Ask the Lawn Care Expert

Maintaining Your Sprinkler System

Spring-Green is now offering sprinkler system services in select markets. We will be providing spring start ups, mid season system evaluations and repairs as well as fall blowouts of the system in markets where this is a requirement in the fall to prevent damage to the water lines when it freezes. I was very interested in a recent article in Lawn and Landscape magazine that referenced seven reasons why people hate sprinkler systems. I never thought about why someone would dislike having a sprinkler system since it seems like such a good idea – being able to water one’s lawn and landscape automatically without having to drag around hoses and setting up sprinklers.

In the article, the author, Alan Harris of ValleyCrest, describes issues, such issues as controllers that are more than 5 years old that do not offer the latest technology and are inefficient, replacing broken heads, and shrubs that have grown and now block spray patterns from reaching the intended area and leaking valves.

In regards to leaking valves, Mr. Harris explained that a valve that is leaking, allowing water to ooze out through the lowest spray head at the rate of ½ gallon of water per minute can ultimately end up wasting over 5,000 gallons of water per week. Even if you are losing only a cup of water per minute, this still equates to water losse of about 630 gallons per week. You multiplye that out by 30 weeks, which is about the average amount of time that a sprinkler system is active, that means adds up to 19,000 gallons of water that is wasted, as well as a good deal of money paying for water that is not providing a benefit.

If you have a sprinkler system, one of the best upgrades that will provide the most cost effective benefits is to invest in a new “smart” controller. These controllers can accurately determine how much water your lawn and landscape requires on a daily basis. Adding a rain sensor to the system along with in-ground soil sensors are well worth the money. Even something as simple as making sure the spray heads and rotors are properly working can save water and make your system more efficient.

Many people set their system to start early in the morning, so they will rarely know if it is truly functioning properly. That is why it is important to have it checked by a professional at least once during the summer. Spray heads and rotors can get clogged or go out of alignment. Sometimes this can be determined when a portion of the lawn does not stay green. It could also mean that the wrong type of head is installed. Having your system checked on a regular basis can save water and can save you money.

If you wish to read Mr. Harris article, you can click here. Look for more information regarding Spring-Green’s new irrigation service from your local Spring-Green Professional.

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