Irrigation Systems: Why You Should Have One Installed

irrigation systems mississaugaThere’s very little point in hiring a landscaping company to enhance your property and boost its curb appeal if you don’t intend on looking after it afterwards. Besides the sun’s UV rays, your lawn, shrubs and trees all need water if they are to remain healthy and attractive. When it rains these plants are all watered naturally, but what about the periods when it doesn’t rain? It then becomes your responsibility to provide them with water, and as many of our clients in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville have found out, pulling out your garden hose and navigating your way round your yard soon becomes a nuisance. “Surely there’s a better way” they asked us. Well, luckily for them, and for you, there is; irrigation systems.

The Benefits that Irrigation Systems Offer

While you might think irrigation systems, or sprinkler systems as they are more commonly known to the average homeowner, are simply a luxury and a convenience, they are often the difference between a beautiful landscape and one that is deprived of water. Here’s why:

Irrigation Systems Save You Both Time and Water

If you’ve ever watered your entire yard with a garden hose you’ll know that it always seems to take longer than you expect; in fact it seems to take forever. You have to unwind your hose, turn it on and quickly jog over to the first part of your yard that needs watering otherwise you will soon be standing in a big puddle. Then you have to carefully manoeuvre your way around your yard, watching that the cable doesn’t get snagged on anything, which invariably it will, before winding it back up again. You also tend to use much more water than you really need to with a garden hose, which drives up your water bill. Irrigation systems, however, ensure this task is done automatically and carefully control the amount of water that is discharged. They also provide you with peace of mind knowing that your yard is going to be watered at regular intervals.

Allow You to Multi-Task

We all lead busy lives and there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. Irrigation systems, however, allow you to get more done in a day as while they water your yard, you can get on with other types of yard work.

Protects the Structure of Your Soil and the Nutrients it Contains

When using a standard garden hose to do the watering it’s possible that too much water could make its way down into the soil and take many of the available nutrients with it in the surface runoff. This is a process known as leaching and is very harmful for your plants since it leaves them with fewer nutrients to “feed” on. Also, the force at which water comes out of the hosepipe is often strong enough to compact the soil surrounding your plants, which is a common cause of root disease and can suffocate them. Irrigation systems ensure these problems don’t occur as water is distributed in smaller amounts and it is not highly concentrated in a single area.

Reduce the Amount of Weeds that Grow in Your Yard

When water is spread relatively evenly over the surface area of your yard, weed seedlings are provided with everything they need to germinate. That’s what tends to happen when watering with a garden hose, but irrigation systems are much more targeted in their distribution of water, and in some cases are capable of directing water straight to the rootball of each plant. This also helps you to avoid an outbreak of leaf diseases in your outdoor area, since many of these diseases are caused by water simply sitting on the leaves.

If you are interested in having an irrigation system installed and live in Mississauga, Brampton or Oakville, contact the experienced team at Pyramid Contracting Inc. on (905) 846-7664.

Protecting your irrigation system in winter

A residential or commercial irrigation system can be advantageous for a number of reasons. Thanks to programmable timers and control systems, they can be set to water a lawn at specific intervals for a specific time or based on water used. They’re designed to cover a large area, and conserve water while providing maximum benefit to lawns, flowers, shrubs, and other landscaping elements.

But because Canadian winters are extremely harsh with violent freeze and thaw cycles, we always recommend an irrigation system be maintained and prepped in advance of freezing temperatures. In any area where temperatures dip below freezing for more than a few hours a night, a sprinkler system needs to be drained of excess water. If water remains in the lines or control valves, it will expand upon freezing and damage the system, rendering it inoperative and perhaps resulting in a costly water line break.

At Pyramid Contracting, we provide a wide range of landscaping services, including sod replacement, installing walkways, and designing, installing, and servicing an irrigation system for customers throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Preparing a sprinkler system for long winter months isn’t as difficult as it seems if you follow these steps:

  1. Close the main system shut-off valve, which is normally located where the main feed for the system “Tees” off the main water line into the residence or place of business. For systems with an electronic control, set it to “rain” so it won’t need to be re-programmed in the fall; if the system is manual, turn off the rotating clock control mechanism.
  2. Turn the ball or gate valves on the sides of the backflow device if one is installed. To drain a manual system, open the valves where they’re installed at the lowest place per line. Once the water pressure falls, automatic drains will open and as the lines completely drain will close again.
  3. Next, open the backflow drain, typically located on a vertical pipe between the shutoff valve and main line or even a stopcock on the side of a backflow device. Then, allow any backflow to drain completely by opening the valve between the main line that goes out to the sprinklers and the backflow device.
  4. The fifth step is to attach an air compressor to the blow-out adapter, which could be located on the backflow device or on a standpipe on the main line. Hint: If using an air compressor, there’s no need to exceed air pressure greater than 50 psi. Blowing air through the line will result in the sprinkler tops to pop up and blow out what appears to be steam. Caution: Don’t run an air compressor for more than a few minutes at a time, but if you notice water in the backflow device or backflow pipe, the process should be repeated.
  5. When preparing your irrigation system for the winter, follow all manufacturer’s instructions for drying off and caring for the sprinkler heads. Each company — Orbit, Rain Bird, Toro, Hunter, Nelson, or any other – has their own recommended process.

If you are still not sure how to protect and prepare your irrigation system for winter then give Pyramid contracting a call, we have been installing, repairing and protecting irrigation systems for many years and we would love to help you with yours. Call us today.