Automated sprinkler systems are powerful tools for keeping lawns and landscapes healthy and lush. However there are still some misconceptions about their effectiveness and proper use. 

Watering the lawn with a hose.

Manually watering not only takes up a lot of time, but is hard to accurately achieve even coverage.

Myth: Automated sprinklers waste water.

An automated sprinkler system is actually one of the most effective ways to reduce water usage in the irrigation of turf and plants compared to watering by hand. Using a hose attachment is almost guaranteed to waste water; it is difficult to achieve even coverage, so some areas get too much water and others too little.

Also, when watering by hand, it is nearly impossible to meet the different watering needs that may be found on even a relatively small property. For instance, spots with more exposure to the sun need more water than shaded areas. Landscape beds contain different plant types, often with different hydration needs than grass. An automated sprinkler system can be calibrated to account for these different factors, ensuring that every inch of a property receives exactly the right amount of water, and at the right time.

You can reduce water waste by running sprinklers right before the sun rises.

Myth: Sprinklers should run during the hottest part of the day.

The best time to run sprinklers is in the early morning hours, and there are two primary reasons for doing so. Providing water early in the day gives soil time to absorb it. As the sun rises, excess moisture quickly evaporates. It follows that watering during the hottest hours of the day leads to rapid evaporation, and with it, inadequate time for the ground to absorb much-needed moisture. Watering at sunset or during the night lets soil absorb too much water because the excess does not evaporate. Soil that is too wet for too long can lead to fungal diseases that can easily spread throughout lawns and gardens.

So, early morning watering gives grass and plants time to absorb moisture. The summer’s high temperatures stress lawns and gardens, but they withstand heat more robustly when water has been fully and properly absorbed. Watering during the hottest part of the day does not allow the ground to absorb moisture and plants do not absorb it. The risk of lackluster aesthetics, if not disease and death, also increases.

Hunter Industries manufacturers numerous sprinkler heads and sprayers that can cut water usage by up to 30%.

Myth: All sprinkler heads are the same.

The most important components of sprinkler systems are the sprinkler heads. They determine the rate and method of water delivery, which is key to effective water distribution and absorption. Head selection is guided by what is being watered. Grass or gardens? A small yard or a large expanse of lawn? Is it relatively flat, or are there slopes? Larger areas of grass need a larger spray radius, while most decorative plantings need water delivered more closely so roots are properly fed and stay healthy.

Also, older sprinkler head models do not provide the same level of efficiency as new ones. Advancements in the science of irrigation have led to sprinkler heads designed with lower precipitation rates, which gives water more time to soak into the soil. Newer heads decrease runoff (water that naturally moves to lower elevations), resulting in overwatering in those spots, while leaving even slightly higher elevations high and (too!) dry.

The irrigation pros at Heinen have 30+ years experience designing, installing, and maintaining Kansas City sprinkler systems for both residential homeowners and businesses.

Myth: Underground systems require a lot of maintenance.

Older sprinkler systems invariably require more maintenance, while newer, more sophisticated ones installed by experienced irrigation professionals need less. New systems are more dependable, durable, convenient, and even “smarter” – in fact they can even be controlled from an app on a smartphone. Today’s sprinkler systems typically last as long as 20 years, especially when professionally installed by experts. Breakdowns and repairs are easily avoided through annual audits and maintenance checks by professionals. They prevent problems before they start and, when they do appear, correct them before they become major – and expensive! – headaches.


Call Debbie at (913) 432-5011 to schedule a no-obligation consultation from Heinen’s landscape and irrigation pros today!