By midsummer here in Texas you’re probably going to be relying on your sprinklers to keep your lawn looking lush and green. To ensure everything is working correctly, put summer sprinkler maintenance on your agenda. With drought conditions and current water restrictions, it’s important to maintain the efficiency of your sprinkler system. Start by using our checklist for summer sprinkler maintenance.
Test Controls And Review Watering Programs
Start by checking the condition of the timer box and clear away any debris you find, such as leaves and spider webs. Verify that the timer shows the correct time and date, and that it’s programmed correctly for your landscape. Write down these settings and keep them somewhere in case you ever need to reprogram the unit. Install a fresh backup battery in the timer twice a year.
Inspect Sprinkler Heads
Look for rocks, dirt, sand, or other objects around your sprinkler heads. They may block function of the heads or deflect the spray pattern, leading to uneven watering. Grass, ground cover, and dirt can easily create obstructions to your sprinkler heads.
Replace Broken Components
Physical damage to your sprinklers can be caused by lawn equipment or a neighborhood football game. If you notice broken, cracked, or worn components, make sure you replace them right away. They waste water may be watering inefficiently.
Verify The Valves
The valves regulate water flow throughout your system. If they’re not fully functional—or are leaking—you’ll pay higher water bills while your lawn receives less water. Visually check each valve to make sure it actuates properly. Also be sure all manual drain valves are fully closed before you turn on the main water supply valve. If you notice any unexplained soggy portions in your landscape, it may be due to a broken valve.
Minimize Water Hammer
Pipes and valves exposed to the hard knocks of water hammer may be damaged. Water hammering occurs when supply water is introduced too rapidly, surging through the empty pipes under high-pressure. This generates impact forces that are transmitted through the entire system. Always open the main supply valve gradually so the pipes can slowly fill with water.
Have The Pressure Checked
Most home sprinkler systems are made to operate at standard residential water pressure, between 45 and 65 psi. Municipal water pressure is generally much higher than that, but you can install a pressure-reducing valve to reduce it to the correct level. If the pressure-reducing valve is defective or adjusted wrong, water pressure throughout the entire system may be too high. This can damage pipes and valves, causing sprinkler heads to “mist” instead of spray. You can invest in a water pressure gauge to test the household pressure.
Sprinkler damage often happens without your knowledge, which is why summer sprinkler maintenance is so important. It gives you the opportunity to catch these problems before they cost you extra money or damage your landscape.