The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



Maintaining Your Sprinkler System

 August 9, 2021 |  Home Maintenance, Home Inspection |  summer, home exterior, lawn care, plumbing

A sprinkler system is a great and easy way to keep your lawn looking fresh through the hot summer months. They also require continual maintenance to ensure you don’t turn your beautiful lawn into a pond. Here are some common issues that can come with a sprinkler system and how to fix them.

Sunken Heads
Over time, the composition of your lawn’s soil can change and shift around. This causes your irrigation system to sink and settle deeper into the ground, shortening the sprinkler heads. Sunken heads don’t have as much clearance above surrounding plants, and therefore don’t cover their intended area. If you notice lots of brown spots or pooled water, the culprit might be a sunken head. Simply digging around the head and adjusting the pipe and filling the space back in will straighten it out. Be careful as you dig to not hit and break the water pipe.

Low Water Pressure
Inefficient water pressure going through your system is another reason that the heads aren’t popping up all the way. It can also be the sign of a larger issue with your system. Low pressure could mean that there is a break or a leak somewhere along the line. Even something as seemingly insignificant as a plant root wrapping itself around the pipe can affect the flow of water. Check your line for soggy spots. This is a good indicator of a leak, and you won’t have to dig up the entire line. However if no wet spots are apparent, you will have to dig up the line to pinpoint the cause. Dirty heads are one more possibility, so cleaning them out regularly is important.

Improper Coverage
A sprinkler system should be installed with proper distancing between each head so you get even coverage over your yard. Yet, it’s still possible for the heads to be either too close or too far apart to reach all of the grass. In this event, you’ll need to request some professional help to rearrange your sprinkler set up.

Clogged Heads
Debris blocking the sprinkler head is one of the most common problems. Mud and bits of grass can get trapped in the nozzle and prevent your sprinkler from properly spraying the yard. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to remove the blockage and get things back to working properly. Turn off your system, then lift the pop-up riser, remove and clean the nozzle and filter, and reassemble it. It’s good to do this at the beginning of the year before you start your system to keep it working smoothly.

Hammering or Buzzing Noise
If you notice a strange sound that emits every time you turn your system on, you should investigate it as soon as possible. A buzzing or humming noise typically indicates that the magnetic relay switch is going bad. Since it’s magnetic, the contact points can rust and weaken the connection. A hammering sound can occur if air gets trapped inside the piping. Similar to an indoor system, all you need to do is flush the air out to stop the noise. Remove the sprinkler heads and turn on the water to push out the air.

Have Your Sprinkler System Inspected
If you’re looking to purchase a new home, you need to have it examined inside and out. At NPI, our network of professional inspectors will give a comprehensive report so you know everything you need to know about your home. Find your local inspector and schedule an appointment today!

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