It’s that time of year again!  Time to make sure all of your lawn and garden tools and equipment are working properly.  Carefully maintained tools and equipment, especially irrigation systems, need to be checked annually for problems so they work efficiently and correctly when you need them. Whether you bought a house with an existing sprinkler system or installed one yourself, there are certain steps each spring and summer that you should take to ensure that it is maintained properly.  Let’s look at some tips for maintaining your irrigation system.

  • Inspect – Each spring, walk around your property to inspect the irrigation system.  Look at each sprinkler head for damage such as broken or missing sprinkler heads or clogged nozzles.  Damage can occur to sprinkler heads from lawn mowers, vandalism, improperly installed heads, and normal wear and tear. Clogged nozzles occur as a result of debris entering the irrigation system, a dirty water source, and normal wear and tear.
  • Testing – Check for leaking, uneven spray and clogs by testing/flushing the system.  Leaks can occur as a result of weather damage (freezing and thawing), damage from shovels and other sharp tools, vandalism, tree roots, and normal aging of the system.  Leaks from valves and pipes may be large and very obvious.  Smaller leaks may not show up immediately and will require some detective work.  Replace or repair damaged valves and pipes with the help of a professional. Clogged nozzles occur as a result of debris entering the irrigation system, a dirty water source, and normal wear and tear. Flushing the system and installing screens to block debris could be a solution depending upon your system.
  • Cleaning and adjustments – Sprinkler heads can easily become sunken or bent during the winter, causing spray to go in the wrong direction.  Adjusting and cleaning the timer, sprinkler heads, filter, controller and  and direction of spray to be sure you are getting the right coverage and not wasting valuable water.
  • Yearly maintenance – Hire the irrigation company that installed the system or another professional landscaping company to inspect the system annually.  They will be able to assess if there are any problems with pipes, pressure, filters, heads and controller.

Irrigation systems are essential elements that help lawns thrive.  Regular maintenance can ensure that irrigation systems run as efficiently as possible.