Now that spring is here, it’s time to start thinking about and setting up your sprinkler systems. At Fort Rock Construction, we’d like to provide a few helpful tips so that you have a nice yard to enjoy with the warmer weather, as well as to make sure that your sprinklers are not set to cause any damage to your structures.
Step 1 — Be sure the ground is frost free. Filling the pipes too early can lead to expensive freeze damage. Use a shovel to check 12 inches beneath the surface as frost can hide.
Step 2 — To allow air a chance to escape from the irrigation system while you’re refilling the lines, remove the sprinkler head found at the highest part of each zone.
Step 3 — Start filling the main line very slowly. A quarter turn is about all it should take. You’ll want to be patient; depending on the size of your zone, it can take a while to fill each zone. But don’t rush the process! Filling the irrigation system too quickly can cause a surge of air pressure which can break fittings and burst your system. After the main line is filled, repeat this process for each zone.
Step 4 — Look at the places where you removed the sprinkler heads. If the water is running clear and doesn’t contain any air bubbles the zone has been properly filled. You can now replace the sprinkler heads and continue to run each zone for two minutes to ensure any trapped air has been flushed out of the system.
Step 5 — Check each sprinkler head for distance and angle. During the winter, breaks or growth may have happened in the heads causing erratic spray. Make sure all plants/lawn are being reached and that the spray is not going against your house, fence, or other structures. Excessive spray on these will accelerate the degradation of the siding or boards of these structures. Also be aware of any places where water is pooling. Make sure there is not water pooling along the foundation of your structures as this will also cause damage over time.
Step 6 — Check the accuracy of your timer programs, then it’s safe to run your sprinkler system as usual.
If you come across any problems during start up, or at any other time, call Fort Rock Construction at (541) 767-1611 and we’ll be happy to connect you with our favorite irrigation professionals.
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