Sprinkler systems free up your time

June 26, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

North Jersey Homes

 

Sprinkler systems free up your time

If you’d like a lush, green lawn without a lot of maintenance, and without lugging around a heavy hose, you may want to install a sprinkler system.

"I think everyone should have a sprinkler system," said Nelson Lee, president of Landscapeworks, Wyckoff (landscapeworks.net). In business 22 years, Landscapeworks does landscaping, yard main-tenance, irrigation and lighting.

Any yard can house an irrigation system, according to Anthony Menicola, president of Corner to Corner Irrigation & Landscape, Hackensack (cciandl.com). Serving New Jersey and New York for more than 15 years, his company also handles irrigation, yard maintenance, design and lighting.

"Sprinkler systems are a luxury that frees up time for the homeowner, who then doesn’t have to worry about whether the lawn is getting enough water," Menicola said. "Also, if homeowners go on vacation, they’re relying on only rain to water their lawn, and Mother Nature is unpredictable. With a system in place, your lawn is guaranteed to get watered."

Sprinklers With Sense

"Sprinklers save a lot of water and are extremely sophisticated, thanks to computers," Lee said. "With all that efficiency, you’re not only being conscious of the environment but you’re also saving money."

Sprinkler systems on the market today also have sensors that detect rain and frost, deactivating if the conditions don’t require watering. Timers can be set to run for only  certain days and times, if some areas of the yard require more watering than others.

Menicola uses products by Hunter Industries, which manufactures irrigation sprinklers, valves, controllers and sensors for residential and commercial properties. The company produces more than 100 water-efficient products.

"Hunter is working on sprinklers that can detect wind and the amount of sun out and then water your lawn accordingly," Menicola said.

According to a company statement, the heart of the Hunter product line is its signature pop-up, gear-driven rotor. These sprinklers irrigate turf and landscape and feature the most advanced water-saving technology. Hunter rotors operate with a patented gear-drive system for a smooth, even rotation of the sprinkler head, while delivering a consistent stream of water to a precise location. Hunter rotors pop up above the turf when working, then retract below grade when the cycle is completed.

Invisible Installation

Lee and Menicola both said installing sprinklers can take one to three days, depending on the intricacy of the system. The job can cost from $1,400 on the lower end to more than $4,000 on the higher end.

Lee said homeowners may be hesitant to install a sprinkler system because they think their lawn will be torn up. "It’s not intrusive at all," he said. "There is some digging, but everything is put back in place. You won’t even know we’ve been there."

Menicola recommends the homeowner be home for at least a few hours during the installation, to give workers access into the home if needed.

"We set the sprinklers to go off between 3 and 6 a.m., and we like to place the timers in the garage," he explained. "If there’s no power in the garage, we’ll set up the timer in the basement."

There’s also a specific pattern that most sprinklers cover in the yard.

"We always separate lawn and garden areas," Menicola said. "Typically, gardens or annual beds need water more frequently than lawns do. Lawns should be watered for a longer duration, but less frequently, during the week."

Lee says homeowners should never water their yards at night because it creates a breeding ground for fungus that can kill your grass. "The water just sits there all night because it doesn’t get a chance to evaporate," he said.

And when it comes to maintenance, homeowners will be happy to know that little is expected of them.

"Mandatory maintenance involves winterization of the system, which is done in the fall," Menicola said. "An optional service is a spring turn-on. Otherwise, it’s just set it and forget it."

— JENNIFER PINTO

PHOTOS COURTESY OF HUNTER INDUSTRIES

Even a small strip of lawn can benefit from a sprinkler system if the homeowners have little time to water it, themselves. The shrubs and flowers appreciate the drink, too.

The MP Rotator from Hunter Industries is designed to conserve water, with multi-trajectory rotating streams and easy arc adjustment.

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