Why do I have dry spots in my lawn?
If heads are spaced too far apart, your lawn may not be getting an adequate amount of water. New heads will need to be added to fill in the empty areas. The original design and installation of the irrigation system is extremely important:
- Heads need to be spaced so that 100% head-to-head coverage is achieved
- Spray heads should not be more than 15 feet apart
- Rotor heads should not be more than 30 feet apart
Why do some of the irrigation heads not pop up all the way?
Most areas of the city have more than enough pressure to adequately run an irrigation system. The two most common issues are leaks and flow issues. A leak in an irrigation line will prevent the heads from operating optimally. The amount of water available at the water meter, also known as flow, is usually measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Most residences have 4 to 10 GPMs available for use. If the irrigation system is trying to use more GPMs than are available, the heads will not operate properly.
If the system was designed to use excessive flow, the problem can be repaired by either installing lower flow heads or splitting up current zones.
What are some reasons for one of the zones to stop working?
The most common reason is caused by the electric solenoid on the valve. The solenoid is responsible for turning the valve on and off, and when it wears out, it will no longer turn the valve on. Zones will also stop working when a wire is damaged or a wire splice is disconnected. Faulty controllers can also prevent a zone from turning on.
Why does one of my zones continue to run during the cycle and/or when the controller is off?
When a zone is running when the controller is off, it is because the valve has faulted. There may be something stuck in the valve that causes it to stick on, or the valve has simply gone bad due to age. To fix this problem, the valve needs to be repaired or replaced. A master valve prevents a valve stuck in the on position from running continuously.
Why do I have wet spots or slow leakage out of sprinkler heads when the system is off?
Wet spots around a head could be from low drainage when the zone shuts off. That could be fixed with a new head with a built in check valve. The problem could also be from a zone valve that is failing to close all the way. The only option is to repair or replace the valve. A master valve would also help reduce the risk of leaks from a faulty valve running continuously.
I have a big leak in my system. How do I shut the water off?
There is a main shut off valve for every irrigation system. The main shut off valve is usually located either in the front lawn by the water meter or in the basement by the house shut off. This valve needs to be located and closed to turn the water off.
How can I make my existing system more water efficient?
You can install a rain sensor that may save up to 25% on your water bill. Installing MP rotators on PS40 heads will also dramatically increase the efficiency of your system. The MP rotators use about half the amount of water of a traditional head, and uses a pressure regulated head. This ensures the head is operating at optimum pressure which increases the efficiency of the the water spray. A new Hunter Pro-C controller will increase the efficiency by allowing more precise programming for your sprinkler system. Many older model controllers are much less accurate on water schedules.
What is the purpose of the backflow preventer?
The backflow preventer is a valve that prevents any water from the irrigation system from returning to the house or municipal water supply. By law, a backflow preventer must be installed on every irrigation system.
How can I tell if I have an above ground backflow?
Certain municipalities require an above ground backflow preventer. The above ground backflow preventer is a brass valve that is usually located on the side of the house or in a front bed area.
What happens if my above ground backflow freezes?
When the water in an above ground backflow preventer freezes, it will damage the device. When the device breaks, it will spray a large amount of water until the water to the system is turned off. The main shut off valve will either be in the front lawn or the basement.