Spring is the time to get your lawn and landscaping ready for the summer season. If you have an automatic irrigation system this is the time to check for potential problems and get them corrected before they become bigger issues. Here's some maintenance tips to help get your spring growing season off to a well-irrigated start.
Manual Drains Closed
The first thing you want to do is to check all your manual drains. If you completed a proper winterization of your sprinkler system late last fall, these will all have been left open. Be sure to check each one individually to avoid flooding an area unintentionally.
Main Valve Check
Next step is to open your main valve gradually to allow it to slowly fill up with water between the piping and your cross connection, or backflow valve. Err on the side of caution when completing this step.
If you open your main valve too quickly it will create such an initial pressure it can create leaks and blow out some of your sprinkler gaskets. Once the water has filled the system, shut it down so you can check for, and rid your irrigation lines of air pockets.
Pressurize Your Mainline
Pick one of the sprinkler heads that is farthest away from your main water source. Open the control valve on one of these heads to allow trapped air in the irrigation pipe to escape through the sprinkler head.
This step is referred to as pressurizing your mainline and is an important procedure because it will release air pockets from your irrigation lines, plus small amounts of tiny particles that can plug up your sprinkler heads.
Now that you have your system pressurized you are going to check each of your zones individually. Running every zone for at least 5 minutes while you inspect each individual sprinkler head is recommended procedure.
This will help you find any leaks or damaged heads that have happened during the winter months. You will want to shut down at the first sign of a leak, and also be prepared to fix any broken or malfunctioning heads. If you are not skilled in these areas of irrigation repair, it is best to consult with an irrigation professional.
Also during this zone check phase you will inspect your spray patterns to adjust any heads that have been knocked out of alignment. Be sure to pay close attention to sprays that are blocked by plants, plus adjust any spray patterns that water unnecessary areas such as sidewalks or driveways.
This is quick three step maintenance checkup will help get your automatic sprinkler system ready by places like ATZ Irrigation Inc for the hot summer months when it will need to work to perfection. Taking a few precautions can help you avoid a major breakdown when you really need the system to be working correctly, plus make the most efficient use of your water.