Temperatures are rising. You’re dusting off the grill and packing away the snow boots for the season. It must be spring! That means it’s time to prep your lawn watering system in Yelm, WA for another season. To do this properly, homeowners must take several key steps that will ensure the system gets off to a healthy start:
- Check the chill factor
Stores may be advertising perennials and pool supplies, but this doesn’t guarantee your yard is in spring mode. Has it thawed? Looks can be deceiving, so be sure to check the ground to ensure it is no longer frozen. Insert a shovel 12 inches deep to verify the soil is frost-free. If it is not, wait a week and test again. Never start your sprinkler system in frozen ground, as this can result in damage to your pipes.
- Inspect the system
A thorough inspection can save time and money by resolving small issues before you start your system. Look over the controls and sprinkler heads. Ensure everything is clear of dirt and other debris. If anything blocks the water flow, your system will not operate correctly, produce uneven flow or cause further damage to itself. Verify that spray heads have not become buried or damaged by animals or other yard hazards since last season. Replace any worn components such as nozzles, valves or pipes.
- Clear the way
Many homeowners, in a hurry to get things rolling in spring, cause damage to their system by turning it on full blast without proper prep. A strong pressure surge right out of the gate can result in burst pipes and damaged valves. Gradually clear the lines of air and pressure to avoid this “water hammer.”
First, if you don’t have air pressure relief valves or drains, remove your sprinkler heads to allow air to be pushed out of the system. Fill the system slowly by opening the valve a quarter turn. Allow time for water to travel the entire length of the system. This may take up to 30 minutes. Monitor the output, and when it is free of air bubbles, gradually increase flow until the system is running fully. For multiple zones, complete this process to clear and fill each one.
- Pinpoint pressure
Verify the water pressure is in optimal range. Too much pressure can crack your pipes and damage valves. Use a water pressure gauge to test the pressure. Suggested operating range is typically 40-65 PSI. Another test is to check your sprinkler heads for misting. This is an indication that the pressure is too high. If your pressure is higher than this, you may need to invest in a pressure regulator. This will ensure a healthy pressure range to prevent damage to your system.
- Activate irrigation clocks
Once you have verified that your system is fully operational, you are ready to reset your timers for the season. Verify the date and time are correct and all times are set as desired. Battery backups should be replaced every six months, so if it is time to do so, ensure you have a fresh one installed for the season.
- Call in the pros
As you prepare to revive your lawn watering system in Yelm, WA, contact Electric Showers Irrigation with any questions or concerns. Professionals are ready to walk you through this process or personally inspect your system and get you up and running for spring.