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It's time to tune up sprinklers for spring

Posted: March 17, 2012 - 11:05pm
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Eddie Letbetter, with Thompson's Sprinkler Repair & Installation, covers a lawn irrigation pipe in a home owners yard in Holiday Park.
Eddie Letbetter, with Thompson's Sprinkler Repair & Installation, covers a lawn irrigation pipe in a home owners yard in Holiday Park.

Warmer temperatures inevitably mean that sprinklers will begin to start spraying lawns across the county as homeowners strive for lush, green lawns throughout the spring and summer.

For homeowners who are considering having an irrigation system installed, one expert suggests doing so before any landscape work.

“Put a sprinkler system in first and then do the landscaping,” said Bill Harley, owner of the Bill Harley Co., a landscaping business. “Many people want to do landscaping first and then put in the sprinkler system.”

Harley said that is counterproductive because the landscaping will have to be redone after the irrigation system is installed.

Homeowners who already have a sprinkler system should check it before putting it into use to save headaches down the road. Harley recommends hiring a professional to set the heads and adjust the timers.

Harley said valve washers in the sprinkler heads typically last no longer than 10 years, so they eventually will need to be changed. For many, undertaking that task themselves can be daunting.

“It’s always a good idea to have an irrigation specialist check the system,” he said. “They will set the heads and adjust the time, as well as re-familiarize the homeowner with the system.”

For do-it-yourselfers, the Web site IrrigationRepair.com offers a number of helpful tips for tuning up irrigation systems. First and foremost, the site suggests that knowing the sprinkler type – spray or rotor – is pertinent in determining how to go about maintaining the system.

Things to look for are whether the sprinkler heads lift above the grass, if they spray areas that they shouldn’t, and if they have leaks. Zone valves that are not turning off and improperly working timers or controllers can also present issues.

“All of these maintenance procedures are very easy to detect,” according the site. “Regardless of the problem, it is important to take measures to quickly correct the issue so that you are making the best use of your irrigation system as possible. Keeping your system properly tuned will save you both time and money in the long run.”

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