Sprinkler systems need an annual sprinkler system tune up to ensure that they work efficiently thus conserving water, keeping your grass green and saving you money. You should conduct an annual sprinkler system inspection, and you can do this by following the steps below.
Turn on one valve at a time to note any wet spots on your lawn or elsewhere that will be an indication of leaks in the sprinkler system pipes. When the ground is thawed, now might be an excellent time to fix any leaks.
Replace The Battery
The battery is located on the front panel of your sprinkler controller box. Consider replacing the battery is you probably have used it for several years. Most systems run on 9-volt alkaline batteries. Some units have a cover that may be secured in place with screws, so you need to use an appropriate screwdriver.
Note: If the controller reads incorrect time readings after power outages, that is a sign that the battery needs to be changed.
Inspect The Sprinkler Heads
The heads should not lean to the side; they should remain upright, standing perpendicular to the ground (when placed on a flat surface). If on a sloping surface, the sprinkler heads should be positioned at an angle so that they remain perpendicular to the ground. The proper positioning of the sprinkler heads will ensure that your system covers all areas leaving no dry spots and thus limiting wastage of water.
Sometimes the sprinkler heads will not be perpendicular to the ground. Sometimes this is done to cover an unusual patch of grass or garden. Make sure you know what gets watered and where before you make any big changes.
Replace Broken Sprinklers
Avoid using sprinkler heads of different brands and model on circuit. Not all brands are 100% compatible; an issue that can cause the system to underperform. Different brands and models are made with a different water flow rates as such you should make sure you use a particular model or brand when replacing the broken sprinkler heads to avoid wasting water and overworking the system.
Normally, I find that the less expensive brands at big-box hardware stores work just fine.
Note: The same issue applies when replacing rotor-type and spray-type sprinkler heads located on the same valve circuit. Mixing the two may result in puddled sections of the greens that have the spray-type heads and less water for the grass near the rotor type sprinklers.
Clean Spray-Type Sprinklers
Spray-type sprinkler heads have filters in them that should occasionally be cleaned. Work on head individually, taking out the nozzles and cleaning the screen which is under the nozzle. You may need to use a small hook to help you pull out the filter screen. Use a toothbrush to clean the screen. You can use a thin twig or a toothpick to remove any debris that may cause a partial blockage. Avoid using a metallic knife because it may scratch and damage the filter. Put the filter back in the nozzle and lock the nozzle on the sprinkler head. Let the sprinkler system run to check there is an even spray of water. Consider changing the nozzle if you see that it is worn out or just too hard to clean; it will say you the time and hassle of cleaning.
Sprinkler system tune-up should not be a complex or costly undertaking. Just follow the above tips, and you will have a system that works efficiently to help you maintain a beautiful lawn.