How to Set Zones on Your Sprinkler System for Efficient Watering

Top view of garden irrigation professional adjusting lawn sprinkler.

Last Updated August 7, 2023

If you're like most homeowners, you want your lawn and garden to look their best without wasting water or spending a fortune on water bills. That's where proper sprinkler zoning and knowing how to set zones on a sprinkler system come in. By setting up specific zones for your grass, flowers, and vegetables, you can ensure that each area of your yard is getting the precise amount of water it needs. If you’re not sure how to set sprinkler zones, we can help! Read on to learn how to set zones on your sprinkler system and make watering your yard as efficient as possible.

Determine Maximum Water Pressure


The first step to setting up zones for efficient watering is to determine the maximum water pressure for your sprinkler system. This information can usually be found on the side of your home's main water shut-off valve. If you know a little about the basics of irrigation systems, this may be information you can find for yourself. But if you're not sure where to find it, a professional sprinkler tech can tell you what your water pressure is.

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Determine Maximum Flow Rate

Similarly, you'll need to know what the maximum flow rate is for your particular system. Since no two sprinkler systems are exactly alike, you'll need to consult your owner's manual or ask a professional for this information.

Map Out Grassy Zones


Once you know how much water your system can handle, it's time to start mapping out zones. Begin by drawing a rough outline of your property on a piece of paper. Then, use a different color to mark the areas that are mostly grass. These will be your "grassy" zones.

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Map Out Flower/Vegetable Zones


Along with your grassy zones, you'll need to map out the areas of your yard that are devoted to flowers and vegetables. These will be your "flower/vegetable" zones. Again, use a different color than you used for the grassy areas. Mapping out your zones can take some time, but it's important to do it first for truly efficient watering.

How Many Sprinkler Heads Per Zone


Once you've got all your zones mapped out, it's time to start thinking about how many sprinkler heads you'll need for each one. For small areas, one or two sprinkler heads should suffice. Larger areas will require more sprinkler heads, and you may need to get different types of sprinkler heads for different watering situations. A professional can help you determine how many heads you'll need for each zone.

How to Add a Zone to an Existing Sprinkler System


If you already have a sprinkler system but need to get an additional zone (or two) set up, you could try to do it yourself. You would need to locate the main supply line, add more pipe, connect it all together, and make sure it’s set up properly on your sprinkler control box. You may also be asking, “Can one sprinkler zone control two valves?” The short answer is that it is possible, but it depends on whether you have adequate water pressure and that everything is set up properly. If all that sounds complicated, don't worry. It's easy to add a zone to an existing system when you ask a professional for help. Even better, when you hire a professional you can be sure that it is done correctly the first time!

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What to Do if a Sprinkler Zone Is Leaking


If you notice that water is leaking from one of your zones, the first step is to turn off the water to that particular zone. Then, check for any broken or damaged sprinkler heads. Once you've located the problem, you can either repair it yourself or call a service tech to find and repair the leak.

What to Do if a Sprinkler Zone is Not Working


If one of your sprinkler zones isn't working properly, the first step is to check the zone's control box. Make sure that all the connections are secure and that the circuit breaker hasn't tripped. If you're not comfortable dealing with circuit breakers or simply can't locate the problem, then you'll need to call a professional for irrigation repair services.

Contact the Professionals at The Grounds Guys

If you’ve decided that setting up zones for your sprinkler system is a job best left to the pros, you’ve made a decision that will save you both time and hassle. The experts at The Grounds Guys can help you get your watering zones set up and optimized both quickly and efficiently. This will help keep your lawn and landscaping looking great and reduce overwatering. Request an estimate online today to learn more about professional irrigation services from The Grounds Guys!