Rain is hard to come by in the sunny, dry Southern California climate. This makes an irrigation system essential to growing a lush and plentiful garden or even a patch of grass in your Manhattan Beach yard. Despite their necessity, irrigation systems can be costly, and you want to ensure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck. Read on for how to identify irrigation repair and tips for improvement.
How to Identify Irrigation Repair
Irrigation systems are critical to maintaining a beautiful and healthy landscape in an arid location. However, if a system becomes damaged, it can waste incredible quantities of water and skyrocket your utility bill. Here are the steps you need to take for proper irrigation repair.
Step 1: Find the Damage
Identifying an irrigation issue can vary in difficulty. On the easier end, you will likely notice if water is spraying wildly, sprinkler head parts are scattered on the ground, or water gushing down a hill. Alternatively, you could go to turn the system on, and nothing happens. That’s an easy red flag.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy. Sometimes you may need to search for especially green areas of grass, wilting landscaping, squishy ground, or pooling water. Once you identify the problem area, you can start troubleshooting.
Step 2: Easy Fix or Call for Assistance
Most homeowners are unaware of the complexities of an irrigation system, especially underground systems that were installed by a professional company. While you may be able to troubleshoot a quick solution, such as tightening a sprinkler head, most cases will require some experience, tools, and skill to solve.
If you are a crafty home DIYer, you may be able to research your unique problem and come up with a solution. However, if you are the slightest bit hesitant in performing your own irrigation repair, we suggest calling in a professional. This will ultimately save you time and money while ensuring a proper fix as well as keeping you and your property safe.
Pro Tip: If you did have your irrigation system installed by a professional company, reach out to them first for irrigation repair, as your system may still be under warranty.
Step 3: Inspect Frequently
Irrigation systems are composed of many parts and different technologies. Regular inspections of your system for leaks and water pressure issues are essential. A small leak only gets worse and becomes more expensive, so it is crucial to catch these early on. A water monitoring system can be an effective tool to help alert you to any issues so you can get irrigation repair immediately.
Tips to Improve Your Irrigation Systems
1. Prevent Runoff
The hills of Manhattan Beach can change your irrigation techniques. Sprinklers on slopes can cause distribution issues, as water runoff causes uneven distribution. You can take advantage of this by planting water-needy plants at the bottom of hills or adjusting your sprinkler head distribution based on their location on a slope.
2. Head Arc Rotation and Timing
Consider where you need water from each rotating sprinkler head in your garden. Ensure each unit is set to spray only at the angle and arc you need, and then adjust their run time based on that need. For example, if a 360-degree rotating head needs a thirty-minute run time, then a sprinkler head next to a sidewalk only has a 180-degree rotation and needs only fifteen minutes of runtime.
3. Uniform Distribution
No irrigation system is perfect, but some distribute water more uniformly than others. The most powerful water distribution will be near the main unit, and the water pressure will decrease as you move further away. To look for problems, try a cup test and see if some areas are filling at different rates. This can help save your plants and tell you when you need to replace your nozzles.
What is the common cause of irrigation failure?
As with any technology, it isn’t foolproof. There are numerous reasons why your irrigation system may fail. The most common issues are the following:
- Cracks and stress fractures to a component
- Damage to the sprinkler head
- Frozen or burst pipes due to freezing temperatures
- Clogs in the pipes or sprinkler heads due to debris build-up
- Worn or damaged gaskets, seals, or valves
- Rust and corrosion to hardware
- Aging components
Why is one of my irrigation zones not working?
If you notice that one section of your irrigation system isn’t working, it is typically an electrical issue or a defective controller. An easy way to test this is to use the manual settling on the controller. If it works, it typically means that the system isn’t programmed properly. If it doesn’t work, it is likely an internal component of the controller. We suggest speaking with your local irrigation expert on how to proceed, as you will be working with an electronic component.
How Much Does Irrigation Repair Cost?
There is no concrete answer to this question as it is highly dependent on the situation. The following factors will contribute to your overall price for irrigation repair:
- What the problem is
- If replacement parts will need to be utilized
- Where the repair is located (underground involves time for digging)
- How large is the repair (a simple sprinkler head replacement will be less than replacing an entire underground line)
Homeowners can assume that starting prices for irrigation repair will likely be over $100 and up, depending on their unique problem and irrigation system design. We recommend getting two to three quotes from local irrigation repair companies or speaking with your original irrigation installer.
Design Scapes – Save Money with Irrigation Design
Irrigation systems are highly specialized to suit the unique needs of your landscaping. When done wrong, you will waste water and money as well as potentially hurt your environment. Become a leader in water conservation today by giving us a call to improve your irrigation systems.