Automatic sprinkler systems, also known as irrigation systems, provide many benefits for homeowners, including convenience, time saving, cost saving, consistent landscape hydration and even enhanced resale value. If you have one of these systems, regular maintenance is key to optimizing the performance of the system so you can enjoy these benefits for many years to come.
There are several steps you can take to make sure your system is providing the most efficient and reliable service, including:
- Contractor Maintenance: Prior to the start of the watering season, it is recommended to have a certified irrigation system inspector check your system to make sure it is working as designed. You many want to have them visit again toward the end of the season for winterization of your system depending on the climate in your area.
- Regular System Inspections: You should check your system every few weeks to make sure all stations are operating properly and to identify leaks, broken lines, clogged sprinkler heads and misdirected sprinkler heads. Identifying issues early will allow you to address any problems immediately and avoid costly repairs later. Issues to look for include:
- Uneven Watering: If one area of your lawn has puddles and another zone is completely dry, it could indicate that there is a leak or a misdirected sprinkler head.
- Clogged Sprinkler Heads: These should be repaired or replaced immediately.
- Blocked Sprinkler Heads: If the sprinkler heads are spraying areas other than landscaping clear away any obstructions and readjust as needed.
- Pooling and Run-Off: If an area is getting over saturated or the sprinkler is shooting water onto your driveway or walkways you should adjust your sprinkler heads to reduce water run-off which wastes water and can also send pollutants into storm drains.
- High-Pressure Misting: High pressure can cause the water from your sprinkler heads to form tiny droplets becoming a mist which will hang in the air and be carried away by the wind instead of watering your lawn and landscaping. If you notice misting, install a pressure device to regulate water pressure.
- Setting the System’s Schedule and Output: The layout of your property, the type of soil and the seasons all play an important role in the performance of your system. Be sure to adjust your system based on the layout of your property as well as the change of seasons to avoid over or underwatering and also save money on your water bill by using only what you need. The following should be taken into consideration when setting the schedule and water output of your system:
- Seasons: Obviously, your lawn and landscaping do not require the same amount of water in the spring and fall as in the summer months.
- Foliage: Shady areas require less water than areas in direct sunlight.
- Soils and Grading: If your property slopes or you have heavy clay type soils water will take longer to soak into the ground. Conduct a test by setting your system at a certain minute interval and determine when the water begins to run-off. Adjust the interval as needed to obtain the optimal timing to avoid run-off. Once you have determined the optimal timing you can set your system to go on and off at those intervals to allow the water to soak deep into the soil.
- Install a Rain/Freeze Sensor: Avoid wasting water by installing this sensor which will shut off your system if it starts to rain of the temperature falls to 32°F.
Our experienced team of inspectors proudly serves the following areas:
Chester County, PA
- West Chester
- Kennett Square
Delaware County, PA
- Newtown Square
Montgomery County, PA
New Castle County, DE
Also serving portions of the following counties: Lancaster (PA), Berks (PA), Bucks (PA) and Kent (DE).