Does a Smaller Pipe Equal Higher Water Pressure?

Does a Small Pipe Equal Higher PressureMost homeowners aren’t irrigation experts and may not understand all of the various intricacies of their sprinkler system. Many people assume a sprinkler system is as simple as water spraying from sprinkler heads, which is only scratching the surface. Today’s irrigation systems are far more complex and possess a number of variables that affect the performance and water pressure of a below-ground sprinkler system.

The first, and most important, fact to understand about sprinkler systems is the critical balance of water pressure. Too little water pressure will result in reduced spray patterns, improperly functioning rotors, and an under-watered lawn. Too much water pressure can damage sprinkler heads, cause pipe joints to prematurely deteriorate, and an over-watered yard. A pressure balance must be achieved for a sprinkler system to efficiently and correctly operate, which is affected by various factors.

While it’s true that pipe diameter can restrict water flow and increase pressure (think of putting your thumb over the end of a hose), other components in a sprinkler system also affect water pressure. The first of these is the water pressure from the main city line; if that pressure is too low, everything from your sprinkler system to your kitchen faucet will be affected. The second component is the backflow device, which separates the sprinkler system and house water lines from the city and prevents any return water from entering the city line. The third variable are valves located in each zone of your system. An improperly functioning valve can affect water pressure across just that zone, and any zone behind it. Next are components such as broken pipes, improperly sealed joints, broken heads, and more.

Modern sprinkler systems require a specific range of water pressure to properly activate the system. Water pressure not only affects spray patterns and the amount of water delivered to your landscape but, also activates pop-up heads and rotors. The correct balance of water pressure in your system depends on your yard size, distance of pipes and heads to that zone’s valve, the slope of yard, etc.

If you’re concerned about the water pressure in your sprinkler system or would like an evaluation of the efficiency of your system, call the experts at Andy’s Sprinkler, Drainage & Lighting. We’ll ensure your irrigation system is working as intended, with the appropriately configured components and the proper water pressure for the job.

Give us a call today!