The warmer weather is finally here, and many of you are turning on your lawn sprinkler systems to get your yard ready for those summer parties! What is the most important thing you can do when starting up your system?
The answer: Turn on each zone of your system and inspect it for leaks. Take a good look at your system for the following clues that may indicate a leak:
If you look closely, you may find broken sprinkler heads on your lawn. Sprinkler heads can be damaged by mowing over them if they are set too high. Dig them up and set them to a lower depth.
You might see brown spots on your lawn, which could indicate that you are not getting adequate head-to-head coverage due to a leak in a sprinkler head or the water line. (Be sure to rule out spots left by your dog first.)
If you observe wet or soggy spots in areas of your lawn that are greener than the rest of the lawn, you may have an underground break in your irrigation pipes. Sometimes the leak can be large enough to cause your turf to float! If you have ruled out surface water drainage issues, dig up the wet spot to see if the irrigation pipe is cracked.
You notice that your backflow assembly or irrigation valve boxes are full of water. If you do, you may have a leak in the hardware in these boxes, so turn on your system and check to see if the boxes fill up with water. Sometimes the water can be due to drainage issues, so check the boxes in the heat of the summer, not after a long, wet winter.
You can hire an irrigation contractor to help you find leaks. We recommend using certified contractors from the Irrigation Association. Find them at www.irrigation.org.
Leaks can be costly! Do yourself a favor and check your irrigation system monthly for leaks. Fix them right away – you’ll be glad you did!