The temperatures are getting warmer and the hot, hazy days of summer are just around the corner. That means that if you enjoy a lush, green lawn, that it’s time to start watering your grass. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, now is the perfect time to inspect it and start it up for the season.
Inspect the sprinkler heads
- Take a walk around your yard and inspect all your sprinkler heads to make sure they are in good shape and level with the ground.
- Trim the grass around each sprinkler head.
Turn on the water to your sprinkler system
- Turn on the valve on your sprinkler supply line. There are two types of valves – ball valves and gate valves. If it’s a ball valve, turn the handle so that it’s parallel to the supply line. If it’s a gate valve, it will look like a wheel. Turn the wheel counter clockwise until the valve is wide open.
- If you see what appears to be a big metal toothpaste cap next to the valve, that’s a petcock. In winter, the petcock should be open to prevent frozen pipes. Going into summer, you want to tighten the petcock to prevent water drips. If you don’t see anything that looks like a toothpaste cap, then you don’t have a petcock and don’t need to worry about it.
- Turn on the sprinkler system controller. The controller is typically located inside your home or your garage. Mechanical controllers are simple – to turn them on, simply turn on the electricity to the mechanical controller. If you have a solid state controller, set it to active mode (it should have been set to inactive or “rain” mode during the winter).
Backflow prevention devices
Just a note about backflow prevention devices… When you shut your sprinkler system off in the fall last year, you may have removed your backflow prevention device. If so, you’ll need to reinstall it. A sprinkler service will be able to assist you if you are unfamiliar with this process.
Running your sprinkler system for the first time
The first time you run your sprinklers:
- Run each station for two minutes are so.
- Observe to make sure that each station is working properly and that the sprinkler heads are directing water in the proper direction.
Now, sit back and enjoy your beautiful green, healthy lawn.