Irrigation system problems can be perplexing, and even downright frustrating, but there is a solution for everything. Installing an irrigation system will save you water, time and money, but it is important to get the design of the system right from the outset and to ensure you know how to maintain it. Here are a few irrigation system problems that commonly pop up, and which you may already be familiar with.
Irrigation system problems
1. Irrigation systems turning on during rainy weather
It’s always best when nature is happy to water the garden for you, but what happens when it starts raining at the exact time the irrigation system is set to start watering the garden? It’s not necessary or ideal to give the garden a double dose of water, especially when the aim of the game is to save water and money.
The solution is to install a sensor in your irrigation system that assesses the weather and holds off on watering the garden when it is rainy. An example of this is the Rain Bird rain sensor, which automatically switches off when rain is detected.
2. Water pressure issues
High, low and fluctuating water pressure can become an issue when your irrigation system is in use because it can prevent your garden from getting watered properly. Water pressure issues can result in misting, which is not effective hydration for your garden.
The solution is to install and adjust a valve pressure regulator at the valve and pressure regulation at the point of water distribution, both of which are features of the Rain Bird irrigation system.
3. Over-watering and under-watering
No two gardens are the same, so a one-size-fits-all irrigation system is not effective because it is likely to result in over-watering and under-watering. It is important to assess the areas in your garden that get a lot of sun versus a lot of shade. The parts of your garden that are exposed to more sun will need more water to compensate for the inevitable increased water loss, whereas the shady sections will require less watering. In addition, different areas of your garden will require more or less water depending on the plants in each area. Some plants demand more water, while others can survive on much less. But how can watering the garden be regulated in a way that considers all these factors?
The solution is the installation and use of controllers that allow for customised programmes to be set. This means that more watering time can be set for those areas requiring more water. In addition, installing drip irrigation is a great option, as it allows you to water areas according to their specific needs.
4. Awkward garden designs
As we have said, each garden is unique and there is bound to be some interesting garden features that your irrigation system has to contend with. Your garden probably has one or more of the following characteristics: small or tight areas, odd shapes, long strips, crazy corners, various buildings, winding paths and weird obstacles. The problem is that, during watering, the water can end up being distributed to all the wrong areas. So, instead of watering the lawn, you water the driveway and instead of watering the soil, you water the wall and paving.
The solution is to adjust your irrigation system nozzles accordingly. For example, Rain Bird’s Variable Arc Nozzles (VAN) are able to deliver the right amount of water to the right space, no matter how odd the space is. Low-volume nozzles are also able to provide precise amounts of water to smaller spaces.
5. Water run-off and pooling
The ultimate goal is to get the water to where it needs to go and to avoid as much water wastage as possible. The problem is that certain parts of the garden may have more compact soil, which means the water is not always absorbed and it begins to run-off onto areas that don’t need the water. Similarly, water can begin pooling in areas below slopes or where run-off water settles, and these puddles can be damaging.
The solution is to ensure your irrigation system has a controller that is easy to set and adjust. A controller with multiple programme options is ideal, as it will allow you to determine different watering times and settings to avoid run-off and pooling. You can also adjust the valves and nozzles to deliver water at slower rates to allow adequate time for the water to soak into the soil. In some instances, a drip irrigation system may be the best solution.
The beauty of an irrigation system is that it can be adjusted in a number of ways to solve any problems unique to your garden. Chat to us today about any irrigation system problems you may be encountering, so that we can help you solve them.