Tips for Proper Irrigation System Maintenance around Indianapolis, IN

Irrigation Maintenance

Green grass and a beautiful landscape can be maintained throughout the summer season with a good home irrigation system and sprinklers. Indianapolis area homeowners who install irrigation systems and sprinkler heads can use this equipment to water the lawn and keep the yard looking lush even when the weather doesn’t provide us with much rain. However, these systems do require some maintenance to perform properly.

Mr. Plumber explains professional tips for irrigation system maintenance that will help you keep your yard watered and your irrigation system in top shape. Learn to test the irrigation components and uncover the need for repairs, inspect heads so you know when to replace broken or missing sprinkler units, and how to adjust heads for optimal watering that will reduce waste and save you money.

Timing Your Irrigation System Maintenance

Many Indianapolis area homeowners will start to use irrigation systems during the spring season or once summer hits. These systems and sprinkler systems may be used into the fall to keep grass green. Before you start to use the irrigation equipment each year, call to schedule a professional irrigation system inspection. A plumber needs to inspect the condition and performance of your heads and irrigation system to ensure it is working properly, identify and correct repair issues, and optimize positioning to deliver water without waste.

Beyond this professional service, you need to perform irrigation system maintenance throughout the watering season. These tips help you maintain heads and other important components, and adjust their position to ensure your lawn is watered completely while water waste is limited.

Steps for Irrigation System Maintenance

Over the spring, summer, and fall, these tips for irrigation system maintenance keep heads and other equipment in good working order. They also help you fine-tune the performance of sprinklers, heads, and irrigation systems so your yard remains lush without wasting money or water.

1. Test and Check the Systems

Monthly, allow the irrigation system to water the lawn. Do this even if the weather has brought plenty of rain. You need to observe the system’s operation in order to test and check its performance.

  • Pinpoint dry spots in a zone, which tell you a head may be clogged, damaged, or in the wrong position.
  • Check the ground for saturated soil and soggy spots, which are signs of leaks below ground to the water lines.
  • Check the direction and range of the water spray from each head to make sure all areas of the zone are covered, as you may need to adjust the head for better watering.
  • Check the condition of each head in your sprinkler system array, looking to see if any are clogged, damaged, or missing. Repair and replace heads as you detect these issues.

2. Sprinkler Adjustments

Each sprinkler head must be directed properly to deliver ample water over the entirety of the lawn zone. It is often necessary to adjust heads throughout the season, as they are easily knocked out of position when mowing the grass or by people moving about in the yard. Irrigation systems for homes use spray heads, rotary heads, or some of each to sufficiently water the landscape. Spray heads are used for a smaller zone to send a steady spray of water over the area while rotary heads change the position of the nozzle to water grass and plants across a larger zone.

  • Watch where water lands in each zone. You want it to be hitting grass or the landscape only. If water hits pavement such as the driveway, a sidewalk, or other hard surface, you need to adjust that head. Too much water runoff in an area is a sign the head may need to be adjusted to limit waste. Dry spots are a sign that heads are knocked out of position and need adjustment.
  • Adjust spray heads by twisting the head so that the nozzle faces the area you wish it to water.
  • Adjust rotary heads by forming a right angle between the ground and nozzle position.
  • Heads may be pressed into the soil by lawnmowers, vehicles, and humans moving about the yard. When the nozzle is below the soil surface, the head can become clogged and the spray direction will be disrupted. Pull up any heads you find positioned like this and raise them so that the nozzle on the head sits above the top of the grass.
  • Misting is a head issue that is caused by water pressure problems, but it can cause a zone to lose necessary water. High water pressure creates mist from heads, which quickly evaporates or is lost to windy weather. If you install a pressure regulator, this will control the pressure of water in irrigation lines to prevent misting.

3. Irrigation System Calibration

If your lawn receives too much water or not enough, it won’t be as green and beautiful as you like. You could also be wasting money due to water waste or replacing dead landscape. It’s important to calibrate your irrigation system so you know exactly how much water is delivered by sprinkler heads and how long it will take to deliver a certain volume of water in a zone. Calibration will help you best schedule the usage of your irrigation system to save money and keep your yard healthy.

  • Calibrate irrigation systems one zone at a time.
  • Set 5 to 10 cans throughout a zone. Cans or containers should have straight walls and be 3 to 6 inches in diameter for proper collection.
  • Let the irrigation system run at least 15 minutes for spray heads and at least 30 minutes in a zone with rotary heads. Turn off the irrigation system when the majority of cans have collected at least a 1/4th inch of water.
  • Measure water depth in each can with a ruler. Add up the depths and divide by the number of cans to find average water depth.
  • Divide your irrigation system run time in minutes by 60 to determine run time in hours. Divide average depth by run time in hours, which will tell you the number of inches of water your irrigation system delivers in that zone over one hour.

4. Schedule the Controller

The controller of a home irrigation system controls when the system waters the property. It’s like a timer or clock for the irrigation system! You need to reset the controller throughout watering season as the watering needs of your landscape will change with the weather, season, and other factors. When you make frequent adjustments to the controller, you’ll limit waste and save money.

  • Set the controller to run the irrigation system more when it is hot and less when it is cool. Plants usually require more water when the weather is hot and less when temperatures drop.
  • When the weather brings a lot of rain in the summer, you could shut off the controller and just operate the irrigation system as needed to save money. It is also possible to install a rain shutoff device which will sense when it is raining and shut off the irrigation system if it is running.

Irrigation System Service in Indianapolis

Irrigation system maintenance will keep sprinklers and components in good condition while keeping your grass and lawn well-hydrated. If you detect problems such as leaks, broken heads, and other issues in need of professional repairs, call Mr. Plumber today to schedule service.

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