What are Sprinkler System Valves, Zones, Backflow, etc.? Tips to Understand Irrigation at Your Orlando, FL Home

Posted by Joe Mouad on Jan 27, 2021 10:36:59 AM

Do you speak sprinkler system, or is it a foreign language?

If you call any irrigation system part “that thingy,” you should probably brush up on your sprinkler system vocabulary.

Not only will it help you intelligently communicate with your irrigation technician, but it also makes you look super brainy during chats with your neighbor.

“Hey, Howard, I noticed one zone of your sprinkler system is out. Might be a shot solenoid.”

Of course, you could be way off base. But you still sound smart.

Here’s Sprinkler System Components 101: irrigation head

What Are Sprinkler System Valves?

Each valve in your sprinkler is like a faucet, which shuts off and turns on water flow. Like any faucet in your home, they can leak, and valves sometimes need to be replaced.

What’s an Isolation Valve?

An isolation valve is a way to turn off the water to your sprinkler system without turning it off to your whole house.

Why would you need this?

Let’s say one of your sprinkler system valves sticks open, and the water won’t stop. It happens.

Without an isolation valve, you’d have to shut off the water to your entire house to get it to stop.

What Are Sprinkler System Zones?

Sprinkler systems are divided into areas called zones, so different parts of your yard with different needs can get the right amount of water.

Each zone can be equipped with different types of sprinkler heads or set to water at different times for customized watering.

Trees and shrubs need less water than your lawn or flower beds. Shady areas need less water than spots in full sun.

Zones also help ensure all parts of your landscaping have good coverage, without overspray that wastes water.

What is a Sprinkler System Backflow?

This allows water to go through your irrigation system in one direction but prevents it from going backward in the opposite direction.

Make sure the handle on your backflow is on. When it’s off, it restricts any water from flowing past the backflow and to your sprinkler system valves.Backflow prevention device

What’s a Solenoid?

Every sprinkler valve has one — a coil component that uses electrical signals from the irrigation controller to open and close each valve, letting water move through the system.

Why should you care?

If a valve is worn out or damaged in one zone, or a solenoid is bad, that zone won’t turn on.Solenoid valve diagram

What’s a Rain Sensor?

A rain sensor communicates with your sprinkler system's controller and will stop it from watering once it has collected approximately 3/4 inch of rain. It will keep it off until the device dries out.

It’s a really easy way to save water and money.

What’s Drip Irrigation?

Unlike a typical sprinkler system that sprays water from irrigation heads, drip irrigation uses hoses pierced with tiny holes that allow small quantities of water to trickle slowly into the soil.

The hoses are installed on top of your soil, then covered with mulch to hide them. They’re designed to efficiently water planting beds.

Drip irrigation uses less water than typical sprinkler systems because it’s applied directly to the plants. There’s no water waste from evaporation because water isn’t spraying into the air. irrigation dripper

So, Any of These Things Can Break

It doesn’t take long for a healthy green lawn or landscape to turn brown and die without enough water.

That’s why proper maintenance year-round is crucial.

Valves leak. Heads get clogged or broken. Your controller might be set all wrong for the season.

An irrigation technician checks for all of these things, and more, including testing each zone to make sure it’s working properly, and no areas are too wet or too dry.
Irrigation crew inspection and adjusting sprinkler system
And they’ll catch any potential problems before they turn into big, expensive repairs.

Trust All Your Sprinkler System Parts to Ground Source

If you still don’t know the difference between a valve and a solenoid, that’s OK.

We do. Whatever goes wrong with whatever part of your irrigation system, our skilled technicians will have it back up and running in no time.

We’re irrigation experts, but our skills don’t stop there. We’re with you every step of the way as you plan your perfect outdoor space.

Sod, irrigation, landscape design: Let us transform your yard from an embarrassing eyesore to a place you spend every spare minute.

Are you ready to enjoy the vibrant, impressive yard you've always wanted? Request a quote today! We’ll help you review your options and then transform your property.

Request a Quote

Image Source: Backflow, solenoid

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