Whether you use traditional sources of water for irrigation or whether you have installed a rainwater harvesting system and irrigate from water stored in rain water tanks, it is important to know whether your irrigation system is operating efficiently.
Whether you grow your own vegetables or you simply enjoy having a beautiful lawn, you will need to find a way to water your plants. Depending on where you live and your circumstances, there are some options to choose from.
For some people, it makes sense to harvest rainwater for this purpose. In fact, there are numerous types of rainwater collection systems available. You can learn more at RainHarvest.com or by browsing through the wealth of information on rainwater harvesting and rain water tanks on this site.
Many people still prefer traditional sprinkling systems. A sprinkling system is an efficient way to ensure your garden gets the water it needs. If the system is working as it should, you can count on green grass, healthy plants, and extra money in your pockets. But how do you know if your sprinkling system is working effectively?
One of first steps in setting up a sprinkling system is determining the water supply needed per hour. If the calculations are off, your sprinkling system probably isn’t working as effectively as it could be.
The tools needed to determine the water supply required per hour are basic: You need a five-gallon bucket and a functioning water hose. The technique is simple – just place your water hose inside the bucket and turn the water on full pressure.
Let the water run for 30 seconds, then turn the water off and measure the water. You will then multiply that amount by two to get the water per minute and multiple it by 60 to calculate water per hour.
Keep in mind that if your yard happens to be sloped and the irrigations will be going uphill, you will only get about half the water pressure estimated.
Your watering area is determined by combining the sprinkler system tubing’s diameter with the square footage of the space to be watered.
Determine the type of sprinkler system you want or need. You can choose from standard, high-range sprinklers; drippers, which release less water and maintain great water pressure; and low-range sprinkling systems. Each is designed for specific purposes.
A Reliable Timer
One of the most important features of your sprinkling system is the timer. Obviously, you will be depending on the automation of the watering system. For instance, you may want to set the timer to water your lawn/garden before the sun comes up or late in the evening hours, after the hottest periods of the day.
The timer is at the heart of your system. You will be relying on it to keep everything on schedule. With that in mind, this is not an area that you should skimp on. Before making a purchase, do some online research. Compare timers and check out the online reputation of the manufacturers.
When timers are not working correctly, sprinkling systems do not work as efficiently or as effectively as they could (and should!).
Leaks are the major problem that can accompany sprinkling systems. After all, the piping is buried, and any leaks may not be discovered for quite some time. This can result in huge water bills.
One way to check for leaks in the system is to turn the water off to the house. If the meter is still showing that water is running, you will know there is a leak in the system.
Wait for a dry day to turn the system off and check your yard for damp spots. Dampness will either indicate a leak from an underground pipe or from a surface valve.
If you cannot find the leak, you should turn the system back on and activate it. Look for one or more sprinkler heads that show lowered water pressure. This will help guide you to the leak.
Putting it All Together
There are various ways to water lawns and gardens. You can opt to go green and collect rain, you can use a traditional sprinkling system, or you can utilize something in between.
When sprinkling systems are working effectively, they are extremely efficient and a cost-saving option. The main concerns with sprinkling systems include careful calculations related to water supply needed per hour, having a reliable timer, and preventing leaks.
Follow the tips in this article to help keep your sprinkling system in tip-top shape.
Source: Debbie Allen (Debbie Allen is a professional content writer and blogger. She enjoys sharing articles on a variety of topics, including things related to home and garden, health and wellness, and small business management issues.)
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