Why You Should Always Consider Using a Sprinkler System for your Garden
Sprinkler systems that water the lawn can be quite a time saver. Hoses and watering cans are not needed as the watering is automated. Proper maintenance and care are needed to keep the sprinklers working throughout the seasons though.
Anyone with experience of these things knows that sprinklers need to be blown out and winterized as the frost begins to appear. This is so the pipes do not freeze full of water and burst. Common signs of a water line break are inoperative sprinkler heads with low to no water flow and large soggy patches in the lawn above where the break occurred.
In the spring, homeowners need to activate their sprinkler system, but it is not as easy as just flipping the on switch. During the springtime thaw, after the threat of freezing temperatures people call up their local landscape company to start up their sprinkler. A sprinkler system starts up easy enough to do yourself if you know what to do.
The following are steps on how to perform a home sprinkler startup. Using these guidelines sprinkler activation can be a simple easy process but if you go in blindly you may find problems. If it seems complicated just call up your local sprinkler expert. In most cases, a simple springtime sprinkler startup is affordable but if one is budget minded they have the option to do it themselves.
Check for Deep Freeze
The first step is to make sure that there is no longer a possibility of a deep freeze. Seasonal insight can be gained from the farmer’s almanac, but in most cases, the weather forecast from a local tv station’s website is suitable for reference.
Shut Off Main Drain Valve
The second step is to make sure the main drain valve is shut off. This valve commonly found beneath the backflow assembly. Look to the outside of the home to find this. The vacuum breaker is located where the water leaves the house and connects to the sprinkler system. Look to ensure that the knobs on the vacuum breaker are shut off as well.
Locate Main Water Pipe
The third step is to locate the home’s main water pipe that feeds the sprinklers, this is usually in the basement of the home near where the backflow assembly is located on the exterior of the house. Upon locating the valve on that water pipe slowly rotate it open.
The valves on the vacuum breaker are all shut so you should hear water start running then stop fairly quickly. At this point inspect everything for leaks that may have developed over the winter season.
Check for Leaks
The fourth step is to go back out to the side of the house and check for leaks connecting to the vacuum breaker and within the backflow assembly itself.
Turn On Slowly
Fifth, after inspection, slowly turn the primary knob which is located nearest to the exterior of the home. This is the water feed to the vacuum breaker. The backflow assembly should then begin filling up with water. Turn the knob on the second valve to open up water to the whole sprinkler system. As water flows, the sprinkler water pipes will get charged with water pressure.
The sixth step is to make sure your batteries are replaced on the sprinkler timer.
Check Overall Performance
Seventh, manually turn on each zone to check and see if water flows as it should. Inspect each sprinkler head as it runs to see if there are any blockages from vegetation or debris. Some sprinkler heads may need replacement due to winter’s freeze and thaw process that causes cracks in plastic parts.
Use a screwdriver for fine-tuning and to ensure that sprinkler heads are covering the desired area of the lawn. Individual zones do need to overlap so dry patches don’t occur.
If an area of lawn begins to develop a dry spot of discolored grass you know that the sprinkler system is not accurate. Contact a sprinkler repair expert to perform an on-site inspection. Usually, a free estimate will be given outlining what needs to be done.