Saturday, April 19, 2008

Spring sprinkler System Start Up

I got this email from Bob in Long Island:

All I want to do it activate my irrigation system. It was winterized last fall. I don't want to pay someone to turn on the system but I can't find information on how to do it. It's a hunter system. Can you help.

I don't have a lot of experience in winterizing sprinkler systems, but I think I can help. The sprinkler pipes are now full of air because they are not full of water. So we need to first turn on a zone at the controller and SLOWLY open the water supply to the system. This will allow the air to escape through the sprinkler heads as the mainline fills with water. As we all know, air compresses but water does not, and we do not want to burst a pipe with compressed air.
When the system was shut down for the winter, a drain plug may have been left open. You would look for this drain at the lowest elevation of the system. It should be in a valve box.
Once the system is pressurized, check each zone on the system for clogged or broken heads, or heads that are obstructed by shrubs or are to low to rise above the turf.

For more tips on sprinkler head repair or sprinkler valve repair, go

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