Cost of a sprinkler system - conventional PVC vs. Lawn Belt
In this report we will compare sprinkler system cost and savings using a DIY system such as Lawn Belt. Before estimating the cost of your project we encourage you to visit our sprinkler design and sprinkler calculator pages so that you can properly count the total length of conduit and verify the total sprinkler coverage required.
Cost factors of a sprinkler system
The overall expense of installing a inground lawn sprinkler can be factored down into 3 primary costs variables:
The cost of all sprinkler parts and connections - also includes sprinkler timers.
Time & Labor
The system cost to have a professional or for a DIY'er your time.
The cost of repairs and sprinkler winterization to prevent frost damage.
The System Cost In Detail
Next lets review in detail each cost factor in closer detail to see the overall expenses.
In order to accurately compare the cost of each sprinkler system we will use a 40'×40' or 1600 square feet.
Cost of materials
Typically in a traditional system you'll need a high grade PVC conduit, Risers, Sprinkler Heads. The cost of a PVC system when installing underground, using these parts will run you approximately 25 cents per square foot. This will included Anti Siphon Valve System, Backflow and a timer.
Custom Lawn Kit Example
With Lawn Belt, a Custom Kit with 3 Rotors will cover approx 4000 sq feet. Even at 3000 sq feet, Lawn Belt is less that 6 cents per square foot. With an optional timer about 9 cents per square foot.
Note: We're are not going to argue that PVC is the conduit of choice for commercial applications such as parks and ball park greens for example, but for medium to large lawn areas, Lawn Belt is far less expensive to install and maintain.
For example, a 40×40 lawn professionally installed with PVC can cost anywhere from $1200-$1600 (approx $400 or 25% of this is sprinkler parts) - this is a conservative estimate and it is best to call for an estimate but this will give you an idea.
Note: For PVC DIY'ers will need to rent a trencher for anywhere of about $150 a day. You'll also need to get permission from your city to dig underground.
In comparison a Lawn Belt System can water a 40×40 square for about $240 with extra Lawn Belt to spare. (Custom Kit With Rotors $180 + $45 for extra LB and coupler and then shipping cost) or about 15 cents per square foot..
See layout example for more
Cost of labor and time to install system
With a PVC system your parts (see above) will consume approx. 25% the total cost of a system The remaining 75% will be in the labor to install the system. If you’re a DIY'er and want to tackle the project, more power to you.
The time it takes to install a single zone in our 40'×40' example varies on your experience anywhere, But if your fairly new anywhere from 10-16 or more hours per zone.
This would also include creating a anti siphon manifold and wiring a timer. This hourly rate (if you are getting outside professional help) does not include trips to hardware store and design/ planning time.
For a beginner, Lawn Belt installs in about 1/4 of this time or less. We estimate 3-4 hours per sprinkler kit depending on the conditions. If you have hard soil type you may want to water thoroughly a few days before installing your system. Additionally, with Lawn Belt you won't need to trench your lawn, as the system installs just below your sod line (1-2 inches underground).
Maintenance Cost (ongoing expenses)
On a conventional PVC system you are also looking at a ongoing expense of $100 per season to have you sprinkler lines blow out before winter. The process involves using a compressor to remove any water in your PVC.
PVC Sprinkler repair will cost you between $25-$40 per hour or you can do it yourself. One of the main disadvantages to a PVC system is finding leaks deep down in the earth. Water will tend to travel so locating a leak could require lots of digging.
On the flip side, Lawn Belt requires nearly zero winter maintenance. We do recommend removing any timers from your faucet and the short garden hose.
Repairing leaks from a damaged sprinkler line will about $25 using our repair kit available in our sprinkler parts section. Since Lawn Belt is a near surface level system, finding and repairing a problem leak takes little time or effort.
We believe that Homeowners will appreciate Lawn Belt's simplicity and ease of installation. With Lawn Belt you won't need to worry about cracking or long-term wear. The conduit is designed to expand and contract during each freeze and thaw cycle.
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