Most commercial and residential irrigation systems are "in ground" systems, this means that everything is buried in the ground. With the pipes, sprinklers, emitters (sub-surface dripperline), and irrigation valves being hidden, it makes for a cleaner, more presentable landscape without garden hoses or other sprinklers having to be moved around manually.
Sprinkler systems are divided into zones. A zone is a single irrigation valve and a group of sprinklers or drip tubing/emitters that are connected by pvc and/or polyetheyne pipes. Each zone has a solenoid valve on it that is controlled by an irrigation controller or timer. The irrigation controller sends a 24volt signal to the solenoide valve to turn on at a specific time and keep it on for a programmed amount of time.
New "Smart Controllers" are capable of adjusting the watering time and/or watering day in response to current environmental or soil moisture conditions. The smart controller determines current conditions by means of historic weather data for the local area, a soil moisture sensors, rain sensor, on or off-site weather stations, or a combination of these.
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