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Questions to ask during sprinkler irrigation estimate?

Questions to ask during sprinkler irrigation estimate?

Old 04-29-16, 07:45 AM
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Questions to ask during sprinkler irrigation estimate?


My home sits on a 0.27 acre rectangular lot with a two-tiered backyard (retaining wall), with the lower tier sloping downward toward the property rear. Besides some small patio/deck areas, most of the yard is grass (mix of fescue, ryegrass, and bluegrass). I've spent enough summers manually moving around sprinklers, and am ready to get quotes for a built-in / automatic / underground sprinkler / irrigation system.

I've never owned or used one before. What questions should I ask during the estimate? What does a good system consist of, generally? I'm expecting the quotes will be for a multi-zone PVC system with a programmable timer.
  • Are there general features of a timer (not specific brands) I may want?
  • What kind of coverage is good for the sprinklers?
  • How many zones (if this can be generalized)?
  • Best placement for the timer and valves?
  • Specific kind of sprinkler heads or valves, or particular material they should be made from?

I've attached a diagram of my property. Please teach me based on the lessons you've learned.

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Old 04-29-16, 09:54 AM
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I like controllers that have indicator lights and buttons and dials. I hate ones that are a keypad and a display that require you to scroll through menus for programming. Rainbird is one of my favorites. It's got a big dial you rotate to on, off and to each zone for programming and individual buttons for programming the number of days a week to water, what days to water and how many times that day to water. Again without having to scroll down through menus.

One feature I like is a rain sensor. It will automatically stop your irrigation system from watering if you've received enough rain. Most can be programmed so you can set how much rain and what time period for it to inhibit your sprinklers.

As far as the details about number of zones and emitters that will depend on your water supply. The installers will have to test your water pressure and volume first. From that they will know how many emitters and what size can be operated at one time.

One of the bigger issues you may run into is your retaining wall. How will the irrigation piping get past it to have access to the rest of the yard?
Old 05-02-16, 08:31 AM
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Thanks for your tips on the controller. I definitely do want to install a rain sensor so that I don't have to manually override it when there's rain.

One point I glossed over for simplicity is that this is actually an old survey. My yard now has a new retaining wall with a slightly different shape. Importantly, there is a 10 foot segment on the right (near the label "Wall 0.5' in) in where there is no retaining wall. Instead there's a gently sloping area of lawn. So that's the logical place for the plumbing to get around. Though there are still some tree roots under there.

Thanks again!

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