Tag: Irrigation

Midsummer Watering Tips

My Midsummer Night’s Dream

With the very top of summer sliding past,
I often wonder, what’s up with my grass?
It’s brown, it crackles,
It raises my hackles,
And I despair
That it is beyond repair.

It would be a midsummer night’s dream,
For my grass to appear a lush green,
Just in time for my soiree
Where we will play a lively round of croquet.

So dearest Titania, send me a fairy
“Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire. . . .
Swifter than the moon’s sphere . . .
To dew [my herbs] upon the green”
And thus fulfill my midsummer night’s dream.

Midsummer Watering Tips

All rhyming aside, (and due to lack of Shakespearian fairies) here are some tips to keep your yard looking lush and green through the rest of the summer:

  • Interval watering – do you have stubborn brown spots popping up on your lawn? Rather than adding more water, try interval watering. Water each zone for 10-15 minutes, and then repeat 2 more times. This allows the water to soak into the soil without running off into the neighbor’s yard or down the drain. Do this 2-3 times per week (or as needed).
  • Raise you lawn mower height. A slight raise in the length of your lawn protects the roots from the blaring summer sun and keeps your lawn looking healthier.
  • Sharpen your lawn mower blades. This cuts the grass rather than tearing it and protects your lawn from disease.
  • Keep those weeds down. Unwanted weeds compete with your existing landscaping for much needed water. Eliminating that competition helps your plants to thrive.

Orbit Sprinkler System Designer

underground sprinkler head

The Orbit Sprinkler System Designer™ is a unique combination of technology and Orbit’s high-quality irrigation products and service.  It is the world’s first and only online, real-time, free sprinkler system design tool.

What does it do?

In a few easy steps the Orbit Sprinkler System Designer™ allows you to design a personalized sprinkler system based on your own property.  When your design is complete you will have a visual plan to follow in addition to a parts list, price estimate, and instillation instructions.  The parts list is compatible with all hardware/home improvement stores, so you’ll be able to find just what you need wherever you are.

What does it cost?

The Orbit Sprinkler System Designer™ is absolutely free.  This same service can cost between $20-50 if contracted to a local irrigation store.

How do I get started?

Visit the Orbit Sprinkler System Designer™ website.

Once you are on the website, you can begin planning your sprinkler system by establishing the dimensions of your property.  One of the most popular features is the ability to import a Google Maps image of your property and trace directly over it.

From there all you need to do is follow the simple steps laid out on the screen.  You will be prompted to indicate the areas you don’t want watered as well as areas with special watering needs.  The designer will help you lay out system features, determine flow rate, and let you know the number of manifolds you will need.

At this point you can immediately view your arcs, head placement, and piping layout.

When you are satisfied with your design, you can view the estimated price for your new system and print the necessary parts list.

What if I have questions?

If you have design or installation questions, you can call one of our sprinkler design experts at: 1 (866) 694-7913.  Questions concerning products or the running and maintenance of your system can be answered by our technical support associates at: 1 (800) 488-6156.

Or, you can check out some of our frequently asked questions here.

Join us!

No matter where you are in the process, Orbit is dedicated to delivering quality products and our continued support.  So join us and start designing today!

Getting Your Automatic Sprinkler System Ready for the Season

With spring just around the corner, it is almost time to get your automatic sprinkler system up and running.  Still pulling hoses around the yard?  Try using our free sprinkler system designer to help you layout a system for your yard.  Don’t want to dig?  There are many hose faucet watering options to choose from to provide automated watering without the digging.

It is a good idea to test your sprinkler system each spring to ensure that everything is working properly.  Here are some things you will want to look for as you fire up your sprinkler system:

  1. Freeze damage in your sprinkler lines, valves or heads
  2. Sprinkler heads that may have been hit by a snowblower or shovel and need to be replaced
  3. Timer is set and functioning properly
  4. Nozzles are adjusted properly and are free of debris

Check out our how to videos for more tips on sprinkler system maintenance.  Wondering how to replace a solenoid on your sprinkler valve?  Click the following video for how-to instructions.

How Much do Automatic Sprinkler Systems Cost?

Sprinkler on edge of patio

The best answer to this question is that it depends on where you live, what type of equipment you plan to install, and whether you will do some of the work yourself.  But the following will help you at least ballpark what you ought to be paying for an automatic sprinkler system.

Do you plan on having a professional contractor install part or all of the system?

A basic rule of thumb is that a sprinkler contractor will price things out so that he has 1/3 of the total bid price in materials, 1/3 in labor and overhead, and 1/3 in profit. That leaves enough room so that he can still make money on the job even if some of the site-specific variables like a hard to find mainline, lower-than-expected pressure, or hardpan soil throw him some surprises. You should be able to buy equivalent materials at a home improvement store for about 15-20% more than the contractor installing pipe in groundwill pay at a contractor supply store, but you will need to factor in rental of trenchers and whether you can install the backflow prevention yourself, so you should figure your total cost of installing the system yourself will be around half the average of three competitive bids. A really simple way to estimate the cost of installing the system yourself is to use the Orbit Sprinkler System Designer.

If you need a quick and very rough range of where you might expect bids from professional sprinkler contractors to come in, you could use a range of $0.50 to $1.25 per square foot of area to be watered and probably not be too surprised. Just keep in mind that small properties will tend to be at the higher end of the range.

This is the first of a four part series that will ask the questions to help give you a good idea of things that will drive the cost of an automatic sprinkler system up or down. Some are things that you can choose and some are things that your specific region, climate or building codes will drive.