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Springtime Sprinkler System Maintenance Steps from Roto-Rooter

May 08, 2015

When it comes to regular household maintenance, the easiest way to remember what needs to be done and when is to align different tasks to different times of the year. After a long winter, most homeowners are eager to attend to the landscaping. It’s also the perfect time to evaluate your outdoor plumbing and address any necessary maintenance. During the cold season, many outside plumbing fixtures freeze and sometimes break. These problems can go unnoticed until the water lines are pressurized and/or used again in the spring. The first step is to inspect all of your outdoor hose valves (bibbs or spigots) for visible signs of damage.

If you have an outdoor sprinkler system, you’ll want to complete a thorough self-inspection to prepare the system for regular use. Follow these steps from Roto-Rooter to examine your sprinkler system and avoid any leaky surprises.

If you live in an area that requires secondary water to be turned into the lines by your city, you may have to wait until the day that occurs to check some parts of your sprinkler system. Check with your local water ministry for the exact time that will take place. If you can pressurize your system yourself with culinary water, do that on the first series of warm days in spring.

  • Check all valves on your system and make sure they are closed. Visually examine each of the valve manifolds for any obvious signs of damage.
  • Pressurize your system by opening your stop-and-waste valve. This valve is buried deep in the ground to prevent freeze problems, but you’ll want to examine it for several moments to make sure there is no water leakage coming up the access sleeve.
  • Do a quick check of all valves attached to your sprinkler system. Make sure there is no leakage coming from any of the valves. Often, valve manifolds are installed at low points on the system, making them prone to freezing if they are not opened properly and allowed to drain. Water collects on the high side of the valve and freezes on the first cold night of winter. The ice expansion will crack the pipe and/or the valve housing. If you notice any leakage around valves, immediately turn off your system and call Roto-Rooter.
  • Check each sprinkler lateral on your system. Manually run each valve, either from the valve itself or at the sprinkler control box. Check each sprinkler head and make sure it has normal pressure. If you notice any laterals with low pressure, that is a sign that the line may be broken.

The expert plumbers at Roto-Rooter aren’t just here to plunge your toilet. They are fully versed in addressing maintenance and repair issues for your outdoor plumbing systems too, including sprinklers and irrigation. If you’re concerned that your sprinkler system isn’t ready to go for the season, give us a call day or night and we’ll diagnose and repair any issues you’re having.

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