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Blog - 5 Checks For a Sprinkler Startup

5 Checks For a Sprinkler Startup

Your Sprinkler system activation is an important part of your lawn care plan this season. Tuning up your sprinkler system in the spring will help ensure you're ready when the hot weather in Kansas City hits this summer. There are 5 “Checks” to a system activation that ensure your sprinkler system is reliable and will make your neighbors green with envy this summer. 

 Check the Shutoff

All sprinkler system turns on start at the shutoff valve. As systems age, shut-off valves can fail both shut and open. In emergency situations, a broken shutoff valve can leave a property owner in a bad situation.  Shutoff valves with broken handles or rusted fittings need to be replaced.  Over time, the mineral deposit build-up will form inside shut-off valves, prohibiting the valve from fully closing. Notice valves that are stiff and difficult to open and close.  

Check the Backflow:  During sprinkler system activations, inspect the backflow preventer for leaks and winter freeze damage. Ball valves on the backflow preventer need to move freely. Test cocks need to be closed and drip-free.  

Check the Controller

The controller is the brain of your irrigation system. Start with checking the voltage at the controller’s transformer. Any electrical reading below 24 volts or above 30 volts indicates a problem. The controller’s terminal strip needs to be outputting voltage of 20-28 volts in order to supply appropriate electricity to the zone valves.  

Check the Wiring:

A quick resistance reading taken at the controller will identify faults such as wire shorts, cut wiring, and bad wiring splices. Resistance reading should be within a range of 20-60 ohms.  

Check the System performance

Run each zone and check your coverage. Adjust heads to avoid over spraying in areas that don't need watering. Look for low water pressure in zones that could indicate leaks in the piping.  Straighten and raise sprinkler heads to improve the coverage. 

Sprinkler system activations are more than just turning on a lever. Take the time and effort to identify the weak points in your system this spring. Focusing on the 5 Checks of an irrigation activation will ensure your system will perform to its peak potential.  

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