Sprinkler watering lawn grass

Efficient sprinkler systems use a minimal amount of water.

Many Americans who appreciate a luscious, full lawn throughout the spring and summer turn to sprinkler or irrigation systems. To perform at peak performance, they will require attention before being open for the year.

If you don’t have one but are considering adding it to your yard, professional installation is the most practical option. An expert will prepare trenches while ensuring utility lines aren’t compromised and correctly install needed components like piping, controllers and valves.

When the ice and frost are gone, here are some ways to prepare your sprinkler or irrigation system for its busy season.

Welcome Spring

Before you can begin using your sprinkler system this spring, it’s important to ensure the winter weather is gone and temperatures will remain steady. According to the group Direct Energy, attempting to allow water to run while the ground is still frozen could result in busted pipes during the startup process, or hours later. You can test the condition of the ground below by digging at least a foot into the soil in an area away from the underground tubing. If you strike frozen dirt, plan to delay the de-winterizing project.

Analyze the Control Panel

The brains behind your irrigation system are typically installed outdoors. Make sure you follow the directions explained by the installer and confirm settings are accurate for time, date and zones. You should also check the integrity of backup batteries if your sprinklers rely on them. If you are concerned about their performance or age, visit a battery specialist in your area and have them tested to determine how much life they have left.

Clean Sprinkler Heads

Depending on the number of sprinkler heads you have, this may prove to be the most time-consuming portion of the entire process. Analyze each component for signs of damage and replace the parts before attempting to engage the system. Use an old toothbrush to effectively clean each nozzle to ensure they distribute water evenly to their designated zones. Make sure valves are closed after cleaning, except the nozzle farthest from the main water source, it should remain open to allow air to escape during startup.

Opening the Main Valve

With the pre-maintenance performed, slowly open the main valve until you can hear water begin to flow. Allow this to steadily fill into the main line before slightly opening the valve every few minutes. Doing this too quickly can lead to expensive errors like busted pipes or valves.

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