If you’re like most Austinites, you’ve probably been keeping use of your irrigation system at a minimum during the winter. But with spring less than a month away, you’ll need to run a check on your system to make sure that it’s is ready to handle the increased demands drier weather will make on it.
STEP 1: Run an initial check
Turn on the water pressure. Wherever you see a leaky sprinkler head, geyser, errant spray pattern or water bubbling up from the ground, insert a small marker. When finished, turn off water.
STEP 2: Deal with leaky heads
Remove all leaking sprinkler heads, being careful not to let any debris/dirt fall into the PVC supply pipe.
Then look at the sprinkler body. If you see cracks, replace the sprinkler head. If not, pull the riser out of the body with a pair of needle nose pliers. Unscrew the nozzle from the top of the riser, check for debris and blow through the nozzle. If no air passes through, replace the nozzle.
Turn on water pressure to check that each repaired or replaced head is working as it should.
STEP 3: Shut down geysers
Dig soil away from any geyser-producing areas to expose the PVC supply pipe. Since geysers usually indicate a missing sprinkler head, find the place on the supply pipe where the head screws in. Place the appropriate type head on the pipe and check for leaks.
STEP 4: Fix errant spray patterns
Pop-up heads spraying in the wrong direction are a major cause of errant spray patterns. To repair, simply rotate the sprinkler body until the spray covers the desired area.
To adjust a gear-driven sprinkler, twist the nozzle clockwise until it stops. This is the fixed side of the arc of spray. Use key (if it was provided with your sprinkler) or a screwdriver to adjust the degree of arc you desire. When finished, test the spray arc by turning the nozzle to the right and then to the left.
STEP 5: Repair water bubbling/seepage issues
Areas where water bubbling/seepage is evident will require digging up.
Locate the PVC pipe beneath the soil, clear away dirt from the pipe and examine for leakage. When you locate the leak, use a PVC cutting tool to remove broken pipe. Attach a coupling to both ends of the cut pipe using PVC cement, and then insert the proper length of PVC pipe into each coupling using PVC cement.
STEP 6: Run a final check
Turn on water pressure to make sure you have addressed all problem areas.
The experts at South Austin Irrigation are here to help you make the most of your irrigation system equipment any time of year. When you need service or advice, contact us!