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How is an Irrigation System Installed? (Big Picture)

Recently a customer of ours reffered to our work as "magic". One day greenery is dying and there's no water, and then in the next few days theres an underground system custom built to the environment bringing essential hydration to the plants; with the only evidence of work being barely visible sprinkler heads, dripline laid close to the plants, and the remnants of trenching. This can leave some homeowners wondering "how the heck do they do this?". Which is exactly what many of us wondered before we got into the industry. As an example, this post will describe a typical residental installation, though the process may look different depending on the property. This blog will attempt to give the 30,000 feet picture of how an irrigation system is installed.



Firstly, the walk through & consultation. we want to know your goals for the irrigation system: Which plants are struggling? What is your vision for your new garden bed? Are you planning on putting anything here in the future? These sorts of questions. The aim is to get an understanding of your property and how we can best achieve your goals.


This is followed up with assesements of water pressure, calculating the amount of pipe needed, fittings required, and equipment that will be used (amongst other estimates). These are all elements in the creation of a plan. Once estimated, the client will recieve a (free) quote for the work, and we will get ready to move forward.


After the prepartion phase, the plan is (with excessive detail) described and mapped out for the crew, and a team walk through communicates the vision for the irrigation. This is where the fun begins. The team will begin with necessary and efficient trenching in order to lay the pipes bringing water around the property. The crew will also be connecting waterproof low-voltage wire deep in the trench to bring electric signals from controllers to the valves.


The trenching is done with the restoration of the property in mind. Art will be placed back as it was found, permanent installations will be avoided, and the goal will be to make the process as clean as possible. Following this, connection to city water (or hosebibs) will be made, manifolds and valve-boxes will be put together (this is hardware dictating when and where the water flows), backflow preventers will be installed (this keeps the water from going back into the city lines), and the crew will set up the preffered method of irrigation (spinkles heads, dripline, emmiters, etc.). The trench will then be carefully backfilled, and the surface will be cleaned up. Pipes and wire burried and hidden.


Once the systems is flushed and working, the crew tests each specific zones and makes final adjustments to ensure the system is done properly and set up for success in the many years to come. Wiring is hooked up, the site is cleaned, and the team will talk to the homeowner explaining exactly what they did and answering any questions.


A common question we recieve is "how long until my lawn recovers?". The typical recovery rate during the summer is around a month, or three weeks with seeding, though this certainly depends on the weather, season, and property. The goal is that once it has recovered, it comes back looking so good that you wake up having forgotten the whole process except the beautiful greenery which may be making your neighbours a bit jealous.

There are lots more details not included in this post, but hopefully this has provided a good amount of explanation as to what happens when an Irrigation system is installed at your property. Please reach out with any more questions, or contact us for a free quote.


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or give us a call at:

(604) 358 - 6773

Jonas Opmeer

Irrigation Technician at Torch Irrigation and Lighting

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