We have finally made it through the bitter cold winter months and broken through to the sunny side of spring.
The sunshine is not only pulling us out of hibernation but our gardens too. This makes it the perfect time to perform some irrigation system maintenance as your lawn and plants begin to thrive, so we decided to provide you with an irrigation checklist to help you ensure your irrigation system is ready for summer!
With a winter sprinkler water ban in place from June 1 to August 31 (which saves a staggering 4.5 billion litres of water every year!), it is important to ensure everything is in working order before flicking on the switch.
It is also important to iron out any kinks before summer’s regular usage, ensuring no water is wasted to unnecessary leakage.
Perform A Test Run
The most simple and effective way to ensure your irrigation system is running efficiently is to give it a test run and observe the cycle. Make a note of any areas the water does not reach or areas where water is pooling unnecessarily.
This way, you will have an idea of which areas of your sprinkler system needs adjusting.
If your sidewalk, street or paving is getting more water than your garden, this is a good place to start making changes – and saving water from being wasted in the process.
Check Sprinkler Heads
As your sprinkler heads are exposed to the elements, they can become blocked by dirt, leaves and other debris over time. They can also deteriorate due to sun exposure, become damaged by lawn mowers or run over by cars. Tree roots can also cause problems when they crack or grow into underground pipes and block water flow to the sprinkler head.
Be sure to weed out and replace any damaged spray heads, tighten any that may have become loose and check and clean the filter on poorly performing pop up sprinklers.
Is Your System Environmentally Friendly?
During your annual check-up, it is worth considering how environmentally friendly your irrigation system is, and where possible improvements can be made. As mentioned above, placement and water direction is important to ensure your garden is benefiting from the water supply instead of the pavement, but your plants could also benefit from the installation of a drip-irrigation system.
The drip-irrigation system delivers water directly to the plants roots either from the soil surface or buried below in slow drips. This targeted approach minimises water lost to evaporation.
Another water-saving tactic is to water for longer periods of time, but less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance.
Our Perth plumbing team highly recommends the addition of a rain sensor as part of your irrigation system maintenance, with this handy device halting your sprinkler system during rainfall to lower water consumption. Once the rain has stopped, the sensor will alert the reticulation system to start up again, ensuring your plants don’t miss a drop.
Timing is everything when it comes to setting your automatic sprinklers. Aim for early morning or evening when temperatures are lower, which will also help to minimise evaporation. In Western Australia, the Water Corporation asks homeowners to only water before 9am or after 6pm on your allocated watering days.
Know Your Garden
When performing irrigation system maintenance, you should take note of the different watering needs of the plants and grasses in your garden. This will allow you to tailor your system to ensure the right amount of water is being received without delivering more than required.
It is important to tune these settings as time goes on, rather than setting and forgetting. If you have freshly laid lawn for example, it will need plenty of water to ensure it thrives in the initial stage. This can then be lowered as it establishes and its water requirement reduces.
You should also take into account the season and how the conditions will affect your garden. If your location is getting above average rain for the time of year, your reticulation system may not be required as often as it is in extended dry, hot weather.
Check Your Watering Days
Sprinkler rosters were introduced in 2001 and made permanent across Western Australia in 2007 to assist water efficiency measures.
We all have a responsibility to be water-wise, so be sure to only water your garden once on your allocated days. You can check your rostered days here.
Set Your Timer
Review the control panels date, time and irrigation zone settings to ensure they are correct. If your system has a battery backup and the batteries are more than six months old, this is a good time to replace them.
Need Some Help From The Experts At No Probs Plumbing and Electrical?
Whether you are having trouble setting the correct watering day or time for your sprinklers to turn on, or you have a broken reticulation sprinkler, our Perth plumbers have the experience and knowledge to get your reticulation working again in no time.
Our professional team of plumbers and gas fitters can also conduct the irrigation checklist steps for you, or assist with any required plumbing tasks you may have in Perth, including gas hot water repairs, leaking taps, blocked drains and any renovation or appliance installation needs.
In the case of gas leaks and burst pipes, our team provides plumbing emergency service to ensure you are seen before damage is caused to your home or business.
Get in touch with our licensed plumbers today on (08) 9315 5545 or enquire via email at [email protected] for an obligation free quote and no call out fees.