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Design Your Sprinkler System to Shine

March 12, 2015

As we approach the spring season, many homeowners are already thinking of sprinkler systems.  If you’re someone who’s just moved into a new home and needs to put in an underground sprinkler system, or if you’re someone that just has repairs to make, Orbit’s free Online Sprinkler System Designer is the perfect tool to help you get started.

We get a lot of calls every spring from customers using our tool.  While customers are very satisfied, we have some tips and suggestions that will make the experience even better!

One recommendation—and this tends to be true of all computer programs—is to save a copy right away.  We’ve all heard of people typing up some important report, only to have a computer failure and lose it all.  With Orbit’s free Online Sprinkler System Designer you’ll be creating something you don’t want to lose and it can be frustrating if the internet crashed and everything disappears.  Start by saving your plan early and you’ll be protected.  The Sprinkler Designer auto-saves every few minutes, but you need to take the initial step.

Next, practice!  Taking a few minutes to do a practice design will familiarizes yourself with all the functions, preventing slowdowns when you get to the actual design of your yard.  There’s no limit on how many plans you can create, so don’t worry about creating dozens (or even hundreds) of plans.right hand tools

The right hand tool panel is often overlooked, but can really help, especially with yards that have a lot of different or unusual sections.  Here’s a short description of each of the functions:

  • Measure—this lets you measure parts of the drawing to make sure they match real life. It can also help you figure out how big parts of your yard are, without having to measure them over and over.
  • Undo/Redo—these are probably pretty obvious, but just in case, they let you step backwards if you make a mistake, or step forwards if you want to bring something you’ve deleted back.
  • Add label—you can label different parts of your property for future reference.
  • Snap to grid—when snap to grid is enabled, the shapes you draw will auto-adjust to make themselves square and even. But if you have a section that is not quite square, you can turn this feature off, giving you more freedom to draw.
  • Opacity—if you’ve imported an image, you’ll have the option to adjust opacity, to make the image appear lighter or darker.

shape toolsNow, what about the drawing itself?  There’s some tips here, too.  When an object is selected, there are four little icons around the outside.  Here is what each of them do:

  • The X deletes the shape.
  • The diagonal arrows expand or contract the shape while keeping dimensions equal.
  • The padlock locks objects to the grid.
  • The right angle arrows allow you to rotate the shape 0-360 degrees.

And what about curved edges?  Instead of drawing multipoint lines, draw a straight line and then click and drag the green dot. This will create a curved edge.

 

The steps in the left navigation also have some incredible features.  The system is designed to recognize any non-watered featured as an obstruction, so placing them in your plan will tell the program to design around the object.

Trees and shrubs are seen as part of the lawn and get no special treatment.  Hedges and flowerbeds, however, do have specific options that allow them to be watered with the lawn, with drip or shrub sprays, or not to be watered at all.curved edges

The special watered features let you specify the way certain parts of your yard are watered and what type of sprinklers are used.

Our free sprinkler designer puts the power of design into the hands of the homeowner, saving potentially thousands of dollars and educating along the way.  Over the spring and summer we’ll be highlighting more features and we’d love to hear about your success with our designer on Twitter and Facebook.

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