Savoir Faire

Sprinkler Start Up

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This weather has been a little crazy this year and I am not too sure when I am going to START UP MY SPRINKLERS. I usually time my start up when I see the GOLF COURSES doing their thing. I seen the GOLF COURSE with theirs on this past Monday. When do you guys think is a good time to start them up? 

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Me personally, I usually wait until May. We can still get cold snaps; but typically you have to have a hard freeze of around 28°F to wreak havoc on system(that temp for several hours).

 Waiting also gives Mother Nature a chance to do her thing and provide the precipitation. A couple of years ago I waited until June to turn on my system because we got some good rainfall all through spring. 

 I guess the main factor is more how is the weather trending, rather than a specific date. 

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I would wait until at least May 1 if not mid May.  We can still get a vicious cold snap.

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The last two days have convinced me to wait until well into May.

 

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May 1st. Just to be safe. Hit it with the hose if you need to, just remember to disconnect the hose from the spigot, just in case we get a late freeze. 

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I do a combination there of to get ready for spring::

Wait until the grass is really dry, mark the sprinkler heads and mow the lawn very short, then power rake bag the grass then wait for a heavy snow to saturate the ground, rent an aerator to poke some holes. If it doesn't snow then charge the sprinkling system then saturate the ground and I do mean saturate for the aerator to work best. Try to be done with all that by mid May. Go get about five tone of compost and spread evenly over the lawn.Optional would be over-seed the lawn right before composting to hold down the seed, keep it moist and to germinate.....

 

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13 hours ago, Steve Rogers said:

Me personally, I usually wait until May. We can still get cold snaps; but typically you have to have a hard freeze of around 28°F to wreak havoc on system(that temp for several hours).

 Waiting also gives Mother Nature a chance to do her thing and provide the precipitation. A couple of years ago I waited until June to turn on my system because we got some good rainfall all through spring. 

 I guess the main factor is more how is the weather trending, rather than a specific date. 

Mr Rogers we usually get good rainfall in the spring from what I can remember. I was just kinda thinking ahead because I saw them watering the Golf Course mainly. I would agree on waiting and watching the weather trend. Good info, thanks for your input. 

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11 hours ago, ilovewomen said:

I would wait until at least May 1 if not mid May.  We can still get a vicious cold snap.

ILW May 1st it is...............................Thanks for your input.............

 

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10 hours ago, wglide2003 said:

The last two days have convinced me to wait until well into May.

 

Dubbya G I am leaning that way as well. 

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4 hours ago, tide32 said:

May 1st. Just to be safe. Hit it with the hose if you need to, just remember to disconnect the hose from the spigot, just in case we get a late freeze. 

Tide I definitely going to hose it down on the upcoming hot days close to May 1st. 

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3 hours ago, sb1212 said:

Sprinklers and annual flowers: Mother's Day (May 14).

SB12, I had a brain fart because I was thrown off when I saw them watering the Golf Course. I usually don't fire my irrigation system up until May LOL. 

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3 hours ago, Kaduk said:

I do a combination there of to get ready for spring::

Wait until the grass is really dry, mark the sprinkler heads and mow the lawn very short, then power rake bag the grass then wait for a heavy snow to saturate the ground, rent an aerator to poke some holes. If it doesn't snow then charge the sprinkling system then saturate the ground and I do mean saturate for the aerator to work best. Try to be done with all that by mid May. Go get about five tone of compost and spread evenly over the lawn.Optional would be over-seed the lawn right before composting to hold down the seed, keep it moist and to germinate.....

 

Kaduk you sure you don't have your own business or do LANDSCAPING? One of my pet peeves is cutting my grass very low. DEFINITELY some good information. Thanks for your input...................

 

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2 hours ago, CountryGentleman said:

Mid May is the earliest I do that.

Country G it seems May 1st through the 15th is the way to go. 

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I'll be running my sprinklers this afternoon and leaving then on as long as this warm spell lasts. I don't winterize then in the traditional sense, but just drain then in the fall. That allows me to turn them on as needed during the winter, then quickly draining them before a freeze. I can drain them in 5-10 minutes. I hate letting nice weather like this go to waste.

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6 hours ago, Mustang87 said:

I'll be running my sprinklers this afternoon and leaving then on as long as this warm spell lasts. I don't winterize then in the traditional sense, but just drain then in the fall. That allows me to turn them on as needed during the winter, then quickly draining them before a freeze. I can drain them in 5-10 minutes. I hate letting nice weather like this go to waste.

Guess I'm curious on how you drain them and get all the water out of the low place that might house water and thusly freeze?

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1 hour ago, Kaduk said:

Guess I'm curious on how you drain them and get all the water out of the low place that might house water and thusly freeze?

I'm no plumber by I've watched enough of these videos to figure it out. My system is a little different than this as I have a basement and drain the system from there. It's my understanding that water laying in your underground lines that freezes is no big deal as long as it has room to expand. I know I've been doing this for 20 years and never paid someone to blow it out and never had to dig up and replace the lines.

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On 4/7/2023 at 4:00 PM, Kaduk said:

Guess I'm curious on how you drain them and get all the water out of the low place that might house water and thusly freeze?

There are two options to get water out of the low spots in the line, in the yard. 1 blow the system with an air compressor. One zone at a time and use a compressor with at least 125lbs of pressure. 2. Have or install an auto drain at the lowest part of the yard. The auto drain will automatically open when the water pressure is turned off. If there is a shut-off in the basement with a bleeder cap, leave this cap loose or off. You can use a ziplock bag to keep the cap in to keep from loosing the cap and hang it on the handle. If your valve isn't closing all the way, this will keep it from refilling the line and freezing and cracking the vacuum breaker.  

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UPDATE!!!!!! FIRED up my IRRIGATION SYSTEM and what I thought would make me smile LOL made me frown. Zone one sprinker heads are not popping up and appears to have low water pressure UGHHHH. All my other zones pop up and perform pretty good. As soon as I called myself TROUBLESHOOTING the problem, the RAIN/HAIL seemed like it chose MY HOUSE to unload on.........................Anyways, I will try tomorrow to see if I can FIX the problem. Any ADVICE would be greatly appreciated....................

 

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Savior..... do you have a leak at the valve box? That could cause low water pressure, or all valves being open and trying to run at the same time? 

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38 minutes ago, Savoir Faire said:

UPDATE!!!!!! FIRED up my IRRIGATION SYSTEM and what I thought would make me smile LOL made me frown. Zone one sprinker heads are not popping up and appears to have low water pressure UGHHHH. All my other zones pop up and perform pretty good. As soon as I called myself TROUBLESHOOTING the problem, the RAIN/HAIL seemed like it chose MY HOUSE to unload on.........................Anyways, I will try tomorrow to see if I can FIX the problem. Any ADVICE would be greatly appreciated....................

 

Unfortunately when that happened to me, it was because there was a break in the line.  Ran it long enough to find "the wet spot" in the ground.  Then just started digging...

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Ughhhh, I was just starting to dig from this one particular sprinkler that was not shooting 100 percent and then the rain/hail targeted my location............................I will definitely do some digging tomorrow and see if that might be the problem. I am also going to check my solenoid valve as well. I should have FIRED up my system at the beginning of May but I admit, my laziness sometimes takes over.............

 

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21 minutes ago, Steve Rogers said:

Savior..... do you have a leak at the valve box? That could cause low water pressure, or all valves being open and trying to run at the same time? 

Valve box was dry, there was no leaking at all. I am going to do a little more troubleshooting tomorrow, LOL I was not expecting this small mishap to be the beginning of my summer......................

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I understand the frustration; had to replace my back flow preventer this month and when I charged my system there was a leak at the valve box..... time for me to dig and replace as well. 

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21 hours ago, Steve Rogers said:

I understand the frustration; had to replace my back flow preventer this month and when I charged my system there was a leak at the valve box..... time for me to dig and replace as well. 

Mr Rogers I wish you luck, seems like WE BOTH are going to need it. Hopefully, my problem can easily be fixed, if not, I will be calling in for LANDSCAPING RELIEF LOL. 

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On that full leg, do you get a couple that are normal, then it suddenly loses pressure after that?  Or is the whole leg low pressure?  

That should help you figure out where the issue is.  In the first case check it between the last full pressure and the first low pressure.  If it's the entire leg, then between the solenoid and the first head.

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On 5/26/2023 at 6:52 PM, FuriousWeasel said:

On that full leg, do you get a couple that are normal, then it suddenly loses pressure after that?  Or is the whole leg low pressure?  

That should help you figure out where the issue is.  In the first case check it between the last full pressure and the first low pressure.  If it's the entire leg, then between the solenoid and the first head.

Fast and Furious my solenoid is GOOD. I only have a problem with my ZONE number 1 all the other ZONES work just fine. I troubleshooted everywhere, didn't find any leaks so I removed all of the filters in the pop ups and that didn't really help. I went and RESET the CONTROLLER and REPROGRAMMED everything again and that seemed to have gotten them to pop up at least halfway. So I have two more things to do, which is try to REPLACE my springs/housing or REPLACE ALL of my SPRINKLER HEADS and after that I am done LOL. If I am still having the same issues, I am calling in for LANDSCAPING HELP.................................

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The valves can also get plugged or partially plugged.  Not the main water flow, but the little tiny path that actually actuates the valve.   Usually the solenoid just screws on and if you take that off, you can look in and see if a small piece of debris is partially covering the little tube.  It could cause the main valve to not get enough pressure to open fully.  The same effect could happen if the solenoid is weak.  Solenoids do eventually go bad and it should be easy and relatively cheap to replace.

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