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Pros and Cons of Automated Irrigation Systems: Is it Right For You?

We'll explore the various points to be aware of when considering if an automated irrigation system is right for you.

Automated Irrigation Systems

Balance is Everything

Watering your yard is like walking a tightrope. Balance is everything. For healthy plants and lawns, it's best not to over or underwater your landscape.

Balancing daily life is another important concern. Toting a garden hose and sprinkler head around the yard every 20 minutes for hours may not be how you want to spend your free time.

An automatic irrigation system with pop-up sprinklers for overhead watering can solve both problems if programmed correctly. Yet before installing one, it pays to understand the pros and cons of this investment in home improvement.

Advantages of Automated Irrigation Systems

Time Saver

Depending on the size of your yard and the dryness of the local climate, it may consume numerous hours several days a week to manually water a yard. An automated system avoids this problem and time zone changes for you. If you're trying to accomplish other tasks and must stop periodically to move the hose, your work is continuously interrupted.

Avoiding Those Awkward and Additional Components

Although it's possible to trip on a pop-up sprinkler head, a garden hose snaking around the yard is more of a hazard.

Uniformly Waters Large Areas

Drip irrigation works well for small yards and, like overhead systems, can be zoned for automatic watering. But a zoned overhead system provides more force for rapid, even water delivery water over large areas such as turf.

Ultimate Control, Setting Time, and Direction

Programmable controls allow you to divide your yard into zones and set days, times of day, and lengths of time for watering. You can conserve water by irrigating when evaporation is minimal -- early in the morning or late at night. The controls also make it possible to adjust the angle and direction of the spray so you aren't irrigating tarmac and sidewalks.

Disadvantages of Automated Irrigation Systems

Can Be Costly

It's relatively expensive to install an overhead automated system. According to, in 2021, the average cost nationwide for an automatic sprinkler system ranges from $4,000-$7000. Of course, this price can go up or down based on the system, features, and the size of land you want to be covered.

Disturbs Plantings

Another cost to consider is the replacement of turf and plants that get damaged when the underground portion of the system is installed.

Requires Sensors to Avoid Overwatering.

Unless an automatic system is equipped with water sensors, it won't know to shut off when soil is saturated or rain is falling. Of course, if you have a smart system connected to the Internet, you may be able to turn off the system remotely.

Waters Foliage

Fungal infections, such as mildew, spread more easily with overhead irrigation. This is especially true for plants that are closely spaced and watered at night when sunshine can't dry foliage.

What's the Verdict?

In our eyes, the benefits of an automated irrigation system outway the downsides. In an age of automation, this is one home improvement tip deemed worthwhile. The system's programmable features mean time saved and one less thing to worry about. An automated irrigation system with sensors allows you to water your lawn in the most optimal way possible, exactly when it needs it.

For remodeling videos, home tips, and more, explore the rest of the Home Channel TV blog.


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