Best Ways to Avoid Lawn Sprinkler Repairs
A lawn sprinkler system, also known as an irrigation system, is a common feature on many residential properties in Victoria BC. The benefits of one include saving on your water bill, ensuring your landscape plants don’t wither and die, and greatly reducing your maintenance duties as a homeowner. However, as a landscaping and irrigation company in Victoria BC, we’ve often encountered damaged sprinkler systems, which can be costly to repair. Here are some truly effective ways to ensure you will almost never have to do one again.
Proper Maintenance such as Winterizing
Winterizing is the process of blowing out all the water leftover in the pipes and the heads after your sprinkler system is shut down. Just like when you turn off your taps indoors, there will always be some residual water left over in the system. Unfortunately it being outside means the water will freeze and expand and damage your pipes and other more sensitive components of your sprinkler system. It’s important that the winterizing is done by a reputable irrigation company that knows what they are doing and uses the right equipment. Also just as important, it’s best to book it months ahead of time so that it will be done before the middle of October. The longer you wait, the more likely your system risks overnight below freezing temperatures as October is when everyone wants theirs done and there’s a huge backlog. The compressor used should be a good sized compressor that is towed as that’s the size needed to sufficiently blow out all your zones in a timely manner.
The absolute best thing you can do to prevent any kind of damage to your irrigation sprinkler systems is to install it at the proper depth. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen irrigation lines buried too shallow. This is often because the original installer was too lazy to dig deeper and wanted to rush the job for the same pay.
The problems with a shallow sprinkler system are mainly two fold. One it’s more susceptible to temperature changes such that may cause the lines to freeze before it’s properly blown out and winterized. Second, it’s more likely to be damaged by any future landscaping work done on the property.
As someone who does a great deal of landscape installs in Victoria BC, very very rarely do they involve digging to 1 ft of depth or more. Whether it’s patios or walkways, driveways even or retaining walls, the typical depth that I excavate to is between 6 and 10 inches.
Therefore, by burying all the pipes and junctions at 1 ft of depth, these lines should never be exposed to any landscaping work you want done in the future. It’s essentially futureproof.
Map it Out
This goes without saying but is almost never done. During the install process, a map of the entire system should be made. A standard BC-One (aka Call Before You Dig) map includes information about the rough location of gas lines, water mains, and basic utilities including internet. It does not, however, include irrigation lines. What you want to do is have something similar available so that any future work will know to hand dig in certain locations to avoid damage. In the interest of saving time and costs though, this is never done. Furthermore, when houses change owners, the new owner often has not even a slight idea where the lines are versus the original owner who typically have a rough mental idea.
Following the above mentioned tips will basically ensure 90% of irrigation repairs won’t be necessary. All these steps involve some extra money spent but overall you will come out far ahead as irrigation repairs in Victoria BC typically costs around $100 an hour including travel time plus materials. It’s very easy to rack up half a grand in repairs with a simple nick of the line. Taking the above precautionary steps will give you peace of mind knowing your lines are basically secure against damages from the elements as well as any work you do on your property.