Each spring and fall it’s a good idea to make sure your irrigation system is working properly. Whether you bought a property with an existing sprinkler system or installed one yourself, carefully maintained irrigation systems will reduce problems—ensuring everything works efficiently and correctly when you need them. Let’s take a look at some simple ways to keep your irrigation system in tip-top shape.

1. Open & Inspect Systems in the Spring

Each spring, walk around your property to inspect the irrigation system. Look at each sprinkler heads for damage—such as broken or missing parts or clogged nozzles. Damage can occur to sprinkler heads from lawn mowers, vandalism, improper installation, 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. 

2. Test the irrigation system

During spring activation, and throughout the summer, check for leaks and examine all heads, valves, and controllers for damage. Test each system zone to ensure proper operation. Flush the system to detect leaks, uneven spray, and clogs. 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 inspection time. It’s best to 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.

3. Schedule Springtime Cleaning & Adjustments

Sprinkler heads can easily become sunken or bent during the winter, causing spray to go in the wrong direction. Each spring, adjust and clean the timer, sprinkler heads, filter, controller and direction of spray to be sure you are getting the right coverage and not wasting valuable water.

4. Winterize Systems in the Fall

Prepare your system for the long cold season in Maine. Winterizing your irrigation system before the first freeze is a critical step in preventing damage to pipes or other system components.

5. Annual Maintenance

Hire a professional landscaping company, like Peace of Mind Landscape Construction, to inspect the system annually. A professional will be able to assess if there are any problems with pipes, pressure, filters, heads or the controller.

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