FAQs and information on irrigation, underground sprinklers and how to keep a green grass lawn.

During new home construction, when is the best time to install an underground sprinkler system?

Sprinkler systems should be installed after the hard landscaping, such as fences, retaining walls and patios are in place, but before the soft landscaping, such as flowers, shrubs and grasses are planted. As the hard landscaping makes it more difficult to lay pipes in some areas of the yard, it may be necessary to make provisions for the sprinkler system before the hard landscaping is completed. We will work with you and your builder or landscaper as necessary.

Are sprinkler systems easy to install?

The installation of sprinkler systems is not complicated, however it does require a significant amount of physical labour (specifically digging). Other areas of difficulty include wiring and plumbing. Imitation Rain will provide assistance to Do-it-Yourselfers at any stage in the installation process.

What level of maintenance is required for underground sprinkler systems?

Generally speaking, maintenance is minimal. Systems should be winterized every fall, and consequently must be restarted in the spring. Winterizations include turning off the water to the sprinkler system and blowing the pipes out with an air compressor. In the spring, the water must be turned back on, and the electronic controller may need reprogramming. We also recommend spending a few minutes in the spring to ensure the sprinkler heads are still providing adequate coverage. Imitation Rain will provide the maintenance for your sprinkler on request.

I want to Do-it-Myself. How does this work?

For those who prefer to get their hands dirty, we design the system, you provide the labour. Materials are laid out on site and personal instruction is provided. We will also work with you to provide partial installation if you prefer.

How is the water supplied to the sprinkler system?

The water for your sprinkler system is usually provided from a dedicated 3/4″ line installed in your basement. In some instances though, it is not possible to install this line. In these cases, the existing outside water taps can be used, however they are only 1/2″ in diameter. As a smaller water line results in less water volume in the pipes, the number of sprinkler heads running at any one time must be decreased. This means the yard is broken down into a greater number of zones, and an increased number of valves are required, thus it may be necessary to purchase a larger controller. Unfortunately, this increases the cost of the system.

What damage will be caused to our existing lawn during the installation of a sprinkler system?

The damage is very minimal, providing the sod has rooted and the lawn is dry. Imitation Rain uses a pipe laying machine that is similar to a plow. The machine slices the lawn and pulls pipe through the ground. After tamping down the “plowed” areas, the slices in the lawn are hardly noticeable. Since the roots of the grass will be damaged, you may notice brown spots initially. However, these generally disappear after two or three weeks of watering.


If you have any other questions that we haven’t answered here, please contact us at info@imitationrain.com.