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Springing The Sprinklers Back To Life

The Experts At Rain Bird Provide A Few Tips To Help Homeowners Save Water, Time And Money Through Efficient Lawn and Garden Watering

AZUSA, CALIF. - (February 29, 2012) – AZUSA, Calif. -- Much like a car that has been sitting idle in a driveway for four, long, freezing cold months, sprinkler systems also benefit from a tune-up before they get back to work keeping the lawn and garden healthy and beautiful throughout the summer. In fact, a few simple steps by homeowners before turning on the automatic sprinkler system will go a long way towards saving water, money and preventing a mid-summer landscape catastrophe.

Here are a few tips from the experts at Rain Bird to make sure the sprinkler system is ready for another season of intelligent watering.

Make Sure Spring Has Sprung…

Although all signs might be pointing to the arrival of spring, the soil beneath the landscape is always the last to thaw. Starting the sprinkler system while the ground is still frozen can result in damage to the pipes. Use a shovel to make sure that the soil is frost-free 12 inches deep. If it is still solid as a rock, then wait another week and test it again before starting the sprinkler system.

Regain Control…

Run a check of the irrigation controls and programs. This includes dusting away the cobwebs on the timer, making sure the date and time is correct, and that the settings are appropriate for the landscape’s watering needs. Replace the back-up battery in the timer/controller every 6 months, and keep a copy of the watering schedule nearby.

Unobstructed Flow…

Check for rocks, dirt, sand and other types of debris that may block the even flow of water from sprinkler heads. Uneven distribution can lead to too much water in some areas and not enough in others, both resulting in an unhealthy landscape and wasted water. Inspect spray heads and make sure they haven’t become buried and debris has not accumulated around them during the winter.

Out with the old…

Nozzles and sprinkler heads are designed to withstand normal wear and tear of irrigation, but are no match for errant lawn mowers, the neighbor’s dog or snowplows. Replace cracked, chipped or worn components, such as sprinkler heads, nozzles, valves or pipes. A broken sprinkler can wreak havoc on lawns, gardens, and water bills, so it is important to check and replace them periodically.

The Heart of the System…

Valves are the heart of any irrigation system. They regulate the distribution of water throughout the entire system. A leaky valve will waste water, and increase the water bill. Visually inspect each valve to make sure they are operating properly. Before turning on any water to the system, make sure all manual drain valves are returned to the closed position. Overly wet areas in the lawn, resulting in muddy and/or barren patches, may be a result of a leaky valve.

Keep The Hammer in The Tool Chest…

Water hammer is a high-pressure surge that occurs when a valve is first opened. An initial pressure surge can result in pipe bursts and damaged valves. When restoring water to the sprinkler system, open the main water valve slowly to allow pipes to fill with water in a gradual and controlled manner, thus preventing a water hammer and costly damage.

Pressure Check…

When you first turn the main water valve back on, it is important to make sure the water pressure is at a safe operating range for sprinkler systems. A system with too much pressure will result in cracked pipes, busted valves, sprinkler head leaks and inefficient watering. Invest in a water pressure gauge that can be used to measure water pressure in your home and yard. These devices typically connect to a hose faucet and give you a good idea of the pressure in your irrigation system. If the pressure is above the suggested operating range (typically 40 -65 PSI), a pressure regulator may be required to prevent damage to the sprinkler system or undesirable results. For example, if water is “misting” out of your sprinkler heads, your pressure is too high and should be reduced.

For more information and tips on saving water in the lawn and garden, please visit www.RainBird.com. Follow Rain Bird on Twitter, @RainBirdCorp, and “Like” Rain Bird on Facebook at Facebook.com/RainBirdCorp.

ABOUT RAIN BIRD CORPORATION

Headquartered in Azusa, Calif., Rain Bird Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer and provider of irrigation products and services. From simple beginnings in 1933, Rain Bird now offers the industry's broadest range of irrigation products for farms, golf courses, sports arenas, commercial developments and homes, available in more than 130 countries. Rain Bird has been awarded hundreds of patents, including the first in 1935 for the impact sprinkler. Rain Bird’s philosophy called The Intelligent Use of Water ® is about using water wisely. Its commitment extends beyond products to education, training and services for the industry and the community. Rain Bird maintains state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities around the world.

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