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How Do In-Ground Sprinklers Work?

How Do In-Ground Sprinklers Work

In-ground sprinkler systems are the most efficient and effective method for watering a landscape without wasting precious water. Because sprinkler heads are strategically positioned and water output is precisely timed, in-ground sprinkler systems give you complete control over the watering of your yard. Even though the benefits of an in-ground watering system are clear, many potential buyers want to know how in-ground sprinklers work, not why they should buy one.

The Basics of In-Ground Sprinklers

A typical system entails burying a network of retractable sprinkler heads approximately 12 inches below the surface. Each sprinkler head is strategically positioned according to the sun exposure, elevation, and landscape zones surrounding it. Using a pressure system that functions as follows, water is transported through the pipe:

In-Ground Pressure Systems

  • A digital controller instructs the water valves when to open and close.
  • Once activated, water is forced through the sprinkler head's pipe, elevating it above the ground.
  • When the water pressure ceases, the head returns underground.

In-Ground Water Sources

When the controller is activated, water is released and the sprinkler begins to operate. But where does water originate? The water for in-ground sprinkler systems comes from one of two sources. This is the most significant difference between a pump system and a metered water system.

Pump systems transfer water from a body of water, such as a lake or pond, to the sprinkler. This allows homeowners to perform system maintenance without incurring additional water costs. Typically, metered water systems are connected to the home's existing water lines and are maintained by the local utility company. Even though the service uses more water, it may be more reliable than a pump system.

Understanding the Controller

To fully comprehend how in-ground sprinklers operate, you must realize that everything begins with the controller. At the beginning of the system, the controller is attached to a set of water valves. This initial set of valves is where the primary water source enters the system prior to being distributed to the remaining sprinklers. The controller is designed to release each valve separately, instructing the valves when to open, how much water to release, and when to close. Manual controllers are less expensive than automatic controllers and can be turned on and off with the push of a button.