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Sprinkler System Water Saving Tips

April 24, 2023by Peter Hudson

These water saving tips can save you up to 50% on your sprinkler water bill. We see these problems every day in the field with our service trucks. Watching water go down the city drain is a frustrating sight.

Watering Suggestions

Turn off your sprinkler system controller when you get good rain or better yet invest in a good rain sensor. A ½” rain event should turn your system off for a day or two. An average sprinkler system with 8 zones can use 1000 gallons (about 3785.41 L) of water a day.

Set multiple start times with controller to avoid water runoff and increase absorption rate.

This is smart especially during extreme heat when you need to water on specific days due to water restrictions. Deep watering your grass and plants is the best way to keep them healthy. Watering every day can keep roots from growing deep. We suggest watering grass and most plants 3 days a week, but you must water deep in the summer. 10-20 minutes for sprays and 30-40 minutes for rotors. These times may vary depending on your sprinkler coverage.

Install a smart controller that will update settings for changing weather and make it easy to set from smart phone or tablet. This makes it simple to be able to change settings from your yard, office or on vacation. Learn about the top benefits of a smart controller.

Coverage is Key

Get the best sprinkler coverage you can. The better your coverage, the less time you water. There are so many options now that can increase the amount of water for plants like azaleas. Nothing beats head-to-head coverage except for rain.

Repair All Leaks

Repair any leaks that will waste water. Leaks can be obvious to see, or you may have a slow leak that can be hard to find. Leaks can lower your water pressure for the rest of your spray heads making them ineffective. Older spray heads can leak through the old seals and stems. These need to be replaced.

Does Your Sprinkler System Have The Most Efficient Heads?

Install better quality water saving technology spray heads and nozzles. There are some great products out there like the Rain Bird SAM spray heads, Rain Bird adjustable rotary nozzles, and Rain Bird MPR nozzles. The SAM Heads will stop water leaking downstream below your valves out on your sidewalk and street.

Drip works best in small areas, 4’ or less and is great for water conservation. Houston’s clay soil can make it difficult to use in large areas in residential applications. The drip can work well when installed properly but it does have more maintenance issues.

Raise your heads or install taller spray heads. Plant growth can block the water spray and keep water from reaching the designated distance. A normal spray head is only 4” high. When grass roots thicken or plants grow, you may want to increase to a 6”. 12” spray heads are a wonderful way to improve your coverage for the front of beds.

Straighten your spray heads. Spray heads can settle over time around your home’s foundation and in your yard. Causes can be settling due to tree roots and drainage problems. Crooked spray heads do not spray as they were designed to. Spray distance is less and impacted by wind greater with heads that are not straight. This can be the root cause of dry spots.

Click here for more information about how to properly change out a sprinkler head.

When to Run Your Sprinkler System

Always run your sprinkler system early in the morning if possible. The temperature is the coolest and the wind is the calmest. This will get the most water to your plant roots as possible. Houston summer temperatures in the early evening summer can still be over 90 degrees.

If you would like to ensure that you have the most efficient and water saving system possible, have a technician come do a full system check for you. Feel free to call 281-494-3700 or click here to request an appointment.

Peter Hudson Sr

Texas Landscape Irrigator LI 0009024


Southwest Irrigation Systems inc.

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