Winter is almost here! Soon you’ll be pulling out your warm winter coats, shoveling snow and wrapping all those gifts ahead of the holidays. With all the wintertime hustle and bustle, the last thing you’ll probably be thinking about is your irrigation system. Many people shove all thoughts of their yard out of their mind once fall passes, but the harsh winter weather can cause serious damage to an irrigation system if it isn’t properly winterized. The water freezes and expands inside of the pipe, causing it to crack and leak as the temperature drops.
The good news is that some common winter irrigation problems can easily be fixed without the help of a professional, even if you don’t have any particularly strong DIY impulses. Others will require the help of an expert in sprinkler system repair in Burlington County, NJ.
Here are the most common irrigation system problems you could face this winter, and how to solve them.
Clogged sprinkler heads
This one can be very frustrating. The water is running, but it just won’t come out of the sprinkler head at all, or only in unreliable spurts. Start by switching the water off. Then, pop up the riser of the sprinkler head and unscrew the top. Remove the filter to clear away any debris stuck inside. Give it a final rinse to clear any lingering clogs before replacing the filter and the sprinkler head. If that doesn’t work, replace it with a new head.
Cracked pipes are one of the most common winter irrigation system issues. The cold temperatures cause water-filled pipes to expand and crack. Turn the water off before pulling out the PVC pipe cutter. Carefully cut away the damage section of the pipe. Then, use a compression coupling or a telescoping repair coupling to reattach the pipes. This will only work for shorter sections of damaged pipes. Replacing sections of cracked pipes will require the help of a professional.
Damaged sprinkler heads
Broken sprinkler heads are easy to spot. The heads break if they are run over by a car or hit by a lawn mower. Look for any cracked casing, heads that don’t pop up or sprinklers that are missing their heads entirely. Replacement heads can easily be purchased at your local home improvement store. Start by digging down to the riser—the pipe that branches off the main line connected to the sprinkler head—and then wipe away any debris and screw the new head on. Take special care to avoid damaging the plastic water line when digging and replacing the dirt. After that, the sprinkler system will be practically good as new!
Winterizing is key
Taking the time to winterize your sprinkler system before the cold weather hits is the only way to avoid unnecessary damage to your irrigation system. Forgot to winterize this year? The experts at Star Sprinkler Systems Inc. can help with sprinkler system repair in Burlington County, NJ, and our trained and professional team can also winterize the system for you. Call us today to learn more!