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Home > Irrigation for Homeowners > Installation guide > Irrigation system maintenance

Irrigation system maintenance
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Tips From Rain Bird That Will Help Prepare Lawns, Gardens And Sprinkler Systems To Help Combat Summer's Scorching Temperatures.Irrigation - SPRING THE SPRINKLERS BACK TO LIFE

Much like a car that has been sitting idle in a driveway for four long, freezing cold months, sprinkler systems also need a tune-up before they are required to work overtime to keep the lawn and garden green throughout the scorching summer heat. So before breaking out the lawn and garden tools this spring take some time to make sure your irrigation system is in tip-top shape. A few hours spent tuning up your irrigation system could end up saving water, money and MOST IMPORTANTLY prevent a mid-summer catastrophe. Here are ten tips to make sure your system is ready for another season of intelligent watering…

1. Get with the program…
Run a check of your irrigation controls and programs. This includes dusting away the cobwebs on the timer, making sure your settings are appropriate for your watering needs, keeping in mind expected seasonal rainfall.

2. Clear your heads…
Check for rocks, dirt, sand and other types of debris that may block the even flow of water from sprinkler heads, uneven distribution can lead to too much water in some areas and not enough in others, both resulting in a discolored, unhealthy landscape.

3. Do the can-can…
Conduct a "Can test” for even watering. Place open, empty tin cans, or paper cups every 10-15 feet throughout your yard and begin watering. Compare the level of water in each receptacle. If the water level significantly differs, adjust the flow and spray pattern of the sprinklers as needed.

4. Out with the old, in with the new…
Replace cracked, chipped or worn plastic nozzles. Nozzles and sprinkler heads are designed to withstand the normal wear and tear of irrigation, but are no match for errant lawn mowers, the neighbor's dog, or even curious kids. A broken sprinkler can wreak havoc on lawns, gardens, and water bills, so it is important to check and replace them periodically.

5. Spring is in the air before it is in the ground…
Don't be deceived by spring like temperatures. Increased air temperature does not always mean increased ground temperature. Use a small shovel to make sure that the ground below the lawn and garden is frost-free to a full 12 inches. Irrigating while the ground is frozen may result in a burst pipe.

6. Follow the rule of six (inches)…
Water long enough to saturate the soil six inches deep. Poke a screwdriver into the soil to see how deep the water is being absorbed. If the screwdriver meets resistance caused by dry-hardened soil less than 6 inches from the surface, then adjust watering times to increase soil saturation.

7. Run through the sprinklers…
Since it is best to water the lawn and garden in the early morning hours, a problem may not be discovered until it is too late. Turn on the irrigation system, throw on a bathing suit and make sure everything is working properly.

8. Flush it out…
Simply twist two sprinkler heads completely off and then turn on the sprinkler system for two or three minutes. This should flush out any debris that may have accumulated over the winter, and relieve air pressure within the underground pipes.

9. Value your valves…
Valves regulate the distribution of water throughout the entire system. A leaky valve will waste water and increase the water bill. Visually inspect each valve to make sure they are operating properly. Overly wet areas in the lawn, resulting in muddy and/or barren patches, may be a result of a leaky valve.

10. Be prepared…
Replace the back-up battery in the timer/controller every 6 months, and keep a copy of the watering schedule nearby. A power surge, or brief outage in the middle of the night could cause the timer/controller to reset and clear all of the pre-set watering programs, a glitch that may go undetected until the grass starts turning brown. A fresh back-up battery will provide enough power to keep the pre-set programs saved until the power resumes.

If you have questions or need personal assistance, contact our Customer Support Center by email or give us a call at + 33 (0)4 42 24 44 61..

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