Sprinkler Maintenance Tips
Not all sprinklers are created equal. In fact, some are better suited for particular tasks than others. And, some use water much more efficiently than others. Find out more about types of sprinklers here or watch this Garden Time segment. Regardless of the type of sprinkler that you use, there are simple things you can do to ensure that the right amount of water gets where it is needed.
Summer Maintenance Checklist
Know how long it takes your sprinkler to water an inch. Use a watering gauge or tuna can to measure your sprinkler's water use. We give away watering gauge kits to customers served by Consortium members during the month of July. Keep your eyes peeled for the offer.
Regularly inspect your overall watering system for leaks, broken lines or misdirected sprinkler heads. Taking a few minutes once a month to make sure your sprinkler and/or hoses are working correctly is a crucial step to ensuring efficient water use outdoors. If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, be sure to run your entire system zone by zone so you can check to see that everything is functioning properly. As you do this, check for the following:
- Signs of leakage, especially damage to sprinkler heads or piping. Repair and replace as needed. Look for perpetual damp spots in your landscape as these might indicate a leak or broken line that will have to be fixed.
- Accurate spray patterns. Adjust your sprinkler heads so they water your landscape and not sidewalks or pavement. Also make sure their spray isn’t blocked by plants or other materials.
Get your back flow checked. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, chances are that you have a back flow connection that is required by law to be checked annually. Have the cross connection assembly, or back flow, tested by a state-certified tester. Contact your local water provider for specific information on rules and regulations - be sure to ask for the cross connection or back flow specialist.
Install a rain sensor. Rain sensors are designed to shut off sprinkler systems when rainfall reaches a preset amount, usually 1/4 inch. Once the moisture level subsides, the sensor re-enables the sprinkler system, resuming the previous watering schedule. Rain sensors should be mounted in an unobstructed area exposed to open sky - minimizing the potential for fallen leaves or other debris to block the sensor.
Sprinkler System Maintenance Tips (video)