Inspecting your system and catching problems early will save you money while helping to ensure your home is surrounded by a lush, healthy landscape throughout summer and rest of the year. When properly maintained, lawn sprinkler systems can last up to 20 years.
High-quality sprinkler heads tend to need replacement after 10 years or so, meaning you can expect them to stay with you for half of the system’s lifespan. On the other hand, cheaper sprinkler heads may only last two or three years.
Sprinkler System Inspection: 6 Steps Following these steps will make certain you don’t miss a thing when you’re preparing your lawn sprinkler system for warmer weather. 1. Check the water meter to make sure your water is on. This one may seem obvious, but some homes have a dedicated water system for their sprinklers. If your sprinkler system runs on its own water supply, double check the meter to make sure it’s on. To turn on the water supply, twist the valves at the water source counterclockwise. If the water supply uses a ball valve, turn the lever so it’s parallel to the pipe. This allows water to flow through to your sprinklers again. 2. Turn on the backflow device and isolation valve. The backflow device should also be turned on. Not all systems have an isolation valve, but if yours does, make sure this is turned on as well. If this is your first time turning on the system for the year, turn these devices on slowly to prevent damage to the main line. 3. Check the leak indicator on your water meter. The leak indicator on your water meter will spin if there are any leaks in your system. If you see this during your inspection, you’ll know that there is an issue somewhere in the line that requires your attention. 4. Test the different areas of your system. Lawn sprinkler controllers and interfaces will be slightly different depending on the make and model. Generally, you can make sure your system is set up correctly for your needs. Next, run each area of your system for a few minutes before completing the next step. 5. Do a walkthrough of your yard. You’ll want to walk around your property to make sure there are no problems. The major things to look for are: Broken, clogged, or missing sprinkler heads Sunken heads that have dipped below ground High grass or vegetation around the sprinkler heads Heads that are slanted and not straight High or low water pressure Overspray and runoff Broken pipes or fittings You should also check your valve box and make sure there is no standing water inside. This is a clear sign of a problem in the system. 6. Check the drip system. Inside the drip system, you’ll find the filter for your water line. Make sure this is clean and replace it if needed. Once you’ve checked the filter, find the flush at the end of the drip system and open it. You can run the water for a few minutes to make sure there are no obstructions, then close it again. Inspecting your lawn sprinkler system before the season begins is essential, but we also recommend regular inspections throughout the year to ensure everything is running smoothly.
For most common sprinkler systems, you simply need to turn off the water, dig up the sprinkler head, and disassemble it by turning it counterclockwise to unscrew it. After that, you can clean both the head and the attached screen basket in a bucket of water.
If you’re having problems with water pressure, system valves are the first thing you should check. You’ll want to make sure the valves are completely open.
Line leaks can be a serious problem for lawn sprinkler systems. Once you’ve identified a leak, turn off the system and completely. If you feel comfortable in your abilities, you can then cut out or remove the damaged section and fix it using two clamps and a slip coupling. Slide the clamps on the two ends of line, insert the coupling, and then tighten the clamps. Turn the system and water back on to ensure the line is no longer leaking before burying the line again.
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