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If you prize having a lush, green lawn, then you know how important regular watering is. Trying to stick to a schedule while reaching all the corners of your property, however, takes time and effort. That’s where an irrigation system comes in. When properly installed, it makes caring for your lawn as easy as turning on the tap.
Inspecting your irrigation system before using it for the first time after winter is an essential step. An issue with your sprinkler system could lead to major damage to your property and your house. Left unchecked, it can lead to a steady pooling of water that can cause major problems.
The following guide will show you what to look for, from faucet to fountain, to ensure that your irrigation system is in proper running order.
Start your inspection at the controller, reviewing the settings from the previous year. Assess whether or not your lawn’s needs have changed and adjust the schedule accordingly. Aim to have the system run either late at night or early in the morning. Not only does this take advantage of off-peak times, but more water will be absorbed by your lawn. Watering mid-day leads to water loss due to evaporation from the sun.
As well, consider any changes that you may have made to your property. If, for example, you’ve recently installed a new deck or shed, adjust the system so that it doesn’t attempt to water these areas.
Take a tour of your feed lines and check that all sprinkler heads are in good working order. Make sure that they’re facing the proper direction and are free from obstruction. Something like a misplaced flower pot can lead to a buildup of water, preventing water from reaching the lawn. Worse, it can increase the likelihood of damage to your sprinkler system as well as your property.
Inspect each head for signs of cracks or damage. Follow all the connections and make sure that everything is still tightly attached. Replace any equipment that needs it using the proper replacement parts.
Your irrigation system will have a backflow preventer so that contaminated water doesn’t flow back into supply lines. Some cities and regions require a certified inspection of these devices – check your local by-laws to know if that applies to you.
The owner’s manual for your system will offer tests that you can perform on your rain sensors. It’s important to do so, as running your irrigation system during rainy weather is both wasteful and damaging to your lawn.
Once you feel satisfied in your checks, run your sprinklers and do a second inspection. There are three things that you’ll want to keep an eye out for.
First is the water pressure. The water pressure levels should be between 40-65 PSI, but you should also have a good idea if the levels are good by watching the sprinklers. Too-low levels prevent proper watering and indicate a leak somewhere in your system. Pressure that’s too high not only makes it harder to control the water distribution but also risks damaging the sprinkler heads.
The second thing to look for is the direction that the water is spraying. Make adjustments as needed to ensure that the entire lawn is getting the correct amount of coverage.
Finally, examine the heads and feedlines for signs of leaks. Now that the sprinklers are working, it’ll be easier to see if there’s any damage to your system. Make repairs as needed.
Having an irrigation system makes it easy to get a healthy-looking lawn. Being able to automate your sprinkler system saves you time and effort while ensuring that your property is well looked after.
The above guide takes you step-by-step through the little maintenance needed to keep your system running optimally. Take the time to make the necessary inspections at the start of every season and you’ll be rewarded with the greenest grass on the block.