What should you look out for when choosing an irrigation installer?

With spring approaching and the pandemic keeping people close to home, more people have the time to improve and enjoy their gardens. Everyone wants the best for their garden for enjoyment, utility, security and to add value to their property. One of the most effective ways to maintain and enhance your landscape is with an efficient irrigation control system.

So, who are you going to call to install your system?

Very few homeowners know what products are available or what features would suit their needs. Unfortunately, there are many “installers” who can take advantage of a home-owner’s lack of knowledge.

You should be aware that most irrigation controllers are complicated to use and limited in their functionality. For example, most systems have:

    • Strict limits in wiring and in the capability of the controller. This means that system cannot be easily expanded or changed in the future beyond these limits.
    • Limits to the number of areas that can be watered.
    • Restrictions to watering durations.
    • Inflexible scheduling options.

Sadly, most “installers” do not discuss these limitations with prospects. This leads to expensive substandard installations that do not appropriately meet the needs of the property. The cost of the irrigation controller (although the most critical part of the system) is often just a small part of the overall cost of installing a system – especially for a large garden. Additionally, many installers have very high labour charges and use cheap components. For example, a cheap lawn pop up sprinkler can cost as little as $5, whereas a top quality one is about $25. As you would expect, the more expensive component provides superior coverage, better water savings, performs reliably and lasts a lot longer.

So, the lesson here is to ensure that you understand what you are being quoted. Make sure you know what the proposed controller’s hard limitations are. You should also question the quality, type, number, and location of all the proposed watering components. A good installer will provide a detailed layout for the proposed system and not a “just trust me” single price!

When installing an irrigation system, you should also consider the following questions:

    • Do you want (now or later) to use water from a rainwater tank, dam, and/or the mains?
    • Are all the areas (lawns, hedges, veggies, fernery, seedlings, etc.) appropriately covered?
    • Can the installation easily expand/change without relaying cable or changing the controller?
    • Do you want or need to automatically control pool, spa or other pumps?
    • Do you want to control garden/security lighting now or in the future?
    • Do you have a big lawn, lots of different areas, a shade house that needs misting etc?
    • Do you want simple on-screen control on site and/or remotely, with few “techie” hassles?
    • Do you require flexible scheduling options and an ability to minimize water wastage?
    • Is the system future proof, meet your needs and add value to the property?

For more information about what features may best suit your needs, now and in the future, please email us.


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