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5 Step for Tuning Up Your Sprinkler System

Updated: May 15

There’s nothing quite like a well-manicured, emerald green lawn. The best way to accomplish that is with DSLD’s landscape services in Birmingham, AL, and with a well-working sprinkler system. In order to make sure your yard’s sprinkler system operates at peak performance over the upcoming summer months, it’s important to have it inspected either by you or by calling us. This will allow you (or us) to catch any problems that may have developed during the months it wasn’t in use and prepare it for consistent use. Did you know that skipping this step could lead to high water bills from clogged or damaged sprinkler parts? Some actions can be handled yourself, while others may require a servicing call. Here’s a quick and easy tune-up checklist you can follow: Inspect Sprinkler Heads - Inspect sprinkler heads for obstructions, such as rocks, dirt, mulch, or overgrown grass. Make sure shrubs or bushes haven’t grown to the point where they block the water flow. - Look for any broken sprinkler heads. They need to be replaced with the same model and brand. - Adjust those that are too low or too high and straighten any sprinkler heads that are leaning. Check that the tops of sprinkler heads are adjusted to the slope or angle of the lawn. - Remove the sprinkler head at the end of each zone to create a flush point. Sweep out any accumulated debris when the zone is turned on. Check the Sensors Make sure they are working properly and are in the correct position. With rain sensors, look for debris inside the housing, and clean them out. Next, check the condition of the discs. If they’re moldy or warped, they need to be replaced since they can no longer expand and contract. Replace the batteries in your wireless rain and soil moisture sensors if applicable. Flush the System After long periods of not using your sprinkler, it’s best to run each zone separately to sweep out any debris in the pipes. Run each zone long enough for a thorough flush, verifying that the water is running out of the flush points you created earlier. Then, replace the sprinklers you removed at the end of each zone. Inspect Valve Boxes Locate the valve boxes and make sure they’re clear of debris and overgrown grass so you can easily find them. Check the valve assemblies for broken or loose wires, or cracked valves. Inspect Controllers Make sure the controller is showing the correct time and date. Change the backup battery out every 6 months, preferably in the Spring and Fall. If you have one of the top-of-the-line controllers, it may have a built-in battery charger so you won’t have to worry about it. Most newer controllers are able to store the programming and settings in order to maintain them after a power outage. Troubleshooting There are some scenarios and issues that will require maintenance from us, but there are some simple and common issues you can easily fix for   yourself without having to call. As you operate the system to inspect it, you may notice one of the problems listed here. Here’s what to doand when it’s time to call DSLD Land Management as part of our landscape services in Birmingham, AL.

  1. Leaks in pop-up sprinkler headsClean out any debris, and tighten the caps. Replace any worn-out or damaged parts or the whole sprinkler if the riser is broken.

  2. Pop-up sprinklers not extending fullyClean out debris in the sprinkler heads and filters. Note that the heads might not completely extend if the water pressure is too low, so you’ll need to make sure the valves on the backflow prevention assembly are fully open. Also, check for any leaks in the pipes affecting water pressure.

  3. Pop-up sprinklers not fully retractingClean out debris between the sprinkler heads and risers.

  4. Rotor sprinklers not rotating or spraying water the correct distanceClean the filters. If cleaning doesn’t help, replace the rotor that’s not working correctly.

  5. Uneven gaps in spray patternClean dirty filters. Remove and carefully clean nozzles. Consider replacing nozzles, since most are inexpensive. 

  6. Sprinkler flow looks misty, foggy, or lowThe water pressure is either too low, or too high. Check the Backflow Prevention Assembly, or call us.

  7. Water not overlapping with water from next sprinklerTurn the radius adjustment screw on the nozzles to increase the radius. Rotors also have a radius adjustment screw. If this doesn’t work, you may have to change the nozzles.

  8. Very soft or depressed ground or water bubbling up from the groundMost likely dealing with leaking or broken pipes. Will require expert evaluation.

  9. Zone not shutting down when inactivatedThe valve may not be shutting off, or there’s a problem with the controller. Contact us! Once your inspection and troubleshooting are done, go ahead and program the controller to your watering schedule! Enjoy your beautifully green lawn this summer! Here at DSLD Land Management in Birmingham, AL, we’re ready to help you with any irrigation questions you may have. We can recommend and install various irrigation systems. The design and type will depend on your property’s needs, budget, and preferences.

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