Lawn Sprinkler System
This page shows a component list based on a standard residential sprinkler system installation for the Houston, TX area. It is meant to show you what Houston Landscape Pros would use to install your sprinkler system. We are licensed in the State of Texas and conform to all state laws. Sprinkler installation is regulated by the State of Texas and only licensed installers are allowed by law to connect to city water.
- Sprinkler Controller
- Pressure Vacuum Breaker (aka PVB)
- Isolated Valves
- Electric Valves
- Wiring and Electric Connectors
- Rain Sensor
- Rotors and Pop-ups
- PVC Piping
There are a wide variety of landscape sprinkler controllers on the market. However, for residential installations, we use Hunter® Pro-C series controller due to its high reliability and design flexibility. The Hunter® Pro-C series has outdoor and indoor versions. Its flexible design allows up to 15 stations without the need of changing the controller. It has many neat features such as seasonal adjustment programing, non-water days, a run time calculator and much more.
1” Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB)
This is a water back flow prevention unit. This is one of the most important parts of your installation. It prevents water from going back to the main city line. Therefore, it prevents water contamination. After installation is complete, it will be inspected and certified by a TX licensed back flow inspector. The inspector will certify that the unit was installed correctly and working properly. The vacuum breaker will also be checked against a database to make sure the unit is not stolen. In the event there is a water contamination in your area, city inspectors investigate houses with pressure vacuum breakers. If the unit is not certified, it could cause major problems for the homeowner.
In any good sprinkler installation, you will have isolated valves that serve as an emergency shut-off. Theses valves will shut off water to the vacuum breaker in case of damage due to exposed pipes or accidental damage. Most Houston contractors do not bother to install them. Houston Landscape Pros always includes isolated valves because they are installed relatively quickly and cost very little.
The electric valves open and close to allow water flow to specific landscape sprinkler stations. We use Hunter® electric valves as they are proven in the industry for their reliability. They last longer and cause less problems during and after the installation. A cheap electric valve has a high potential for leakage resulting in expensive subsequent repairs and maintenance costs. You will have one electric valve per landscape station.
Wiring and Electric Connectors
The use of proper wires and electric connectors is extremely important in a sprinkler installation. The reason is that these wires are buried under ground. Over time, the wires and connectors can corrode. Using the proper wire gauge and proper electric connectors will minimize or eliminate future costly repairs. Remember that they are under ground, so finding a problems years after they were buried can take a lot of digging (literally).
The rain sensor does exactly what it says. It stops scheduled irrigation when it detects that a preset level of rain has fallen. The use of a rain sensor will conserve water and prevent plants and turf from over saturation due to excess water from rainstorms. Our standard quotes include the Mini-Click rain sensor by Hunter®. It is a reliable sensor that will work for many years without giving the homeowner problems. It can be preset to shut off the system after 1/8” to 1” of rainfall.
Rotors and Pop-ups
When designing most residential sprinkler systems in Houston, we use a combination of Hunter® rotors and Rain Bird’s pop-up spray nozzles. When doing any sprinkler installation, we select the parts for high reliability and proper water delivery. This is the reason we select the best parts from each sprinkler part manufacturer. After so many sprinkler installations, we know which parts will last and which parts potentially cause problems.
PVC piping comes in a variety of grades that determine long term reliability. The schedule of piping refers to its wall thickness. In Houston, Texas, we use schedule 40 for any pipe connecting to the Main Line and to electric valves. The rest of the PVC piping can be comprised of schedule 20 pipes.
Trenches are not a physical component of the sprinkler system, but the proper depth and width of the trenches are important because of the pipes and electrical wires that will go inside them. Trenches in Houston’s mild climate should be a minimum of 6 inches in depth.