Irrigation system maintenance checklist – Maintaining irrigation systems is one of the handiest ways to save wasted water, cut back pollution from run-off and over-irrigation, and improve plant health by applying the proper quantity of water wherever it is used on your landscaping.
A properly maintained irrigation system is important for a healthy field. Clogged and broken mechanical device heads do not solely leave elements of your field high and dry. However, it also can come near the value of your water bill!
At a minimum, a check of the irrigation system should be performed twice seasonally. Once at the beginning of the season, the system is first turned on and again halfway through the season. Ideally, the system should be checked every month.
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Inspect the controller and make sure it’s plugged in and functioning:
Irrigation controllers should be checked at the beginning of each growing season before running the sprinklers for the first time. First, find the manual for the controller.
If the manual has been lost or misplaced, check the manufacturer’s website for downloadable versions or information on ordering one. Becoming at home with the irrigation controller’s manual can create a spring start-up fast and simple. Open the controller’s cupboard and clean out any cobwebs, dirt, or debris.
This is also an excellent time to change the battery and check the wiring for any loose connections. Check all wire connections, including the rain sensor connection, if one is attached. If a rain sensor is not connected to the controller, consider adding one to your irrigation system. A rain sensor is inexpensive, simple to install, and automatically shut off the irrigation system when a significant amount of rainfalls.
Update the time and date
Next, check the time and day showing on the controller and correct them if necessary. This is also the time to set up an irrigation schedule. If the landscape has slopes, sandy, or clay soils, split the irrigation runtime into two or more cycles to avoid runoff or pounding. Also, remember that less water is needed in the spring and fall to keep plants healthy than in the heat of the summer.
Once the irrigation schedule is programmed, examine the system by checking the valves, mechanical device heads, and emitters. Before running the system, remove the last sprinkler head in each line and let the water run for a few minutes to flush out any dirt and debris. Replace the sprinkler head and turn the system on, running one valve at a time.
Sprinkler heads regularly need replacing. Often, a victim of lawnmowers, cars, or just old age, these broken heads can lose thousands of gallons of water each cycle. Heads, also called nozzles, are easy to replace and available at most hardware and irrigation supply stores. Replacement heads should be the same brand and size as others in the zone to ensure spray consistency.
Observe the sprinklers’ spray patterns and position for obvious issues like clogged or misaligned heads. Some mechanical device heads could also be canted, enclosed by grass, or maybe buried. If not appropriately positioned, these sprinkler heads will be unable to apply water efficiently. ! Some sprinklers also have built-in filter screens that should be cleaned and replaced if necessary. Watch for leaks and missing from sprinkler heads that may indicate high water pressure problems. High-pressure problems may be corrected by plumbing a pressure regulator into the sprinkler system. Pressure-regulating sprinkler heads are also available.
It is straightforward to forget the situation of pop-up sprinklers within the landscape, counting on the kind of plants close to them. Ensure that objects, like trash cans and plants, don’t seem to be placed in a very location wherever they hinder a sprinkler (especially once deciding where new plantings are located). If one thing is found before the mechanical device, the irrigation won’t reach its selected path, and a dry spot can kind within the landscape.
Ensure that grass and nearby plant growth do not block the sprinkler spray pattern. To correct this issue, install a little PVC extender below the mechanical device head to lift higher than the expansion obstacle or trim close plants less than the top.
Sprinkler heads are frequently clogged by dirt and debris trapped in the filter or head. A clogged head may have no spray or an erratic spray pattern. Two of the main types of sprinklers are sprays and rotors.
1 Raise and secure the pop-up half (riser) of the mechanical device employing a helper or a soft surfaced clamping device. Use nominal force not to injure the riser.
2 Unscrew the top part of the spray head (turning counter-clockwise) while water is turned off, and remove the filter from the inside of the sprinkler body. Note: To remove the filter from the sprinkler’s body, you may need tweezers or a paper clip.
3 Rinse filter and the spray nozzle off thoroughly.
4 While the spray is dismantled, the irrigation line should be flushed to ensure no other debris is in the system.
5 Replace the filter and the nozzle, ensuring that the spray of water is aimed in the proper direction. Turn on the irrigation and ensure that water spray is reaching the targeted area.
1 The rotor’s internals need to be removed because the small basket-shaped filter is at the bottom of the rotor body. This can usually be performed by unscrewing the top portion of the rotor from the body using counter-clockwise turns.
2 Remove the filter.
3Rinse filter thoroughly.
4While the rotor is dismantled, the irrigation line should be flushed to ensure no other debris is in the system. Use care that dirty water and trash don’t drain back into the open rotor body.
5 Replace filter and nozzle.
6Turn on the irrigation and adjust the rotor’s coverage pattern if necessary.
As with sprinkler systems, flush the drip system before running it by removing the emitters and letting the water run through the tubing for a few minutes to flush out any dirt and debris. Replace emitters and run the system, one valve at a time, to check for problems.
1 Clogged emitters should be replaced. If the system does not have a water filter, one should be installed. ! 2 Check the emitters’ placement. Emitters need to be at the edge of the root-ball on new plantings and moved to the drip line (edge of foliage) of established plants. ! 3 Check for emitters that have popped off tube attributable to air mass and install a pressure regulator is required. !4 Check to see that every one emitter is in place. Missing and broken emitters need to be replaced to keep your system running efficiently.5Look for pinched or damaged tubing and straighten or replace it. Also, make sure that all tubing is attached to the appropriate emitters and that connections are secure.
Make the necessary adjustments and repairs to the system. When this is done, turn the irrigation system manually to make sure it is operating as programmed.
Most mature shrubs and trees do not require supplemental irrigation once established. In other words, rainfall is all they need.
These heads can be shut off or capped to save water. For adjustable spray nozzles, screw the nozzle clockwise until the flow of water stops. For other types, remove the entire irrigation head and screw on a PVC cap.
Leaking Sprinkler Heads
Leaks can occur in sprinklers when seals become worn over time. Often, unseaworthy sprinklers are results of injury that occurred throughout mowing or alternative field maintenance. Cars that accidentally drive over mechanical device heads may also cause massive leaks. Leaks within the irrigation system will generate a vital loss of pressure that causes dry areas within the landscape. Unchecked water loss leads to high water bills and wet fault areas within the landscape close to the leak, resulting in malady and, therefore, weeds’ presence.
But generally, once a large leak occurs, a new head should be installed. Heads are easily replaced by unscrewing the old one and replacing it with a new one. Again, use the same size and brand heads as the others in the zone.
The location of a leak determines how to repair it.
1 Some types of rotors allow for the replacement of the seal inside the sprinkler. In general, once the sprinkler body (both sprays and rotors) has a large leak, the entire sprinkler should be replaced.
2 Many models of sprinklers are available at your local hardware store. Care should be taken to ensure that replacement sprinklers have the same operating characteristics (pressure, throw diameter, arc, etc.) as the damaged sprinkler. Sprinklers will be replaced simply by unscrewing the recent mechanical device and exchange it with a replacement one.
3 If the sprinkler body is located below ground level, the area around it should be dug out to free the sprinkler’s body from the soil. Clean the area where the new sprinkler will screw on so that soil won’t be introduced into the system once the sprinklers are modified. Leaks often develop from broken pipe connections at the base of sprinklers, especially near streets and driveways. Flexible connection kits are available to reduce the occurrence of this breakage. Uses a hand tool once dig around the sprinkler to stop cutting the irrigation line running to the sprinkler. Note: When digging, look out for buried irrigation control cable, which is sometimes installed in the same ditch alongside the piping. It can be easily cut with a shovel, making an additional repair necessary.
Sprinklers should not spray onto hard surfaces like roads, sidewalks, patios, and buildings. The spray radius and arc can be adjusted on most rotor and spray heads. Read manufacturer instructions before attempting to make adjustments. It may be necessary to install a nozzle that has a different spray pattern.
A common problem is incorrectly positioned sprinklers. They can be slightly tilted so that the irrigation is not directed towards the target area. To repair this sort of downside, take away soil far away from the side of the sprinkler, straighten the sprinkler, so replace and pack the soil around the sprinkler body.
Sometimes poor irrigation system design causes problems. The length of the spray of a sprinkler should be considered once coming up with a system.
Suppose spray or rotor kind sprinklers area unit spraying outside of the improved space and also the length of spray cannot be adjusted. In that case, they must get replaced with totally different sprinklers that have more appropriate application radius. The application radius is also affected.
Frequently to create positive, they’re irritating the right space. Modifying the arc and/or the radius of a sprinkler can be a simple repair.
Both the radius and the arc of spray by the pressure in the system. Sprinklers should be spaced so that the sting of the pattern from any sprinkler within the zone can bite its neighboring sprinkler—called “head to move to space.” this can enhance uniform coverage and reduce the occurrence of dry spots.
The arc and/or radius of some sprinklers are adjustable and may be checked can be adjusted on most rotors. The nozzle, a part of the rotor wherever the water stream exits the rotor, is interchangeable inside brands and specific model rotors to change the flow rate and distance of throw or radius.
Small radius changes can be adjusted, but larger changes are made by changing the nozzle opening size. Several nozzle sizes are available from the manufacturer for each rotor. Note: Some rotors will be adjusted mistreatment either a flat-bladed screwdriver et al. will be adjusted employing a tool provided by the manufacturer. Read manufacturer instructions before attempting to adjust rotors.
1The radius or distance water is thrown can be adjusted on most sprayers by turning the small screw at the nozzle’s top. Turning the screw clockwise will reduce the radius; turning the screw counter-clockwise will increase the radius (within the nozzle’s capacity).
2For some spray-type sprinklers, the arc can be adjusted, but not all. Manufacturer instructions provide information on the adjustability of the spray heads. Sprayers nozzles are changed to get the specified pattern—and might are replaced with AN improper pattern.
For example, a 360-degree pattern may have been installed next to a building or sidewalk where a 45, 90, or 180-degree pattern would be correct. Note: Not all manufacturers’ nozzles are interchangeable.
3The spray direction may be twisted out of alignment with the landscaping over time and need to be repositioned. Note: Twist the spray head’s pop-up portion while the irrigation is turned on until the spray is directed toward the landscape.
Nozzles from spray kind irrigation systems will become detached from the sprinkler body over time or discontinue by mowers. When a nozzle is missing, the rest of the system’s pressure will be decreased, causing poor coverage and possibly dry areas. The areas directly around the sprinkler will be wetter than usual, probably resulting in weed growth and/or plant.
Operation Florida law requires a functioning rain sensor on all automatic irrigation systems. A working sensor saves an average of 36,000 gallons of water each year by stopping irrigation after sufficient rainfall. Rain sensors typically need replacing every 3-5 years. Test the sensor monthly during the rainy season by doing the following: 1. using the Manual Program Start setting, turn on any irrigation zone other than the sensor’s location. 2. Using a hose, spray so that the top of the rain sensor is receiving water. If the sensor is low enough, use a cup to pour water into the sensor’s top. The irrigation system should shut off when the preset amount is received. For the greatest water savings, the sensor should be set at no more than 1/4” or 1/2”.
It is necessary to visualize pipe leaks where the irrigation system is working.
These can seemingly be buried underground and will end invisible pools of water or massive wet areas. However, if no wet space seems, the zone has air mass, exploring for a part of the grass that’s considerably greener than the remainder, which could also be wherever the system is leaky. Larger leaks might cause water to be evident on top of the soil surface.
A neighborhood irrigation contractor is often contacted for big leaks that area unit below ground and needs dig. Most residential irrigation systems use white, polyvinylchloride (PVC) pipe material comparatively straightforward to figure with. The tough part of the repair is exposing and improving the broken space and keeping the world repaired clean while creating the repair.
1- Dig the soil removed from the world with the leak unless the pipe leak is on top of ground one. Note: use caution not to cut different pipes.
2- Cut the pipe. Note: For larger pipe leaks below ground, cut the pipe 4–5 inches from each side of the break, for smaller pipe leaks, the cutaway portion of the pipe with the leak. Then Clean the pipe ends of any dirt that collects on the pipe.
3- Clean the pipe ends of any dirt that collects on the pipe. Pipe and couplings should be clean and dry for repair to figure.
4 -Add PVC primer to the pipe ends and conjointly primer to the within of 2 straight couplers.
5- Apply a lightweight coating of PVC pipe cement to finish the top of the pipe’s tips and, therefore, the inside the straight couplers (only on the end that’s aiming to be instantly connected to the pipe).6 Push couplers onto the ends of the PVC pipe until the coupler will not go on any farther.
6- Cut a piece of PVC to fit the length between the two couplers; this length needs to account for the space between the two couplers and the pipe length that fits into each coupler. Note: check that the cut piece of pipe fits by inserting it into the couplers before adding glue.
7-Add PVC primer and pipe cement to one end of the pipe and one coupler, and then push the pipe into the coupler.
8-Add PVC primer and pipe cement to the other end of the cut PVC and the last coupler, and push the pipe into the coupler. Note: Before turning irrigation on, check that the pipe cement has dried totally (approximately one hour). Follow label directions. Once operating with PVC pipe cement, check that to wear gloves.
9-Special, extending-type repair couplings are available that can make the repair job easier. Check your hardware, home improvement, or irrigation supply store for availability and details.
The basic winterization of a sprinkler system is quite simple. The water supply should be turned off at the main valve, and the irrigation controller should be set to the “rain” or “off” setting.
Each valve should be turned on to release pressure in the pipes, and water should be drained from the system to protect any components that could freeze.
Your system may have drain valves that can be opened for drainage, or you may have to blow out the system using air. You may wish to have your irrigation system blown out by an irrigation professional. If you have learned the art of becoming an irrigation professional, you can sell your service by creating a website. Hire 1 digital San Diego marketing agency to market your site to get clients in quick succession.
Consult your local irrigation supply store for a recommendation. The goal of irrigation system maintenance is to create the most efficient irrigation system possible to not waste on the landscape.
While perfect efficiency is impossible to achieve, most irrigation systems can be dramatically improved by regularly following these simple maintenance practices. Examine your irrigation system carefully each spring and several times during the growing season (at least once a month) to keep it operating at peak efficiency. Most importantly, use an irrigation schedule that accounts for plants’ changing needs over the growing season.
irrigation system maintenance checklist conclusion
In the article, I tried to give all the important points to keep your irrigation system maintained.
Even if you are not a professional, maintaining your irrigation system will save you money in the future and keep your garden green and blooming.
Good luck, friends!
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