What is an Automatic Sprinkler System?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2019
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An automatic sprinkler system is a watering system that is constructed to operate a series of sprinklers on an automated basis. Systems of this type are often used for general lawn care, as part of caring for small and large gardens, and as a means of maintaining ground cover in parks and other public locations. Automatic sprinklers can be set up with relatively little effort, which makes it easy to add or replace a system for use with any type of property.

A basic automatic sprinkler system involves three basic components. Sprinkler heads are necessary to expel the water over the landscape. In order to route the water to the sprinkler heads, flexible water pipes connect the sprinklers to a water source. The third component, a timing device, makes it possible to sequence the system to automatically initiate watering and to cease watering after a pre-determined period of time.


Water sprinklers can be used in just about any climate. An automatic sprinkler system is a great way to maintain a green lawn during summer months with little or no rainfall. The system can be queued to water the lawn early in the morning or late in the evening, depending on the preferences of the homeowner. Some systems make it possible to set up a recurring watering schedule for thirty days or longer. This means that people who travel can rest assured that the lawn would receive an adequate amount of watering even when no one is home for several weeks.

An automatic water sprinkler system is also helpful with gardening. Installing an automated system works well with small backyard gardens and also with large gardens involving significant amounts of acreage. Because the sprinkler heads work off a common control panel, it is possible to preset when and for how long the sprinklers are activated. This helps to ensure that crops or other plants receive the proper amount of water needed to optimize healthy growth.

Most versions of an automatic sprinkler system today are sophisticated enough to allow the operator to temporarily suspend the watering schedule. For example, a homeowner can suspend watering for a day or two when rainfall is heavy. Once the rain has passed, the homeowner can re-activate the scheduled watering sessions, amend the schedule and duration of each session, or enter a completely new schedule.

Pricing for an automatic sprinkler system will vary, depending on the number of sprinkler heads involved in the system, as well as the type of control features built into the system. A basic system that allows the owner to set a simple daily recurring schedule that can be turned off or on and is adequate for home use will cost significantly less than more sophisticated systems used on commercial farms.


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Post 1

First of all, see that guy in upper left corner with the hardhat and drill? Don't let him near your sprinkler pipes or controller.

Now, you don't have to manually intervene anymore to cut off sprinklers for rain, most have rain sensors and will shut down automatically and they'll turn on when the rain's gone.(Get a rain sensor, it's worth it)

Also, get a controller with seasonal setbacks, it'll not only save you money, but it will keep your landscape healthier.

I recently installed an Internet sprinkler controller, so I can make adjustments and start cycles from any Internet browser. It cost a little more, but with seasonal setbacks and weather blocks I'm already saving water money. With the browser it's easy to set the schedules. I tell ya, this is the way to do it, and I'm not even really a geek.


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