Turning On Your Irrigation System This Spring

irrigation systemSpring has arrived and it’s time to turn your irrigation system on after a long and very cold winter.  Before you simply turn your system on, there are a few steps to take to ensure you won’t have Old Faithful in the middle of your yard.

Replacements and repairs are common when restarting your system.  Have back-up tools and parts handy.

One of the greatest risks during initial start-up is water hammer.  This occurs when a surge of water pressure bursts out of the pipes, resulting from a rush of water flowing through the system all at once. This can create massive geysers, which can damage the turf and pipes.  To avoid this, remove the sprinkler heads at the highest point of each zone.

Begin filling the irrigation system main line (located between the water source and zone valves).   Gradually open the shutoff valve that controls the water supply to the system.  Once the main line is filled, slowly fill each zone by opening the zone valve manually.

When the water stops pouring out of the open risers, close each zone valve (approximately 30 minutes).  After they have completely refilled, run each zone for two minutes to flush out any remaining air.   Check valves and sprinkler heads for leaks or breaks.  Once you are confident your system is operating correctly, you can open the main supply valve to its full operating position.  Happy watering!