Irrigation Resources

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Product Manuals

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Hunter Sprinkler System Controllers

Hunter Remote Controls and Sensors

Rain Bird Sprinkler System Controllers

Rain Bird Sensors

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the components of an automatic sprinkler system?

An automatic sprinkler system uses buried pipe to carry water to sprinkler heads that are carefully located around a property, enabling each chosen area to be properly watered. The piping is arranged in zones which are individually managed, allowing watering to be varied as needed by zone. Further control over watering distinct areas is achieved through the choice of sprinkler heads available.

The entire system is managed by an electronic controller that opens and closes valves in each zone as directed. Today’s controllers allow remarkably easy control over how much watering will occur and when. Sensors are also included in systems from National Capital Irrigation that collect information on recent rain amounts and feed that information to the controller which then automatically reduces watering during those periods.

In summary, you will appreciate that the size of the system is largely driven by the area you will be watering. The sophistication of the system will be greatly affected by the variability of your watering needs.

Will an automatic sprinkler system use more water than hand watering?

An automatic sprinkler system will use less water than an adequately hand watered lawn. This is due to the inefficiencies of hand watering. Typically, portable sprinklers are turned on during the day and moved around when you remember to do that. Watering patterns do not match your yard, so some areas are overwatered while other areas go short. And since hand watering tends to be done during the day, evaporation consumes some of your water.

Many people spend part of their summer on vacation, away on weekend jaunts, or off at a cottage. No one is around to hand water, regardless of your lawn’s needs.

An automatic sprinkler system provides coverage to every area of your lawn with each area receiving what it needs. The system is set to automatically provide the proper amount of moisture for the location and conditions. Sensors in systems from National Capital Irrigation detect periods of rain, and do not water during those periods. Also, automatic sprinkler systems are usually set to run before dawn, when it is optimal for the lawn, evaporation is low, and other demands for water are low.

In summary, you can be very water efficient with an automatic watering system and you can have a beautiful evenly green lawn throughout the growing season. And, you will have a lot of free time to devote to real enjoyment of the summer.

How much will a good automatic sprinkler system cost?

Smaller and simpler systems require an initial investment of between a $1000 and $2000. The area you wish to have watered will be a significant determining cost factor. Your decision on the complexity you require will also affect the amount of your investment. Obtaining quotes from reputable automatic sprinkler businesses can help you understand your particular case. It is worthy of note that a premium sprinkler system, installed correctly, can serve you indefinitely. Likewise, annual maintenance of a system that uses premium parts throughout will be very modest. In return for your investment, your superior lawn and green spaces will make your property more attractive every summer when you can enjoy it and others can envy you. And, your lawn will be more resistant to weeds and pests. Better quality of life and a great exterior environment are nice to look forward to each summer.

I am on a water meter in Ottawa. How much will I pay for water?

Here’s a calculator you can use to illustrate how much water an automatic sprinkler system distributes and the seasonal cost. It does not account for water you would no longer be putting on manually. If you have been watering by hand and doing a good job of keeping your lawn well watered, you’ll probably save money.

Download this simple Excel spreadsheet calculator to help you estimate approximately how much water your sprinkler system will apply to your lawn and the cost. From this total, you must subtract your current lawn watering cost to determine any net change in your watering cost.

Will an automatic sprinkler system be difficult to adjust?

Good news. A premium automatic sprinkler system will need little if any attention. If adjustments are desired, they take only a moment. All owner adjustments to watering are done via the Controller, and that small box will be put where it is easily accessible to you. Each National Capital Irrigation system is properly set up and adjusted when installed. It includes a rain sensor so your system will not water during rainy periods, and will resume when needed.

Anyone wanting to adjust their system can consult the Controller Manual they received at installation. If your manual is not handy, we provide access to read it on-line. You will need to know if you have a Hunter or a Rain Bird Controller and the model number. That information is on the front of your Controller. With that information in hand, Click here to find and read the manual. We can always be contacted for assistance.

Can I have an automatic sprinkler system if I am not on city water?

Certainly. In fact, I get my water from a well and, as you might expect, I have an automatic sprinkler system. You will want to ensure that your contractor is experienced in these systems as they must be sized and properly adjusted to your well capacity.

Systems are also commonly installed in the city on waterfront properties, and at cottages, drawing water directly from rivers and lakes. This often involves a separate pump, but is easily accomplished by a seasoned irrigation system provider.

We already have a lawn and landscaping. Will there be damage to my lawn and gardens?

There should be minimal impact. National Capital Irrigation uses state of the art vibratory plows to bury larger piping on lawns and hand trenches in garden beds and elsewhere as necessary. Typically, we leave little trace of our visit. When conditions are particularly wet, there can be an occasional tire slippage that disrupts the lawn. Regardless, we work to minimize our impact, and any trace of our visit will disappear quickly as your new sprinkler system quickly improves your landscape.

I let my lawn go dormant during dry spells. Why bother with an automatic sprinkler system?

It is not uncommon for people to simply allow their lawns to go dormant during dry spells with the expectation that the lawn will green up again when the rains return.

Unfortunately, when your lawn goes dormant, the weeds and the insects never seem to be as adversely affected. So when the rains do return, the weeds are often a new problem and insect damage can leave lawns beyond repair. The summer of 2012 in Ottawa was dryer than normal, and late in the fall it was striking to see how many lawns were dug up and being replaced.

In contrast, two of the first lawn sprinkler systems I installed back in 2002 happen to be side-by-side. Those lawns had just been completely redone at that point because of chinch bug damage. We installed sprinkler systems in the two lawns and to this day, neither customer has ever sprayed or treated their lawns for weeds or insects. During the 2012 drought, those two lawns added real beauty to an otherwise brown swath of lawns around them. Those two customers both believe it’s less expensive to have an automatic lawn sprinkler system to water their lawns and to enjoy its beauty each year than it is to have a mediocre lawn that needs replacing every decade or so due to weeds, insects and drought.

New System Warranty Information

When you invest in an irrigation system from National Capital Irrigation Systems, we back it with an industry-leading warranty, and we include additional value with our included service.

Unless your contract specifies otherwise, your new sprinkler system carries the following warranties and service.

Your Five (5) Year Warranty on all system components covers:
  • exterior materials in your system including pipe, fittings, sprinkler heads, and nozzles.
  • interior plumbing parts including pipe, fittings, and the backflow preventer.
  • electrical components including wire for valves and sensors, the controller and components.
  • any defect in the system associated with workmanship.

Warranty Restrictions

Our warranty does not cover replacement of any of the system components due to physical damage. Unfortunately, certain components of the system can be damaged, most commonly by snowplow operators, yard maintenance crews (e.g. aeration), and improper winterization.

Our warranty coverage applies to the original purchaser of the irrigation system.

The Parts & Labour warranty applies to the irrigation system while you have National Capital Irrigation Systems maintain (open & close) your irrigation system each year. As a standard, regardless of who maintains it, our irrigation systems carry a 3 year parts warranty and 2 year labour warranty.

One Year of Free Service & Maintenance

Unless your contract specifies otherwise, the first year of service of your new irrigation system is free. This offer includes the following:

  • Winterization of the system at the close of the first season.
  • Opening of the system the following season. We fully test your system and make sure it is working like the day we installed it.
  • We also have an excellent referral program in place, whereby for each successful referral we receive from you, you receive a free year of service from National Capital Irrigation.

Your Three (3) Year Design Warranty

To demonstrate the confidence we have in our installed systems, we cover the design of the system for a period of three (3) years. This warranty guarantees that your sprinkler system will properly water your lawn and garden areas which are outlined in your sales agreement. We will make any necessary changes to your system, free of charge, to ensure that there are no brown spots on the lawn, and that your garden is receiving sufficient water as outlined in your design.

This warranty covers the sprinkler design for the initial landscape plan. Any changes you make to your lawn and garden layouts are not covered by this warranty. Nor are issues arising from significant plant growth that affects system operation. However, simple adjustments to your sprinkler system heads will often remedy these issues.

If there are deficiencies in the coverage of the system, they will usually be noticed within the first month of operation, however we give you three years of coverage as piece of mind!

We design and install excellent residential irrigation systems and we provide an outstanding service and warranty coverage. We want you to enjoy your investment for years to come.

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