Irrigation

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you provide free estimates?

Yes. Gentle Rain provides free written estimates on all new irrigation systems to all clients in our service area. We will meet with you in person to discuss your specific irrigation needs and perform an on-site analysis to evaluate the size and layout of your property. It is critical for us to view your property in order to provide an accurate and honest estimate.

How much does a sprinkler system cost?

It is difficult to give you a price for a sprinkler system without meeting with you personally and reviewing your property's watering needs. There are a number of variables that affect cost including the size of your property, the type of landscaping, water source (city or pump and well), and obstacles in the property including pools, sheds, fences, etc. At Gentle Rain, we try to customize the system to maximize the benefits and coverage. We make suggestions, and then let you decide upon a sprinkler system that best meets your needs and budget.

How long does it take to install a sprinkler system?

It depends upon several factors including the size of the system, the number of zones, the water source, the soil conditions and whether there are a lot of trees and shrubs in your yard. Typically, a small system can be installed in as little as a day while some larger systems can take a week or more. Most systems are completed in 2-3 days.

Is the installation of the sprinkler system disruptive to my yard and landscape?

We take great care during the installation process to make sure there is as little disruption to your property as possible. We use a vibratory plow to install the lines. Pipe and wires are "pulled" underground through a small slit in the earth to minimize damage to the lawn. We also carefully hand dig in flower beds and around utility markings. After a couple of weeks from the installation date, the only visible signs of your new sprinkler system should be a greener lawn and healthier plants.

What is the warranty of the sprinkler system?

Our warranties include:

Do you provide service after the warranty period?

Absolutely. Our service department is fully staffed to include full-time office support as well as experienced service technicians. Our service department handles everything from starting your system in the spring to winterizing it in the fall, and everything in between. Providing superior, long-term service for our customers is the cornerstone of Gentle Rain and always will be.

What products do you use?

Gentle Rain uses professional-grade equipment from the largest, most respected manufacturers in the industry including Hunter, Rainbird, Toro and Netafim. We only use pipe that is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The fact of the matter is, it doesn't matter how good your sprinklers, valves, controllers and pipe are if the irrigation system is not designed and installed properly.

What is required to maintain my sprinkler system?

Basic maintenance is required to ensure the effective operation of your system. The most important services are the fall winterization and the spring start-up. In the fall, we shut down the system and blow out the lines to eliminate the risk of freezing pipes. In the spring, we turn the system back on, evaluate each zone, adjust heads and reset the controller.

Will a sprinkler system use more water than I am currently using?

An automatic sprinkler system typically uses less water than watering by hand or manual, hose-based sprinklers. Our systems are designed, installed and programmed to deliver even, precise watering, minimizing water loss due to run-off and evaporation.

What happens if it rains, will the system continue to operate?

We recommend installing a rain sensor on all of our sprinkler systems. The sensor is set to automatically shut off the system when the amount of rain reaches a certain level. Once an appropriate level of dryness is reached, the system will automatically restart.

What is the best time of day to water?

The best time to water is in the early morning, with the watering completed before the sun comes up. At this time the water pressure is the highest, and evaporation and wind are the lowest. Try not to water in the evening, since having moisture on your grass and plants overnight can promote the growth of fungus.

What is the difference between rotor heads and spray heads?

Rotor heads are typically used for large turf areas. These sprinklers contain a gear-driven mechanism that rotates the head in a circular pattern. Spray heads are generally used in smaller flower beds and smaller grass areas. These sprinklers do not contain moving parts and emit a fan-type spray in a fixed pattern.

What is drip irrigation?

Drip irrigation is a highly-efficient, alternative method to watering planting beds. Drip irrigation lines are installed below the mulch and out of sight. Water is applied directly to the plant root zones via drip emitters placed at proper spacing intervals. Since there is no water spray, water loss from evaporation is virtually non-existent. We can help you decide whether this a good option for your planting beds.

Do you install pumps and wells?

Yes. Through our professional association with Burton Well Drilling and Johnson Well and Pump Service, we can arrange for the installation of your pump and well to coincide with the installation of your irrigation system.

Do I need a pump and well to operate the sprinkler system?

No. We can design the system to utilize either city or well water.

What is a backflow preventer, and why do I need one?

This device prevents water from the irrigation system from "flowing backwards" into the drinking water supply. A backflow preventer is required for sprinkler systems that operate on city water. Our technicians are trained and certified to install these devices on irrigation systems.

Do backflow preventers require additional service?

Although the regulations vary by locality, backflow testing is required periodically. Our technicians are certified to test all backflow preventers.

What is a deduct meter?

This meter is installed after the residential water meter and is used to measure the flow of water going to your irrigation system that does not reach the sanitary sewer system. Since this water will not reach the sanitary sewer, you will not be billed for sewer usage from water used through the deduct meter.