Irrigation System Maintenance

Shaina Oliphant
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A properly maintained irrigation system is vital for a healthy lawn. Clogged and broken sprinkler heads not only leave parts of your lawn high and dry, but can also drive up the cost of your water bill! So be sure to regularly walk around your yard to check up on your sprinklers and make the following fixes when necessary.

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Materials:

 

Adjusting the sprinklers

Carry a notepad to jot down the locations and conditions of sprinkler heads. This will help you remember which spots to follow up on.

  • Start your checkup by scanning the lawn. Look for any patches that seem to be abnormally green or barren, and make a note of them.
  • Test each of your zones, and observe your sprinklers to determine which ones need to be adjusted. Some sprinklers might be stuck in position or clogged.
  • Look for any sprinklers that failed to deploy and ensure that grass isn’t obstructing their spray path. Lightly wiggle the sprinkler heads and try running the sprinklers again.
  • Armed with a trusty screwdriver, adjust and direct sprinklers to evenly water the grass. The spray of water should not be hitting sidewalks or fences.
  • Purchase stationary shrub sprinkler heads for densely planted areas. These are on risers, so they can irrigate without obstruction from surrounding plants.

Cleaning and flushing your irrigation system

When performing your annual cleaning to remove dirt and debris from water pipes and sprinkler heads, make sure to bring your toolbox along for the task.

  • Turn off the water for the first zone. Using a wrench, remove the sprinkler heads and nozzles.
  • Turn the water back on. Let it run until the water runs clear from each of your openings.
  • After you turn off the water, carefully take apart the sprinkler heads with a screwdriver.
  • Rinse the components, reassemble and reattach the heads to their openings.
  • Run the sprinklers a final time to ensure that everything is in working order. Adjust the sprinklers as desired.
  • Repeat these steps with your other zones.

Taking care of your irrigation system is easier than it sounds, and doing so will prevent damage to your system in the future. A little maintenance can really go a long way.

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