Frequently Asked Questions

Calgary’s irrigation specialists

FAQ

Answers to some of the things you want to know

How much does a system cost?

There are many factors that determine what the cost of a new underground sprinkler system will be. One thing to keep in mind is that the square footage of the area to be irrigated does not necessarily determine the cost. A large square or rectangular yard will most likely cost less than a small irregularly shaped yard, because of the way the sprinkler heads will be laid out. At Future Green, we provide a detailed design with every sprinkler system we quote, so our estimate is based on the material takeoff from that design.

We don’t price our systems by zone because that method of estimating can be inaccurate. Most installation costs for a city lot in Calgary were between $2900.00 and $4500.00 last year, although there were still some jobs that fell outside this range.

What Materials do you use?

The materials that we quote can be viewed by going to your products page. It you have preferences for other materials, we can certainly accommodate that.

I already have an established landscape with sod and shrubs, how much damage will be caused if I install an irrigation system?

At Future Green, one of the things we are proudest of is how we handle installations for established landscapes. We install all our pipe with a vibratory plow that eliminates the need to dig a trench for areas with established sod. For most projects, this leaves a cut mark in the sod less than in inch wide that heals within a few weeks. For established shrub and garden bed areas, our staff is trained to tread lightly, can take care to cause minimal collateral damage.

Are the sprinklers automatically controlled?

Yes, all our underground sprinkler systems are automatically controlled. We recommend the HydraWise Smart WiFi controller, as it uses real time weather data to actively manage your watering times. You can read more about it on our Residential Installation page.

How is the sprinkler system hooked up to a water supply? Do you use the exterior hose bibs?

There are a couple of reasons why we don’t supply our systems off existing exterior hose bibs. Firstly, most hose bibs are fed from 1/2 inch supply lines. This means our maximum flow from this source is small, and sprinkler performance will suffer as a result. Secondly, we are required by the City of Calgary to install a cross connection device. For this reason we tie our irrigation systems directly into main supply line in your house, most often found in the mechanical room. We install the cross connection device at the point of connection, and have our certified cross connection tester pull the required permit.

What maintenance is required when owning an underground sprinkler system?

We strive to design our systems in such a way that will require the least amount of on going maintenance.  This is achieved by using quality products, and using best practices when installing our sprinkler systems. The only maintenance that is required is an annual spring startup, and fall “blow out” or winterization. These are both services that Future Green Irrigation offers. For our spring startup service, we test all the sprinklers and sprinkler controller to ensure they are all working properly after they winter. Usually small adjustments need to be made to ensure the sprinkler are all spraying in the proper direction. If any other issues need to be addressed we can do it at that time. For our winterization service, we use a compressor to purge the lines and sprinklers ensuring no freezing damage occurs over the winter. We offer both these services for $75.00 plus GST.

What do you mean by “high efficiency” sprinkler system?

What we mean by high efficiency is that they system delivers the least amount of water possible to maintain a healthy landscape. This is achieved by using the best quality products available in the industry, combined with state of the art computer aided design that ensures uniform water distribution, and proper scheduling.

Do you do landscape construction?

No, irrigation and landscape lighting are all we do. We do however work alongside some of Calgary’s best landscapers and would be happy to refer you to them.

How long does it take to install a residential irrigation system?

Most residential irrigation systems take one to two days to install, although for some large jobs it might take a little longer.

Will an automatic sprinkler system save water?

If you are making the comparison between watering by hand or traditional above ground sprinkler versus automatic underground sprinklers, then the answer is yes. There are many reasons for this. A well-designed underground sprinkler system applies water much more uniformly. Also, the fact that it is automated means it can water your yard in the early hours of the morning when less water is lost to evaporation.

Can I run my irrigation system off a well?

We can certainly accommodate that. We have the expertise to install a pump sized for your well’s capacity and your watering needs. This includes the installation of a pump start relay to automate the operation of your pump in sync with the irrigation system.

What is meant by “sprinkler zones?”

Because there is a limit to the volume of water (measured in gallons per minute GPM) that can be achieved from your water source, most irrigation systems need to split into segments called zones. This means only a group of sprinklers can operate at any one time, with electronic valves automatically cycling through all zones until watering of your whole property has been achieved. For instance, a hypothetical property might have two zones, one for the front yard and one for the back yard. When then sprinklers are scheduled to run, only the front sprinklers (zone 1) activate for a scheduled amount of time, let’s say 20 minutes. After that cycle is complete, they turn off and the back sprinklers (zone 2) will activate for 20 minutes. Watering for your whole property would then be complete. The average property in Calgary need 4 to 6 zones for full coverage, although this can vary substantially.

How long is your warranty?

We offer a four-year warranty on parts and labour.

Do I need a permit to install an underground sprinkler system in Calgary?

You are not required to pull a permit for the irrigation system itself, although you need one for the cross-connection device.

What is a cross-connection device?

A cross-connection device ensure that your water supply is kept totally isolated from the irrigation system. It only allows water to flow in one direction, so if there ever was a back pressure situation where your water supply lost pressure, water from the irrigation system would not contaminate the water supply.

How much does a system cost?

There are many factors that determine what the cost of a new underground sprinkler system will be. One thing to keep in mind is that the square footage of the area to be irrigated does not necessarily determine the cost. A large square or rectangular yard will most likely cost less than a small irregularly shaped yard, because of the way the sprinkler heads will be laid out. At Future Green, we provide a detailed design with every sprinkler system we quote, so our estimate is based on the material takeoff from that design.

We don’t price our systems by zone because that method of estimating can be inaccurate. Most installation costs for a city lot in Calgary were between $2900.00 and $4500.00 last year, although there were still some jobs that fell outside this range.

What Materials do you use?

The materials that we quote can be viewed by going to your products page. It you have preferences for other materials, we can certainly accommodate that.

I already have an established landscape with sod and shrubs, how much damage will be caused if I install an irrigation system?

At Future Green, one of the things we are proudest of is how we handle installations for established landscapes. We install all our pipe with a vibratory plow that eliminates the need to dig a trench for areas with established sod. For most projects, this leaves a cut mark in the sod less than in inch wide that heals within a few weeks. For established shrub and garden bed areas, our staff is trained to tread lightly, can take care to cause minimal collateral damage.

Are the sprinklers automatically controlled?

Yes, all our underground sprinkler systems are automatically controlled. We recommend the HydraWise Smart WiFi controller, as it uses real time weather data to actively manage your watering times. You can read more about it on our Residential Installation page.

How is the sprinkler system hooked up to a water supply? Do you use the exterior hose bibs?

There are a couple of reasons why we don’t supply our systems off existing exterior hose bibs. Firstly, most hose bibs are fed from 1/2 inch supply lines. This means our maximum flow from this source is small, and sprinkler performance will suffer as a result. Secondly, we are required by the City of Calgary to install a cross connection device. For this reason we tie our irrigation systems directly into main supply line in your house, most often found in the mechanical room. We install the cross connection device at the point of connection, and have our certified cross connection tester pull the required permit.

Will an automatic sprinkler system save water?

If you are making the comparison between watering by hand or traditional above ground sprinkler versus automatic underground sprinklers, then the answer is yes. There are many reasons for this. A well-designed underground sprinkler system applies water much more uniformly. Also, the fact that it is automated means it can water your yard in the early hours of the morning when less water is lost to evaporation.

Can I run my irrigation system off a well?

We can certainly accommodate that. We have the expertise to install a pump sized for your well’s capacity and your watering needs. This includes the installation of a pump start relay to automate the operation of your pump in sync with the irrigation system.

What is meant by “sprinkler zones?”

Because there is a limit to the volume of water (measured in gallons per minute GPM) that can be achieved from your water source, most irrigation systems need to split into segments called zones. This means only a group of sprinklers can operate at any one time, with electronic valves automatically cycling through all zones until watering of your whole property has been achieved. For instance, a hypothetical property might have two zones, one for the front yard and one for the back yard. When then sprinklers are scheduled to run, only the front sprinklers (zone 1) activate for a scheduled amount of time, let’s say 20 minutes. After that cycle is complete, they turn off and the back sprinklers (zone 2) will activate for 20 minutes. Watering for your whole property would then be complete. The average property in Calgary need 4 to 6 zones for full coverage, although this can vary substantially.

How long is your warranty?

We offer a four-year warranty on parts and labour.

Do I need a permit to install an underground sprinkler system in Calgary?

You are not required to pull a permit for the irrigation system itself, although you need one for the cross-connection device.

What is a cross-connection device?

A cross-connection device ensure that your water supply is kept totally isolated from the irrigation system. It only allows water to flow in one direction, so if there ever was a back pressure situation where your water supply lost pressure, water from the irrigation system would not contaminate the water supply.

Our Certifications

As certified irrigation contractors, we are committed to the responsible and sustainable use of water
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