10 Things to Consider When Preparing Your Sprinkler System for Summer

preparing your sprinkler system for summer

There’s not much irrigation that goes on during winter and fall, but when summer is approaching, you need to ready your sprinkler for the intense work.

Your lawn needs regular watering during warm weather to keep it green and lush throughout the summer. If you’ve not used your sprinkler for long, you must check whether it’s fully functional before the summer. A damaged system could mean more than parched grass—it could lead to costly repairs.

At Environmental Designers Irrigation, we are here to ensure you have a sprinkler system that is up and running and dependable for all those hot summer days. Our mission is to support your irrigation system. Our experts will carry out an in-depth analysis of your lawn sprinkler systems, check for any problems, and repair or replace damaged parts. But often, there are steps you can take at home to make sure your lawn sprinkler is ready and working.

Here is a list of things you need to keep in check to have a fully functional irrigation system that adds value to your home.

Repair Nozzles and Heads to Get Full Watering Coverage

You might notice some dry spots in your lawn when you turn on the sprinkler. These spots result from damaged equipment that prevents water from covering the entire area.

Sprinkler heads can get damaged when a lot of debris accumulates in the system. Sprinkler heads, rotors, and nozzles also can break when vehicles, lawnmowers, or utility workers step on them. Even if these parts seem to be in good shape, they might be leaking when the system starts running.

repair nozzles

If your system has been sitting unused for a while, you need to test run the system. This process will ensure all the parts are intact and working correctly. You also need to clear all the roots and dirt that might have clogged the heads.

Also Read: Why Irrigation Audits Are Important For Your Wallet And The Environment?

Check for Slow Leakage or Skyrocketing Utility Bills

Your irrigation sprinkler should not leak water when the system is off—if it does, your utility bills could skyrocket!

A quick inspection around your yard will help you to notice any form of leakage. If you find a leakage in one of the nozzles after switching off the system, this is an indication of a leaky zone control valve.

check for slow leakage

Call our licensed irrigation experts at Environmental Designers Irrigation to correct this problem for you.

Sprinkler Failing to Turn off and Costing You Money

Automated irrigation systems work according to a given schedule set by the user. When the system is running, it should shut down automatically after some time. A failure to do so could lead to expensive bills and flooding.

After a harsh winter, you might experience a problem with one sprinkler head running when you have turned off all the others. This failure is an indication of a mechanical error or a scheduling mistake in the controller.

sprinkler failing to turn off

Switch off the controller to distinguish the cause of the problem. If the system shuts off, then you can conclude that the controller is the cause of the problem.

If the system continues to run after shutting off the controller, shut off the water from the primary source. Once you’ve stopped the watering, call a qualified technician to check the system.

Protect Your Home and Check for Underground Water Leakage

If you notice puddles, sunken ground, or soggy spots, there might be underground water leakage. The situation could spell disaster.

sprinkler system

Switch the sprinkler on and observe whether any water is bubbling or flowing from the suspected place. If you notice any of these signs, there’s a high possibility of a burst underground pipe, which can damage your home’s foundation. Call your irrigation technician to have the problem fixed immediately.

Inspect the Rain Shut-Off Device

Most automated irrigation systems come with a rain shut-off device. This device sends signals to the controller so that the sprinkler skips its watering schedule when it rains.

The shut off device uses a small cork disc that expands when wet and clicks a button to make the system skip its next watering cycle. This feature helps to prevent water wastage.

You want to inspect this system to ensure that it is still in good working condition. Otherwise, you risk unnecessary water usage.

Assess the Sprinkler Head Height for Optimal Watering

The position of your sprinkler heads affects the quality of irrigation.

asses the sprinkler head

If you position the head too low, the water won’t reach the intended spots. Instead, you will experience problems such as flooding around the area of the sprinkler. If the head is positioned too high, there’s a high chance of damaging the sprinkler.

Remove the sprinkler from the ground and set it to the recommended height before reconnecting it.

Check for Pressure Surges and Prevent Costly Repairs

Water pressure can damage valves or weaken pipes. Subjecting the valves and pipes to rapid pressure could damage them and cost you a lot during replacement or repairs.

If you’ve not switched on your irrigation system for some time, turn on the water slowly until you hear the water moving. Wait for the sound to die before turning the water to maximum capacity.

Check Whether the Ground Has Completely Thawed

asses the sprinkler head

You need to ensure the ground has thawed up to 12 inches before turning on your sprinkler. Failure to do so might cause the underground pipes to break. Use a shovel to observe the condition of the ground before turning on the system.

Fix Low System Capacity and Get a Fuller Spray

Low pressure in your sprinkler causes the heads not to reach the intended area of your yard. This problem might be the result of poor lawn sprinkler installation. Another cause is when you change the original design of the irrigation system by adding new rotors or heads.

low system capacity

If you have added extra heads to your sprinkler, the best solution is to replace them with lower volume nozzles. Although this will help you to cover the entire lawn, you might need to increase the watering duration.

Seek professional assistance if you are still having problems with low capacity.

Calibrate the System to Protect Your Lawn

Most homeowners either water their lawns too much or too little. This issue is usually the result of poor calibration of the irrigation system.

Ideally, the system should provide approximately 1″ of water per week during the middle of the summer, if it is not raining.

Ready to Prep Your Sprinkler System?

Whether you want professional sprinkler system installation, repair, or replacement, Environmental Designers Irrigation is here for you. We offer free estimates and quality sprinkler services to help you save water and money. We are your full-service irrigation company. Call us on 732-363-2775 to speak to one of our agents.

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Guy Virone