Proper sprinkler irrigation design can save you water money unintended sprinkler repair & remodeling with more flexible water scheduling giving you a much more plush green and trouble-free landscape.
First thing to do when considering your landscape layout design is get out your compass know exactly which direction is which around the yard. Next know what your water pressure and pipe size at the connection point is.
Typical water meter size on a residential home is 5/8 to 3/4 of an inch. Usually a minimum static water pressure at the meter would be 60 PSI. It’s recommended to design around 60 PSI even if your static water pressure is more than that this will ensure that down the road as subdivisions increases and your water pressure may decrease your sprinkler system will still operate and cover properly. On the 5/8 size this will give you about 8 to 10 gallons per minute to work with. On the 3/4 10 to 12 gallons per minute.
Always upsize your main service line from the connection point to your valve manifold with a 1 inch larger pipe size. This is to reduce friction loss.
The sprinkler heads you choose each have a specific nozzle size for a certain amount of gallons per minute output. You simply add the nozzles gallons per minute on all of your heads not go over the maximum gallons per minute available for each zone. Check with your local water authority on the requirement for water backflow protection in your area.
Next with your compass lay out each different sprinkler zone separately to the exposure to the sun. Avoid stretching a zone for example where half of the sprinkler heads are on the west side of the house wrapping around finishing on the north side of the house. The part of the zone on the west side of the house would require more water simply because there’s more daylight sun exposure whereas the north side is going to be in the shade and would require less water. This would give you a zone imbalance. The same principle applies on slopes. If you have a section of lawn where half of it is level and half of it is on slope try to group the heads on the sloped part separately from the level spot. This will enable you to cycle and soak the sloped zone on a different watering cycle separate from the level spot which usually does better with one runtime running longer.
Reminder for the do it yourself homeowner I offer a service coming to your property on site and design your sprinkler irrigation system, offering you a wholesale discount on all of the parts and materials which offsets the design fee. Also I can help you with certain technical parts of the installation if you would like.
When installing your sprinkler system remember do it right the first time and it will pay healthy dividends down the road avoiding costly service and repair.
Next month we will talk about drip irrigation layout and design.