One of the hallmarks of summer is seeing sprinklers dance over green lawns as you drive through your neighborhood. Without proper sprinkler system maintenance, however, you could run into some avoidable issues. Valves are a critical part of any sprinkler setup — which is why we’ve got just the tips you need to keep your sprinkler valves in tip-top shape!
Exterior Valve Check
If your valves aren’t working properly, you could waste time and energy maintaining other parts of sprinkler system, so it’s usually best to start with an exterior valve inspection. How you approach it depends on which type of sprinklers you have.
Whether your sprinkler valves are made of brass, which is generally more durable, or made of plastic, common signs of damage to watch out for include ripping, cracking, splitting, and bursting.
Even before closely examining the condition of your sprinkler valves, you can sometimes spot the signs of a malfunction, such as:
- Uneven distribution (i.e., dry or wet patches on your lawn)
- Trickling water long after the system has been turned off
- An excessively high water bill
- Unexpected changes in water pressure.
Interior Valve Check and Clean
Removing grime and debris from your sprinkler valves is an easy and low-cost way to keep the water flowing. To begin, turn off the water supply before loosening the screws on the bonnet (top part) of the sprinkler valve.
Lift the bonnet and remove the spring, diaphragm, and support ring while keeping an eye out for rips, splits, and cracks. Any item that is damaged should be fixed (if possible) or replaced altogether. This is also a good time to inspect and remove any pieces of debris in the line.
Scrub each item you removed with a rubber or soft brush, and rinse it with water as needed before replacing all the elements and screwing the bonnet back into place. Your cleaning needs will vary based upon your usage, minerals that may be in your water, and the age of the sprinkler system’s equipment.
Replace your sprinkler’s solenoid
A solenoid is an electromagnet that tells the valves when to open and close. If these magnets malfunction, they can trigger leaks or other issues that can make it much more difficult for you to have the healthy lawn you deserve. In some cases, it may be easier to have a professional come in and switch out the old one when the time comes.
Use waterproof connectors
Each valve comes with wire connections that keep the whole system ticking. Use connectors that shield them from water exposure to keep the wiring intact, so your system doesn’t go on the fritz. Many have water-resistant substances on the inside as well, like grease or silicone, to help keep moisture at bay.
America’s Preferred Home Warranty (APHW) offers coverage on sprinklers, in-ground pools, and several home systems and appliances to keep your summer going strong. Call 888.351.3681 or visit APHW.COM for more information today, and to make sure you and your home have coverage for all seasons – inside and out.