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Determine Irrigation Run Times and Schedules for a Newly Installed Irrigation System

By Jennifer Klemmetson on March 31, 2017 in BlogNo Comments

Determine Irrigation Run Times and Schedules for a Newly Installed Irrigation System graphic

A new irrigation system requires setup. As you prep a new system for its first-time use, you’ll need the things to set up an irrigation schedule that will work best for the site’s specific conditions: the water requirement and the precipitation rates of the sprinkler heads or drip emitters.

Water requirement: The easiest way to estimate the water you’ll need is to use evaporation and transpiration (ET) information. Evaporation happens to water from the soil surface, and transpiration occurs to water from the leaves of the plant. Historic ET data for your area can be obtained through online sources like your local university extension’s website.

The amount of water lost through ET changes with the seasons, so you’ll need to reset the watering schedule throughout the year to accommodate these modifications.

Precipitation rate: This is the rate at which water is being applied to your plants in a certain amount of time (usually inches per hour). The best way to figure out the precipitation rate of your sprinkler heads or drip emitters is to do an irrigation system audit. If you can’t find an auditor, the next best way is to go to the manufacturer’s catalog, find the nozzle you’re using and get precipitation rates based on spacing from the catalog.

Calculate Run Times

Watch this video to learn a quick formula for calculating run times and other factors to consider when setting your controller to a cycle and soak schedule.

Resources to Help Calculate Run Times

Hunter Run Time Calculator: Hunter offers a free irrigation schedule and runtime calculator for contractors to program controllers. With quick and easy setup and a user-friendly interface, this calculator is a resource you can use any time you need it.

Rain Bird Landscape Drip Zone Calculator: Rain Bird’s drip zone calculator allows contractors to quickly and accurately determine what drip irrigation products are needed for a successful drip irrigation installation.
Determine Irrigation Run Times and Schedules for a Newly Installed Irrigation System graphic
Jennifer Klemmetson
Find your nearest Ewing location at EwingIrrigation.com/locations.
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