Anatomy of a sprinkler system

The illustration below is not a typical irrigation layout. It displays the possible essential components that can be implemented in a sprinkler system. The three rows on the right show aspects of drip irrigation. In an actual sprinkler installation, spacing and device configuration would be altered to suit the landscape design.


 Seperation of Zones and head types

Adjust your watering schedule by season

Most people do not realize that grass has different irrigation needs depending on the time of year that it is and the corresponding season. During the spring, grass and plants need a lot of water to help them grow. In the summer, they need even more water to sustain the growth that was put on in the spring, and the extra water helps to keep the plant cool in the summer heat.

Finally in the late summer and into the fall, plants and grass need less water because the heat is reducing and the plants are preparing to go into the winter dormancy phase of their life.

Unlike bears and other creatures that hibernate through the cold of winter – waiting patiently for the new life of spring – relying on their reserve stores to sustain life, plants do not hibernate the same way; therefore, they do not need to stock up on water in the fall.

So we dial back the watering times to compensate for these needs and to save precious water resources from being wasted.


Here is a chart that in very simple and basic terms shows the relative time values as they correspond to the kind of sprinkler you are using, the month, and the minutes of run time. This is a general recommendation, so for the most accurate advice contact your local irrigation professional.

Learn how to adjust your controller here.

Sprinkler Warehouse recommends the use of a smart controller that either adjusts watering times automatically based on meteorological info or can be easily adjust using a smartphone, tablet or web interface.