Lower Mainland: 604-421-4555 | Van Isle: 250-797-1344 |  Sunshine Coast: 604-741-6207 | office@universitysprinklers.com | 中文

Lower Mainland: 604-421-4555 | Van Isle: 250-797-1344 | Sunshine Coast: 604-741-6207   office@universitysprinklers.com | 中文

Have you ever wondered what all the components of your irrigation system are called?

Just what is an irrigation backflow preventer, anyway? And what does a rain sensor do? Well, here is an irrigation terminology primer to keep you “in the know”:


Used to move water from one location to another. There are a number of different sizes and types of pipe: Schedule 40, Class 200, Swing Pipe, & Polybutelene Pipe.

PVC Solvent Cement, Primer, & Teflon Tape

Used to join pipe and fittings together.

Water Proof Connectors

Used to join wire together for a watertight connection.

Irrigation Sprinkler HeadSprinkler Heads

Used to displace the water under pressure. Available in pop-up and fixed models as well as moving and stationary. There are a variety of types to choose from based on the size and conditions of the area to be watered. The two most common types are rotor style heads (moving) and mister, or spray, heads (stationary).


Used to: join pipe, change the direction of pipe, & allow attachments to pipe (e.g.: sprinkler heads).

Irrigation ValveElectric Valves

Used in conjunction with the electronic timer to turn on and off water to various zones.

Valve Boxes

Used to house electric valves, backflow preventers, and PRVs to enable
underground access and location.

Irrigation TimerTimer

The “brains” of the system. The user programs start times, duration, etc. into the timer and it operates the electric valves based on the program.

Rain Sensor

Rain CheckThis device monitors rain and suspends the timer’s operation of the electric valves if enough rain has fallen.

Irrigation Backflow Preventer

backflow prevention valvesThe irrigation backflow preventer is an important device which protects drinking water from contaminated water in the sprinkler system by only allowing water to flow into the system. Its installation is mandated by the applicable municipal jurisdiction. Learn more about Backflow Prevention here.

Pressure Reduction Valve (PRV)

Used to reduce the water pressure supplying a sprinkler system when it exceeds manufacturer’s specifications.


So, now you know, and you can “talk the talk”. At University Sprinkler Systems, we LOVE talking irrigation. Give us a call today at 604-421-4555. After all, it is probably time for your yearly irrigation backflow preventer inspection, no? All municipalities in Metro Vancouver have a law that all backflow preventers must be tested yearly.