Irrigation FAQ

Question: How do I know what type of system is best for me?

When considering an irrigation system it is important to seek the advice of experienced professionals. As the largest irrigation contractor in Central IL we are prepared to answer any questions you may have regarding a quality irrigation system. Factors such as site conditions, water supply, water pressure, and desired results play a large part in the decision making process.


Question: Can I save money by installing my own system?

Generally, the initial cost will be less; however there are a few things you may want to consider. TCI will design a very cost efficient system that ensures uniform water coverage throughout your lawn and/or landscape. You can be certain that we will use the appropriate equipment (i.e. vibratory plow and commercial grade products) to minimize disruption of the worksite and ensure longevity and performance. Because we are familiar with local and state plumbing codes our systems are installed to meet specific requirements that otherwise may be costly to homeowners.


Question: Will I have difficulty operating this system?

TCI uses only commercial grade controllers. Not only are these controllers durable, but also very “user friendly”. With many valuable functions (rain sensor, water budget, test cycle, etc.) they are capable of handling projects ranging from small residential lawns to golf courses and sports fields. After a system is installed a representative from TCI will review the entire controller with the customer explaining each function in detail. Then, a specific program will be set to best suit the specific site.


Question: Will an automatic sprinkler system water as well as I can water by hand?

A properly designed, automatic sprinkler system will water more efficiently than can be achieved by hand.  We strive to achieve uniform coverage by installing sprinklers at head to head spacing, using high quality sprinklers, and adjusting the run times accordingly. This ensures that your lawn will be free from any dry areas and also aids in the prevention of over watering.


Question: We generally get 35 inches of rainfall per year in Central IL. Do we really need a sprinkler system?

If it rained on a consistent basis, the answer would be no. Unfortunately, nature doesn’t work that way! The only way to ensure your lawn and landscape get the appropriate amount of water is by having a professionally designed and installed irrigation system.


Question: Are there different systems to choose from?

Each system will vary according to the specific site and application. However, each system is comprised of a few select essentials.

  1. Controller- Tells the system when to turn on, how long to run, which area to water, and communicates with the rain sensor in the
    event of rain.
  2. Electric valves – Receives a signal from the controller and waters the area specified.
  3. Sprinklers – Uniformly distributes water
  4. Rain Sensor – In compliance with the state of IL we install a rain sensing device on every system. This greatly reduces excess water consumption, in turn saving you money.

A great variance from system to system is the placement of sprinklers and the type used. This is addressed when the system is designed and the most suitable sprinker for the site is recommended by a Tri-County Irrigation representative.

Another difference in systems is the process used to drain the system in the winter. We install automatic drain systems on nearly all residential projects. This means that winterization is quick and easy. Please see our Maintenance Procedures page for more information regarding this process. The other type of system is a blow out. This means that the water must be purged from the system by means of compressed air. Blow out systems are typically reserved for commercial projects or large scale residential.