Frequently Asked Questions - Irrigation Systems

As a full service Outdoor Lighting company serving New Jersey, we are asked the questions below on a regular basis. To make it easier for you to decide that we are the right contractor, we have provided the answers to some of those questions.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions - Irrigation Systems

  • How can I save water and be GREEN? +

    A sprinkler system is only as effective as its operator. On average, turf needs about 1 inch of water a week and plants need between 1/2-1 inch depending on the plant type, grading and sun exposure. An operator needs to adjust his/her control box weekly as the rainfall and temperature changes throughout the year. The three biggest ways to save water are the following:

    • 1) Do not activate the sprinkler system until May (if you have new plants, you can activate the system for the plant beds but it isn't necessary for the grass).
    • 2) Listen to the radio and if you receive an inch of rainfall, turn the system off for 5-7 days or until you see signs of dryness on your property.
    • 3) Use soak and cycle strategies to reduce water run-off.
  • What are the TOP 5 MOST IMPORTANT QUALITIES in a good contractor? +

    1. 1)Tenure as a company. 95% of most companies go out of business in 5 years. New companies are learning on the job and their mistakes become your problem. We recommend looking at companies that have been in business for a minimum of 5 years.
    2. 2) Reputation. References are great but public sites such as Angie's List and Service Magic are better. These sites validate that companies have the right licenses, valid insurance and give customers the ability to express their feedback on how their experience was with their contractor.
    3. 3) Do they actively do work in your area? The actual installation is just the first step towards a good solution for your lawn. Next you need the company's resources to train and retrain you on how to use the system and also how to properly maintain the system. If you live in Wayne, it does not make sense to hire a contractor based out of New York because servicing your home will always be difficult if they don't service many customers in your area.
    4. 4) How many systems do they install in a year? Every year, we receive hundreds of new customers who want a reliable company to service their property. The typical reasons are vast, ranging from the company went out of business, doesn't return their phone calls, service technicians aren't experienced, etc. But the type of company is always consistent, small contractors! The owner typically wears all the hats and there are too many (sales, project management, parts manager, accounts payable, accounts receivable, service manager, billing, receptionist, etc). More often than not, they do a great job at sales and a decent job at installations but stink at the rest. Remember, a warranty is only as good as the company.
    5. 5) Are they certified irrigation contractors? This is a national certification which contractors must take two days worth of classes, and ultimately pass a four hour exam. The test covers: proper back flows and installation, how to analyze water flow rates and pressure, irrigation design, safety, troubleshooting, etc. We are surprised it isn't a state law to be a Certified Irrigation Contractor, most states mandate contractors are certified. Regardless, it is great criteria to consider when selecting the right contractor for your system.
  • What is the recommended watering schedule? +

    Without knowing your property, it is difficult to recommend the perfect watering schedule for everyone. But here is good starting point:

    • Calculate the total time needed to water your entire property (take a sheet of paper, write down the time you will be watering each zone, add up the total time)
    • Evaluate what time your family begins using the water source in the morning (showers, dishwasher, laundry machine, etc). Take this time, subtract the total time needed to water your lawn and there is your recommended water time for your residence. We don't recommend watering at night due to the possibility of getting fungus.
    • We recommend watering spray zones less minutes per week than rotors due to the constant water flow on spray. During the fall and spring, we recommend watering shrubs 2 times per week for 10 minutes, and during the peak of summer, try watering 3 times per week.
    • For rotors, we recommend watering in the fall and spring 3 times per week for 15 minutes. During the summer, you should probably add 2 more watering sessions per week.

    Please note, these are only recommended watering times. The best way to ensure the best program is to closely monitor your plants and lawn. If you find your plants and lawn starting to dry out or brown, you should add minutes. If you find your lawn to be really mushy and soggy, turn the watering time down.

  • How much maintenance is required with a sprinkler system? +

    Maintenance is important to ensure the system continually runs smoothly. The most important services are the Fall Turn Off and the Spring Turn On. In the fall we will blow all of the water out of the system to eliminate the risk of freezing pipes over the winter months. We also remove any pieces that have the risk of freezing and cracking. In the spring we come back out to hook the system back up and get it turned on. We also make sure no equipment or parts were damaged over the winter. Finally, we make sure that the system has overlapping coverage and all rotors and spray heads are aimed correctly. Please check out our service section for details on our Annual Service Agreement.
  • Will an automatic sprinkler system use more water than I’m currently using? +

    This question depends on whether or not you are currently watering your lawn and shrubs. If you are, then no. Many customers have found decreases in their water bill after installing a lawn sprinkler system.
  • What is a backflow preventer? +

    A backflow preventer’s purpose is to protect your drinking water from the possible contaminants from your lawn. Think of the how an inflatable raft works, you can blow air in, but no air can escape. The backflow works the same way, water can feed into your sprinkler system, but it cannot return back to your drinking water. This is a required device for ALL installations in New Jersey.
  • Does having a sprinkler system really save time? +

    Yes. You won't have to spend another minute of your valuable leisure time watering the lawn. Your new system will do all the watering for you - even when you're away from home.
  • Will the water from my landscaping spray heads hit the foundation of my house? +

    This is another area in which we are very unique. We stagger our spray heads (some heads in front of the bed facing the house and other heads at the base of the house spraying away) for two reasons:

    1. 1) It eliminates water shadowing (where plants/shrubs block water from hitting other plants)
    2. 2) It reduces the amount of over-spray on the foundation of your house

    Typically, it will increase the cost of the total system, but it is the best application for your landscaping today and tomorrow. Nothing is worse than returning from a summer vacation and finding expensive landscaping dead from lack of water.

  • Poly Pipe vs. PVC +

    Although you will find a mixture of companies using both types of material in the New Jersey, we feel Poly Pipe is a superior product. PVC is recommended for warmer areas such as Florida, Georgia, California, etc. Poly Pipe is recommended for areas that are susceptible to long freezes. If you go to North Carolina, you will find all companies using PVC. If you go to Pennsylvania, you will find all companies using Poly Pipe. New Jersey is in the middle and that is why you find a mixture of both. We not only double clamp all our connections, we also use stainless steel clamps and screws to prevent possible leakage. Poly pipe is also a flexible pipe which holds up better against rocky soil climates. Lastly, it comes in rolls of 300 feet which reduces the amount of connections needed. PVC requires primer and cement every 20 feet to connect the two pipes which creates an opportunity for workmanship errors or glue to fall apart and clog the valves over time. Lastly, we carry the longest warranty in the area for our pipe, 5 years!
  • Will you know where my underground utilities are located? +

    Before we begin working on any property, we will contact the utilities of Virginia 72 hours prior in order to mark the following utility lines: Water line will be marked in blue, gas line will be marked in yellow, power line will be marked in red, and cable and phone lines will be marked in orange.

    Typically, the cable and phone lines are the only shallow utility lines, they are often only 2-3” deep in the ground. As a measure of precaution from hitting your cable or phone lines, we will hand dig around all utility lines. However, there are no guarantees that your phone or cable line won’t be damaged. There is no way to guarantee that the line was accurately marked or that we won’t hit the line hand digging with a pick and shovel. If a utility line is hit, our project manager will promptly inform and instruct you on how to resolve the issue. Typically, the cable and phone companies are very reactive in providing great service and schedule a service tech to your property right away and do not charge a fee.

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