This past Winter came with some colder weather and deep freezes. Contractors will have to do a thorough system inspection before starting irrigation systems. Below is a quick list of tips to get you going during Spring Startup Season!
1. Do a General System Check
Install fresh batteries in your system timer and reprogram for a spring watering schedule. Put back all water source connection components as before, inspect and replace any cracked or worn parts. Inspect the filter screen and clean or replace it.
2. Start Up Slowly
Turn on water so that it is at very low pressure. This will eliminate pressure surges that can snap T’s and elbows in a line or cause further harm to — if your system uses them — sprinkler heads that may have experienced freeze damage. It will also help to clear out any dead bugs and/or debris that may have collected in sprinkler lines.
3. Recharge Sprinkler Systems
Start with the valve that is furthest from the water source. Open the water valve to let out air and water. Then, gradually bring up the water pressure. Repeat this process with each valve and make note of any one that does not appear to be working.
4. Inspect Drip Systems
Examine all drip emitters, soaker hose drip lines, sprayers and bubblers. Check tubing for any cracks, splits or any areas that have stopped watering. After cleaning and repairing lines, remove all end caps and flush the lines. Replace end caps when finished.
5. Check Backflow Preventer
It is critical that you also inspect this device, which keeps contaminated water out of the system. You will always find it located 12 inches above the highest point in the system. Remember that a differential pressure of 1 psid is what you need to find when you compare readings on the high and low-pressure differential gauges you’ll need to test the
6. Run controller
Do a test run of your system. If your machine irrigates by zone, then do a zone-by-zone run-through. Sprinkler heads that do not pop up properly in a particular zone may indicate possible pipe issues and should be addressed as quickly as possible.