If the weather can’t give your lawn the results you want, a sprinkler system is the best alternative to take care of the water needs your yard requires. Most homeowners and almost all recently built residential properties use sprinklers to water their ornamental plants and yards.
The irrigations systems are installed to provide irrigation as well as minimal maintenance. However, the systems are usually under pressure and must cope with harsh weather conditions throughout the year even when they are not being used. Therefore, the sprinkler needs regular repair and maintenance to prevent failure, damage and loss of water.
Identifying and fixing the particular problem can help prevent an additional problem in the future. For instance, a landscape with a dry spot can seem to be lacking water, but a broken sprinkler, pipe leaks, clogged sprinkler among others may be the cause of the problem.
If you are a DIYer, you can repair some sprinkler problems although you must identify the specific issue first. However, other problems may need the help of a sprinkler repair contractor. In addition, conduct regular checkups while the system is operating.
Let’s look at the common problems with sprinkler systems:
- Clogged sprinklers
- Mis-programmed timer boxes
- Broken heads
- Broken pressure vacuum breaker
- Broken or leaking pipes
- Leaking sprinklers and valves
- Obstructed sprinklers
When dirt from your lawn mower or debris from the rain is trapped in the nozzle or filter of your sprinkler, it becomes clogged with time. This is usually the most common problem with sprinklers, whereby little or no water can pass through the nozzle when in operation. You can easily identify a clogged sprinkler because the spray becomes uneven, interrupted or nonexistent.
Also, the sprinkler can leak water, which later forms a pool around the head.
Mis-programmed timer boxes
The timer box is the component that provides electrical power to the sprinkler, and it is mostly stored in the garage. Sometimes it might not function properly due to a power outage, getting into the wrong hands, or poor programming. The timer box may not be broken, but you might need a professional to get it up and running if you cannot identify the problem causing failure to ensure your lawn gets the right amount of water.
Sprinkler heads are prone to breakage due to many reasons. First, most of them are made of cheap plastic, and it’s hard to find one that can never break. Second, they are left outside throughout the year, which as a result, the UV rays breaks down the plastic. Third, they have many tiny parts and just like any other mechanical system, they eventually fail. Also, the head can be broken when undertaking everyday activities.
When they become weak, they can easily be stepped on or ran over with a lawnmower. Also, if there is a sprinkler blow out, the head can accidentally seep cold water into them and freeze as a result. Therefore, you should address a broken sprinkler head with immediate effect to prevent the water from gushing into the air as well as washing your soil away.
Broken pressure vacuum breaker
A broken pressure vacuum breaker is probably the largest sprinkler repair. It often occurs when you do not follow the proper procedures for sprinkler blowout. In this case, the water left inside freezes, then expands, which cracks the vacuum breaker. When it breaks, the sprinkler works as usual, but there is an enormous loss of water through the control valves. This leads to low pressure behind every sprinkler head, thus poor coverage.
The best thing about PVC pipes is that they are installed underground. If you are conversant with geothermal energy, then you are aware that the most of the ground is usually above the freezing temperatures even in winter seasons.
Although it is almost impossible to break the plastic pipes using a shovel, you can encounter a pipe that has broken someday, if you haven’t. As a result, you will need to repair the pipe, which requires specialised tools. Therefore, this job is for pros. If you are handy, you will need a specific cutter to cut the broken area, a primer and a slip to put it back together.
Always put it in mind that the pipes are but welded with a solvent, which is the material that partially dissolves the plastic pipe to facilitate fusing them. So you apply the solvent on each side of those elements you wish to put together, then pull fittings closer too . The part will be melted by the solvent, which then fuses it. Ensure that the areas that are to be connected are sanded and clean before the welding process.
However, repairing a broken PVC pipe by yourself is risky. If the soils seep into the sprinkler, it can damage or clog the heads. This would result in more problems since you will need a system repairer to help you flush the sprinkler. Also, remember to check if the repaired part is leaking before covering it up.
You can easily forget the location of your pop-up sprinkler in the lawn if the surrounding plants grow over it. Ensure that there are no items such as trash can, which can obstruct the sprinkler especially when choosing the location of your new plants. If you place an object in front of the system, the water will not reach the designated zone, and you will find a dry spot on your landscape.
Also, you can maintain the area surrounding the sprinkler to prevent spray obstruction. For instance, turfgrass can grow and cover the pop-up sprinkler, which makes it hard for the system to spray. You may also need to prune overhanging tree branches and shrubs to prevent obstruction. In addition, if you ran over the sprinkler with a lawn mower, it can be forced into the ground, and the spray might not reach the surrounding areas.
Sprinkler Repair Cost
Sprinkler systems are used for outdoor, irrigation or in all types of homes and agricultural business set up. They are responsible for ensuring that the health of your plantation, shrubs and vegetation gardens is in good shape and that it has an attractive appearance. Rainfall tends to be inconsistent, and for you to maintain the beautiful appearance and quality of your lawn, the use of sprinkler system is inevitable. This means that whenever you have a damaged sprinkler, broken sprinkler heads, erratic water pressure or any other sprinkler related problems, it is important that you get it fixed as soon as possible.
|Type of Repair||Cost
|Fixing a bad spot ||$60 to $170
|Tweaking the system||$73 to $250
|Back up speed||$430 to $770
|Spring start up||At least $73
|Replacing an electric valve||At least $75
|Replacing a spray nozzle||At least $14
|To raise head||$20
|To lower head||$30
It is essential to understand the designs and the specific functions of the parts of your sprinkler as this will help you discuss well the problems and repair options that are available out there with your technician. This article will be important to help you get the cost that you will incur to repair your sprinkler and help you develop a thriving landscape. The most common sprinkler problem will cost you from 70$ to 170$. However, the cost of the repair will depend on the following factors:
1. Service provider
Seeking the service of a professional, trained and certified personnel to fix your sprinkler will be more costly because of the use of specialized tools and expertize, the professional will ensure that the sprinkler is well repaired, functioning properly and is watering the landscape efficiently. On the other hand, the services of the non-specialist individuals are relatively cheap. For instance, the hourly rate of a handy and non-specialized man will cost you roughly 45$ per hour while from a professional contractor, It will cost you over 72$ per hour.
2. Type of repair needed
Different types of sprinkler repairs cost differently depending on the part to be repaired, labor and time needed for repair. Note that the professional uses a particular type of sprinklers head depending on the zone of your lawn. To replace a single broken sprinkler head will cost you over 55$ while the cost of a standard sprinkler head is 5$. A new sprinkler valve, on the other hand, will cost you close to 16$ while the cost of fixing it, will range from 145$ to 110$. Other extensive repairs might be involved such as the installation of shut off valve or installation of a pop-up sprinkler that may cost you from 77$ to 280$.
3. Availability of incentives such as discounts
It is advisable to ask for the availability of discounts on the services offered especially by the professional contractors. This will cut down the cost of repair. There may also be such as special discounts for the first time customers, and this may be a huge boost for a customer.
4. Quality of the sprinkler heads and piping
The quality of the sprinkler head, the piping and also the timer system will affect the cost of repair. Investing in good quality parts will give you durability and save you unnecessary repair cost that may arise in the future.
5. Choice of your company
The cost of repair for your sprinkler will also depend on the company that you will settle for to provide the service. It is therefore advisable that you shop around for different prices before deciding to settle on a particular company. Also, ask for friends, relatives and on a search on an online platform about a certain service provider to make informed decisions. Don’t always go for companies that offer cheap costs for their services as this may also mean cheap services hence tending to be very costly in the long run due to the subsequent repairs that may arise.
When you start having problems with your sprinkler, it can be very devastating and tough for you to figure out what is the problem and most importantly, how much it will cost you to get it repaired. However, you need to take your time and talk to a sprinkler professional on the same. The table below will provide rough estimates of the cost that you will need to incur to get a new sprinkler repaired or repairing the old one.
Professional vs Do-it-yourself
When it comes to repairing your sprinkler, it is very essential to know when exactly to call a professional as this will save you a lot of money in the long run. However, it is advisable to stick to the minor repairs such as fixing or replacing the nozzle and such things as rotter adjustment. The more complicated and sensitive repairs ought to be handled by a professional to ensure that all the vegetation or scrubs on the different landscape get the service they need.
When you need to replace a nozzle, all you need to do is use a flathead screwdriver used to lift the riser. Twist carefully to remove the nozzle while still keeping the riser lifted. Screw in the new nozzle and adjust to the required pattern. A professional should do major repairs such as valve replacement since it can be very complicated to and time-consuming to locate lines and lines. A PVC system will cost you an expense of between 23$ to 30$ per hour but if you can do it for yourself, well, go for it!
Modern sprinklers have been made in such a way that whenever is fractured or broken, it is an easy snap or glue together, and the tubbing is easily cut to the correct length. This will be cheap to get it fixed rather than hiring a professional. Repairing leaks from a damaged sprinkler line will about at least over 24$ using your repair kit. Finding the lawn belt takes more time and effort hence costly. This is because the lawn belt is near the surface. When you decide to call for a professional for repair, it is advisable not to pay for the cost before the whole process is done unless you are willing to risk your money.
In conclusion, repairing your sprinkler system will not only save you water but also money. Therefore, it is essential to repair your sprinkler once you have a problem to ensure that your environment remains attractive, flourished, refreshing and that your landscape is well protected. Make informed decisions regarding the cost by choosing the right service provider and one that will perfectly suit your budget.
Tips for Finding the Best Sprinkler Repair Contractor
Is your lawn one of your favourite places in your homestead? Do you constantly admire it and always in dire need to maintain it to the best of your capabilities? You are likely to have installed a sprinkler system to water your plants, but since malfunctions occur often, you need repair. The best contractor should minimise chances of another repair in the future and reduce the costs incurred. Similarly, there is need the work done in a way that meets all your needs.
In any market, I believe that a good thing sells with no need to incur much advertising costs except where competition is quite high. This also applies to the best repair contractor in the field. However, it’s essential to now the qualities of the best characteristics of a contractor to enable in the search. Here are the tips you can consider when looking for the best sprinkler repair contractor.
1. Look into official recommendation channels
There are agency bodies or institutions that provide licenses and certificates to contractors. You can ask for the names of the active members who have the skills and have passed the test. This would be the ideal place to find the best sprinkler system contractor who will provide the services you require.
2. Ask for recommendations
If you have friends, relatives, work colleagues who have lawns are likely to have worked with a sprinkler contractor. Ask for the names of the contractors, visit their homes to see how their systems are installed or repaired before you make your decision. You can also search for online sites with reviews and ratings of various sprinkler repair contractors. You will also find the contractors who work around your area. Through the sites, you can get the best fit for your repair job.
3. Identify what you need to be repaired in the sprinkler system
It is important to know the component that has malfunctioned before you find a repairer. This can help you understand what repair is needed after a breakdown. If not, find out what really requires repairing to ensure you are on the right track and that you can understand it all when it’s being done.
4. Ask the prospect contractors questions concerning the project
Interviewing plays a big role in finding the best person for the repair job, right? All those interviews and recruitment procedures some companies invest in means something since they fund them heavily. Therefore, the journey towards the best sprinkler repair contractor should include an interviewing session which guarantees best results. Here, you get to ask them all you need to know about how they carry out the process. Asking questions builds confidence and trust that the contractor will most likely do the repairs as you require.
5. Check for documentation
When hiring a contractor, he/she should have the right legal documents. This indicates compliance and commitment of the individual in what they do. If one cannot provide them, then this becomes fishy and its best to avoid them. In fact, some may have had the documents, but lost them to agencies due to malpractices or poor services. Therefore, you need to make the right decision since you want a smooth process. Don’t choose an unlicensed or uncertified contractor; you will be disappointed in the long run.
6. Ask for pictures of previous projects done by the contractor
Technology has risen quite high in today’s world where pictures play a significant role in the marketing and sales industry, especially in online marketing. A great contractor is likely to have taken some pictures of their previous work, and you can ask to see them. This gives a prior insight into what is likely to be done to your system and the probable outcome. In addition, it can provide more information or give ideas you can consider during the process for an excellent sprinkler repair.
7. Don’t settle on the first contractor you find; compare different ones
There is no doubt that in your area there may be many contractors who are fully qualified for hire. In this case, do not settle on the first one that you come across. In the best case scenario, have several bids and compare their pricing, time, products preferred and more factors crucial to the right final decision. Watch out for extremely low bidders who are a bit suspicious. People say you get what you pay for and I believe it applies in this case. Do not be too much in observing the cost to incur rather than the service provided. In fact, you would rather spend much on a one-time excellent repair than spend lots on multiple repairs. Comparing several contractors also provides you with an average cost of the entire repair project thus making you better prepared.
8. Consider working with your sprinkler installation contractor
They say its better the devil you know than the angel you never met, right? In this case, this phrase holds much weight. If you did not have a major incident with your previous contractor and in a better case the malfunction is not their fault, you should consider them. They know your sprinkler system better, which gives an added advantage if they repair the system.
There is nothing better than a job well done as per your expectations. It feels great digging into your pocket for work that you are satisfied with. In many cases, consider following the above tips in your search for a sprinkler repair contractor. Where you have to inquire, do not shy off or worry about time spent since a good job is all you need. Better use your resources for some competent work.
Tips for Maintaining your Sprinkler System
A beautiful, refreshing and breathtaking environment around your home is something everyone would wish for. Nevertheless, for this to be possible, you will need to have a proper and well-functioning sprinkler system to ensure proper distribution of water on different vegetation and plantation on different lawn and landscape. Also, if there is a sprinkler which goes underground, it is essential to make sure that is performing properly and efficiently throughout the year. The first thing is to check the manufacture’s advice on proper maintenance and upkeep of your sprinkler. This article will be useful in giving you thoughtful and important insight on how to maintain your sprinkler system that will not only help you save water, but also money!
1. Check sprinkler head
It is advisable to check the sprinkler head and remove clogs. Ensure that the sprinkler heads are directed to the plants that you want watered. Further, check for screws which have loosed up and in case of a broken or fractures sprinkler head, replace it as soon as possible. Check for damp parts in the landscape, as this is a clear indication of a broken pipe or a leak. Unseen leaks lead to water wastage in areas that are not needed and hence the need to get it fixed to ensure there is proper distribution of water.
2. Check your backflow connection
If you have an automatic sprinkler system, it is required by law to check the backflow connection annually. Backflow prevention assemblies are normally installed with the sprinkler system supply after the control water valve. This provides safety to your health and family by ensuring that water used for sprinkling does not return to the indoor water lines and contaminate your home’s water supply system. Also, during winter, insulate your backflow preventes and valves if they are above ground by use of insulation tape or pine straw.
3. Familiarize with type of plants you have
Different plants have different water needs. It is therefore essential to be familiar with the plants in the yards and how much water they need to know exactly how to adjust the sprinkler. Also, ensure that the heads of the sprinkler are lowered to keep everyone around and especially children from tripping over the heads.
4. Understand the different seasons
Spring, summer, and winter seasons call for different sprinkler maintenance tactics that is useful to ensure that the automatic sprinkler operates efficiently throughout the year. The below are some of the tactics that you should be aware of;
i. Spring season
A sprinkler system should be turned on before the arid months of summer. This practice should be done annually after the water is turned on, and every zone should be run on short cycle for visual inspection. The visual inspection ensures that every head opens properly and that the grass which grows during spring doesn’t prevent the head from opening.
Misaligned sprinkler heads and pipes are repaired or replaced by a professional. Problems of Inadequate water pressure can also be handled by a professional who will use specialised tools to determine the actual water pressure needed and make necessary adjustments.
ii. Summer season
During the summer season, your lawn will require more or less water depending on the heat and the rainfall. It is therefore advisable to ensure proper adjustments as this will help in adequately watering the lawn. Ensure that your system is working properly during summer to avoid wasting water. It is for this reason that monthly check-up is recommended. If you notice any damage to your sprinkler, fix it as soon as possible.
iii. Winter season
As cold weather creeps in and summer months pass, breaking because it froze is a major threat to the system especially when the temp is below 32̊c. It is, therefore, recommendable to continue adjusting the system to ensure that you save up the maximum amount of water. If your system is installed above the frost line, you should winterise your sprinkler before the first freezing temperatures. This will prevent damaging exposed pipes and sprinkler equipment and can be done by;
a) Making shore to shut off the supply of water before it gets really really cold. This is done by carefully taking care of the main valve for shutting off and by ensuring that it is insulated or well placed with sub-zero temperature.
b) It is also crucial to insulate the sprinkler pipes above ground. You can use a foam tape that insulates or simply bury the pipes.
c) Blow out all the water out of the system using an air compressor. Depending on the size of your yard and the sprinkler system; it may take up to one hour to completely blow out the water. Note that in temperate areas, it is not necessary to drain all the water from the underground pipes. This is because it doesn`t freeze that deep. Other methods you can use to drain the pipes include the manual drain valve and the automatic drain valve. However, it is recommended to hire a professional for this work since it involves safety risks.
5. Sprinker system control
You need to understand the different functions of the parts of your sprinkler and when it’s best to use them. For instance, during winter, while you are winterising your automatic sprinkler, do turn off the timer or the controller. Also, a lot of systems have the rain mode which signals shutting off to the valves. The controller is responsible for keeping time, while the valve runs as well as stops time; hence you need to know about all the system functions to use them effectively.
Also, if the controller activates the pump, you need to take precautions such as removing wires connected to the Common and MV to prevent for the pump being activated since this can cause overheating. Also, if there is a display, use rain mode, while those with an analogue clock face, you can simply turn off power in order to save on the electrical supply.
In conclusion, maintaining the system will ensure that your plants, vegetation or irrigation is in fantastic condition and will pay you back in years of an efficient watering system that conserves water as well as saving you money. If possible, check your system, every month by ensuring that the controllers are firmly plugged in and functional, replace back up battery when necessary, ensure that the sensors and the wires are properly connected, check system damage on the individual zone and regularly check the condition of the sprinkler heads and valves. This will most definitely ensure and guarantee the durability of the system and avoidance of unnecessary costs.
10 Questions to Ask a Sprinkler Repair Contractor
A homestead with flowers around or grass gives a good view. More so, when these plants are given enough water to keep them green and with good growth, the view gets even much better. To achieve this, you need a sprinkler system for irrigating the plants. Where you have an installed sprinkler, and it’s broken, it requires one to have knowledge, skills and the necessary equipment for repair.
Other than being aware of the products and repair procedures, it is essential also to hire a contractor with a broad base of knowledge to ensure that the service given to you will be excellent. Here are various questions to ask the contractor for hiring.
1. Do you have a professional qualification?
Qualification is always a key factor to consider when giving a person any job to do for you. Having professional qualification proved by having valid certificates is a way to demonstrate knowledge of what one claims they can do. There are many institutions or companies out there that can give qualified contractors some certificates to prove their competence in the field. Expertise and competence are always the fast factors to consider in deciding whether or not to hire the contractor.
2. Do you have a license?
A significant percentage of legal businesses have a license hence an absence of one can prove otherwise- the business is likely to be illegal. In our case, the contractor should have a license from the local government to show his legality. It becomes much easier and safer to work with a licensed contractor since you can tell they are law abiders. You may go ahead to ask for a physical evidence of the license for maximum assurance that the contractor is legalised to perform the services.
3. Have you insured your business?
Accidents or failure are part of our everyday life and so do they occur even in businesses. Working with an insured contractor will enhance that in a case where an accident or failure occurs during the repair process, you are not the one to carry the liability on your shoulders alone. An insured contractor can easily cater for the loss through their insurance compared to one without an insurance cover. This necessitates the need to inquire about insurance.
4. What type of products will you use?
Repairing a sprinkler requires a variety of products such as valves, pipes, controller, spray heads and rotors. The market has various types of these products, but only the best can give best results in the end. It is important therefore to enquire from the contractor- has a higher experience in the various types of the best type of products to use. For excellent repair, choose a type which is more durable to also save on the costs.
5. How much will the process cost?
Cost of any product matters in any business. It is always wise to go for a contractor who charges within your means. However, price and the quality of a product or service tend to go hand in hand in most cases. In some cases, low charging contractors may have a fault somewhere either in legalising the business or the quality of work offered. In the repair, you may require using technologies with water saving techniques to reduce your water bill if it has been an issue.
6. Specific requirements for your area
Each residential area has its own rules of governance. In sprinkler use, the laws may lie mostly in a case of controlling water consumption. In some areas, for instance, they require a rain shut off service or a backflow preventer. There is no doubt that the sprinkler contractor should be aware of such rules.
7. Will the system give 100% area coverage?
The theme of repairing your sprinkler is purely for continued growth and an excellent one for either your grass or flowers. There is need therefore to enquire from your potential contractor whether or not the system will give full coverage of every point of your lawn. If the answer is a yes, you can go ahead to giving him the job.
8. Do you have any referees?
An excellent contractor with experience can always provide their previous customer’s details. Given the list, it is upon you to inquire about the services they received. Even better, you can pay a visit to the homestead to ensure that you like what you see. Previous clients can always give a review of the services they were offered as well as rating the contractor.
9. Do you offer maintenance costs or after sales services?
Any business which gives maintenance or after sales services to their clients give a positive image of what they offer. Various after sales services that you would receive is such as winterisation and spring start-up. A contractor who is bound to give maintenance services when needed is likely to give great services to minimize cases of maintenance. This would be an added cost to them thus need to avoid them as much as possible hence giving high-quality services.
10. What is your warranty period?
Do you have a warranty period for the repair? Just like with after sales services and maintenance, a warranty indicates providence of quality and excellent service or products. A one year or half a year warranty period is a great offer which will ensure that in a case of failure, the contractor would repair the sprinkler at no cost. Hire a contractor who offers no warranty at your own risk.
Repairing a sprinkler is a home improvement procedure, which will give you a dozen benefits. The process can save money, time and also conserve water by giving a full coverage of your lawn. The repair may be complex and costly, but it is worthy. On the other hand, poor repair services can rarely save money and are expensive. Choosing the right contractor will also increase the service you get; thus it is essential to consider asking the contractor each of the above questions.