Irrigation System Maintenance: Don’t Miss These Steps
While the proper installation of an irrigation system is crucial to its performance, the importance of irrigation system maintenance can’t be overstated. Think about it like this: You purchase a new car but never change the oil. As time goes on, the engine will start to feel the effects of this missed maintenance step, running less efficiently and eventually wearing itself out.
To avoid situations where you’re treating problems (not preventing them), irrigation system maintenance needs to be made a priority from the start. With a year-round maintenance plan in place for their sprinkler system, homeowners can get the most out of their initial investment and save headaches down the road.
Year-Round Maintenance for Your Sprinkler System
Step #1: Start-Up Inspection
It’s no secret that winter can be harsh on your landscape. So when you start up your irrigation system in spring, you’ll want to be sure that the system is in proper working order. In addition to checking the system controls and settings for accuracy, this includes a visual inspection of the sprinkler heads and testing of individual zones to maintain efficient operations.
Tip: If the ground is still frozen, do not turn on your system until your soil is frost-free. That way, there is no risk of exposing pipes to freezing temperatures and risking damage.
Step #2: Backflow Testing
When water moves into your irrigation water supply instead of out of it, chemicals and pests can be introduced into your water line (including your drinking water supply) — an issue known as backflow. This is often caused by back siphonage, a scenario where water is pulled backwards due to a decrease in pressure in the supply end of the water system.
To prevent backflow, a test needs to be performed to show that a sprinkler system’s backflow preventer is working as it should. Performed by an approved inspector, this step in irrigation system maintenance ensures that you and your neighbors avoid health hazards.
Step #3: Routine Check-Ups
Sprinkler heads could become misaligned. Hoses could spring a leak and lead to dead spots. The truth is that any number of issues can pop up in an irrigation system over time, and there need to be proactive measures in place to defend against them.
That’s why routine summer checkups are integral to irrigation system maintenance. Adjusting times on the controller and inspecting the sprinkler system will confirm that all sprinkler heads and zones are functioning as intended.
Step #4: Winterization
Just as other portions of your landscape need to be prepped for fall, the same can be said for an irrigation system. When the air temperature drops below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a risk that the water inside the pipes will freeze. To prepare for these conditions, a sprinkler system should be drained to prevent freezing, with pressurized air blown through each zone to drain excess water.
By joining the Green Impressions Irrigation Club, you can leave your irrigation system maintenance up to an experienced team of professionals. Join the club today to protect your investment!