If you live in a part of the country where winter temperatures can dip below freezing, then you’re probably ready to welcome even the slightest signs of spring. Great news: the long, cold days of winter are almost behind us now! It’s nearly time to break out your warmer weather clothes and make plans for spring break, but you also mustn’t forget to prep your yard for the new season.
Let’s focus on sprinkler systems. Having been winterized, most residential in-ground irrigation systems have sat dormant for months. With less rain on the horizon and the weather warming up, your landscape and grass will need to get water another way: from your sprinklers. Many homeowners will schedule spring start-up services, but there are some steps you can take as soon as the cold weather breaks. Here’s a checklist to help get your sprinkler system in Burlington County, NJ ready for the spring season.
Get sprinkler supplies
Before touching your sprinkler system, be sure to gather all the sprinkler supplies you might need. First, if the system has an automatic controller, change the batteries so you don’t lose your timer settings. Next, collect the essential spare irrigation parts—including fittings, sprinkler heads, nozzles and risers—just in case a part is damaged and needs to be replaced. Also, pick up extra PVC pipe, poly pipe, cement and primer to build a sprinkler “first aid kit.”
Check for frozen soil
The coldest parts of the country freeze in the winter. If you live in such an area, you must be sure that your yard’s soil is not frozen. Check this before waking up your irrigation pipes. To do this, take a shovel and insert it into the ground. The goal is to confirm that the soil is frost-free at least a full 12 inches below the surface, because filling the system with water too early can cause expensive freezing damage to piping.
Turn the water on
Once the soil has thawed, it’s time to turn the water on. Find the main water shutoff valve and slowly turn it to the ON position. Ease water into the pipes, as letting water flow in too fast could damage system components. A sudden rush of water through a sprinkler pipe will cause a banging sound called a water hammer. Watch for water bubbling, pooling or leaking as the pipes fill.
Inspect and test
Visually inspect all the components and either make repairs or make a note of them for your sprinkler technician. Test the sprinkler heads to ensure they are rotating properly and spraying water in the correct places around your yard. If you see sputtering from a sprinkler head, check to see whether dirt or debris is the cause. Clean clogged nozzles and see if this helps.
It’s important that you not start your sprinkler system too early. Be absolutely sure that the last frost of the season has occurred; otherwise, you risk damaging your irrigation system. For the best and most reliable spring start up service in Burlington County, NJ, turn to the team at Star Sprinkler Systems Inc. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment!