Maintaining your irrigation system is the most effective way to reduce water waste, reduce pollution from run-off and over-irrigation, and improve the lawn and field health by applying the correct amount of water where it can be utilized by the landscape.
A poorly maintained irrigation system means that much of this water never reaches its intended source, is lost in runoff and evaporation which at the very least decreases efficiency and at the very worst can lead to unhealthy plants and lawns.
At a minimum, a professional contractor should check the irrigation system at least twice a season. Once at the beginning of the season when the system is first turned on and again halfway through the season. However, it would be better if the irrigation system was checked on a monthly basis.
The basics of irrigation maintenance
- Inspect the controller and make sure it functions properly
- Inspect the mainline
- Check for leaks
- Check the connection on all the wires
- Change the schedule to reflect the current season and irrigation needs of the landscape
- Turn on each zone and look for system damage
- Identify any repairs needed
Examples of System Damage and Problems
There are many different types of irrigation maintenance problems. Here are only a few of the more common ones.
Leaks can occur as a result of a change in weather temperature, damage from tools, or tree roots. Leaks from valves and pipes may be large and very obvious, but smaller issues most likely won’t be detectable if you don’t do some routine maintenance.
Over time, dirt and debris can wear out the wiper seal resulting in leaks around the top of the spray head. If the spray head consists of a single unit, the entire head must be replaced; however with some spray heads it is possible to screw off the top of the sprinkler head and replace.
Clogged nozzles occur as a result of debris entering the irrigation system, a dirty water source, and normal wear and tear. To fix these, you need to flush the insulation system and install screens on sprinkler heads, and sometimes replace the clogged nozzles.
It is not uncommon for sprinkler heads to sink over time, especially in marshy or soft soil. Even when the soil is packed, the weight of lawn mowers and other heavy equipment can cause the heads to settle. It is important to fix these problems as the heads won’t work properly.
High pressure causes problems such as misting from spray heads and rapid rotation of impact rotors resulting in poor coverage and potential damage to the irrigation system. Installation or adjustment of a pressure regulator or installation of pressure regulating heads can eliminate the problem.
A working irrigation system is an important part of keeping a healthy lawn and landscape. Make sure your system is always working properly with Graeme’s Irrigation. All of our work is fully guaranteed. We are also a proud member of the Industrial Irrigation Association of British Columbia (IIABC), the Better Business Bureau (BBB), as well as the Victoria Chamber of Commerce.