Regular irrigation system maintenance is essential to ensure that your lawn and garden receive the necessary water. A knowledgeable irrigation professional can check valves and wiring and set the schedule based on your landscape’s needs. In addition, a rain sensor can be installed to ensure that your irrigation system responds appropriately to rainfall.
Importance of regular irrigation system maintenance
Proper irrigation system maintenance is crucial to the health and appearance of your landscape. A properly functioning system will ensure that the plants and lawn are adequately watered, preventing them from becoming brown and unhealthy. Brown landscapes can reflect poorly on a business and take a lot of time to care for. By following a routine maintenance program, you can avoid irrigation repair Kent and ensure a healthy landscape for a long time.
Regular irrigation system maintenance should be done each spring and several times throughout the growing season. Ideally, irrigation schedules should be adjusted to accommodate the needs of plants. Experts will check valves and wiring to ensure they are working correctly. Rain sensors can be installed in the system to ensure it responds to rainfall.
Quality of sprinkler heads
One of the most critical aspects of irrigation system maintenance is the quality of sprinkler heads. The heads should be installed in the proper pattern and be evenly spaced. If they are too far apart or overlapping, water may not be adequately distributed, resulting in a problem such as a water hammer, which can cause burst pipes.
Sprinkler heads should be cleaned at least once a year. To do this, turn off your irrigation system and unscrew the sprinkler head. You can then soak it in water and clean it. After cleaning, check the sprinkler heads for clogs or areas where water doesn’t flow. If they have been damaged, you may need to replace them.
Inlet screen plugs
The maintenance of irrigation system inlet screens is essential to system management. If they are clogged with debris, it can cause a significant problem. It may also be a symptom of a problem with filtration at the pumping station. Some growers remove screens to prevent this problem, but this can require more frequent flushing of the irrigation hose lines. It is essential to flush pipes after chemigation and fertigation. You should begin by washing the mainlines, subdomains, and laterals and then move on to the other segments. During flushing, check the water clarity of all lines hydrologically farthest from the pump station.
Inlet screen plugs can form when algae clump together. As these algae form, they mix with mineral particles in water and aggregate, clogging the emitters. Additionally, some bacteria can precipitate sulfur, manganese, and iron compounds. These minerals can clog emitters, resulting in leakage of irrigation water. Surface water is also a significant source of algae and other organic debris.
Hose line flushing
Hose line flushing is an integral part of irrigation system maintenance. Typically, it is performed every two or three weeks. The purpose is to flush out irrigation laterals and prevent clogging caused by low solubility salts. Hose line flushing can be performed manually or with a flushing sub-main.
The flushing process is an effective preventive measure since it helps flush away unwanted debris and microorganisms from irrigation lines. To do this, remove the end caps on irrigation lines and run water through them to flush out debris and dirt. A flush valve end cap can also be installed in irrigation systems requiring frequent flushing.
During hose line flushing, water pressure may be temporarily reduced, and water might be discolored. The discoloration is harmless, but it may cause some inconvenience. Avoid drinking discolored water until it is clear. Do not use it for washing clothes, making baby food, or formula. If you cannot avoid water discoloration, boil it for five minutes, or use bottled water.
Checking for plugged emitters
Checking for plugged emitters is an essential step in maintaining an irrigation system. Clogged emitters can be caused by several factors, including inorganic particles and microbial growth. Chemical treatment, such as chlorine, is an effective method to prevent plugging. However, it must be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions to minimize the risk of microbial growth. Other approaches include acid injection to remove scale deposits and prevent mineral precipitation.
Besides algae, other issues that can cause emitter plugging include suspended debris and sand particles. Many of these particles come from the surface of the water. In addition, surface water can contain larger organisms, such as fish, snails, and moss. These can accumulate in the emitters and pipes and support the growth of slime-forming bacteria.