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Automatic sprinkler systems do require maintenance

Updated: Feb 23

In the hot summer months, it doesn't take long for flaws in your irrigation system to be exposed. You have to constantly check coverage and make sure every spot in your yard is getting the same amount of water every watering cycle. Using irrigation water keeps the cost of water down, but it's dirty and will frequently clog sprinkler filters. Just because you cleaned the filters in the spring, doesn't mean you won't have to clean them 5 more times throughout the summer. In some areas, filters might need changed several times a season. Rotor heads usually don't require checking filters, but they need to be calibrated to spray an even amount of water in their entire watering area. Think about when you put spray bottles on jet spray... This is good for the grass 25 feet out, but not so good for the grass 2-12 feet out. Rotor heads should spray from head to head, so grass is getting double covered. Rotor heads and pop up heads water at completely different rates, so you want to avoid having rotor heads and pop up heads on the same zone. If sprinklers have been installed improperly there is only so much you can do, and you'll have to drag a hose and sprinkler around, like your grandpa did and water by hand. A common mistake I see is when flaws in the system are exposed, home owners crank up the watering run times and frequency. Without addressing the problem that caused the dry areas, watering more will only lead to flooding the areas that were getting coverage, and areas that weren't getting covered still aren't getting covered. That's like trying to drink out of a cup with a hole in the bottom. I can keep trying to pour more water into the broken cup, and watch it leak out the bottom, but until I fix the hole in the bottom of the cup, none of the water will reach the desired location in my mouth. Automatic sprinklers make watering a lot easier, but they do require maintenance.

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