Check out our new Testimonials page!
At Running Irrigation, we strive for 100% customer satisfaction and we believe our number one selling point comes from customer referrals. Our clients’ positive feedback is the backbone to our company name and we make every effort to ensure we achieve the same results for every new customer.
We aim to continue installing high quality, efficient irrigation systems while providing excellent customer service.
We have added just a few examples of what customers have to say about our Running Irrigation systems and business as a whole. If these aren’t enough, we will gladly provide you with further references to give you full confidence in selecting Running Irrigation as your irrigation contractor.
Will an automatic sprinkler system use more water than I’m currently using? No. In fact, it will conserve water. Today’s controllers and rain sensors are capable of programming the right amount of water to meet your needs. You will not over-water or under-water your lawn with an automatic sprinkler system. Saving time and money!
Does having a sprinkler system really save time? Yes! In today’s society there’s not enough time to do the things you need to do much less water the lawn. Automatic sprinkler systems are programmed to water at times that won’t interfere with household water use. Whether you are home or away, your system will do the watering for you!
Can I do my own Irrigation Plan or should I consult a Professional? Designing and installing an irrigation system is very time consuming and needs to be done right in order to function efficiently. It is recommended that you get a professional to design and install your irrigation system in a timely and professional manner.
Is it expensive to have a Professional design your Irrigation System? What you will spend in hiring a professional to plan your irrigation system, you will save in the long term.
How do I know what Irrigation System is best for me? When you hire a professional, they will work with you to get the best type of system that will meet your needs. They will take into consideration the water, source, soil type, pressure, climate, and conditions of your property.
How long will it take to complete my Irrigation System? It really does depend on the size of your property and layout of your landscape. Proper zoning and conditions dictate how intricate your irrigation system needs to be. For straight forward jobs it may take one to two days, but for complex designs it can take up to a week.
Will an automatic sprinkler system water as effectively as I can water by hand? It will do a much more efficient job because a professionally designed system will deliver exactly the right amount of water to individual lawn and garden areas.
Will I have difficulty operating this system? No! Your contractor will explain to you how your controller works and how the watering times have been set. Then if necessary, the watering times can be adjusted by following the instructions on the inside of the controller cabinet. And that is it; the system does the rest for you.
The process of a new irrigation system installation: Once you have had Your Free Ottawa Irrigation System Estimate and chosen Running Irrigation as the company to go with as your Ottawa area irrigation contractor, the planning process will begin immediately. Acceptance of the contract is the first step, at which time a 25% deposit of the final price is required in order to secure a date in our booking schedule. The nextstep will be to determine a date for the installation. An average sized job will normally take 1-2 days.
Utilities Locates: We request locates of the utilities lines (gas, bell, cable, hydro,etc.) to be done on your property, and this normally takes 5 business days to get done. Therefore the installation date needs to be at least 5 days away from the date of acceptance, as these locates are mandatory.
We normally aim to arrive at your home around 8am on the days of installation of your irrigation system. We are flexible, however, in order to ensure a complete installation in 1-2 days, it is best to be on-site for the entire day. Once we have all of our equipment and materials setup, we will begin. The following steps will be taken:
Plumbing: If you are on city water, with copper plumbing inside the house, we hire a licensed plumber who will come and tap into your city water source and feed the water to the outside by drilling a hole in your foundation. If you are on a well, we will do the plumbing ourselves, tapping into your well pump line and bringing the water outside by drilling a whole in the foundation (if required).
Flag out the system: We will place flags around your property in each location that a sprinkler head will be installed, just as seen on the design plan we provide you after the quote as well as in the contract proposal.
Master Valve: The master valve is installed and connected to the water feeder line right where the plumbing comes outside of your house. The master valve is critical in ensuring that there is no water leakage and wasted water if any problems ever occur in the zone lines or valves. It turns on when any of the zones are watering, and remains off the rest of the time.
Pulling the pipe and wire: The mainline pipe is then run from the master valve to the zone valves. The zone lines are then run from each zone valve to the respective heads in each zone, maked by the flags. The pipe can be laid underground by 2 different methods. The first method is by pulling the pipe underground with a Ditch Witch vibratory plow, and the second being by hand digging, which involves removing the sod, digging a trench with a trenching shovel and then laying the pipe in the trench. Both methods are very clean and will leave minimal evidence of excavation. All you will see are a few splits within the sod, which will heal within days. The wire is run concurrently with the pipe, from the controller to the master valve and then to each valve manifolde.
Installation of sprinkler heads: Once the pipe is pulled, there will be pipe sticking up from the ground at each sprinkler head flag. We dig a small hole where the sprinkler head will go, attach it to the pipe, and cover up the sprinkler, allowing it to sit flush with the grass level.
Installation of valve manifolds/boxes: The valve are connected together to form a valve manifold. This manifold will be buried in a valve box which has a green lid and will sit flush with your lawn. The purpose of the valve box is to ensure easy access to the valves for servicing purposes. The master valve is also enclosed in a small round valve box right by the plumbing source.
Automatic controller/timer: The automatic controller will be installed in a location of your choice. We normally recommend inside the garage. Once the controller is installed, the wires from the valves are connected. There is one wire for each valve, including the master valve. The controller works by sending an electric signal to the valves, all operating on a timer, at intervals which will be set by us. To read about how the valves work via this electrical signal, please see the blog on Irrigation 101.
Clean-up: Once everything is installed, we do a meticulous clean, ensuring there is no visible dirt or loose grass on your property. Sometimes the grass is slightly elevated where the pipes or sprinkler heads were installed, and this is leveled out easily by tamping the soil. Once the clean-up is done your lawn will appear as if we were never even there.
Testing: The next step is to test the irrigation system to ensure that every head is providing efficient and uniform water coverage. Steps involved during this stage are adjusting the sprinkler heads to ensure the angle of spray (or rotation) is lined up exactly with the areas to be watered by that head; as well as adjusting the level of the spray, to ensure that it is spraying the correct distance and providing a uniform spray for the entire distance the water stream covers.
Demonstration: The final step is to demonstrate the system to you. We will show you how the controller works, and teach you how to use it in case you ever decide to make any changes or are just the type of person who likes to know how it works. We will take care of the initial programming of the controller for optimal watering, including seasonal adjustments. We will then show you each zone one at a time, and allow you to see the system working, and show you all of the heads in operation and how to adjust them if required. Once we have showed you the entire system, and you are 100% satisfied, the installation of your new Ottawa area irrigation system is complete. We will follow-up with you when the time comes to schedule a time for taking care of your system winterization, and again in the Spring when it comes time to re-open your system.
Now it is time to sit back, relax and enjoy your new automatic inground sprinkler system.
What to expect during a free estimate: During your free quote for an irrigation system at your Ottawa home we will discuss your landscaping watering needs. This blog will give you a good idea of what to expect when we come to visit you at your home to discuss the installation of an automatic irrigation system.
During an estimate, we will first need to obtain some key information in order to provide you with an accurate price quote that meets your exact needs. Following are a few of the key questions we will ask you and information we will gather:
Your specific watering needs for your property: What would you like to be watered? Do you want everything watered? Or just parts of your property (i.e. just the front yard? Front and back lawn but no garden beds? Etc.)?
Location of the controller: Where would you like the controller to be mounted? We can install it in the garage, or outside on an exterior wall. We will provide you with a quick rundown of how the controller works and show you a quick demonstration for operating it.
Valve box location(s): We will show you a valve box and explain it in some detail, including the components it houses. The valve box is a housing that contains the valves and wire connections. It’s purpose is to allow for easy access to the important components for servicing purposes). You will never have to access the valve boxes, however we like to show you how they look and work regardless.
Where would you like your valve boxes to be located on the property? With our recommendations and your concerns, we will determine a good location for each valve box that you are happy with.
- City of Ottawa water: Locate water meter. We will need to determine the size of the pipe that we will tie into (3/4″ copper or 1/2″copper, etc.). This is key information we need to provide the licensed plumber that we will sub-contract.
- Well water: We will need to locate and determine the pump and well specifications (volumetric flow rate, horsepower rating, operating pressure, recovery rate for well, etc.).
- Open fresh water (river or lake): We will determine the pump size and specifications required and recommend a specific manufacturer and pump for you to purchase.
Operating Parameters: We will determine the water output at the source where it will connect to the irrigation system (input to main valve). This consists of measuring and calculating static and working pressure, as well as flow rate.
Design: Once this essential information is recorded, we will begin the design of the Ottawa irrigation system (for more information see blog post ‘Irrigation 101’). We will draw a map of your property and determine proper placement and zoning of automatic sprinkler heads, valves and the controller; and ensure that you are satisfied with how your final product will look. All designs will have head to head coverage. We do this to ensure maximum system efficiency and water distribution uniformity.
- Size of property: Depending on the size of your property, we will determine whether the use of a pipe pulling machine (vibratory plow) is needed to install the irrigation pipes.
- Type of terrain: The type terrain on your property will also be inspected. For example, a very rough terrain (rocks, clay, tree roots, etc.) will require more careful installation than a normal terrain with regular dirt or soil.
- Planned/on-going landscaping: If landscaping is (will be) taking place, we will need to determine if/when we need to put sleeves under any future interlock, driveways, walkways, etc. Irrigation is best installed after final grade but before sod/seeding. We will talk with landscapers and determine the best date for installation.
Pricing: Once we know the number and type of automatic sprinkler heads and valves required, as well as take into consideration the size and terrain type of your property, we will calculate a final price for your system. We will provide you with brochures for the products and system components we use, as well as show you the written work contract that would be signed should you decide to proceed with having an irrigation system installed by Running Irrigation. We will also discuss possible dates for the irrigation system to be installed; and, a date can be confirmed once you accept and sign a contract with Running Irrigation.
Stay tuned for the next post describing more detail of what goes on during the irrigation system planning and construction/installation process.
How an automatic irrigation system works: This first blog post is quite long, but I wanted to include all of the essentials to give you a much better idea about how an automatic sprinkler system works and some of the factors that are considered during design. This will give you a better idea of what is going on with your irrigation system, and what you can expect after the installation of your sprinkler system. You will be taken through the different types of automatic sprinklers and essential components used in a system, and some key terms and concepts like water pressure, flow rate and valve zones.
Design: the design of an automatic irrigation system begins with checking the water output (pressure and flow rate) of the source water you that will be used for your landscape watering; as well as a survey of your landscape.
Checking the water pressure and flow rate is necessary in determining the amount of sprinkler heads that can be installed on each valve zone for optimal performance. This allows the number of valves zones that are required to be calculated. An irrigation system is split into different valve zones so that each sprinkler head distributes water efficiently. For each additional sprinkler head in a zone, water pressure will be reduced at each sprinkler. This affects its performance and efficiency. Thus the determination of the correct number of sprinkler heads per valve zone is very important so that the zone will be operating at an optimal pressure for maximum efficiency. The water flow rate is important to determine how much water will be provided to the area. This is used for determining the watering duration of each zone in order to provide sufficient water at each watering time.
Separate valve zones are also used for different areas of your landscape because they have different watering requirements. By zoning these areas separately, it allows control of the watering duration as well as time of day to be programmed into the controller.
A different type of sprinkler head will be used depending on whether the area being watered is a large or small area of your lawn, shrubs, flowers, or gardens, etc. Each different type of sprinkler head requires a different water pressure and flow rate to achieve the desired spray. The correct numbers of sprinkler heads is determined and they must be placed strategically in order to provide full coverage to each zone.
Sprinklers: the three main types of sprinklers are rotors, pop-ups, and risers:
Rotors: the large sprinklers used to water the lawn. As the water is turned on, these sprinklers pop up out of the ground and operate by spraying water in a rotating fashion covering the desired area. The degree of rotation can be adjusted, as well as the flow rate and distance of spray by the use of different nozzles in the sprinkler.
Pop-ups: these smaller sprinklers pop up out of the ground during operation. The spray is controlled by using a specific nozzle that controls the water flow rate as well as the angle of spray. They are mostly used for watering flower beds and other small grass sections of your lawn.
Risers: these sprinklers consist of a nozzle mounted on a long, thin tube (usually 12 or 18 inches) and do not retract into the ground. These sprinklers are mostly used for watering taller shrubs and bushes. Like the pop-ups, watering is controlled by the type of nozzle.
Installation: Once the design and placement of the sprinklers is determined, the construction of the system begins.
The first step is the plumbing. This involves tapping into the water source. The water source for most urban residences is the same city water that is supplied to your home; and that for rural residences will either be the well water source or can be pumped from a nearby lake or river. After tapping into the water source in your home, we will drill a hole to the outside to connect the source line to the main valve.
Backflow Preventer: This device is used in ever irrigation system and is the essential component of safety. This device prevents any water in the sprinkler system from flowing back into your home and into your waterline. It is connected between your water line and the main valve.
Valves: all of the valves are solonoid valves which function pneumatically. The water flow is controlled by a solonoid that receives an electrical signal and converts the energy into mechanical energy to open or close a diaphragm (thus turning the water flow on or off, respectively).
Main Valve: the heart of the system. This valve controls the water flow to all of the other valves in the system. Each time watering is to take place; this valve is opened and allows water to flow through the main line to all of the other valves.
Control Valves: each secondary valve controls the flow of water to the specific zone it is feeding. The valves are opened one at a time in order to water each zone individually, so that enough water pressure is present to water the entire area of that zone.
Automatic Controller: the brain of the system. This controller provides an electrical signal to each specific valve at a specific time in order to allow water of each zone at a time and duration chosen for optimal and efficient watering. The controller operates digitally and is very simple to program. We will take care of the initial programming of the controller for optimal watering.
Pipes: All pipes used with a diameter of less than 1.5 inches are polyethylene pipe. If over 1.25 inch diameter, pvc pipe will be used. The pipe is installed underground at depths of 6-10 inches where as the ground conditions allow it. This is done by either digging a trench, or using a pipe pulling machine (vibratory plow). This is done in a careful manner where the grass is removed, a trench is dug, and then the grass is placed back over the trench, tamped and raked. You won’t even know there is a pipe under the ground.
Rain Sensor: this device overrides your program to prevent overwatering when it rains. Essentially if it is raining during a watering time, the rain sensor will turn off the system, essentially ensuring that no unnecessary water is used.
Once the entire system is built and connected, it is tested to ensure complete watering coverage to each zone and area of your landscape.
Stay tuned for the next post describing what you can expect during our visit to your Ottawa home to provide you with a free automatic irrigation system estimate.