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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Should You Inspect Your Sprinkler System Before Turning It On?

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

As springtime hits Griffin, FL, it’s an exciting and welcome time. Of course, it also means lawn care is right around the corner – as is irrigation maintenance to keep the sprinkler system working right. It’s an almost irresistible temptation to test the sprinkler system by just turning it on, but that’s a really bad idea. A few simple steps before you do that can save your business a bunch of money in repairs as well as avoid water damage from sprinkler flooding.

How Can Just Turning on the Sprinklers Cause Damage?

There are three basic ways that turning on the water can damage your system:

  1. Burst pipes from frozen ground.
  2. Burst pipes from the water hammer.
  3. Sprinkler head pop-off from water surge.

During your spring irrigation maintenance, you should first make sure the ground is frost-free at the depth of the sprinkler line. Simply dig a small hole down to about 12 inches, and if it’s not frosty, you should be fine.
Before you turn the system on, first do a walkabout around the irrigation lines, looking for anything unusual. Then, when you turn on the water, do it very slowly. There should be a lot of air in the line, which will mix with high-pressure water to create a powerful aerated jet. Many, many sprinkler heads have been popped off from this, creating a beautiful but unwelcome geyser in the lawn.
It can also cause a water hammer, brutally shaking the irrigation lines and potentially causing cracks. Either of these conditions can cause sprinkler flooding, which, if it goes unnoticed, can cause serious water damage to your building.
After the water is on, look for unusually wet areas that may indicate hidden cracks. Irrigation maintenance should also include double-checking the timers and, if you have a weather sensor, clean off winter grime from the sensors.
If flooding from the sprinkler system does cause water damage, you should have it inspected by a licensed restoration company that specializes in finding hidden damage. They can repair the damaged sprinkler heads and restore inside damage before it can cause further problems.

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