Water Conservation

Irrigation System Maintenance: Spring Start Up

David Hillock

Now is a good time to prepare your irrigation system for the season. Before turning it on make a visual inspection of the sprinkler heads. Check for broken heads or covered up heads; free heads, make height adjustments, and be sure spray heads are still in the correct position. Check all valve boxes for rodent nests and debris.

Make sure there is power to the controller and set stations for proper run times.  Turn the main water source on slowly to fill the system.  If you have manual drain valves, leave them open to allow air to escape as the pipes fill with water; when water starts coming out the drain valves, close them.  Turn on each station manually and check for leaks, all heads are providing adequate coverage to their area, and are closing properly.  If the system is not running properly, additional troubleshooting should begin and repairs made.  If major issues are discovered, an irrigation specialist may be needed to fix the problems.

If you don’t already have a rain sensor on your system, now would be a good time to install one. Replacing backup batteries could also be done at this time.

Making sure the system is running properly and efficiently now will ensure your landscape plants will be healthy going into the growing season.