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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Sprinkler System?

Average Cost
(inground sprinkler system with average controller on ½ acre)

Get free estimates from sprinklers and irrigation professionals near you
Here's what happens next

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Sprinkler System?

Average Cost
(inground sprinkler system with average controller on ½ acre)

Get free estimates from sprinklers and irrigation professionals near you
Here's what happens next
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With modern automation systems zeroing in on the ideal watering time and precise water usage, sprinklers offer more than convenience. Initial sprinkler system 1 installation cost may seem pricey, but the rewards are consistent: water conservation, long-term utility savings, and increased home resale value.

The average cost to install a sprinkler system ranges from $4,000-$7,000, with the average homeowner spending around $5,500 on a professionally installed inground system with average controller for ½ acre.

Sprinkler System Costs

Sprinkler System Installation Costs
National average cost$5,500
Average range$4,000-$7,000
Minimum cost$2,200
Maximum cost$11,000

Updated: What's new?

Sprinkler System Cost by Project Range

Inground sprinkler system on ¼ acre
Average Cost
Inground sprinkler system with average controller on ½ acre
Inground sprinkler system on 1 acre with smart controller and landscaping drip irrigation

Sprinkler System Cost Per Acre

Depending on your location, the climate, the slope of your yard, and the variety of landscaping, lawn sprinkler system costs can vary significantly. The following chart offers average price ranges based on acreage.

Sprinkler System Cost per Acre Chart

Sprinkler System Cost per Acre Chart

Lawn sizeCost Range

Cost of sprinkler

system for ¼ acre

$2,180 - $3,380

Cost of sprinkler

system for ½ acre

$4,360 - $6,750

Cost of sprinkler

system for ¾ acre

$6,530 - $10,130

Cost of sprinkler

system for 1 acre

$8,710 - $13,500

Sprinkler System Cost by Zone

Different types of grass and foliage have different water requirements. Separating your yard into several irrigation zones allows you to program the system so that each zone supplies an adequate water supply to the lawn and plants within that area. A zone is simply one section of your sprinkler system 1 in which the same valve controls all of the heads. The following are the national average costs per additional zone:

Sprinkler System Cost

Sprinkler System Cost

Number of ZonesCost
1 zone$650
2 zones$1,300
3 zones$1,950
4 zones$2,600
5 zones$3,250
6 zones$3,900
7 zones$4,550

Cost to Add a Zone to Sprinkler System

In some instances, it may be necessary to add a zone to a sprinkler system 1. If a certain area isn’t getting enough water or the existing heads or sprayers are not far-reaching enough, a homeowner may decide to add an additional zone. The cost per zone is $500-$650.

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Sprinkler System Prices By Type

Sprinkler systems 1 can be classified into two categories: above-ground and inground. The first one rests on the ground, while the second is hidden in the subsurface. Choosing one or the other depends on your needs and budget:

Type of sprinkler systemCost
Drip Irrigation$2,150 per acre
Inground$11,108 per acre

Drip Irrigation Cost Per Acre

There are several options for above-ground sprinkler systems 1, one of them being a drip irrigation system 1. Resting on the ground, a drip irrigation system provides a designated amount of water to plants in a small area, directly into the soil. The most significant benefit of these types of lines is that there is less water lost to evaporation. While the inconvenience of having the lines exposed to mowers and trimmers, making trimming and pruning in the area more labor-intensive,is an admitted downside, the lower cost and water conservation benefits are a big influence for some homeowners. One of the most common types of above-ground sprinkler systems, drip irrigation system cost, averages $2,150 per acre.

Drip Irrigation System

Inground Sprinkler System Cost

The specific needs of your lawn and landscaping are going to be unique. Custom sprinkler planning may include assessment of your need for either inground or drip irrigation or, in particular cases, a combination of both. Often, homeowners choose the simplicity of subsurface drip irrigation systems 1 for landscaped beds. Buried no more than 2 feet below ground level, they eliminate the hazards of above-ground systems, while providing the same benefits, but are slightly more expensive, averaging $3,000 per acre.

Expansive lawns and landscaping, needing a significant amount of water, benefit from well-planned inground systems. As a sprinkler pro guides you through the installation planning and prepping processes, you'll learn the needs of different areas of your lawn and landscaping.

A central controller is used to program each zone independently, according to the needs of the plants in each. Once the system is installed and programmed, there is very little need for your attention with a fully automated system. Other than keeping an eye out for malfunctioning heads, or very wet or very dry areas in your yard, indicating a problem, the sprinkler system will take care of the rest. Higher-end, more advanced systems will even alert you to these problems. Inground sprinkler systems cost,on average, $11,108 per acre.

Inground Sprinkler System

Sprinkler Head Cost by Type

One challenging part of planning a sprinkler system 1 is sorting through the available heads and their specific purposes. This table shows the various options and national average costs:

Sprinkler Head Cost

Sprinkler Head Cost

Head TypePurposeCost Per Head
BubblerFlower beds$1.00
Misting/microFoliage that requires persistent low flow moisture$3.00
Pop upLarge areas where you don’t want the head above ground when not in use$7.00
FixedIdeal for narrow and curved areas$7.00
Low flow or dripIdeal for slopes and gardens$7.00
Gear-driven rotorIdeal for large flat areas, quieter, lower maintenance, currently more popular than impact rotor sprinkler heads$8.00
Rotary nozzleHigh-efficiency, ideal for slopes and clay to prevent run-off and erosion$8.50
Impact rotorCoverage area of 18-50 feet, however less consistent$10.50

Cost to Install Sprinkler System

You will find online sources that say installing a sprinkler system 1 can be a DIY project. However, the amount of research and planning, the necessity of precise measuring and level digging, and specialized tools needed make this a massive undertaking for an amateur. Pros can, in many cases, complete the installation in one or two days. They already know the local ordinances, have experience pulling permits, and have all the nifty gadgets that will make the job a stress free experience for you. While most installers charge per job, the national average per hour cost is between $40 and $100. Sprinkler installation cost does vary significantly from state to state.

Sprinkler System Installation

Preparing to Install a Sprinkler System

There are varying local ordinances, including permitting, municipal watering regulations, and backflow prevention, that need addressing before work begins on a sprinkler project. There is also the possibility that utility lines run beneath your yard. Having a pro that is familiar with all of these issues can save you a lot of time, money, and frustration.

The next step is to map out your sprinkler. A pro will help you determine how many zones will be ideal for your yard. The number of zones is determined by several factors, including obstructions (variety landscaping, sidewalks, driveways, walkways, and sun/shade), sloping of your property, and the gallons per minute supplied.

When the property is all mapped out, the next step is to plan the style and placement of the sprinkler heads. Various sprinkler head styles are used throughout the yard, also depending on landscaping features, walkways and driveways, buildings, corners, and slopes. Within each zone and between each zone, each head's spray will need to overlap opposing heads so that there are no dead zones or dry spots.

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Sprinkler System Installation Cost Factors

Every homeowner's budget and property are different. Therefore, a professional installer will guide you through the specific needs and recommendations for your property. Your particular yard requirements include several factors that will affect the cost of a sprinkler system 1 installation.

  • The number of zones. The number of zones needed to water your lawn adequately will depend on certain factors. These may include landscaping obstructions, non-organic obstructions like driveways and walkways, and the size and slope of your yard.
  • Size of the yard. The size of your yard will affect the number of zones, the materials needed, and, of course, labor hours.
  • Site preparation. Underground sprinkler system costs may be less if homeowners have the installation done before landscaping is done on new construction. Also, existing homes with landscaped yards in areas where the soil is more amenable to trenching will require less labor. Rocky and hard soils, as well as clay, can increase the labor hours associated with installation.
  • Obstructions. Several flower beds, trees, shrubs, bushes, and non-organic obstacles will make the mapping and planning of the sprinkler system more complicated. Additionally, the obstructions require more zones and often require specialized sprinkler head risers ($1 to $5 each), increasing the cost of the irrigation system.
  • Lawn resodding. After the installation, your lawn will need to be repaired or resodded. The cost of resodding a lawn, in whole or in part, depending on the breed of grass chosen, carries material costs averaging 0.20 and 0.80 cents per square foot, with labor costs averaging 0.80 cents per square foot.
  • Plumbing issues. Connecting a sprinkler to your current plumbing system may not be a concern, but if your current system is not sufficient for the size of your yard, you may require a plumber for upgrades. The cost of a plumber may range from $45 to $200 per hour, depending on the job and location.

Varying Water Needs

The division of your property into zones allows each area to receive the precise amount of water it needs. For instance, shrubbery and flower beds need less water than grass. If you were to have your lawn and shrubs in the same sprinkler zone, the shrubs would be getting too much water, or the grass would not be getting enough water. Too much water for plants can be as damaging to plants as too little. Any plant or grass in a particular zone should have the same water needs.

The amount of water needed by specific plants, grass, shrubs, flowers, and groundcover is primarily dictated by their natural habitat. The EPA has WaterSmart recommendations that include choosing native and low water plants, using mulch 2 around beds to reduce evaporation, and grouping plants according to water need.

Ground cover, shrubs, and trees need much less watering. Alternatively, most grasses require roughly an inch of water per week. This amount varies, however, and some drought-resistant species will do well with much less.

If you already have your landscaping in place, your sprinkler installer will suggest the appropriate equipment. If your sprinkler installation is a part of a new landscaping project, the installer will work with you and your landscape designer to install a system appropriate for your plans.

Sprinkler Head Watering Grass and Red Flowers

Sprinkler Water Pressure

Your water supply has two pressure measurements. The first is a static measure, which is the amount of pressure in the system when the water is off. The second, called the working pressure, is measured while the water is running and is the determining factor when choosing sprinkler system 1 components. Most sprinkler systems work within a range of 30 to 50 psi.

The working water pressure coming from your home, for a variety of reasons, may be less than the optimal psi. In this case, your installer will suggest one of several low water pressure sprinkler options that can work with a psi as low as 20.

Contrarily, you may have a landscape design that requires both high pressure and low-pressure heads. In this scenario, a high-pressure sprinkler can be outfitted with pressure-reducing valves to regulate the flow and lower the pressure to certain areas, for instance, bubblers and misters. These pressure-reducing valves can also be installed if you notice that instead of a steady spray, your sprinkler heads are misting. The irrigation components will wear out more quickly with a sprinkler system water pressure that is too high.

Automatic Sprinkler System Cost

Automated inground sprinkler systems 1 ($4,356 - $6,751 average per ½ acre), while quite costly, help conserve water (saving you money on your monthly water bill) and require minimal effort on your part to keep working. Each zone of your yard will get precisely the amount of water that it requires, and you don't have to be available during peak watering hours to lug hoses and equipment around.

Proper watering ensures longevity in your plants’ and grass’. Several options are available, with some systems that can monitor the soil, sense rainfall, and even receive up--to--date weather forecasts to adjust output. This ability to avoid overwatering will save you money and prevent unintentional damage.

Working with a pro to design the ideal sprinkler system for your property will undoubtedly save you time and money, and result in a big give you the property value increase that comes with a beautifully manicured lawn and landscaping.

Parts of a Sprinkler System

Sprinkler systems 1 are actually quite simple, despite what might appear to be an overwhelming number of components. Understanding the role that these parts play will give you a leg up when speaking to your sprinkler system installation pro. For ease of understanding, we can explain the parts by separating them into active and inactive parts.

Active parts of your sprinkler or irrigation system 1 are the ones that control or actively participate in the watering process; for example, various sprinkler heads. Head styles vary based on your system's GPM capability, watering requirements of your particular lawn, and special landscaping needs. An inground sprinkler system’s cost can increase with specialized head needs.

The inactive parts of your system, while equally important, are the supporting cast of your sprinkler system. The piping, fittings, clamps, and drip tubing do not actively assist in the movement of the water; they simply contain the water as it moves through the system.

Sprinkler Head

Sprinkler heads are the strategically placed parts of your irrigation system 1 which release water to adequately cover a specific area. A professional installer will be able to guide you through the various types of sprinkler heads (average $10 each) and your yard’s needs. They will ensure that your lawn will get enough coverage without dead zones or dry spots, and that delicate flowers like nasturtiums and impatiens are treated to a gentle spray or bubbler. It is ideal for the sprinkler zones to have only one type of head per zone.

Sprinkler Electric Valve

Most residential water supplies do not have enough pressure to water entire properties at once, which is another reason most are broken into various zones. Valves on each zone of your sprinkler system open and close independently of each other, at the direction of the master controller, according to the water needed by the particular area. Each valve will receive a charge of 24 volts from the master controller at a preprogrammed time and until the required amount of water for that zone has passed through the system. These automatic valves (average $12 to $48) vary greatly in price depending on their capabilities and materials.

Fitting, Clamps, and Valve Boxes

Several fittings, clamps, and couplings connect and redirect the pipes throughout the zones of a sprinkler system. Requirements for each lawn and landscape design will be different. Valve boxes protect valves while providing easy access for repairs and maintenance.

Sprinkler Backflow Preventer

Backflow preventers, $300 on average and required in many areas, are anti-siphon valves that prevent contaminated water from entering the potable water source.

Sprinkler Controller

While distributing the appropriate amount of water to each sprinkler zone is the primary function of the master controller ($100 to $500), it also monitors the system to ensure that all active parts are in working order. It continually monitors the metrics of pressure and flow and can shut down the entire system in the case of a serious malfunction. Throughout the sprinkler system, sensors 3 communicate with the master controller, and the frequency of sensors throughout the system dictates its ability to pinpoint a problem. There is a wide range of options for controllers, the most expensive offering the most functionality.

Sprinkler Rain Sensor

Rain sensors ($25 to $50) are exactly what they sound like; they detect the amount of moisture already supplied naturally and tell the controller when to decrease the delivery of water to account for rainfall.

Water Source

The water source for your sprinkler system may be public or private (well or pond). The simplest way to supply your irrigation system with water is by connecting it to your local service. However, each state, county, and town has specific regulations regarding the metering of public water use for irrigation, and many regulate the water used from wells and natural sources even though they exist on private property. Backflow is a serious concern when dealing with private wells and water sources.

Sprinkler Pipes

Pipe choice is usually regionally influenced. In colder climates, the more flexible polyethylene 4 ($2 per linear foot) is preferred. It is not as durable as the more popular PVC ($0.50 to $1.00 per linear foot) but may be slightly less expensive.

Sprinkler Wires

Electrical wiring of any kind should be left to the expertise of a professional. Two series of wires are used to run the entire system from the controller box to the sensors 3 and electric valves. The wiring and necessary waterproof connectors will be run through a conduit, or PVC pipe, to protect them from water and pests and placed beneath or several inches to the side of the water pipes to prevent interference when repairs of either are necessary.

Drip Irrigation Tubing

Drip tubing, installed above ground around landscaping elements, is outfitted with water emitters placed against the surface of the soil. This type of irrigation delivers water directly to the roots, eliminating waste through evaporation and damage caused to delicate plants through direct water pressure. Measured in gallons per hour (GPH) as opposed to gallons per minute (GPM), the slow flow of water allows for more controlled water absorption and efficiency.

Sprinkler System Timers

The convenience of sprinkler system timers is well worth the nominal cost. Easily set the timer to engage the system to start and stop automatically, and you guarantee your lawn will get the appropriate amount of moisture without any hassle for you. They are available with a variety of options, including moisture monitoring, zone management, and more.

  • Manual sprinkler timer. At an average cost of $10, a manual timer is as cheap and simple as it gets. Simply set the timer for the time and duration that you want the sprinkler to run, and you are good to go. Unfortunately, these models don’t offer any other helpful options like monitoring of flow or valve function, or multi-zone control.
  • Electronic sprinkler timers. A wide variety of simple electronic timer models, average $20, are available with varying options. They may be programmable for multiple zones, but with limited monitoring.
  • Sprinkler zone timers. Timers that offer the option of simultaneously running multiple-zone timing within one unit. Average cost of $20 to $40.
  • Programmable sprinkler timer. Usually referred to as controllers because they offer so much more than time setting. These systems, ranging in price from $100 to $300, seemingly have no limit to the monitoring options available.

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Sprinkler Replacement Cost

If your sprinkler system 1 is less than 20 years old, it is more likely that replacing a broken component ($75-$500) will be the recommendation over replacing the entire sprinkler system ($5,553). The active parts of your sprinkler system will, over the years, need replacing.

Sprinkler Head Replacement Cost

One of the most common problems is faulty sprinkler heads, which can even affect the water pressure. The majority of sprinkler head replacements are pretty simple and inexpensive (average $10 each), but addressing them sooner than later is critical for maintaining the health of your lawn.

Sprinkler Valve Replacement Cost

At times the sprinkler valves 5 will need to be replaced. The valves open and close to allow the right amount of water to be released for each zone. These parts are vital to the operation of the system and should be replaced immediately to ensure your lawn stays healthy. The cost to replace a sprinkler valve is $60-$275.

Smart Irrigation Systems

The recent advancements in smart irrigation systems 1 ($150 to $350) are almost unbelievable. In a very short time, we have gone from hand watering with a hose, to integration into an all-encompassing smart home system with the capability of regulating up to sixteen separate zones controlled from anywhere on your mobile device.

Today, advanced smart timers connect in real-time to weather reports, or communicate with rain sensors ($20 to $70) and wind sensors ($40 to $100) to adjust their own output. Developers are still working on smartphone irrigation technologies, but there are already some companies with apps.

Leading 6 the pack with its third smart system incarnation is Rachio, with simple controller installation, user-friendly app set up, and 5G internet capability, available in both 8-zone ($250), and 16-zone ($300) versions.

Once programmed with the specifics of your yard, the app's Weather Intelligence upgrade prompts the system to forego watering if it is too wet, windy, or if there is a freeze warning in the forecast. For an additional cost ($100), an integrated leak monitor will detect any leaks in the system and shut down the affected zone(s).

If you are installing a brand new sprinkler system, your professional installer will guide you as to which smart system will best suit your needs. If you would like to add a smart controller to your existing sprinkler system, while they are relatively easy to install, you should check with your sprinkler pro to ensure proper compatibility.

Smart Irrigation System

Efficient Sprinkler Systems

As eco-friendly options rank higher in consumer trends, sprinkler component manufacturers are continually working to advance their products for better efficiency. These ever-evolving products are as good for your wallet as they are for the environment.

Inexpensive rain gauges and sensors are available for as little as $10. On average, most lawns require one inch of moisture per week. When the environment has provided enough water, the system engages an automatic shut-off and won’t resume until necessary. Soil-based moisture sensors ($35 average), similar to rain sensors, communicate current soil conditions to adjust timing and water needs.

Similarly, new weather-based smart system technologies ($250 average) communicate real-time weather information to the system, automatically adjusting output based on moisture or potentially drying winds. These technologies are used in conjunction with various energy-efficient sprinkler heads and drip systems.

Energy-efficient sprinkler heads ($7 to $15) reduce water waste due to wind and poor absorption. Using multiple sprays with lower water flow provides greater, more consistent coverage without over-watering and/or dry zones. Drip systems ($3.50 per square foot), primarily used in smaller areas and with shrubs and flower beds, provide low water flow, preventing waste from run-off and evaporation.

Integrating any of the above options into your sprinkler system will help conserve water and, in the long run, money spent on the water. However, hiring an Irrigation Association certified contractor that partners with the EPA’s WaterSense program is the best way to ensure you get a sprinkler system that is both energy-efficient and ecologically sound.

Sprinkler System Water Usage

According to the EPA’s WaterSense, the average household in the U.S. uses 400 gallons of water per day and landscaping uses a third of the residential water of the entire country, or 7 billion gallons. What makes this number even more extraordinary is that they believe that as much as 50 percent is wasted due to evaporation and overwatering.

The average water usage cost for a household in the United States is $1.50 per 1,000 gallons. Of course, some areas of the country may use significantly more or less water on lawns because of climate and humidity differences. However, regardless of the cost, we should all be doing what we can to conserve this resource.

If you add a weather-based controller to your sprinkler system 1, the EPA estimates that you may cut your water usage by as much as 37 gallons per day. Even more encouraging is that using native plants and grasses can reduce your outside water requirements by 20 to 50 percent.

Sprinkler System Maintenance

Maintaining your sprinkler system is another way to ensure that you are not throwing money away.

During the summer months, you should consider having a professional do a mid-season check-up. Looking for visible signs of malfunction, or potential problems, a professional will swiftly identify small issues that could develop into big problems. This peak-use check-up will cost, on average, $75.

In between regular professional check-ups, you should check out your sprinkler once in a while. You might notice that one of your sprinkler heads is spraying wildly, not spraying at all, or not popping up or retracting when it should. The fix for this may simply be removing debris around the sprinkler head. Or, individual heads may get damaged by weather, lawn equipment, or even errant footfalls.

Sprinkler Winterization Cost

One of the best ways of protecting your lawn sprinkler system is with winterizing. If you live in an area where freezing temperatures are prevalent, having a professional winterize your system will cost around $60 annually. However, many contractors will provide this service with an additional spring tune-up for about $100. Winterizing will help prevent unwanted cracks and leaks throughout the system.

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Sprinkler Repair Cost

Leaks are another common problem that may start as a small irritation and develop into something greater. A leak repair can involve the replacement of a sprinkler head, a section of the inground lines, or a valve box. Always keep an eye out for dry spots or overly soaked areas in your lawn and for any sprinkler heads acting out of the ordinary. The sooner a professional can diagnose the problem, the better it will be for your lawn, sprinkler, and wallet. Also note if the pressure of the system has changed, even slightly by water not being released from even one head. Pressure changes within the system are never ideal and could cause more significant problems in the long run.

Sprinkler System Repair

Enhancements and Improvement Costs

Rainwater Collection System

You may decide to install a rainwater collection system, which will cost, on average, $2,500. In areas where seasonal low rainfall or drought are common, collecting rainwater is a great way to make use of the natural moisture when it’s available and save some for when it’s not. A rainwater collection system can be connected directly to your irrigation system, allowing you to redirect the water from your roof to where it is most useful. Keep in mind that several states have regulations regarding the collection and private use of rainwater.

High-quality Sprinkler (20)

As with many things, spending more money upfront on a more expensive system will save you money on maintenance and repairs in the long run. It is not unusual to pay between $800 and $1,200, or even more for a substantial property, to have high-quality, longer-lasting sprinkler components.

Drain Back Valves

In areas where frequent and prolonged freezes occur, drain back valves may be required. These valves are placed at the end of each line, particularly in lower-lying areas. They will automatically release any standing water when the sprinkler is not in use, preventing damage from unexpected freezes. Also, these make winterizing the system much quicker and easier. Drain back valves cost, on average, $2 to $4 each.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Licenses and permits. It is best to consult a sprinkler system professional about permits, licensing, inspections, and backflow requirements in your area. Every state, county, and city regulates sprinkler systems differently. In almost all cases, you will need a permit if the system connects to city water, and backflow requirements are becoming the norm in most areas.
  • Finding a contractor. A qualified sprinkler installation contractor will have at least five years of experience, the appropriate license for your locality, and adequate insurance.
  • Be aware of scams. Be leery of a contractor that asks for payment upfront. Some states restrict down payments on contracting services to ten percent of the total. In other cases, some contractors may require forty percent. This is up to the homeowner’s discretion, but certainly never pay more than forty percent before the job is complete.
  • Lawn and landscaping modifications. Existing lawn and landscaping may be damaged during the installation of your sprinkler system. However, professional installers have special equipment that is designed to mitigate that possibility. A certain amount of cutting of sod is necessary for the install, but the lawn should return to normal within two to four weeks.
  • DIY. Taking on a sprinkler install as a DIY project will save a homeowner a significant amount of money, but the lack of proper tools, machinery, and expertise will cost a lot in terms of time and frustration.
  • Warranty. Sprinkler systems come with a manufacturer warranty. Workmanship guarantees should be discussed with the installer and secured in writing before the work begins.
  • Time of the year. Depending on your location, the best time of the year to install a sprinkler is typically in the early spring or fall.
  • Homeowners Associations. Depending on where you live, a state may allow HOAs to regulate when and how often you may run your sprinkler system. Also, many locations have regular city or county-wide watering restrictions or may institute them temporarily in the case of drought.
  • Manual sprinkler systems. There are several manual sprinkler systems ($30 to $80 per unit) that are relatively cheap and will prevent you from having to stand in the yard with your hose and a spray nozzle. You will have to keep track of how long the system has been running and move it repeatedly to ensure that the different areas of the yard are adequately watered. With manual sprinklers, you also run the risk of letting the lawn get overly dry due to time constraints.


  • Does a sprinkler system add value to a home?

A high-quality automated sprinkler system 1 that is convenient and easy to use will add to the value of your home. Additionally, a well-maintained sprinkler system will contribute to the curb appeal, which doesn't directly affect the home price but does impact salability.

  • Can I install a sprinkler system myself?

You may decide if it is permitted by local regulations, that you would prefer to save money by installing yourself. However, it is a long and complicated process that requires many hours, planning, and specialty tools and machinery.

  • Do you need a permit to install a sprinkler system?

A permit to install a sprinkler system that taps into the city or county water source is required in most locations.

  • What is the average cost of installing a sprinkler system?

The average cost to install a sprinkler system 1 in the United States is between 0.20 and 0.31 cents per square foot, or $4,356 - $6,751 for a half-acre.

  • How many zones do I need for my sprinkler system?

The number of zones that you need for your yard will be determined by several factors, including how level your property is, the fixed landscaping that is present, and any obstructions like walkways, driveways, and buildings.

  • How deep should a sprinkler system be?

Your sprinkler system should be between 6 and 12 inches deep, depending on the soil.

  • How many sprinklers can I run on one line?

You will have to determine the design capacity based on the size of your yard, the furthest distance in your yard from the main water source, and the working pressure of the water source.

  • How many sprinklers do I need per square foot?

The choice of sprinkler will be the deciding factor. For a fully covered lawn without any dead zones or dry spots, the recommendation is that the spray from one sprinkler should fully overlap the spray from the opposite head. Therefore, the diameter of the sprinkler head spray will dictate the distance between and the number per square foot.

  • How often should grass be watered?

On average, most lawn grasses need between 1” and 1½” of water per week. It is best to achieve this with two or three waterings per week.

  • Is it bad to water grass at night?

Yes. Watering your lawn at night can promote the growth of harmful bacteria and fungus. Predominantly in areas with hotter evenings and high relative humidity, lawns watered at night are susceptible to a condition commonly referred to as “root rot”. A variety of fungus and bacteria in the soil will rapidly reproduce and damage your grass under these conditions. All that being said, watering at night is a better option in arid areas away from the coast.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Sprinkler System 1 Irrigation system: (Also known as Sprinkler system) Set of equipment used to irrigate lawns
2 Mulch: A natural substance derived from plant, animal, or mineral matter that is added to soil in order to make it more fertile
glossary term picture Sensor 3 Sensors: Device that responds to a physical event or change in the environment by emitting an output signal
4 Polyethylene: A resilient, pliable, synthetic resin made by polymerizing ethylene and primarily used for containers, packaging, corrosion-resistant piping, and insulation
glossary term picture Sprinkler Valve 5 Sprinkler valves: Device used to deliver pressured water to the sprinkler heads when watering a lawn
glossary term picture Lead 6 Leading: A naturally occurring heavy metal that is highly toxic to humans, and has been used in paint, gasoline, piping, and other applications

Cost to install a sprinkler system varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources
A sprinkler watering a lawn


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Cost to install a sprinkler system varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources