Caring for our home’s lawns and plant life has become an easy task with an efficient sprinkler system. Though very useful, an issue with the sprinklers can quickly turn stressful and expensive. We have tips that are not only educational but will help avoid outrageous service bills.
If you plan to stall your own irrigation system, there are a few things you should do before you dig anything up. First, walk around the property and familiarize yourself with any obstacles and potential problem areas. Then, call your local utility company and request they mark their boundaries. The last thing you want to do is dig into utility lines! Next, call your water company and find out the capacity of your water system to plan efficiently. You can also discuss with them (if you don’t know) the most convenient water source, what is the best water-meter to use for your set-up and the amount of water pressure needed. Once that is settled, safely install your sprinkler system!
Know what kind of sprinkler heads you have
There are two standard types of sprinkler heads: fixed and rotary. Fixed heads spray in all directions and the nozzle installed determines the radius of the water throw. Rotary heads rotate streams of water back and forth or in circular formations. When shopping for a sprinkler head, be mindful of their spring retraction, wiper seal pop-up height, and rat trap. Mixing them can cause problems if you aren’t mindful of the following tips.
Make sure sprinkler heads aren’t clogged
Sprinklers head clog up due to dirt, lawn clippings and rain debris collected when the devices pop up and down. Luckily, clogs are easy to identify and clean. The spray will be interrupted or the sprinkler will leak water and create a pool around it. Before you do anything, turn off your irrigation system. Then you can pick out the content with wiring or a brush or detach the heads and soak them.
Water the lawn during the day
Watering the lawn before 10 a.m. is the best time because it’s cooler and winds tend to be calmer, which allows the water to soak into the soil and the grassroots can absorb it before it can evaporate. If you must water in the evening, do it between 4 and 6 p.m. This should give plenty of time for the grass blades to dry before nightfall. A wet lawn in the evening may never dry and this could lead to health problems like mildew production that start from the sprinkler heads and overwater damage.
Maintain water pressure
Maintaining your sprinkler system’s water pressure is very important, especially if you have different types of heads. Low water pressure won’t do much for your lawn and high water pressure can cause all sorts of damage. You can determine the pressure rate by simply watching for the sprinklers effectiveness and how quickly they can build up an inch of water.
Tree roots can get in the way and become a time-consuming problem when it comes to installing a sprinkler system. They are both avoidable but can add a degree of frustration to the project. Check the surrounding area and figure ways to avoid roots for your lines and heads.
Check for pipe leaks and breaks
This tip isn’t the easiest to do because it calls for complete awareness of your yard and how much water is used monthly. If your water bill is unusually high, good chances it’s from a sprinkler issue. Puddles and dysfunctional sprinkler heads are clear signs there might be a leak. The sooner you tend to the problems, the better because a complete overhaul is expensive and will change your garden forever.
Install a rain sensor
Depending on how vast your lawn is, keeping it healthy can be expensive and overwatering is easy to do. To save money and conserve water, install a rain sensor. Keep in mind that most states actually require them. They will automatically turn your sprinkler system off if there has been significant rainfall.
Have a professional service do annual checks
Having your sprinkler system checked out by a professional is important because heads fall out of alignment as the year progresses and nozzles wear out over time. Plus, companies that manufacture sprinkler systems come out with new and more efficient spray heads and rotors all the time, which the business you bring in can explain further and help with those updates because installing more efficient equipment will decrease your water usage and chances of new issues.
If you’re on a budget and don’t want to worry about some much infrastructure, use portable sprinklers. There are several kinds available, all are easy to use and store and choosing this option will give you more control and the opportunity to experiment to make sure your lawn and plant life are getting enough water.