If you’re new to the world of irrigation, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by all of the terminology. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Thankfully, we’re going to define some of the most important irrigation terms so that you can feel confident in your knowledge. By understanding these terms, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about your irrigation system and how to best maintain it, whether you’re shopping with The Irrigation Shop or any other provider. Let’s get started!
Backflow – This term is used to describe the undesirable reversal of water flow in your irrigation system. Backflow can happen when there is a change in pressure between the water source and the sprinkler heads. Ultimately, this can happen due to something as simple as a hose being turned on or off in your yard.
Check Valve – A check valve is a device that is installed in your irrigation system to prevent backflow. Check valves allow water to flow in one direction only, which prevents water from flowing back into your system and contaminating your water supply.
Drain Valve – A drain valve is a type of check valve that is installed at the low point of your irrigation system. Drain valves allow water to drain out of your system, which helps to prevent flooding and water damage.
Backflow Preventer – A backflow preventer is another device that is installed in your irrigation system to prevent backflow. Backflow preventers allow water to flow in one direction only, just as we saw with check valves.
Flow Sensor – Once installed into your irrigation system, a flow sensor will measure the flow rate of water. Flow sensors are important because they help you to ensure that your system is operating correctly and efficiently.
Moisture Sensor – Moisture sensors are installed in your irrigation system to measure the moisture content of the soil. This information helps you to determine when your system needs to be turned on or off to provide the most effective irrigation.
Rain Sensor – As the third type of sensor, these are installed in your irrigation system to measure rainfall. By using this feature, it helps you to determine when your system needs to be turned off to avoid overwatering. Without a rain sensor, your system will continue to run even if it is raining, which can lead to water waste and potential damage to your landscape.
Microclimate – A microclimate describes the conditions that exist in a small, specific area. When it comes to irrigation, the microclimate around your sprinkler heads can play a big role in how much water is dispersed and how evenly it is applied to your landscape. By understanding the microclimate around your sprinkler heads, you can make adjustments to ensure that your landscape is getting the right amount of water.
Pressure – Although it sounds straightforward, pressure is one of the most important factors in an irrigation system. The pressure in your system needs to be high enough to push water through all of the components, but not so high that it damages the system.
Head – The head is the part of the irrigation system that actually dispenses the water. There are several different types of heads, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Retraction – Retraction is the process of withdrawing water from the soil. Why is this important? Because it allows the roots of plants to access oxygen and prevents waterlogging.
Efficiency – Finally, efficiency is a measure of how well an irrigation system uses water. The more efficient a system is, the less water it will waste.
These are just a few of the most important irrigation terms you need to know. Understanding these terms will help you choose the right system while preventing common mistakes!