With Stage 2 water restrictions continuing in Austin, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), through their blog, has asked home owners to check out their sprinkler and irrigation systems so that any inefficiencies and waste water loss are eliminated.
Brett Briant, an LCRA Water Conservation Coordinator, gives a number of valuable tips to checking out your sprinkler system and we will repeat them here.
“To prepare, get a notebook and a pen or pencil to write down any problems you find. You’ll also need the correct tool to adjust your sprinkler heads (more on this later) and a sharp, disinfected trimming tool to clip any landscaping that might be interfering with the sprinkler system. You’ll probably want to get something to mark problem spots so you’ll be able to find and repair them later. There are marking flags for this purpose, but you can use bamboo shish kebab skewers or other items that you might have around the house. Just make sure you don’t step on the skewers.
“To do a self-checkup you will have to run your system on manual operation and walk through each zone to see how each head is performing. Look for heads that are spraying water on the driveway, house or road, or those that may be leaking or clogged. You can adjust rotor and nozzle sprayheads while they are running, but you should turn the sprinkler system off to clean or replace a nozzle.
“If you have a spray head that isn’t working properly, it might mean that the screen inside the spray head needs to be cleaned. To get to the screen, pull the pop up riser out of the valve body and unscrew the nozzle to expose the top lip of the screen. Remove the screen and clean with a soft-bristled brush, pressurized water or pressurized air.
“If you have a rotor head sprinkler that is spraying water on the road, driveway or other places where it is only being wasted, you will need to adjust the head. Some rotor heads come with a white plastic adjustment tool and others can be adjusted with a small, flat blade screw driver. There’s generally a slot marked -/+ on top of the sprinkler head. Turn clockwise to increase the arc of the water and counter clockwise to decrease.
“The distance the water travels can be adjusted with a screw located directly under the arrow on the sprinkler head and in front of the rotor nozzle. Turn clockwise to shorten and counter clockwise to increase. If you are not sure how to adjust the rotor head, visit the manufacturer’s website.
“While you’re checking your system, you should trim any landscaping that is interfering with the sprinkler system. Use a sharp, disinfected tool to do the trimming so that no infections are transferred from plant to plant. You can disinfect a tool with a solution of one part bleach to four parts water. You can dip the cutters in the solution before each plant cutting or simply wipe the blade (carefully) with Clorox wipes.”
All great advice. If you need help, South Austin Irrigation Repair is here. We have the knowledge and experience to fix any problem, big or small, with your irrigation or sprinkler system. You just need to give us a call.
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