Maintaining an Irrigation System

sprinkler system

A tremendous amount of water is used for irrigation of home and business landscaping making it extremely important that the system be properly maintained to avoid wasting water.  If there’s a leak in your irrigation system not only will it cost you money in wasted water, but it won’t give you the intended results of a well-watered lawn and garden.  Most manufacturers of irrigation systems recommend a full inspection at least twice per season.  At the minimum the system should be inspected at the beginning of the season and again at roughly the half way point.

Before you even turn the system on, check the water pressure.  Sometimes the water pressure will change over the course of a year and require adjusting.  The ideal setting is 40-65psi.  Next check for broken or missing sprinkler heads.  Certainly if the heads aren’t functioning properly you’ll end up with issues.  You’ll likely have areas of your lawn that aren’t watered at all, and other areas that get significant over watering.  If you find a problem with a sprinkler head, replace it right away.

When you initially start up your system check for leaking valves or pipes.  This can be a result of the freezing and thawing during the winter months, or just regular wear and tear.  While some leaks are obvious others will require a closer look so be sure to do a thorough job with the inspection.  Replace or repair any leaking valves or pipes.  If you have trouble locating the source of a leak or replacing components contact All Star Plumbing and Restoration for assistance.

Once any leaks have been addressed, it’s time to give the system a test run.  During this initial run, walk around the area and make adjustments to the sprinkler heads to ensure they are positioned at the proper angle.  The heads can get easily knocked around by foot traffic or the lawn mower and will typically require some adjustment.  Also check to make sure that the sprinkler head is clearing the height of the grass.  Over time the heads will settle into the ground and may require adjustments such as changing to a taller sprinkler body or installing risers.  This is also a good time to make sure none of the sprinkler heads have become clogged with dirt or debris.

Finally review your system settings.  Make adjustments to the duration and frequency of watering based on the needs of the plants, the exposure to sun for each zone, the recent weather, and the air temperatures.  Doing basic maintenance on your irrigation system can save you money, reduce pollution from run-off, maintain the health of your plants and reduce your water consumption. It’s worth the time it takes to get the best results possible.

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