Most lawns need around one inch of water per week, and up to two inches during the hottest periods of summer. You can’t always rely on the weather to deliver the water that your lawn needs, and may have an in-ground irrigation system to keep your lawn healthy. Regular sprinkler system maintenance is important, so plan on taking quick action when any problems arise. You’ll also want to ensure your system is running efficiently, thoroughly watering your lawn without wasting water.
Here are five of the most common signs your lawn sprinkler system is in need of maintenance and repair:
Your Sprinkler Sprays Off-Target
Since sprinkler systems should be scheduled to run in the early hours of the morning, it can be difficult to notice sprinkler heads are spraying off-target. Over time, the pop-up heads may have shifted out of position and need to be readjusted. Some may have sunk into the ground or are tilting, or a shrub or bush has grown over one of the heads. Sprinkler heads can also become clogged with debris, which causes them to sputter and possibly shift out of position.
Your Lawn is Being Watered Unevenly
Uneven lawn watering can cause dry patches and on the other extreme, pools of standing water. In this case, a sprinkler head may need adjustment or a valve may need repair or replacement. To help identify this issue, run your system manually zone by zone to watch the spray patterns. When you identify that a head may need adjusting, check your manufacturer’s user manual and learn the basics of tuning a sprinkler head.
Your Control Valves are Dripping
Whether barely dripping or noticeably leaking, any amount of water loss adds up. A well-operating valve is responsible for delivering the right amount of water to each part of your yard for even coverage. They turn on, shut off and regulate the flow of water. Pools of water or soaked driveways and sidewalks near the location of your system’s valve box can be a sign of a valve problem. Other warning signs include wet areas around the sprinkler filters and pressure regulators.
Your Water Bill is Spiking
Unexpected jumps in a water bill may be caused by leaks or another sprinkler malfunction. If your system has a flow meter that measures the rate of water flowing in your system, establish a baseline reading. Check and compare both the flow meter and your water bill from season to season, or when you suspect the system is leaking. When you know your average water usage, you’ll be able to tell when there’s a problem with your irrigation system.
There’s Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure can keep your sprinkler system from operating the way it should. If you notice that your sprinkler isn’t spraying normally, for example, the spray is feeble or inconsistent, or there are dry patches of grass, you could have a system malfunction that needs to be repaired. Low water pressure doesn’t necessarily indicate that your system is leaking, though you may need professional assistance to determine the cause of this issue.
If you notice your sprinkler system operating poorly or showing signs that repair is necessary, it’s in your best interest to contact a professional irrigation system technician. BG Outdoor Services is a Certified Irrigation Contractor and offers sprinkler system audits, repairs, maintenance and installation services in the Northern Virginia region. For more information, contact BG Outdoor Services today.