Watering a lawn, though not a particularly big job, is still enough of a hassle to want to put off, especially if it's been a particularly long day. Anyone who has a lawn wants it to look good, but pulling out that hose sometimes seems like a task we'd rather not do. The good news is you don't have to! By installing an automatic sprinkler system, Philadelphians can have the lush, green lawn they want, without the monotony of winding and unwinding a garden hose every day.
Types of Sprinkler Systems
Though you can try and use the same type of sprinkler to water everything in your yard, you'll waste less water and get better results if you use specific systems in the correct situations. For example, a rotating sprinkler in the middle of your yard might be able to hit everything within 50 feet with a whole lot of water, but it wouldn't be the best choice for a flower bed, which would likely be better served by a drip system.
In general, a rotating sprinkler system works well on a very large area that has a lot of hills and dips. This is why these kinds of sprinklers are used on golf courses. For a flower bed, again, a drip system (basically just a hose with holes poked in it) will provide just the right amount of moisture to keep the bed moist but not water logged. Stationary spray sprinklers put out a lot of water at a time and generally don't distribute it very far: They work best in small areas that are relatively flat. Each kind of sprinkler has its benefits and drawbacks, so picking the proper style for your purposes will conserve water and save you money, too.
Installing a Sprinkler System in Philadelphia
If the area you want to water is small, you might just want to buy a sprinkler attachment for your garden hose and leave it in a spot where it will do the most good. Those who have a larger area to work with, or have more specific needs, might want to go the extra mile and install a permanent sprinkler system. Philadelphia area homeowners should first check to see what kinds of permits will be needed to do this job.
An automatic sprinkler system has only a few basic components. First is a water source, next is the piping needed to bring the water to the third component, the sprinkler head. Last, but certainly not least, is an adjustable timer that you can set to turn the sprinklers on and off at whatever intervals you choose. This job can be done by a DIY, but it's not as simple as it might seem. Putting in an automatic sprinkler system will involve some very careful measurements, a moderate amount of digging, and a knowledge of how water pressure works.
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Winterizing a Philadelphia Sprinkler System
Since southeastern PA is no stranger to freezing temperatures, a sprinkler system should be winterized once it becomes apparent that cold weather is on its way. Leaving water in your sprinkler lines, just like leaving it in your plumbing, can be a problem if it is allowed to freeze. You can find step-by-step directions on how to do the job yourself online, or you can pay a professional to clear the pipes using compressed air. Either way, making sure your Philadelphia sprinkler system is free of water before the first winter freeze is important if you want it to last as long as possible.
Philadelphia Sprinkler System Prices
The national average cost of installing a sprinkler system is about $2,700. Fortunately, this figure includes many jobs that are most likely a whole lot larger than the typical Philadelphia or Philly suburban lawn. Prices in southeastern PA range between $800 and $2,000 for sprinkler system installation, and the job generally lasts less than a week.