Fixing Two Common Problems With Garden Irrigation Systems

Many property owners use garden or yard irrigation systems to regulate the watering of their plants, flowers, vegetables or fruit. Most irrigation systems use a controlling box to send signals to the valves to open, allowing water to come through, active the sprayers, and become distributed into the garden. The signal from the controlling box is usually issued via a timer.

Although the irrigation system is very durable, it may need some maintenance from time to time. Let's look at two common irrigations faults, and how to fix them:

How To Replace A Sprinkler Head

Fortunately, this job, aside from the effort of digging, is extremely easy to do.

A faulty sprinkler head will look cracked, broken or otherwise damaged, and will either not pop up at all to spray, or will pop up but won't spray anything. To fix this, you will need to dig a square hole around the sprinkler head. Dig about one foot either side of the head; it may be easier to slice the turf up with the edge of the spade into smaller pieces so you can remove them easier.

Keep digging down until you reveal the riser. Carefully remove the soil from the riser – the riser is the line that supplies the sprinkler with water, and sits vertically in the air – hence the name. The sprinkler heads are usually only tightened hand tight, so turn the faulty head anti-clockwise to remove it, and slip on and tighten the new head.

Don't be tempted to add a sealant – such as Teflon tape or compound – to the seal, as they are thoroughly factory tested to ensure that they are fit for purpose. Once you have replaced the soil, check the new sprinkler is working.

 Replacing A Broken Section

The irrigation pipes, depending on their location, can sometimes become crushed or damaged. Vehicles constantly driving over areas of piping can weaken or crush them, preventing them from allowing water through. To replace a damaged section, you will need regular couplings and band clamps as well as a section of new pipe.

It can be difficult to locate a problem, and may require some exploratory digging. Dig from the last working sprinkler head, and move along the line until you identify the problem. Use a hacksaw to remove the damaged section, and use this as a template for sizing up the new piece of pipe. Once you have slipped the new pipe into place, connect a coupling and band clamp at either end. You can now replace the soil.

It it critical that you locate and mark any underground utility pipes before you start digging; contact the separate companies to inform them of your intentions, and they will come out and mark the pipes for you.

If you find you need more help, or you just want to address other concerns, contact a company like Total Water Services.