Choosing a Contractor
The success of your
irrigation system depends largely on the contractor you choose to design
and install it. A contractor's expertise and skills will affect your system's
efficiency and reliability. In fact, how your irrigation system is designed
and installed will make the difference between a system that continues
to keep your lawn healthy and green, and one that creates problems by
wasting water and leaving your lawn unhealthy and brown.
What to Expect
An efficient, well-organized contractor will be happy to provide you with
all the information you need to make an informed choice. First, the contractor
will want to view your property in order to determine soil conditions,
water sources and pressure, and planting materials. He will then present
a formal estimate detailing what he plans to do and the total price for
design, materials, and installation. Along with the estimate, the contractor
should clearly explain all the project specifics.
Questions to Ask
The best contractors will encourage you to ask many questions. By asking
questions, you will know what type of sprinkler system you are getting
for your money and what to expect from your new system. Here are a few
important questions to consider:
of product will be used and why? A professional should tell you what
type of controller, valves, rotors, or spray heads are best for your
Is after-sale service provided? A professional should be willing
and able to provide after-sale service.
Is there a system warranty? A professionals work should
be guaranteed a one-year warranty is typical.
Does he have references available? A professional should be willing
to provide you with the names
and telephone numbers of satisfied customers, so you can call and check
You Get What You
a contractor, you should be wary of those who offer to charge you significantly
less than others. Low bidders may not be licensed or insured and may often
use cost-cutting techniques that can jeopardize your lawn and shorten
the life of your system.
Watch out for these commonly used, undesirable short-cuts:
a backflow preventer: This is required by local codes to protect your
Installing a cheap backflow or connecting the backflow with PVC
pipe instead of copper pipe installed by a licensed plumber: This leads
to breakage problems which are very costly to repair and can also lead
to basement flooding, which would not be covered by insurance due to
non licensed installation.
Installing sprinklers too far apart: This makes it impossible
for certain areas to receive enough water and can cause brown spots
during the hot summer months.
Not using special protective valve boxes: These components are
necessary to safeguard the electrical elements, guard against short
circuits and prevent corrosion.
supply lines or overloading the zones: This decreases the pressure and
flow to the sprinkler heads which leads to poor pattern and an inefficient
Not using protective
conduit for wiring into your house: This leaves your wires exposed to
animals and elements which can cause damage leading to short circuiting.
Poor design and layout: This causes areas to be overwatered and/or
under watered which leads to soggy and mossy areas in some parts of
the yard while other parts are dry and burned out from lack of water.
Using non-adjustable spray nozzles: This shortcut leads to overspraying
into areas which you don't want watered and also not watering certain
portions of areas which need water.
Installing a poor controller: Cheap controllers are not user friendly
and can be frustrating for the customer. They also do not allow for
precise watering programs, which leads to an inefficient system.
Licensed & Insured
CS# 90682 - HIC# 144905