As the seasons change, as snow comes and goes, the homeowner has to adapt accordingly. In order to ensure that when the ground begins to thaw, your sprinkler system is ready to be revitalized, you have to be careful about how you undertake things.
Winterizing your sprinklers is one task, but spring startup is another. Starting it again during springtime is an entirely different task with all of its own trials to face.
Tools to Prepare
To save you from the trouble of breaking your sprinklers, let’s get to talking about the steps to turning back on during springtime. First, prepare the following tools:
- Sprinkler Adjustment Tool
You will need the shovel earlier on, as we’ll explain later, as a way of testing the readiness of your lawn. The screwdrivers, sprinkler adjustment tool, and pliers are all tools you’ll most likely need in adjusting your sprinkler heads to optimize their performance, so it would be best to keep them on hand.
Here are a couple of reminders that you should know before actually reviving your sprinkler system after the passage of winter:
Value your patience
As you will learn, later on, you’ll be spending the majority of your time in this home maintenance task waiting for the right opportunity to spring into action, and the rest you’ll be spending by observing for any cracks, damages, and deficiencies. It’ll take a lot more time than you’d think, but it’s all worth it to keep you from spending your hard-earned cash on replacement parts, or worse—replacing your entire sprinkler system.
Avoiding water hammers
As awesome as water hammers may sound (it’s like they’re a unique power in some 70’s action cartoon), this is what’s referred to when there is a pressure surge that occurs when a fluid is suddenly forced to stop or change direction. Water hammers, in the context of your sprinkler pipes, can cause irreparable damage and cost a lot of money. To avoid water hammers, be sure to take things slowly, and go back to the first reminder.
Do the Dig Test
This part of the experience is as simple as it gets. All you have to do is ready a shovel and dig into the soil. If it takes too much effort to dig more than a foot into the ground, then your lawn isn’t ready yet for the sprinkler revival.
If the greenery on your lawn is on the verge of death and in need of irrigation then you have no choice but to bust out the good old hose and water your yard the old-fashioned way.
Go to where the shutoff valves in your house are—usually in the basement or somewhere in the backyard. Slowly twist them open so that the water slowly leaks into the pipeline. I say “leaks” because it’s important to take this step slowly: remember, water hammers are a big no-no.
All that’s left to do is general maintenance. Now that your sprinkler system is back up and running, it’s time to check your valves for leakages and damage, to see if the spray pattern on your sprinklers indicate a need for adjustment, to see if your sprinkler heads are in need of a bit of cleaning, etc.