How Do Home Irrigation Systems Work?

If you live in Texas, you’re familiar with the benefits of having an irrigation system in your yard. While our climate is typically arid, the hottest summer months can bring with them long stretches of hot, dry weather. Automated systems in particular give homeowners the ability to control the wellbeing of their yard without unnecessary work. These systems are incredible, but they’re also complex and a little confusing.

Today we’re going to walk you through everything you’d ever want to know about home irrigation and sprinkler systems. That includes the common pieces, how they work, and how to best maintain the whole thing.

What pieces make up my home’s irrigation system?

Your home’s irrigation system has a few specific, separate parts. These parts are the automatic timer, control valves, pipes, risers, and sprinkler heads. Here’s a little more on how each part works:

  • The automatic timer is not a necessary part of a home irrigation system. However, they’re crucial for anyone who wants use of their system to be easy and versatile. These timers connect to the control valves. You can set them to start and stop water flow as you see fit. Timers that allow different schedules for different parts of our yard are ideal so that you can water differing landscaping as needed.
  • The control valves are the most integral part of any home sprinkler system. They regulate the flow of water between the pipes and sprinkler heads. They physically turn on and off as programmed.
  • The pipes and risers are typically made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). They transport water to the sprinkler heads. Risers are vertical pieces directly connected to sprinkler heads. They feed into the horizontal pipes that travel back toward the main water line.
  • The sprinkler heads are the part of the system that water sprays out from. Typically, they water in quarter, half, or full circle areas. Most home irrigation systems have pop-up style sprinkler heads.

How can I best maintain my sprinkler system?

Just like with the rest of your home’s plumbing, there are things you can do to extend the life of your home’s sprinkler system:

  • Stay on top of inspections. You should schedule inspections regularly to make sure your sprinklers don’t have broken lines or leaks. These small issues only grow if left unattended over time. You can suss them out by paying attention to where you water each day. If you start to notice certain areas aren’t getting enough water, you can then call a professional to help you figure out why.
  • Check your sprinkler heads once per month. If something is obstructing or clogging the sprinkler heads, then you should clean or replace them. Adjust the direction they’re spraying in if they’ve been accidentally moved and are spraying somewhere they shouldn’t.
  • Install a rain sensor. A rain sensor is an easy irrigation system upgrade you can have installed. It can sense when there’s rainfall and will shut off to avoid water waste.
  • Adjust your water use based on the season. You don’t need your irrigation system as much during the wet spring or cold winter. Don’t cause unnecessary wear and tear on your system by running it during seasons you don’t need to.

When it comes to your home plumbing – irrigation, pipes, fixtures, and more – Ben Franklin Plumbing has your back. We know that each individual part has to work in order for the whole thing to operate smoothly. The next time you have a problem with any part of your home’s plumbing, give us a call. We’ll get it fixed efficiently, easily, and fast.