As residential and commercial irrigation specialists, Sprinkler Guys in Rapid City use their years of experience to be your expert in keeping your lawn green – and your neighbors green with envy. Below are some quick tips and guidelines for sprinkler and irrigation system care in any season. For additional information or for a system estimate contact us.

Watering Guidelines

It’s generally recommended to water early in the morning when it is least windy and water pressure is at its greatest. Early morning watering will also reduce water evaporation. Watering in the early evening is not recommended. A lawn is more likely to get diseases when wet for a long duration, especially overnight during the summer. Watering in the middle of a hot summer day may also burn the plants or lawn, and is generally prohibited when water restrictions are in place.

Sprinklers watering lawn

Sprinkler Guys recommends setting your start time so watering is complete before your morning showers start. To calculate your best start time subtract the sum of your station run times from the desired ending time. For example, if you have 2 zones of sprays at 15 minutes each and 4 zones of rotors at 30 minutes each and you want the system to stop running by 6:30am, you should set your program start time for 4:00am.

The amount of required watering varies depending on soil types and amount of natural rainfall. Below are general guidelines. New lawns must be kept moist, and newly-transplanted shrubs must be watered every day or two. Established plants and lawns will need deeper, less frequent watering. Sunny portions of the lawn require more watering than shady portions. Based on your specific watering requirements you can adjust the guidelines below.

Generally, approximately 1” of water per week is necessary to maintain a healthy lawn. To accomplish this, the following run times are required:

  • Spray zones: 15 minutes every other day
  • Rotor zones: 30 minutes every other day
  • Drip zones: 20-30 minutes every other day

The zone list provided to you after installation identifies what type of heads are on each zone in your system.

Spring Irrigation System Start-ups Checklist

Before turning on any water to the system, make sure all manual drain valves are returned to the “closed” position.

  • Open the system’s main water valve slowly to allow pipes to fill with water gradually. If these valves are opened too quickly, sprinkler main lines are subjected to a high surge of pressure, uncontrolled flow and water hammer.
  • Verify the proper operation of each zone valve by manually activating it from the controller.
  • Walk through each station on the controller, checking for proper operation of the zone. Check for proper operating pressure (low pressure indicates a line break or missing sprinkler), proper rotation and adjustment of sprinkler heads, and adequate coverage. Check and clean filters on poorly performing sprinklers. Adjust heads to grade as necessary.
  • Reprogram the controller for automatic watering. Replace the controller back-up battery if necessary.
  • Uncover and clean the system rain sensor, if applicable.
  • Finish and clean any in-line filters for drip irrigation zones.

Sprinkler Guys Irridrator System Winterization

Every year, before the first freeze, the ritual of irrigation winterization becomes the priority for all irrigation systems that are in regions of the country where the frost level extends below the depth of the installed piping.

Frozen water lines

Even if you have drained some water out of the system, the remaining water can freeze, expand and crack the PVC piping (rigid, white pipe), usually from fitting to fitting. Polyethylene pipe (flexible, black pipe) is used in many freezing climates. Although polyethylene pipe is more flexible and can expand under pressure, water left inside could freeze and rupture the pipe walls. Freezing water in the backflow assembly will damage the internal components and could possibly crack the brass body.

To minimize the risk of freeze damage to your irrigation system, you’ll need to winterize your irrigation system.

Irridrator winterization instructions_2015