Landscaping, Irrigation, and More - R & R Sprinkler & Lanscape, Inc. of Cape Coral, Florida Blog

Landscaping, Irrigation, and More

R & R Sprinkler & Lanscape, Inc. of Cape Coral, Florida Blog

Start Training Your Lawn To Need And Use Less Water

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On October 25, 2012

Have you noticed just a hint of coolness in the air? Fall is right around the corner. We love the cooler weather (especially since we work outdoors all day!). We personally cannot wait to open our windows and sliding glass doors and let the Fall weather in.

Our grass, on the other hand, needs some preparation. As the rainy summer months are coming to a conclusion and the drier fall months arrive you need to take some steps to prepare your grass for the change in weather and levels of precipitation. The survival of your yard throughout the dry months depends on your proactive steps right now.

The summer months are plentiful with afternoon rains. Our irrigation systems have only had to run through cycles only as preventative maintenance because we have had adequate rainfall from Mother Nature. The afternoon rains are quickly disappearing and we need to prepare our grass accordingly.

In essence, it’s time to put your grass on a diet. It’s used to large amounts of rain. Less rain means less water for the yard. We should not compensate for the slow down in rain fall by allowing our sprinklers to run for long periods of time. We need to water (within watering restriction schedules) normally for the next week or so and begin to cut back on the time that each zone of your irrigation system runs on a gradual basis.

We will get drier and drier which means your yard will get thirstier and thirstier IF it’s used to getting large quantities of water. Scaling back gradually will help your yard adjust slowly without shocking it. Watering too much during the dry months not only puts a strain on water supply but also is prime breeding ground for fungus and weeds.

During the Spring months we use the guideline to water a zone that contains rotor (sprinkler) heads for 45 minutes. Your goal should be to move that zone to a watering time of no more than 30 mintues. An irrigation zone that contains mist (sprinkler)heads during the Spring months should run around 25 minutes. We recommend that your goal should be to get this sprinkler zone down to a run time of no more than 15 minutes.

Though your yard may not appreciate it, a little “diet” is good for all of us. If re-programming your sprinkler timer puzzles you feel free to contact our office. One of our experienced irrigation technicians will be able to show you how to do it.

PGP-ADJ Hunter Industries

There are a lot of products on the market both to a homeowner and to a business owner. Obviously the products that are sold in Home Depot or Lowes don’t match in quality to the products that we professionally purchase from our irrigation suppliers.

One of our preferred vendors is Hunter Industries. We have found that their sprinkler heads out perform most of the competitors. They are a company that stands behind their products and seem very responsive to our suggestions and complaints as irrigation system installers.

Hunter rotor heads have a rubber covered membrane that helps keep dirt out. Keeping dirt out of the pipes of your sprinkler system means you will need less service calls for a sprinkler head that is stuck on.

The top of a Hunter sprinkler head has a through the top adjustment with helpful symbols to assist the homeowner in adjusting the positioning of a particular sprinkler head. Hunter sprinkler heads allow for fine tuning radius adjustments from 40 degree all the way to full circle and reverse circle adjustments of 360 degrees. This helps to adjust heads so you are watering your grass and not your street, or your trees and not your house.

The Hunter rotor head has up to (20) inter changeable nozzles. Nozzles control the flow of water. You may need to reach 6 feet or they may need to reach 20 feet. With the wide variety of nozzles available to us we can perfect how and where the sprinkler system irrigates. All of their nozzles come with a dirty water screen to help keep large pieces of debris from entering the valves and pipes of your irrigation system. Again this is beneficial because it cuts down on the need for service calls from an irrigation contractor.

Hunter irrigation heads are lubricated by water. This means there is no added maintenance. This is one of the reasons we tell customers to never turn their sprinkler system off completely, even in rainy months. The water is the lubrication that keeps your system operating smoothly, like the oil does to your car’s engine. You should at least let your sprinkler system run through each zone for 5 minutes once a week, even if your yard doesn’t need watered, as preventative maintenance for your irrigation system.

The riser seal is reliable and proven pressure activated. This means your sprinkler head will pop up when it is supposed to and retract when it is supposed to.

We have installed new irrigation system and repaired existing sprinklers for over 40 years. We are appreciative of a company like Hunter that provides a superior product to assist us in providing the customer with a product and service that will keep them calling us for years.

If you are in need of a new irrigation system or may need repairs to your existing sprinkler system don’t hesitate to contact R & R Sprinkler and Landscape.

A Good Sprinkler System Design is Essential

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On September 23, 2012

Installing an automatic sprinkler system is a worthwhile investment for your property. Having a professionally licensed and insured contractor install your new irrigation system is important. Ask for references and don’t always select the cheapest price. Ask about the design of your sprinkler system. Ask for references too. A good design that will use water efficiently is much better than a cheap price and is an overall better investment.

A good system design will be divided into zones by plant material. Typically the grass portion of your property is irrigated by rotor heads. Rotor heads have a higher output of water and run for longer periods of time. Plants and shrubs are typically irrigated by mist heads or drip irrigation which don’t require the area to be irrigated as long. If the design includes a zone that has a large span of grass along with an area of delicate shrubs set to irrigate for the same continuous period of time then someone will loose. Either your grass will not get enough water or your plants and shrubs will get too much. This is a bad design on behalf of your irrigation contractor and a poor water useage.

A zone comprised of rotor heads should run 30-45 minutes. A zone comprised of mist or spray heads should only run for @ 10-15 minutes. You can see by the difference in time that each of these components need to run how important it is that they are grouped in zones accordingly. R & R Sprinkler and Landscape is a professionally licensed and insured irrigation installation company. Our first priority is designing and installing an irrigation system that will be easy to operate and maintain while providing a sprinkler that will use the least amount of water with the maximum watering capabilities.

If you are considering installing a new irrigation system we’d love for you to give us the opportunity.

How Many Zones Should My Sprinkler Have At My Cape Coral Home?

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On September 13, 2012

A “zone” of an irrigation system is an area of the entire irrigation system that waters at one time. If you tried to irrigate your entire lawn at one time the water pressure would be low, the run off would be excessive and likely the flow of electricity would be high.

A good irrigation contractor will look at your property and design the best layout of a combination of rotor heads and spray heads to best provide the maximum amount of water to your yard in the minimum amount of time.

Rotor heads and spray heads are wired to an electric valve that the sprinkler timer tells to open and close allowing water to flow through the pipes and up through the rotor head and mist heads. Each valve is the brain of that “zone” of the sprinkler system.

A typical standard Cape Coral lot should have an irrigation system that has a minimum amount of 4 zones. Less than that means you probably do not have an adequate amount of rotor heads/spray heads which means insufficent watering.

In the early to mid 2000’s during the construction boom there were sprinkler contractors installing irrigation systems on large corner lots of Cape Coral with only 3 zones. There is no way a 3 zone sprinkler system can water that large of a lot. You’d likely need 7 or 8 zones for that.

If you are considering installing a new irrigation system ask the contractor how many zones he intends to install. If you need a second opinion or would like another price feel free to contact us.

Be sure you know how many zones, rotor heads and spray heads you are getting in your system first. If you think you need more zones added to the irrigation system you already have, we can help with that too.

Behind The Knee Wall Of The Front Of A Florida Home – A Maintenance Disater

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On September 5, 2012

In Florida a lot of the homes were built with a pretty little knee wall along the front of the house. Whoever thought of this concept had a great architectural mind but had no idea what a pain in the rear it would be to maintain landscaping behind that wall. It’s such an awkward space. To small to get the lawnmower in but too big to have to weed eat the entire area.

How do you maintain that awkward little area at the front of your Florida Home? We recommend you renovate it. Kill the sod (which by now is mostly weeds). Scrape the contents out so you can have a clean slate. Do not re-install grass, instead consider a rock bed or a mulch bed with some easy to maintain shrubs.

If you have your rock properly installed by a professional landscaping company they should lay a weed barrier down first which will help (not eliminate) the growth of weeds up through the rocks. Pick a rock that will compliment your home. Have the landscape estimator help you choose some plants that will be well suited to that area of the property. When choosing plants consider a plant that can tolerate shade and is low maintenance like cocoplums or podocarpus. Even consider a few hibiscus plants to add color to the front of your home.

Be sure to ask your landscaper about the necessary irrigation the plants will need. You may need to make a renovation to your sprinkler system to accommodate the new landscaping. It’s always better to have this done prior to the landscape addition and to have the landscaper and the irrigation company communicate the details of the project before anyone begins work. Your landscaper cannot perform irrigation services unless they have a specialty licensed to perform irrigation services.

You have just taken your out of control entrance of your Florida home from a pain in the rear to maintain issue to an eye appealing addition. R&R Sprinkler and Landscape is able to help you with a project like this from the sod kill all the way to the final landscape installation and sprinkler repair and all the steps in between. Call us today.

Parts of a Lawn Irrigation System – Sprinkler Valve

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 22, 2012

If you are like the average homeowner you don’t really know what the specific parts are that make up your irrigation system. You just want it to turn on and water your grass and landscaping. We understand, you might know what the stock market is doing today, you may know the part I need to repair my air conditioner or you may know how to teach my daughter math (all things I may struggle with myself) but you don’t know what an irrigation valve is. That’s OK. We all have gifts and talents. Servicing and educating customers about their irrigation system is ours.

Today we’re going to tell you about irrigation valves. A sprinkler system is made up of many parts. It’s not about just throwing pipes in the ground and your grass is watered. There are rotor heads, spray heads, timers, rain sensors, fittings, pipe and valves. A valve is the part of the sprinkler that determines a sprinkler “zone”. It’s the brain for a specific part (zone) of the entire sprinkler system. The valves talk to the timer so the timer can tell the valves when to open and close to let water flow into the pipes and out of the sprinkler heads and for how long.

Each valve is wired to the sprinkler timer. If valves are not operating there is either not power running from the timer to the valve or one of the electrical wires has been somehow damaged. If valves get stuck open there may be debris stuck in the valve. A common result of this would be a flooded yard. If valves are weeping you may need to replace the seal around the valve. The most important thing you can do is to know where your valves are located for your sprinkler system.

One of the most time consuming tasks we perform during an irrigation repair to locating valves. If you can keep your valves located and clear from your yard growing over top of them you will save a lot of labor for your next sprinkler repair.

R & R Sprinkler and Landscape have expert technicians ready to locate and repair the valves to your sprinkler system today.

My Sprinkler Head Won’t Pop Up?

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 15, 2012

So you have an automatic irrigation system with sprinkler heads that pop up to water your yard. However, you notice that one of your sprinkler heads won’t pop up. Let’s trouble shoot to figure out what’s wrong:

1. Is Water Pressure To Blame?
Each city or municipality will regulate their water pressure however they please. They may lower water pressure to a particular area at a specific time of day due to high demand. They have the best interest of all property owner’s in mind and want to make sure that they have water supply to all in lieu of high water pressure to some. I guess it makes sense unless you are the person trying to get your sprinkler head to pop up, LOL.

2. Is There A Broken Pipe In Your Area?
Look around. Has there been any new trees, shrubs or landscaping installed in your area? Has there been a fence repaired or installed recently? Have there been any repairs to or installs to the utilities in the area? If there is a broken pipe there is an interruption of water flow. There needs to be water flow to make your sprinkler head pop up. R & R Sprinkler and Landscape can make repairs to your irrigation system and fix broken pipes.

3. Is There Debris Caught In The Lines Of Your Irrigation System?
Various forms of debris can get caught in your irrigation lines. If you have turned your system completely off (this is a big no-no) then sediment may have settled in the bottoms of your pipes. When your system is turned back on the sediment gets flushed into your pipes and up through your sprinkler heads. The sediment may exit the sprinkler head or clog it. A clogged sprinkler head usually won’t pop up. If you are on a dual water system there are elements that can clog your sprinkler heads like snails, stickers from fruit and other small elements that have made their way into the reclaimed water system.

4. Does Your Sprinkler Head Need Cleaned or Repaired?
Your sprinkler head may just need cleaned out. Your sprinkler head also has a seal around it that keeps the water from leaking out around the head and spraying out into your grass. If the seal is broken or damaged it may interfere with the sprinkler head popping up. Call a certified sprinkler repair company like R & R Sprinkler to repair or replace the sprinkler head. Your lawn maintenance company may not repair or replace a sprinkler head unless they have a specialty contractors license.

If you have questions or need a sprinkler head repaired please contact us for a free estimate. We do offer a variety of sprinkler system maintenance contracts that will check for all of the above items.

Rotor Heads are Sprinkler Heads

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 9, 2012

PGP-ADJ Hunter Industries

A rotor head is a component of a sprinkler system that delivers water to your lawn. It’s typically referred to as a sprinkler head. The purpose of the rotor head is to deliver water to your grass in a slow even application. At R & R Sprinkler and Landscape we install rotor heads that will spray water in a steady stream of up to 50′. We want to give you the maximum amount of coverage delivered using the smallest amount of water by proper installment and adjustment of your sprinkler head.

Our sprinklers are installed and repaired with the end result of water conservation in mind. This is better for the environment and will result in a lower water bill for the end user.

A typical sprinkler head is attached to underground pipe with fittings. It will rise @ 4″ above ground level when it pops up to water the lawn and will fully retract into the ground when not in use. Make sure you keep the area around the rotor head cleaned out from the growth of grass and your lawn mowed at a proper height to avoid interference of watering.

Whether you need a new sprinkler system or repair to your existing irrigation system R & R Sprinkler is your first and best choice.

Contact us to evaluate your system and make changes that will help with water conservation and a lower utility bill for you. We have one of the best service departments for sprinkler repair in Southwest Florida. We call evaluate whether you need a simple sprinkler repair, whether you need a irrigation system renovation, or if you need to start over with a new sprinkler system installation.

Get a quote to install a new irrigation system. We will design a sprinkler for full coverage of your property. It’s a great investment to your property.

Lee County Florida Licensing Requirements for Irrigation Contractors

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 1, 2012

Lee County Licensing Requirements for Irrigation Contractors

Most folks think that obtaining an occupational license gives them permission to perform any type of work. This is a false mis-conception. You are paying a business tax that allows you to be in business but does not allow you to perform just any kind of trade activity. You must be State Certified OR receive a Certificate of Competency for Lee County. In addition, you must apply for a State or Specialty Trade Contractor’s License for each city municipality you are going to perform work in.

To install or repair an irrigation system in Lee County we must obtain not only an occupational license but also a license as a specialty trade contractor as per Lee County Ordinance No: 00-26.

As a contractor that will perform installation with and for a water source the Board of County Commissioners recognizes that the work an irrigation contractor performs for and on sprinkler systems could be harmful or could pose a danger if not performed by a competent, honest, educated contractor.

Furthermore, we’d be required to be State Certified if we were performing any type of installation or hook up to a potable water source that did not have a backflow prevetor in place. Currently we connect our new irrigation sprinkler systems to the following:

1. A potable water source that has a backflow preventor in place
2. A well
3. A reclaimed water system
4. Other water sources that draw water from canals and retention areas by permit

We are not only required to be licensed as a specialty trade contractor in Lee County, but also in all cities and municipalities we install or repair irrigation systems. This includes but is not limited to The City of Fort Myers, The City of Cape Coral, The City of Bonita Springs, The City of Fort Myers Beach, etc.

The same rules and reguations apply in Charlotte County Florida and Collier County Florida.

In summary, make sure that anyone that installs a new sprinkler system or perform repairs to your existing irrigation system has a Specialty Trade Contractor’s License.

If you’d like a list of current Counties and Cities that R & R Sprinkler and Landscape are permitted to provide new irrigation system installation or repair to existing sprinkler system please contact us. If any company is reluctant to provide this information to you perhaps you should reconsider doing business with them.

The City of Punta Gorda Watering Restrictions

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On July 27, 2012

As of July 10, 2012 The City of Punta Gorda is enforcing the following water restrictions

To Report Water or Sewer Problems
(During Business Hours) 941-575-3339
(After Business Hours & Holidays) 941-575-5070

On Tuesday, November 16, 2010 the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board voted to enter into a Phase 1 Water Shortage Order for all 16 counties in the District’s boundaries beginning December 1, 2010. A “Phase 1” declaration means that conditions are below normal and warrant alerting the general public and ordering water utilities and other water users to review and implement procedures as a means of preparing for possible additional action.

The watering schedule listed below remains the same for twice-per-week watering. Residents are encouraged to water only if their lawn and landscape needs it and turn off their irrigation system if it has rained or rain is predicted in the next 24 hours. Some of the signs that a lawn needs water include a blue-gray appearance, blades folded in half lengthwise and footprints remaining on the lawn for several minutes after walking on it.

Lawn Watering Schedule
Addresses Current Watering Day May Also Water
Ending in 0 and 1 Monday Thursday
Ending in 2 and 3 Tuesday Friday
Ending in 4 and 5 Wednesday Saturday
Ending in 6 and 7 Thursday Sunday
Ending in 8 and 9 Friday Tuesday
Addresses that end with a letter instead of a number will water on: Friday Tuesday

Lawn Watering Schedule/Times:
Lawn watering is limited to twice per week (if needed), before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.
Hand watering and micro-irrigation of plants (other than lawns) can be done on any day and at any time using a shut-off nozzle on their hose, so water isn’t wasted.

New Lawns and Plants:
New lawns and plants have a 30-30 establishment period, which allows any day watering during the first 30 days.During the second 30 days, watering is allowed three days per week: Addresses ending in an Even number may water on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Addresses ending in an Odd number may water on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Fountain Operation, Car Washing and Pressure Washing:
There are no restrictions on fountains, car washing and pressure washing.
However the District and the City ask that residents be as efficient as possible, such as using a shut-off nozzle on their hose, so water isn’t wasted.

For questions concerning this schedule you may contact the Utility Department at (941) 575-3339
Utilities Administration
3132 Cooper Street
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Phone (941) 575-3339
Fax (941) 575-5006
E-mail: [email protected]

For more information follow the link: http://www.ci.punta-gorda.fl.us/depts/utilities/waterrestrict.html