A poorly maintained irrigation system prevents water from reaching its intended source, and a significant amount of water can be lost to runoff, evaporation and deep watering below the root zone. Maintaining your irrigation system is one of the most effective ways to reduce wasted water, reduce pollution from runoff and over-irrigation, and improve plant health by applying the correct amount of water that can be utilized by the plants, trees and turf.
Ideally, irrigation systems should be checked on a monthly basis. However, a minimum check of the irrigation system should be performed twice seasonally—at the beginning of the season when the system is first turned on and again halfway through the season.
The basics of irrigation maintenance are:
- Inspect the controller, and make sure it’s plugged in and functioning.
- Update the time and date.
- Check the connection on all of the wires—make sure that rain, wind or soil moisture sensors are connected.
- Replace the back-up battery.
- Change the schedule to reflect the current watering schedule for allowed watering days and times.
- Turn on each zone and look for system damage, such as leaking valves or pipes, broken or missing heads, clogged nozzles, seal leaks, sunken heads and tilted heads.
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