A few weeks ago we wrote an article about why irrigation is so important to lawns in the Atlanta area. We might get more rain than most of the country, but that doesn’t mean that we’re always going to get the perfect amount of rain exactly when we need it.
That’s where irrigation systems come in. When the weather doesn’t give your yard exactly what you want, a sprinkler system can step in and take care of the moisture you lawn needs. The problem is, irrigation systems are under a lot of pressure and have to deal with the weather throughout the year even when they’re not in use. Today we’re going to take a look at the most common problems that occur with sprinkler systems.
Mis-Programmed Timer Boxes
Often the timer box, the part that provides electric power and is usually found in the garage, will not be working properly. While it might not technically be a repair, these boxes get out of whack due to improper programming, power outages, or curious kid hands. In our job performing lawn care, we’ve seen pretty much every brand and model of sprinkler timer box that’s ever been released, and we can get it back up and running so that your grass gets the proper amount of water.
Sprinkler heads break all the time, and for many reasons. The first reason is that many of them are made from cheap plastic, and finding one that won’t break eventually is an impossibility. The other reason is that they’re outside 365 days a year, so the UV radiation is hitting them and breaking down the bonds of the plastic’s molecules.
Once they get weak, it becomes easier to break them by stepping on them or running over them with a mower (and if you’re tired of mowing, we’ll take care of your grass cutting and make sure to not destroy your sprinklers). They’re also the part of the sprinkler systems that can accidently retain water during a sprinkler blowout, or have cold water seep into them and freeze. Broken heads are an inevitability that need to be addressed right away so that the water from your sprinklers isn’t gushing into the air and coming down to wash away your soil.
Broken Pressure Vacuum Breaker
A broken pressure vacuum breaker is certainly a larger sprinkler repair than simply replacing a broken head. This most often occurs when proper sprinkler blowout procedures have not been followed and the water left inside freezes, expands, and cracks the vacuum breaker. When this happens, the sprinklers might still work but there will be severe loss of water at the control valves (the part above ground that is usually at the side or back of a house) and less pressure behind each sprinkler head, leading to inadequate coverage.
Here’s the good thing about most sprinkler pipes: they’re underground. And if you’re familiar with geothermal energy, you know that most of the ground stays above freezing temperatures at all times. So in most instances, pipes are perfectly safe.
Of course, the pipes have to reach up to the surface, which means that they’re getting closer to the frozen layer of soil when we have very cold temperatures. Luckily, as the pipes get closer to the surface, they’re vertical and the water falls back to the lower, warmer areas. So the only way that you really have to worry about broken pipes is if you completely neglect to take care of sprinkler winterization at all and leave the water in them all winter long.
Sprinkler blowouts and repair are just one of the many lawncare projects that we handle here at WeedPro. If you’re having any problems with your sprinklers or need them calibrated, contact us today!