Watering your lawn or garden can be a burden, especially when you have to do it all throughout the long, hot summer. To make watering easy and convenient, many homeowners implement irrigation systems to take care of their garden watering. Irrigation systems range from simple sprinklers to fully-automated zone irrigation. This alternative method of watering frees up the homeowners from the time and effort needed to manually water the lawn.
Irrigation systems are low-maintenance but not maintenance-free. They do require a small measure of your time if you want to keep them running properly for the long-term.
Irrigation System Maintenance
Make sure to shut down your irrigation system before the beginning of winter. The only instance when it is appropriate to leave an irrigation system running year-round is if you are living in a climate that is continuously warm.
To shut down your irrigation system, start by closing the shut-off valve leading to the water lines of your lawn and garden. The water lines will then need to be drained of any remaining water, as it could freeze during winter and cause the pipes to burst. To drain the remaining water in the pipes, open all the outdoor faucets after shutting off the valve. Leave the faucets open until you no longer see any water dripping out. The best way to drain the pipes of remaining water is to blow them out using compressed air.
When spring arrives, thoroughly inspect your irrigation system, including the sprinkler heads, nozzles, hoses, and spigots, for any broken parts. Repair any damage quickly. Clean off the system components, particularly the sprinkler heads. Clogged heads can increase water pressure and damage the system.
When you are done inspecting your irrigation system, reopen the shut-off valve slowly so as not to create too much pressure. The stress of rushing water can strain pipes and fixtures.
Inspect Your Irrigation System
Periodically check your system and its components to make sure that they are operating properly. Keep an eye out for leaks and other problems with sprinkler heads. Immediately repair any problems, no matter how minor they are, before the situation gets worse. Contact an experienced plumber if the problems are out of your area of expertise.