For those who want the convenience of an irrigation and sprinkler system, or already have one and decided it’s time for an upgrade, there are procedures that need to be followed to make the project a success.

Do it right the first time to avoid costly errors!

When homeowners decide to install or upgrade their irrigation and sprinkler system themselves, it’s important that all guidelines are followed to the letter. While it’s tempting to cut corners to ease the amount of time, labor, and costs involved, don’t do it. There’s a strong possibility that any step that is skipped or modified can result in the irrigation project taking longer to complete and costing more money.

The following are common irrigation installation mistakes that homeowners can easily avoid.

Mistake #1: Digging without Calling 811

There are utility lines buried just below the surface of lawns.

If you don’t know where utility lines exist on your property, you could damage one or more of them as you’re trenching in preparation of laying irrigation pipes. To avoid disastrous and potentially dangerous situations, Floridians must call 811 to have a Florida Public Utilities (FPUC) technician come out to identify and mark the locations of utility lines.

Mistake #2: Not Trenching to the Proper Depth

Self-installers of inground sprinkler systems often make the irrigation pipe trenches too deep or too shallow.

The proper depth of irrigation pipe trenches needs to be at least 7 inches and no more than 10 inches. If the trench is less than 7 inches deep, the PVC pipe can be damaged by the weight of whatever is above it and eventually develop cracks. When the irrigation pipe is deeper than 10 inches, it’s difficult to determine if the pipe is damaged without performing major excavation.

Goal #3: Incorrect Sprinkler Head Installation and Configuration

Knowing where and how to install the sprinkler heads can be tricky.

It’s important to know how far the sprinkler’s stream will reach and measuring accordingly. Make sure that the sprinkler heads are pointed in the correct direction. Also, don’t install the sprinkler heads with the intention of irrigating your lawn and beds at the same time. Trees and shrubs require less water than grass, so if your sprinklers are positioned to reach grass and landscaping specimens together, don’t be surprised if you eventually must spend money replacing trees, shrubs, and flower beds because they developed root rot or fungal diseases from getting too much water.

Not having the sprinkler heads correctly positioned also leads to overspray, which is when driveways, sidewalks, and roads are in the line of fire. When this happens, copious amounts of water are being wasted.

Mistakes to Avoid When Installing or Upgrading Irrigation and Sprinkler Systems 5

Another problematic situation is when self-installers set different sprinkler heads in the same zone. Each one has different rates of precipitation, which can result in uneven irrigation distribution and dry spots. Homeowners will compensate for this by running the sprinklers in the affected zone for longer periods of time. However, this is wasteful and causes high water bills. To avoid this problem, different kinds of sprinkler heads should be programmed to run at different times.

If you already have an irrigation system, it’s always a good idea to check it every so often to make sure it’s working properly. If you’re not sure your system is running like it should, call us or complete our request service form and we’ll be happy to take a look.

Mistake #4: Not Installing a Rain Shut-Off Device

Rain shut-off devices have a sensor that switches the irrigation system off when it begins to rain.

Rain shut-off devices come standard with most modern irrigation and sprinkler systems. However, if a homeowner has an older irrigation system or fails to properly install a rain shut-off device while upgrading their system, they’re wasting precious water and will probably get hit with high water bills.

Furthermore, they can even be fined for violating Florida Statute 373.62, which states, “Any person who purchases and installs an automatic landscape irrigation system must properly install, maintain, and operate technology that inhibits or interrupts operation of the system during periods of sufficient moisture.”

Hire an irrigation professional to have your system performing right as rain!    

Irrigation and sprinkler systems are worth having in Central Florida because they provide convenience and help conserve water. However, when mistakes are made during the sprinkler system installation or upgrade, expensive and potentially dangerous problems can arise.

For these reasons, it’s smart to hire an irrigation expert to install or upgrade your sprinkler system. Irrigation professionals know how to do it right the first time and will make sure that the system complies with all Florida laws and regulations. Once the irrigation and sprinkler system is complete, you’ll have a beautiful lawn and peace of mind.

Don’t make the mistake of installing or upgrading your irrigation system yourself! Leave it to us to do it right! If you have questions about irrigation installation, upgrading your current system, need assistance with sprinkler repair, or want information about irrigation in the Orlando area, we’re here to help!