Sprinkler Basics: Installing, Maintaining and Repairing Your Sprinkler System

Keeping your lawn properly hydrated is one of the most important tasks you can do as a homeowner to keep your grass looking green and healthy. But wat...

Keeping your lawn properly hydrated is one of the most important tasks you can do as a homeowner to keep your grass looking green and healthy. But watering your grass regularly can be quite a chore, especially if you’re dragging around a hose to water your entire lawn.

A properly installed sprinkler system will keep your lawn watered and looking great. No more moving hoses around the yard or trying to remember how long the water has been on for. And with a little upkeep, a sprinkler system will be an investment that will last.

Sprinkler Installation & Repair in Colorado Springs

The installation of a sprinkler system can be relatively easy or complex, depending on the size of your yard, how you want the system configured and the condition of your existing plumbing system. Whether or not you do-it-yourself or hire a professional depends on how comfortable you are with the steps involved.

Installing a sprinkler system can be broken down into the following basic steps:

  1. Measure your outdoor faucet’s water pressure and how much water is delivered per minute. You can buy a pressure gauge at your local hardware store. Use a bucket to measure the flow rate. You’ll need to know both to send to your sprinkler manufacturer so they can send you the right supplies.
  2. Dig the pipe trenches. It’s easiest to dig the trenches for the main line first, then dig the trenches that will branch off the main line. The trenches should be between 6-10” deep.
  3. Assemble zone valve sets. These are installed on the downstream side of each valve. Each zone valve must be properly wired before being set into the trench and then filled over with dirt.
  4. Install drain fittings at the lowest point of the feed line. Dig a small hole under the drain fitting and fill it with sand and gravel. The fitting should be angled down at 45-degrees. This will protect your sprinkler system from frozen water.
  5. Connect the pipes. You do this by sliding a crimp ring onto each pipe ending and then insert the barb fitting.
  6. Sprinkler heads. Install each sprinkler head in the desired location. Check beforehand to see what fittings you need for your specific type of sprinkler head.

Maintaining Your Sprinkler System

Today’s sprinkler systems are fairly easy to maintain as long as you’re consistent with the upkeep. Here are a few tasks you can perform to ensure your sprinkler system is in good running order:

Inspect/clean sprinkler heads. Check each head and make sure it’s clean and free from clogs. Also, tighten the screws as needed. Replace any broken sprinkler heads. This should be done at least once every year.

Inspect/clean line filter. A clogged filter will let less water through, making your sprinklers less efficient. If the filter is broken it will let through larger debris that can clog the sprinkler pipes and heads. Clean the filters regularly (at least once a month).

Check for leaks. You can usually tell if there’s a leak in the system because there will be standing water or a soggy spot on the lawn where the leak is located. Either call a sprinkler maintenance company or repair the pipe yourself. Leaks will make your system less efficient and waste a lot of water.

Adjust sprinkler sprays. Most sprinkler heads can be adjusted to change the spray output. You can make the head spray a larger or smaller area, depending on how your system is set up. A good way to know if your sprinkler heads need to be adjusted is to look for any dry spots in your lawn after the sprinklers have run.

Sprinkler Repair

The most common reasons for sprinkler repairs include broken or leaking pipes, clogged pipes and broken sprinkler heads. In most cases, replacing the damaged area of the pipe is all that’s necessary. Sometimes the wiring on the zone valve sets can become frayed or corroded. If the circuitry becomes damaged, you might need to replace the entire zone valve. Call a professional plumber in Colorado Springs to help troubleshoot the problem.

Sprinklers Can Save You Time and Money

Sprinkler systems are definitely a good investment. Want your lawn watered? Simply turn a valve and let the sprinklers do the rest. Sprinklers can also be integrated with a digital timer so they turn on/off on the days and times you select. Set it once and you’re done. You can even install a rain sensor to prevent your sprinkler from running during a rainstorm, helping you to conserve water.

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