In simple terms Sprinkler Irrigation, also known as spray irrigation, is a method of turning a volume of water into droplets of water and applying them from overhead to the ground surface in order to maintain the growth of plants and lawns.Read more.
Achieving this goal can be far more complex as there are many considerations. Distance of throw, arc, trajectory, size of droplet, operating pressure, volume of water used per hour, precipitation rate, wind, topography, soil type, cover, slope, infiltration rate, to name but a few.
Sprinkler Irrigation can be as manually activated by turning on a tap or fully automated by an Irrigation controller. Sprinkler Irrigation System can even operate over the Internet. (WiFi irrigation systems)
So instead of the water being pushed out of emitters in small volumes (as in drip irrigation) we have larger volumes of water being forced through nozzles to form a spray pattern. (sprinkler irrigation)
Whilst the method applying the water (ie Drip versus Spray) may be very different the methods of controlling the system are very similar. Irrigation Controllers, pipes/hoses, solenoid valves, spray heads and fittings form the major components of the system.
Generally higher water pressure is needed to be applied to the water in a sprinkler system to achieve the specified trajectories of the water and more water is consumed over a shorter period of time in comparison to drip irrigation. (application rate)
Probably the best way to describe how a Sprinkler Irrigation System works is to describe the major components and explain what part they play in the system.
The irrigation controller can be as simple as a manual timer fitted to a water tap. It’s simply turned around to the desired time and shuts off when it times out. It’s applications are very limited and needs manual intervention to turn it on. It’s very popular in small gardens.
Tap timers can also be battery operated with more than one watering zones capable of controlling larger gardens and not requiring any manual intervention except for changing batteries from time to time.
The most popular Irrigation controller on the market for controlling a Sprinkler Irrigation System has been and still is the wall mounted irrigation controller. From two watering zones to 40 plus on large or commercial properties is achievable with modular controllers that allow more zones to be added as required.
The controller is basically an electronically controlled timer that turns the watering system on at a pre-programmed time or times, runs through a watering program for each zone and turns off. Hunter, Rainbird, Toro and Hydrawise Controllers are the most popular brands that we sell and recommend.
A solenoid valve is a valve that is connected by two wires to the controller. The controller will apply a voltage (AC or DC) to the solenoid coil which causes it to open and allows the water to flow to the sprinklers.
Solenoid valves from 25mm to 50mm to suit small irrigation jobs to heavy duty valves designed to open and close high volumes of water flow required for large scale irrigation systems.
Rain and moisture sensors are used to turn off a watering system automatically when it’s been raining or when the soil is already too moist and not requiring further watering.
Valve boxes are used to cover a single solenoid valve or multiple valves in the ground. We sell a wide range of Valve boxes from small round, square or rectangular shape boxes for household purposes to large heavy duty boxes for commercial usage. Green lids are most common but purple lids are used when recycled water is in use.
Irrigation cable encases the wires that join the controller to the valve. It comes in single wire, 3 up to 13 wires in roles of 30M, 50M and 100M as well as by the meter.
PVC, Metric High Density (HD) poly pipe, Rural HD Poly Pipe and Low density (LD) Poly pipe are all used for carrying water in an irrigation system. Our staff will be able to help you chose the right one for your job. Getting the maximum amount of water flow can critical, so selecting a pipe that is too narrow can prevent a system from working correctly.
PVC , Metric HD, Rural HD, LD, manifold, Camlock and treaded poly fittings are the building blocks of all irrigation systems.
If you are wanting a Sprinkler Irrigation System at your property you can do it yourself, it’s not rocket science. Come in to one of our four stores and our experienced staff will help you understand how it works and what you need to build the system. Alternative you can draw up a plan of your property and we can design a system for you.
If you don’t wish to install your own Sprinkler Irrigation System, Smart Water Installation can do it for you. We install irrigation systems in domestic to large scale commercial properties with over 30 years of experience.