It has been such a nice fall in Calgary that we’re all grateful for the mild weather. But even though we’re still golfing, walking, cycling, barbecuing, playing soccer, and doing whatever it takes to spend time outdoors, it’s now time for us to start slowly winding down our fall landscaping duties and ensure our commercial and residential clients are fully prepped for winter and the eventual snow removal that it on the horizon. For anyone with underground irrigation, a sprinkler system blow out is absolutely mandatory for the fall.
Increase the Longevity of Your Sprinkler System With Proper Care
Sprinkler systems are convenient, and save time, money, and water. An underground sprinkler installation has an upfront installation cost, but it is a capital improvement to your home or place of business and is a time saver for property owners. A properly installed and maintained sprinkler system will last many years with very little upkeep necessary.
Scheduling your watering increases overall efficiency. Setting your sprinklers to go off first thing in the morning helps moisture to settle into the soil before the heat of the day begins to draw it out. Sprinkler systems are fully programmable and rain sensors will automatically shut off your timer if needed.
A Sprinkler System Blow Out is Mandatory
A sprinkler system blow out extends the lifespan of your underground irrigation exponentially. As we head into the coldest months of winter the ground freezes, and in Calgary the frost depth reaches about seven feet every year. This is why we have a lot of issues with frozen and burst water pipes.
If there is any water left in your irrigation’s pipes, it will freeze and expand over the winter. The pipes themselves also freeze, making them more brittle than usual. Come spring, when you try to run water through your irrigation system, you will either end up with a cracked or burst pipe. Either creates a boggy mess of your property, and usually requires a lot of digging to find the problem.
A sprinkler system blow out requires a compressor to ensure all of the extra water is pushed out of your underground irrigation so you can start your system back up with confidence come spring. Any sprinkler system blow out should come with a thorough check to ensure all of your components are working properly. As compressors run air through your system, each zone should be checked for proper pressure, spray direction, and blockages. It’s not uncommon for sprinkler heads to rotate a bit over the season, or get jammed, so we reset everything back to optimize water use.
In addition, all irrigation boxes should be checked for any sign of leaks. Again, these problems can be kind of hidden, as often systems will run relatively well even with a leak. There are indicators that your junction isn’t working like it should, including water in the box.
Fall is a Great Time to Install Sprinklers
If you’re thinking about underground irrigation installation, fall is a great time to do it. There is some disruption to your lawns and beds, yes, but if you work with a reputable company it should be minimal. Underground irrigation installation is not the major landscape construction project it once was. With careful planning, plus proper fertilization and seeding, come spring the lines and patches should heal up seamlessly.
Underground irrigation installation is designed in zones, with different areas being services by different types of sprinklers. Lawn and grassy areas do not need a high reach with their spray, and so can be set with lower sprinklers. To reach over and around shrubs and perennials, garden areas can be set with sprinklers that raise higher for a more rain-like, arching spray. Irrigation boxes should be placed in locations that are convenient and that work with the natural direction of water in order to reduce pressure on your system.
Pipe needs to be deep enough for sprinkler heads to be at the proper level, which can be flush to the ground or a few inches above ground, depending on the type of zone and the type of sprinkler. Generally, pipe should be laid from eight to 12 inches below the surface to protect it from extreme weather.
When everything is done, each sprinkler should be set carefully so that it only hits the areas it needs and each zone run for about 10 minutes to ensure there are no problems. Then, your underground irrigation installation company should walk you through how to set your system and optimize your watering.
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We are your outdoor ally all year round. Get started today by contacting Mirage for a fast, free project quote.