When is the best time to start up my sprinkler system in spring?

SPRINKLER SYSTEM REBOOT

Opening your sprinkler system for the season will depend on the weather conditions and your individual watering needs. As a general rule, the system should not be opened until the threat of frost is passed. If you are an early planter, we recommend waiting to open your system until after April 15. By planting standards, the 2nd Sunday in May is considered to be the safe date to avoid frost damage, making May the ideal month to open your system. If you have a particularly rainy spring, you may even choose to open your system in June, although you should be sure to have the system fully operational before the heat of the summer.

Paradise Restored will be happy to schedule your spring turn-on/ tune-up.

Try the steps listed below . . .

  1. Be sure the manual drain valve is closed. This valve is usually located below or before the backflow device outside your house.
  2. Slowly open the gate valve. This valve is usually located after the meter in the basement on the line going out of your house to the backflow device.
  3. Check the main line, valves, and backflow device for any sign of leakage. Repair breaks as needed.
  4. Open the front cover of your sprinkler timer, find the battery backup (if it has one) and replace. Follow the instructions in your sprinkler’s timer manual. Go through all the zones one at a time. Check each zone for water coverage, leaky heads and breaks.
  5. Cut and clean any excess lawn or plant growth away from the sprinkler heads that would inhibit proper operation of the sprinkler head.
  6. Check and make sure the sprinkler heads are level and flush with the grade of the lawn, to insure that they will not be hit my mowers or other lawn equipment.
  7. Be sure your sprinkler heads are at least an inch away from walks or curbing to insure that edgers do not hit them.
  8. Check that the sprinkler heads are adjusted properly and coverage is correct for each zone area. Adjust heads as necessary using your hand and/or tools.
  9. Make sure the sprinkler heads are not clogged. If clogged, unscrew the head casing or nozzle and check the filter at the base or in the stem of the head. Clean out the filter with air or water. Check to see if a stone or other debris is lodged in the nozzle; clean or replace as necessary.
  10. If you experience problems with a particular zone, turn that zone off on the timer so the rest of the system can continue to operate normally.

We suggest checking your system at least two additional times during the watering season. It is especially helpful to check the system whenever you experience severe weather changes, such as increased rain or periods of drought. If you have any problems, please call Paradise Restored for assistance! 503-788-3117

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