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How to Maintain a Sprinkler System

Sprinkler System

By the end of a full season of watering, your automatic sprinkler system could probably use a maintenance. Here are a few things you can take care of in just a few minutes.

Sprinkler system maintenance

Make an inspection first. Observe your sprinkler system while it’s on and make note of nozzles that are clogged and heads that need to be raised or lowered. Most heads have a screw-in nozzle that is full, half or quarter in its spray pattern. These can be adjusted or replaced in just minutes with channel locks.

Clogged nozzles are pretty easy to handle too. You turn the sprinkler system off, unscrew the nozzle and remove it. Use a piece of wire, a needle or a paper clip to clean any debris from the inside of the nozzle. Before replacing it, turn the water to the system on and flush out the head. Then turn the water back off. Replace the nozzle and all should be right again.

Raising and lowering a head takes a bit more time. You have to dig out the area around the head. You can usually save the sod by digging underneath it with a sharp shovel and just peeling it back temporarily. Give yourself plenty of room around the head to work. You should be able to see the supply line, the nipple (which connects the supply line to the head) and the head. Hold the nipple with your channel locks and unscrew the head to remove it.

If you need to lower the head, unscrew the poly nipple from the supply line. Most of these are made to cut off in 1-inch increments to fit your needs.

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