, it’s leaking out by the water meter or it’s leaking at the backflow preventer or it’s leaking in a valve, you know those numbers are going to change as well. But most commonly if you have a leak by the water meter, we are going to replace the isolation valve. More or less. That is going to be around $300. Replacing a backflow preventer is going to be between three to $700 and rebuilding a valve box, depending on what all we have to do is going to be between two to $600. So it gives you a nice starting range of what things are going to be like. These are not a hundred percent accurate numbers because obviously, every single yard is going to be different. Every single sprinkler system is going to be different, but it’s just a place to start on how much it costs.
So just to review so that we make sure we’re all on the same page and understanding the average sprinkler system that we install here at living water irrigation is going to be around $4,000 now that’s going to vary based on square footage of the lot plant material, type of grass, specifically out of your home and all of the perfect design cues that we want to pay attention to whenever we’re installing a sprinkler system. And then secondly, from there, the average cost of a repair. So our average cost of a repair for living water irrigation around $150 if you take everything in, average it out. Once again, our rates are $85 for the service call. That includes the arrival and the first half-hour labor and then $95 an hour after that. And each and everything that we do, we’re going to make sure that we do it as efficiently and properly as possible so you can save as much money as possible.
But we want to ensure that we’re giving you the best value and the best quality. We warranty everything that we do. So we hope that this kind of gives you an idea when you’re looking around and shopping around, obviously being the highest and most reviewed irrigation company in the country. We know that the weld we’re providing for you, the service that we provide, the quality that we provide in the rates that we provide our industry-leading. We also do have a price match guarantee. So if any of these numbers are a little higher than anyone else out there, if we’re comparing apples to apples, we’ll match any price out there in the market and earn your business at living water irrigation.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I WATER?
And now we’re going to discuss the frequently asked question of how often should I water. So once again, like a lot of the other questions that have been asked in a frequently asked questions section here on our website and with us here at living water irrigation, there’s not a catchall one ,be all answer to this, but we can give you some great approximations and give you a good idea of a place to start. And if it doesn’t answer your question specifically, you can always call our office and we can have somebody come out and discuss it with you and come up with the best watering schedule for your lawn. So the question is, how often should I water? If you look at Oklahoma State University, who is the leader in the Midwest and agricultural irrigation as well as residential irrigation, they have a bunch of great cheat sheets or a bunch of great information.
So, you know, going off of what they offer and the things that they can do, one of the most important things that we recommend at living water irrigation, also Oklahoma state university recommends, is to do an irrigation audit. You know, get an idea of how much water you actually put down in each area of your yard. So then that way you can know if you’re putting down a quarter of an inch and a half an inch or one inch based off of what you’re putting down in each area of the yard is going to dictate how often you should water. If you look at some factors that dictate the frequency of your water and you’re going to look at a big, big, big word called a Valpo transpiration, it’s really confusing, but essentially without getting super-duper complicated, that low transpiration is simply how quickly the water goes away when you put it down.
So we can get to a bunch of complicated other things there. Then also the soil texture depending on what type of soil you have. Mostly here in the Northeast Oklahoma area, we have a whole lot of clay, but the type of soil you have is going to dictate how often you water as well, and then how many inches of water we want to put down on each and every single section of that. So if you look at what Oklahoma state university is recommending, they have a bunch of tables and a bunch of convenient things that you’re more than welcome to look up. But the other factor, once we get back past of transpiration, so the texture is the inches of water. So we needed dirt. How do we determine an inch of water?
There’s a great formula on here, super complicated math, but super simple. So 3,123 gallons of water is basically an inch of water for the average arm. So we just get to that simple number. It’s a good place to start without getting much, much more complicated. So now we’ve determined, okay, how much do I need? How much water do I need to put on my yard? That’s obviously going to vary based on your type of grass and your landscaping as well. But most homes in the Northeastern Oklahoma area are going to be hot grass, which would be Bermuda. So we’re going to address it as Bermuda. But like I said, Oklahoma state university has all of these things on here and they’re available. So for instance, you know, we’ll just pull a month out here, June. It’s saying that the average precipitation that we get is 4.6 inches.
So your average irrigation need is one inch. So if we break down, okay, so we’ve got to that number. So now without getting more complicated, how do I get that one inch of water throughout the month of June? Well, here’s the answer. Our sprinkler systems that living water irrigation are designed to water about 12 to 13 gallons per minute. Okay? So the simple math on a standard sprinkler system, you’re going to have on average eight zones. On average, those zones are going to be watering for 10 minutes. So if you are looking at each time the cycle runs, it’s going to run a proximately 960 gallons. But remember we’ve got to put that same amount in each area. So this is where people most commonly get confused. So we want to look at that zone that’s running for 10 minutes. Each time it waters, it’s putting out approximately 120 gallons.
So we need to get that to 3,100 gallons to get to the proper watering. Okay? So that means if we’re watering three days a week at the proper nozzle size, at the proper height and at the proper coverage, then we are going to be able to verify that we are putting out the right amount of water that is recommended by the Oklahoma state university based on average precipitation rates and average irrigation needs. Now each and every single yard is going to be different. Really different. But we can help navigate through that. The way that we do that is making sure we’re scheduling each and every single zone separately. Because the other big thing that’s not factored here is sun versus shade. So obviously if you have a heavy, heavy shaded area, it’s not going to need near as much water like a heavy sun area.
But this is just a good place to start. Please don’t take these numbers as this is exactly how long I should water my yard. It’s just a place to start. And so the easy answer is you need to reprogram your controller for spring, summer, and fall three times a year. The best idea is to water two to three days a week. When it comes to summer, four to six days a week back into fall, two to three days a week. It just depends on the yard, depends on exactly your plant material, depends on how much shade you have versus how much sun you have. And that’s going to give us a good place to start. We’d be happy to come out and do a full audit of your sprinkler system if you’d ever like. It’s not super technical, but we can do an audit and that gives us an idea of exactly how much water’s good each and every single area of your yard.
And then from there, we’ll be able to interpret those results and how to water your yard perfectly. The other big thing is we want to make sure that we are installing a rain system, a rain sensor on all of our sprinkler systems. What that’s going to do is that’s going to save you a whole bunch of water, whenever we do have that, it’s going to save you a whole bunch of water to not be watering whenever it’s raining. And then also if you can look at watering when the sun is low or down or in the morning and when the winds are calm, then we can make sure that we’re not putting a bunch of water on the driveway and on the street on the sidewalk and putting the water exactly where it needs to be. Okay, so I don’t know if that answered all of your questions. If it did not, please give our office a call and we’d be more than happy to come out and spend some time with you on how often you should water your yard.
WHEN DO I WINTERIZE?
today, we’re going to go through some of the frequently asked questions. I live in water irrigation. Probably the most common question that we get this time of year is when is the proper time to winterize my sprinkler system? The Robert time to winterize your sprinkler system is typically right before Thanksgiving, mid-November, when we want to do, is go on to winterize the sprinkler system both for the first hard freeze, so that varies obviously a whole lot in Oklahoma, but the big factor that we want to do is to winterize them for the first hard freeze. There’s no need to panic if your system hasn’t been winterized and as if it was already blood dropped below freezing. It’s actually going to take some time. Obviously, when you take down water that’s running through your sprinkler system, it will take some time without water to freeze and your back bitter and to cause any damage, so don’t panic.
It’s still okay. You could give us a call and we can schedule to get your system winterized. The next question becomes what happens when you went arise in the spring versus what is the process that we go through to properly winterize the sprinkler system? The answer to that is we’re going to shut down the system and we’re going to drain the backlog Mitch devices and then also we want to turn off your irrigation controller to ensure that it’s not running all winter long so the process is super number set. Well, any homeowner can do it. The great benefit of having living water irrigation there so is that we are going to pour into you against any damage if you have us winterize your system. So the process once again is we’re going to shut off the water below ground and what’s called isolation, but the isolation valve is typically located near your water meter or near your backlog prevention device.
And then from there is where we utilize the bleeder valves on the back Clover vendor to train the system so that there’s no water of grounds. We don’t have any issues with the system freezing and breaking over the harsh. Also, we want to turn off the irrigation controller. Typically located in the garage. We simply want to send that to off. There’s no reason to have it running all winter long. So once again, the best time to winterize your sprinkler system is prior to the first freeze. So we typically automatically scheduled a large portion of our clients are on our auto-scheduled list, meaning that every winter we’re going to come out prior to the praise and get their systems right and then also every spring we’re going to count back, get their systems turned on and get them set up and ready to go for spring.
So if you’re not on our auto schedule this week, we’ll sit down and email to all of our current customers as a reminder when it’s time to winterize, but you can call us at any time and we can count their choice. The other thing you want to factor whenever it comes to winterization is making sure that it’s done properly. There is no need in the Oklahoma area because of where the frost sign is to hook up a press there. There are a number of companies out there that say you need other press. There it is. Not necessary in Oklahoma, the Frostline does not get that low, but you do want to shut the system down and drain it properly prior to any freezing temperatures so that your backflow prevention advice does not freeze and break. That is super-duper important, but it is not necessary to hook up compressed air to the backflow preventer.
It is not necessary to blow out all of the lines. It is only important to drain the other [inaudible] ground backflow preventer. You obviously want to make sure that you’re not running this system during winter as well. So another commonly asked question, another frequently asked question is, does my system need to be winterized? We will address that as well. But the most important thing is if you have an above-ground backflow prevention device and your sprinkler system needs to not be running throughout winter, you need to make sure that we get that turned off and we get a drain and that we’re making sure that we do that prior to winter, prior to any freezing and damaging temperatures. If you call the living water irrigation, we provide a warranty with all of our winterization, so if anything does freeze and break, we’ve become responsible for that.
It’s not on you if you would like us to tell you how to do so. Once again, it is super simple to winterize your sprinkler system. All you need to do is turn off the water below the ground and have the isolation out. Virtually all the Albert gate valve, there’s a number of different types of isolation valves and that’s the shutoff for the water to your irrigation system. So you obviously have a water noise in your house and then you have the water going to the irrigation system, so you’re going to shut that off and then you simply want to open the bleeder about on your backflow preventer. Eating the blue handles, the isolation valves that are on the backflow, you want to leave those open, but you do absolutely positively want to open the bleeder valves and leave them open so that ed water can continue to drain out of them and he doesn’t need those open all winter long.
That is the process of winterization. We’re happy to walk you through it over the phone. If you have any other questions, please call us. If you would like to schedule to meet winterized beacon at that any time of the year on her auto-schedule list, even in the middle of July, you could call us and we can add you on to get winterized. We hope that this ancient, your question of when is the best time to open our eyes. To follow up one more time, you want to have your scraper system winterized prior to the first freeze, which typically in Oklahoma is going to be able to for Thanksgiving and also there’s no need to water Bermuda anyway because it’s gone dormant at that point. If you have any other special like to be FSQ or Zoysia, please contact us and we can tell you how you can water that throughout the winter. And we hope that this answered your question properly. Thank you so much.
WILL AN AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER SAVE ME WATER?
Now we’re going to go over the frequently asked question of will automatically will an automatic sprinkler system uses more water than what I’m currently using? So the start to that question is this a properly designed, a properly laid out, a properly hydraulically factored irrigation system is going to use much, much, much less water than you’re currently using on a traditional dragging a hose around and putting out a yard sprinkler that you’re picking up at your local hardware store. Now we obviously want to make sure that we are being smart for the environment. We want to make sure that we are not overwatering, that we’re not being wasteful, that we’re being good stewards of the resources that we have. So whenever we talk about will an automatic sprinkler system use more water than I’m currently using? The answer is no. If we’re watering the first place, the absolute fact is it will conserve water because you never have to worry about runoff from over-watering or wasting water when you forget to turn off the hose.
The other huge part of that is with our rain sensor. You’re never watering whenever it’s raining outside or it has rained. So then there you’re not doubling up. You’re not putting that extra water out on the ground whenever it’s already, the plant material has already gotten enough water at that given point. So whenever you look at water use, so you say, well, Hey Josh, you’re, you’re talking about putting, you know, 50 sprinkler heads in my yard. I only go out and drag one sprinkler head out there and turn the hose on. Well, we’re going to talk about efficiency and wind dispersion. So the big fart is whenever you’re going out and putting that one sprinkler out in the middle of your yard, the wind is wreaking havoc on that because obviously having to do it midday or in the evening, our Oklahoma winds are really strong, so we recommend that you water early, early morning so that way it’s not that affected by wind.
And then the other factor is efficiency. So how much of that water that’s coming out of that nozzle is actually going to the root system is actually going to, the plant material is actually going to help your yard look as beautiful as possible. And the answer is very little out of a common lawn sprinkler that you get from a hardware store because it’s just designed to broadcast of a bunch of water out. It’s not designed to consistently water across the entire radius of the sprinkler, so you’re not getting the same amount of water, six inches from that sprinkler as you are 15 feet. So if you’re looking at professionally designed products that are installed by living water irrigation, and you’re looking at the proper commercial grade irrigation products, those products are designed to ensure that you’re getting consistent coverage across the entirety of the water flow.
So the other reason why you’re going to use less water with an automatic sprinkler system is being able to program and control the duration and the frequency of each and every single time that that sprinkler system is running. So whenever you go out and you drag a hose out and you turn that water hose on, you’ve got that sprinkler out there and you’re in there watching TV, cooking dinner, playing with the kids, having a great time. You forget quite often we all do. None of us are perfect. We forget that we have that out there running. So now it’s running two hours and all we needed to run it was 20 minutes. So that’s going to save you water. Huge. Whenever you’re able to just set your controller in the garage and literally forget it, you don’t have to worry about, Oh, how long is it going to water?
How long am I running this for? Is it right? And then the other thing is it’s going to save you a whole bunch of time. Obviously not having to pull that hose around and drag that hose around. So when you go back and you look at, will it say water? The answer is yes because you’re programming. Because you look at the sides of your houses. You know, it’s very rare that we’ll drag a hose over there and get the side of the house. So now you know, you may have a good look in the front yard, maybe even a good looking backyard, but we’ve completely left off the side of the yard. So it’s all looking consistent. Now when you have an automatic irrigation system versus out there dragging a hose. The other big part is when you have a properly designed system with proper head placement and prosper, proper nozzle sizing and ensuring that we’re putting out the right amount of water in each and every single area.
Then that water’s much, much, much less time in order to get the same amount of water to the root material. So if you’re looking at the recommendations are, you know, to put out an inch of water, you can get an inch of water in a fraction of the time from a properly designed automatic irrigation system just simply because of the layout of the head locations. And then also, of course, because of the nozzle sizing and then just the knowledge and the interpretation of the hydraulics factoring for the flow and pressure and making sure that it’s laid out properly to give you the best and easiest to use automatics irrigation system out there. So not to mention the time that’s going to be saved if you’d never have to go hook up a hose if you never have to drag it out if you never have to remember to turn it back off.
Think of all the time you’re getting back and think of all the days you’re getting back, think of all the water that you’re getting back because you’re never going to forget to turn it off if it’s just automatically scheduled to water. So it makes it super simple on you. That’s everything that we do here at living water, irrigation. We want to make things as convenient and easy for you as possible. So to go back over our bullet points here, so the question is, will an automatic sprinkler system uses more water than I’m currently using? And the answer is no, it’s not even close. So it’ll conserve water because it’s putting it out in a much more efficient pattern. It’s putting it out and broadcasting it along larger sections and stations and zones of your yard. And most importantly, you’re never going to forget to turn it off.
So it’s not going to run for hours and hours and hours, and then not to mention the amount of time that it’s going to be saving. And then from there, having a rain sensor installed in each and every single irrigation system ensures that no matter what, it’s not going to water when it is raining or has rained. So to make sure that you’re doing your part for the environment and being good stewards of our resources, we want to ensure that we’re putting her out of the water, the proper amount of water on our yards to keep our yards green and lush and looking beautiful. So the best way to do that, the best way to conserve water is to have an automatic irrigation system and stuff. So give living water, irrigation and coal will come out. We’ll consult with you, show you how it all works, show you why we’re going to save you water and why we’re going to save you a ton of time.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT CONTRACTOR?
The question is how do I choose the right contractor? So now that you’ve made the decision that you want to hire a contractor to install your irrigation system and you do not want to try and do it yourself, the question becomes how do I choose the right contractor? So there’s a bunch of different answers to that. Here are a few major, major topics that you want as you’re looking to hire someone to install your sprinkler system for you. The first and most important part of that is to do your homework. So you want to look, uh, obviously there’s all kinds of information available on Google and other search engine results of what kind of quality are you going to be able to expect from the contractor? What kind of track record do they have? What are the reviews look like? What are other people saying?
So then also the contractor needs to do their homework. So if you’ve got a contractor who’s telling you they’re going to give you a bid over the phone or they know exactly how much it’s going to cost before they come out and show up at your property and spend time with you and look at what you have, then obviously there’s no way to know what you’re going to need specifically for your given property. Uh, the other things that really factor become important. Um, they’re on your specific project is the location of the water meter, taking a water pressure and then understanding the hydraulics specific to your location, um, in the area. And then from there, you want to make sure that they, uh, have the experience and knowledge to be able to install your sprinkler system. So how many sprinkler systems have they installed?
Have they installed a sprinkler system along the lines of what you’re wanting to be done? Uh, do they have references and positive ones that they can bring to you and, and phone numbers that they can provide to say, Hey, you can reach out to our last, you know, 10 installations. And then the other, you know, a huge factor becomes what is important to you. So if you’re solely focused on price, there are a million different contractors out there that can obviously take care of that for you. But sometimes, sometimes whenever someone’s a lot cheaper, it’s because those contractors are typically cutting corners. So if there’s someone out there that it comes and give you a bid and they’re half as much as everybody else, they’re 30% cheaper than everybody else. That means that they’re most likely cutting a bunch of corners. They’re probably leaving out the backflow preventer or installing the backflow preventer and then probably come back and taking it out afterward.
Are they gluing all the private property? Are they seeding the fittings properly? Are they using the right type of pipe? Uh, the, you know, that’s what it’s going to become important is, you know, are they factoring for the hydraulics on your specific yard, in your specific location? The other thing is if it’s significantly less expensive than all the other bids you’ve received, most likely they’re not installing apples to apples. So when we come out and do our average sprinkler system, it’s eight stations. There’s a lot of guys in the market and a lot of guys out there that will come out and install three or four stations. So yes, technically there’s a little bit of water getting to every area of your yard, but it’s not proper coverage. It’s not true and sincere and concise, head to head coverage. So if you’re shortcutting things in that manner and coming out and just plopping a couple of sprinkler heads and, and you know, turning the system on, number one, you’re not going to have good, efficient coverage.
Number two, the system’s not going to last long term. And that’s what it becomes super important because you want to make sure that the investment that you’re making, you’re going to have a return for years and years and years to come. And the other thing that they consistently will do, a few, they’re the cheap guy out there. If they’re the, you know, the super bottom barrel guy is they’re not going to show up after they get your money. So they can say all the things in the world and they’re going to do this and they’re going to do that. But typically what will happen is if you have someone who’s just so much lower than everybody else, it’s because they’re not going to come back and stand behind the word. They know that they can just shortcut it and throw it together because they don’t have to come back and honor any kind of warranty or honor any kind of anything that they do.
So we just really, really, really encourage you before you hire a contractor to make sure that you’re looking at those super, super, super important, um, points that we were just, you know, point number one is making sure that you’re doing your homework on whom you’re having to come out and do a bid. Point number two is that they need to be doing their homework. The contractor needs to come out to your location, needs to come and meet you, needs to walk with you, see what your specific water and requirements are and factor for the hydraulics. Number two is their experience. You know, have they installed irrigation before? Do they have a number of recent projects? Do they have experience in the, can they follow up and do what they say they’re gonna do? And then you know from there it’s not always about price. A lot of times the guys who are half the price who are 30% cheaper, they’re just shortcutting.
They’re using all kinds of cutting corners methods to keep their costs down. But in actuality, in the long term, that’s going to cost you a bunch of money because you’re going to have to have other contractors come out and fix their work. There’s a number of companies in town that do a great, great job. We are not saying that living water irrigation is the only choice to install your irrigation system, but we are saying, we know that we will stand behind it. We know that you’ll have a great experience from the initial phone call all the way through and for years and years to come. So if you do have a problem, if you did choose the wrong contractor, don’t hesitate. You can give us a call. We’re happy to come out and get your system up and functioning the way it should and ensuring that it was installed properly, to begin with. So if you have any other questions about how to hop, hire the proper contractor, give us a call and we’ll be happy to answer them for you.
IS MY SPRINKLER SYSTEM FUNCTIONING PROPERLY?
Is my sprinkler system functioning properly? So whenever you’re questioning whether or not the components of your irrigation systems are functioning in the way that they should, obviously we have the question out there, what are the components of the sprinkler system? So we’ll discuss whether or not each and every single one of those components is functioning as they should. So if you go back and look at components, obviously we have a point of connection. We have the PVC piping, we have the backflow prevention device, we have the zone valves, we have the
sprinkler heads, we have the irrigation controller, and then we have any and all sensors that are also installed on the irrigation system. So first and foremost is your isolation valve functioning properly. So the question becomes can you turn the water off and on at a specific location throughout your irrigation system? Super easy to identify whether or not it’s functioning properly. Can you turn it off? Can you turn it off? Those are the two questions you want to ask. If you have an old gate valve, that may be a great time to update that to a schedule 80 PVC ball valve that will function longterm for you, that PVC piping. So you’re obviously on a regular sprinkler system. On an average sprinkler system, you’re going to have a couple of thousand feet of PVC piping running through your yard. So the question becomes whether or not that’s functioning properly.
Super simple. Do you have any leaks? Do you have any areas of your yard that are super soggy or super wet? Do you have any uh, stations in your yard that aren’t functioning properly because you have a crack and a piece of PVC pipe that you have a piece of PVC pipe that’s colluded with some level of debris or something going on in it? And then your zone valves are your zone valves functioning properly? The backflow preventer, the best way to verify that it is functioning properly is to ensure that it does not have any leaks. The backflow prevention devices are designed to leak if they are not functioning properly. The best way to know whether or not a zone valve is functioning properly is when you turn the system on and off. Is it cycling the way it’s supposed to? Is your station turning on and then turning off? Are you having an issue with water seeping through the system or through a specific station? You know that is a great identifier that those zone valves are not functioning the way they should if the water does not shut off properly at the end of any watering cycle.
And then the sprinkler heads, are the sprinkler heads themselves functioning properly? Are they covering the area of your yard in which they were designed to cover? Is the intended amount of water coming out of the nozzle and covering each specific area of your yard, the scent, the way that it’s supposed to. So then from there is the irrigation controller, is your controller watering according to the schedule that we are programming it to watering the to? So is it firing at the times that we’re telling it to? Is it watering each and every single one of the stations for the amount of time we’re telling it to water the stations? Is it adhering to the program? And then is it functioning the way that we want it to turn the system on and off of the given times that we desire and run for the duration that we desire.
And then also our sensors functioning properly. Whether that’s a flow sensor or a rain sensor or a soil sensor. Are they functioning the way it’s supposed to? Most common, the rain sensor, so we’ll address it. Is the rain sensor to turn off the irrigation system when it is raining or it is writing? Is it doing what it’s supposed to? So as we talk about each and every single one of these components and whether or not they’re functioning the way they should, the easy way to evaluate that is to contact living water. Irrigation will come out and do our full 13 points diagnostic check of your irrigation system. We’ll run through every single part of it from STEM to stern and make sure it’s doing what it’s supposed to. Most of our customers have is automatically come out in the spring just to give them the peace of mind that their system is functioning as it should.
And so what we do is we go through each component that we’ve just talked about. We go through and make sure that each and every single one of those is doing what it’s supposed to. The other big, big factor on whether or not your system is functioning properly is are all the areas of your yard being covered the way they should. So a lot of other contractors out there when they install the system aren’t factoring for the proper design aspects of your yard or they’re not factoring for the future look of your yard as things grow up or things change or, or things evolve in your yard. So from time to time, year to year, there may need to be some changes ahead. Moved ahead, added a different type nozzle or a different type of sprinkler head installed just to cover the growth of your yard and the changes in your yard.
So we’re going to look at those things and make sure that we’re putting out the proper amount of water in each area of your yard. We’re going to ensure that each and every single area of your property is getting the proper amount of water so it all looks green and consistent and vibrant. So, and then from there is we’re going to educate you. The final aspect of the system functioning properly is we want to educate our homeowners. We want to educate our clients on what to look for, to know what is going right or wrong with their irrigation system. If you look out in your yard and you walk your yard, everything’s green and beautiful and obviously, that’s the biggest identifier for us, that it’s doing what it’s supposed to. But if you’re having an area in your backyard that’s all Brown, or you’re having an area in your side yard that’s really wet, you know, there could be a number of factors there.
It could be that the system’s not running long enough that one of the stations just isn’t working because there’s an issue with one of the zone valves or it could be that it’s just not watering properly. So to go back over, in summation, if your system is functioning properly, your isolation valves opening and closing as it should, there’s not going to be any leaks, any of the PVC piping, the zone valves are turning off and on as they should. The heads are watering the areas of the yard specifically that they’re programmed to do. So the controller is turning the system off and on at its scheduled time, and the sensors are regulating the watering system the way that it should. If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to our office. We would love to go further in-depth with you. If this didn’t answer your question, please let us know so that we can add onto it. Thank you so very much.
HOW TO UTILIZE TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE MY IRRIGATION SYSTEM?
We are going to answer the question of how do I utilize technology to improve my irrigation system? So as time has gone on and as the irrigation industry has a move forward and technology has become more prevalent in irrigation, there’s so many things out there on the market and so many things there in the industry that we can utilize to improve how our sprinkler system is functioning, how we’re able to interface with that sprinkler system and the knowledge that we can get off of the daily watering program of our irrigation system. So we will start with the first thing that you can do to improve your irrigation system from a technology standpoint would be adding what’s called a smart controller. So there are a lot of different options for wifi controllers on the market these days. And the great benefit of a wifi controller or a smart controller is that you can operate it from your phone, uh, utilizing wifi.
You can operate it from anywhere in the world. You can monitor from anywhere in the world. You can take a look at your irrigation system and your watering programming and each of your stations in zones and all of that stuff anywhere in the world from your iPad, your iPhone, any Google galaxy, any of that stuff. So we utilize what’s called a hydro wise controller. We use all Hunter products. We’ve been super duper happy with their quality of products. So we use an entire line of Hunter products. And most specifically as far as smart controllers are concerned is the Hydrawise controller. They do make them in the commercial format as well, a lot larger. But for a typical residential
sprinkler system, we’re going to use a 12 station Hunter Hydrawise wifi controller. So whenever we come out and do your initial installation, we’re going to install that controller. After everything’s all installed, we’re going to come out and we’re going to set up that controller with you, pair it to the wifi. We’re also going to program it and just show you all the things that you can do on predictive watering to be able to improve the means by which your sprinkler system is watering and how it’s going to water. And how it’s going to look going forward. So whenever we look at, so we can schedule your irrigation controller to water according to specific predictive watering measures such as wind speed, temperature, precipitation rate, and a soil type and slope and various other factors is that, so here in Oklahoma, obviously the weather is super duper volatile.
So we like to set our irrigation controllers based on a standard just flat line program, which is going to vary from spring, summer, and fall. But we can go through each and every single step of that of how often should you water, how much should you be watering and all those things. That is actually one of the other questions that we have. But the simple answer is that’s why we put a rain sensor in with all of our systems so that we can utilize the wifi functions as opposed to having the back of the rain sensor. Uh, the other neat things that we can do on technology to improve our sprinkler systems is a flow sensor or a flow meter. What that is, that’s a sensor that’s installed after the point of connection of your irrigation system. And what that does is that the sensor will monitor how much water flows through the system so that we can gauge if we have a leak or if we have an inefficient area or if we have a problem with one of these specific stations.
So with that flow meter, we’re, we’re noticing how much water is flowing through how many gallons per minute are flowing through each and every single minute. And then from there, if it’s not a consistent amount, then we can quickly, uh, notice that there’s a leak and we can quickly fix that. And then also we can improve how exactly it’s water. The other huge thing that’s on the market now as far as, uh, technologically for the nozzles are concerned, the nozzle being where the water is actually coming out to, uh, have the sprinkler system onto the plant material onto the grass and the flower beds. So the nozzles, we have what is called mashed precipitation rotors. Hunter has, these are called MP rotators and these are the most efficient nozzle out on the market. They have to sign them in a way that they’re putting out water in the closest pattern of rain that it is available in the market.
So utilizing that technology to be able to get your water pattern, the radius of the water, to get as much water as possible to the plant material to lose as little as possible to win a fusion and also to lose as little as possible, uh, due to, uh, not having a consistent flow rate throughout the radius of the nozzle. So MP rotators are great in that if you need to cover a five-foot area or a 50-foot area, you can interchange those nozzles. So, and they have the same mass to precipitation or the same water rate across the radius of the nozzle. The other big thing that’s available on the market now is pressure regulated heads. So each of the novels on the market and each have a properly hydraulically designed sprinkler system needs to have water come out at a specific pressure and therefore it’ll allow the water to come out in the best pattern possible and to go out in the best radius as possible as it goes across the entire arc of the nozzle.
So with pressure regulated heads, it allows the water to come out at the Optum operating pressure so that your lawn is being watered as official as possible. So we will quickly review the three major things that are available. All four major things are available in the market right now to utilize technology and improve your irrigation system. Number one, smart controllers. Number two, flow meters. Number three, uh, match precipitation nozzles. And then also number four, pressure regulated heads. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact our office and we’d love to answer them in person for you.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF INSTALLING AN AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER SYSTEM?
Today, we are going to answer the question of what are the advantages of installing an automatic sprinkler system. So we will go over a few bullet points here and talk about each and every single one of them at length. Uh, number one is the time that it’s going to save you. Number two would be the quality of your yard. Uh, number three is the water that will save you. And number four is the peace of mind. And number five is automation. So first and foremost, we will go over the first thing. So the time that it’s going to save you. So if you have an automatic sprinkler system, you never ever, ever have to go out and drag a hose around. You never have to go out and remember to turn the water hose on. You don’t have to remember to turn the water hose off.
You don’t have to set little reminders on your phone or on an egg timer or on your oven to go out to remember to move the hose to a separate area of your yard or to turn on the one in the backyard. You don’t ever have to worry about that. You don’t have to go out and water in your new flowers that are put in spring or your new flowers that are put in the fall. You get to save all the time of having to go out and drag a hose around, move it from each and every area of the yard and then also trying to ensure that every area of your yard is water. The next big point that you will say is the water, so by installing an automatic sprinkler system, the huge advantage there becomes the efficiency of it. It becomes how it waters and where it waters and the times that it waters and putting the right amount of water on each and every area of your yard as opposed to putting just a bunch of water in some general area.
A properly designed automatic sprinkler system is going to factor for each and every single area of your yard. Sun versus shade front yard versus backyard landscaping versus turf and all the other factors as far as slopes or retaining walls and all those things that can come into play whenever it is going to be important. How much water goes in each and every area and then what time of the day did that go in each and every area and the time of day is another important advantage of installing an automatic sprinkler system. The best time to water your yard is early in the morning. So most of us are not going to want to wake up at four or five o’clock in the morning and go out and drag a hose and get the water turned on and get one area of our yard. Then go move it 20 minutes later and get another area and then can move it 20 minutes later and get another area the most optimum time to water your yard is early in the morning.
So if we all think about that, it’s not going to be very often that we’re going to want to get up consistently day after day to go out and water first thing in the morning. Cause what’s happening when you’re watering in the evening after you get home from work, it’s the heat of the day. You’re losing a ton of that water to evaporation or it’s late at night, and then now you’ve watered so late that you have a bunch of that water standing overnight, which obviously overnight water is not a good place to be because it can promote the growth of bacteria, algae, and those things. Uh, the other thing that a huge advantage of installing an automatic sprinkler system is the quality of the look of your yard. So your grass, your plant material, your flowers are all going to look really, really nice and you’re not going to have to worry about, you know, having those Brown out areas or having those dead areas and the heat of summer because you have an automatic irrigation system that’s taking care of each and every area of your yard and ensuring that it looks right and then it looks good and that it’s watering the way that it’s supposed to.
So it gives you the wonderful knowledge of knowing if you have it properly installed, to begin with and have it properly monitored that each and every single area of your yard is going to look the best that it can. Stunningly green grass, beautiful colors on the flowers and just perfectly water plant material. And that’s what the goal is. And that’s what the huge advantages of an automatic sprinkler system. So from there, the peace of mind. So if you have an automatic sprinkler system installed, you will know that your yard is being taken care of when you’re on vacation or when you’re at work or when you’re out of town on business, having the proper controller installed, having the proper design installed, having it laid out the right way, you know that when you’re gone or when you’re taking care of life and living, that your irrigation system is functioning the way it’s supposed to.
It’s not watering when it’s raining. It’s not watering when it has rained. It’s not turned on when it’s 20 degrees outside. It’s watering the proper amount when it’s 110 outside and it’s keeping your grass and your plant material looking the way that it should look, so that way you can take care of all the other things that you’re doing. And then the other huge advantage, obviously of an automatic sprinkler system is the water that it saves. So automating your sprinkler system saves so much more water than what it would be if you’re out dragging hoses. We addressed this in another one of our frequently asked questions, but I just wanted to touch on it again. You’re gonna save so much more water and conserve so much more water and have such a better, better-looking yard by doing an automatic sprinkler system then by trying to go out and drag the hose around yourself or try to do something yourself.
So just to review again really, really quick, the huge advantages of installing automatic sprinkler system number one is the time that it saves. Obviously, we can’t ever get time back, so we want to take the value from that. Number two, will it be the efficiency in which it waters and how your yard looks, and then three also the amount of water that we’re saving and then for the peace of mind that we have. So we are so glad that we were able to answer these questions for you. Like I’ve said before, if you have any other questions or you feel like this just wasn’t covered well enough for you, please contact our office. We would love to come out and spend some time with you and answer any and all of the questions that you would have or be able to go further in-depth on this specific subject.
WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS TO A SPRINKLER SYSTEM?
we’re going to discuss the components to a sprinkler system. We’re going to go over all the major components of a sprinkler system, talk about each and every single one of them so we can all have a better understanding of what all is involved in the installation of a sprinkler system. So we will go over the major components and breaking them all down. So first is the point of connection, which we use what is called a ball valve. Second, being the PVC piping, we use schedule 40 and also class 200 pipe. Next would be the backflow prevention device. We use two different types of those. We use what’s called a pressure vacuum breaker and also a reduced pressure vessel depending on the application. Then from there, you have these zone vows. Then from there, you have sprinkler heads, and then finally you had the irrigation controller and any and all sensors that may be involved.
So the number one and first most component is the point of connection. So when we’re going to come out and install a sprinkler system here at living water irrigation, we’ve got to connect the irrigation system to a water source. Most commonly we’re going to attach it at the water meter or the point of connection there. You’re the city water meter. Occasionally we will connect it to a well or another water source, a downhill, another water source, so at the point of connection, we utilize a schedule 80 PVC ball. Valve ball valves traditionally are the most commonly used point of connection because of their consistency to work. They’re the most reliable. There are other types of valves you can use. You can use gate valves, but a ball valve is the most reliable. We use schedule AAD so that way over time it’s not going to rust and corrode underground.
You’re going to be sure that year over year over year it’s going to function exactly as it should and not have any issues and then also we use the schedule 80 version of that so that it can handle the constant pressure that it will be under there at the point of connection. Then from there, we use two different types of PVC piping. As I mentioned, we use schedule 40 pipes and class 200 schedule 40 pipes is a higher Raider thicker wall pipe. We utilize that PVC piping from the point of connection to the backflow prevention device because that point of the sprinkler system, that area of their sprinkler system is under constant pressure, so we want to ensure that it has a thick wall pipe so that it can handle the constant pressure and not break down and degrade over time. Then from there, all the other lines in the system we use what is called class 200 pipe.
It’s a thinner wall PVC, but it is rated up to 200 PSI. The most common pressure pounds per square inch pressure rating at a home is typically somewhere around 70 to 80 PSI, so obviously we’re rated at 200 PSI. There are three nomenclatures to know about the PVC piping and your sprinkler system one which is called the mainline. That is the area of pipe between the point of connection and backflow prevention device supply line. That is the area of pipe between a backflow prevention device and the zone valves. And then the laterals. That is the section of PVC pipe from the zone valves to each and every sprinkler head. So from there then we have the zone valve. Zone valves are an electronic valve there, receives a signal from an irrigation controller to allow a certain set of the area which we call a zone or a station to turn on for any given predetermined amount of time.
So the zone valves have a number of components in them, which we won’t get super, uh, confusing and into. But the zone valves, uh, allow the water to flow through. Then we’re going to return to the backflow prevention device. We skipped over that. So we’re going to turn back to the backflow prevention device. The two different types. We use a pressure vacuum breaker and our reduced pressure vessel. Two different types. We want to use a reduced pressure vessel in an area where it’s a highly sloped or highly graded area to ensure that it will function properly. And we use a pressure vacuum breaker in over 90% of our installation backflow prevention devices, exactly what it sounds like. It prevents water from back flowing into the main drinking water, keeping our drinking water safe from any bacteria, debris, fertilizers, weed control, anything that we’re putting on our yard, we ensure that that’s not going to go back through the sprinkler system into the main drink water.
Each and every sprinkler system installed should have a backflow prevention device. Other contractors out there are shortcutting that and not installing those, so we already discussed zone valves. Now we’re going to discuss the sprinkler heads. Two major types of sprinkler heads are spray heads. Those are static heads that are going to shoot in one given location anywhere from three, excuse me, anywhere from two feet at 20 degrees all the way up to 30 feet at 360 degrees depending on the exact area that we’re wanting to cover and then rotors. These are the larger heads that oscillate back and forth and they’re going to cover a much larger square footage area. And then the final component onto sprinkler systems most commonly is going to be the irrigation controller. This is the point of which you are going to program the system for the days that you want it to water, what time you want it to water and the duration of each and every one of those stations or zones that we discussed.
And then from there, it would be the sensors, whether you have a rain sensor, a flow sensor, so click the sensor. Most commonly we install a rain sensor in each and every single one of our, uh, sprinkler systems. So that way if it is raining or has rain, it tells it not to water. So a quick overview of the components of a sprinkler system, point of connection, PVC piping, backflow prevention, device zone valves, sprinkler heads, irrigation controllers, and sensors. Hopefully, this gives you the basic knowledge of the components of a sprinkler system.
If you have any other questions or would like to deep dive deeper into this subject, please call our office. We’d love to chat with you.
WHEN DO I TURN MY SYSTEM ON FOR THE YEAR?
Today’s frequently asked question is when is the best time to get my sprinkler system turn on for the year? Or also commonly asked is when’s the best time to start up my Stryker system? So the answer to that is we typically like to do that mid-March, so the start of spring here in Oklahoma. We want to get the sprinkler system set up and started prior to getting any warm temperatures and when the plant material, mainly Bermuda grass and flowers are going to start blooming. And again, the simple answer is typically around mid-March, but obviously in Oklahoma, with the weather, sometimes we don’t actually turn the systems back on for spraying until April or even may, depending on what the temperature is doing. And then also depending on how much precipitation you’re getting early on in the year. So here at living water irrigation, we have a 13 point inspection that we do on your sprinkler system where we turn it on for Spring and we do our full diagnostic.
It is unique to the market and we take a lot of pride in ensuring that your system is ready to go for the spring and summer and for the watering season. So we ensure from every component of your sprinkler system that it’s functioning properly, that it’s at its most efficient and then it’s doing its best to put the water in the place where we want it, which is to the root, or the root system of the plant material. So with that being said, whenever we come out, we are going to come out in mid-March typically to turn your system on for spring and whenever we come out to turn it on, we are going to ensure first and foremost that your backflow preventer is not leaking from any freeze damage over the winter. We’re going to ensure that all the rest of your pipes and heads don’t have any breaks or leaking from the winter and we have no freeze damage on the system.
That’s going to be the first thing we do obviously just get the system turned back on and ensure we don’t have any leaks. From there, we’re going to inspect to make sure that your isolation valve is functioning properly to your backflow preventer is functioning properly and that is actually preventing the water from back flowing into the drinking water. Then from there, we’re going to make sure that each of your zone valves are functioning properly, that they’re opening and closing as they should. And then we’re also gonna make sure that each sprinkler head on your Speaker system is functioning as it should. So, namely that there are not any leaks in the sprinkler heads and it has the proper nozzle, the proper direction, and then it’s putting out the proper amount of water for this specific area that we want to water. From there, we’re going to make sure that your controller is doing as it should.
So we want to know that whatever we programmed that controller to run on any given day at any given time, that it is responding well to that, that it’s keeping the date and time properly. The run times are set properly to the program, start times are set properly and the days that we wanted to run, we want to make sure that we can set that up you and that you can just forget it as the season goes along and you don’t have to worry about it constantly whether or not it’s watering it should. So the best time that’s earned your sprinkler system is early spring prior to getting any real railroad warm temperatures. And we want to make sure that we turn it on when the material begins to Germany. So from there, you can call living water irrigation because scheduled to come out in mid-March, get your sprinkler system turned on, run through a full diagnostic, make sure it’s running as it should.
Most importantly, we want to verify that you have no freeze damage for winter, that the system in and of itself is not leaking, that you’re not losing water, that you’re not wasting water, that we’re being environmentally conscious and doing our best to make things as efficient as possible in our irrigation systems and getting it turned on at the proper time. So the other thing that people commonly ask about this low, widespread it on, even if it’s raining out. So, and that’s where we want to, when we go through our full diagnostic of your system, if you do not have a rain sensor, we are going to recommend that you get a rain sensor installed because it’s very important that you’re only watering when you want water when you need to. So if it is raining or has rain, we don’t want your system to water.
So we’re going to check those things and make sure that your irrigation system is only watering when we want it to. So once again, in summation, we want to make sure that we understand when is the best time to turn on the scraper system and then also to kind of revisit what’s the best time to winterize the Sprinkler system. So understanding those two dates are important. So we want to winterize the system prior to the first freeze, which is typically prior to Thanksgiving in Oklahoma. We want to get the system turned back on in early spring. Typically mid-March, you can to have both of these services automatically scheduled for you. If you just give us a call at our office, we can have our office set you on our auto-schedule where we just come out automatically winterize your system or reschedule with you automatically to come out here, your system turned on, et cetera for spring, making it really easy and painless for you that making the process super-duper simple. So the best time to turn your sprinkler system on per strangle is around in March, but we will reach out to our current customers and let them know when that time is. If you would like to get on our customer list, please just reach out to us. We can add your email contact info and give you all of our updates as well.