Posts Tagged ‘irrigation system’
When you restart your irrigation system each spring, it’s important to follow the correct startup procedures so that you do not damage the system. Starting up the system is not particularly complicated, but it’s more than just turning on a valve. Be patient when turning on your irrigation system after it’s been winterized because if not, you could have a geyser of water filling up your yard and costly repairs.
The key to preventing system damage is to turn on the water slowly. This allows the pipes to pressurize and all the air to purge. Turning on the water source too abruptly can cause pipes to burst. Even if your pipes don’t rupture right away, you could create stress on the pipes that leads to damage and leaks down the road.
Hometips.com has a good explanation on how to properly start your irrigation system:
“Begin the process by filling the main line of the irrigation system (located between the water source and the zone valves). Slowly open the shutoff valve that controls the water supply to the entire system. A quarter turn or so is all you will need. Take your time and remember that the water has to travel the entire length of the main line. Once the main line is filled, proceed with filling each zone, again, by very slowly opening the zone valve manually.”
You've probably seen them on TV informercials or at a retail store near you. The Pocket Hose, or one of the various knock-offs now on the market, is a lightweight garden hose made of a special fabric that retracts where there is no water pressure. In theory, these hoses save you the backbreaking inconvenience of rolling up a traditional hose because they are light and automatically retract. Also, as they retract, the water runs out, making it faster and more convenient than draining a traditional hose. They are really an ideal solution in our Olympia climate. In the summer, because they drain out, they won't be full of scalding hot water when they sit in the sun. In the winter, they are less susceptible to damage from freezing.
But do they work? And do they hold up?
Speaking from personal experience, or at least my wife's personal experience, these hoses actually work. She loves them. She hates dragging a heavy hose around the yard and reeling it up just to water the flower beds. After she's done, she just turns off the water supply, the hose shrivels up, and she can just stuff it into a flower pot next to the hose bib.
While it's still a bit wet and windy out there, we are definitely headed towards spring. With the change in seasons, it's also a good time to do a spring checkup on your home's plumbing systems.
It's better to be preventive and inspect your systems now than to wait until you need them or until something breaks or leaks. For example, right now, you're probably not using your landscape irrigation system, but two months from now, when it's hot and dry, you don't want to turn your system on, only to find out it's sprung a leak or spigots aren't working.
Here is a checklist of common items that should be inspected or serviced every spring: