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Home > Maintenance > Anatomy Of A Sprinkler System

Today I’m talking about the basic parts of the sprinkler system. Adrian Sanchez here, for Sprinkler Warehouse.  Let’s get started.

An Automatic Sprinkler System Is Made Up Of Five Basic Components:

  1. A timer or controller
  2. The pipe or tubing
  3. The valves
  4. The sprinkler heads
  5. And a backflow preventer

Let’s Start With The Water Flow

Your water source, whether it’s a pump, well, or your local water utility. Supplies water to your mainline. The mainline will branch off to your business or residence, and to your irrigation system. PVC pipe will carry your water to a backflow preventer.

What Is The Purpose Of A Backflow Preventor?

The purpose of a backflow device is to prevent water that may be contaminated inside your sprinkler system from flowing back into your drinking water. It’s also usually where you shut off the water to your irrigation system.

From the backflow, water flows through your pipes to the valves. The controller, also called a timer, is the brain of the sprinkler system. It tells the valves when to open or close. Each Valve controls a group of sprinklers. Each group is called a zone or a station.

Sprinkler Timer Tells The Valve To Open

When the timer reaches a start time, it sends a signal, telling the valve to open. The valve opens releasing the flow of water into a zone. Water flows through the pipes to the sprinkler head.  The water pressure activates the sprinkler heads in the zone, and they begin watering.

When the end of the runtime is reached, the timer sends a signal to tell the valve to close.  Once the water stops entering the pipe in the zones, water pressure inside the zone decreases, and the sprinkler heads disengage. The process repeats for each zone in the system.

Sprinkler Water Runs Through Piping And Tubing

You’ll use PVC pipe anywhere inline before the valve.  That means from your water meter, to where you branch off to your irrigation system, to your backflow, to your valves. After the valve, you may use either PVC or poly tubing, also called funny pipe.

Pop-Up Sprinkler Heads Are Activated

Popups hide underneath the ground until the zone is activated, while shrub-type sprinklers are fixed on shrub sticks.  Popups are used for lawns and low growing flower beds and ground covers. Shrub-style sprinklers are elevated about the level of the plants on a shrub stick.  This allows the sprinkler to spray over the plants and shrubs.

Rotor-type sprinklers use a rotating stream, or multiple streams to water the lawn or plantings.  They are typically used to water areas over fifteen feet in width. Sprays send a fixed water pattern, not unlike a showerhead. Sprays are typically used for smaller areas.

Contact Sprinkler Warehouse To Help Select Parts For Your Irrigation System

Remember, SPRINKLER WAREHOUSE has EVERYTHING for your irrigation needs so, your trees, lawn, flower beds, and gardens are lush and beautiful. And if you have any questions about our products chat with one of our superb customer service agents on Sprinkler Warehouse dot com. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for helpful tips, tutorials, and general sprinkler instruction. For Sprinkler Warehouse, I’m Adrian Sanchez. The Sprinkler Warehouse Pro. Later irrigator.