Spring Sprinkler Start-Ups
When the warmer weather starts coming in, it’s natural for your thoughts to turn to your lawn. If you have a sprinkler or irrigation system installed on your property, however, starting it up after the winter requires a few precautions. Omaha, Nebraska’s Nature’s Helper is a leading sprinkler service company. We provide start-ups for systems by all major manufacturers, regardless of who installed your sprinkler initially. In addition to ensuring you get your sprinkler system up and running safely, we’ll also perform a thorough inspection to confirm all components are working properly.
What Is a Spring Start-Up?
A sprinkler start-up can involve several steps depending on the type of system you have installed. Some of the components of our system analysis include:
- System controllers: The beginning of the season is a good time to check your sprinkler system controller. Our technicians will clean away any cobwebs or debris that have accumulated over the winter, replace the battery and review the system settings to ensure they meet your requirements. If needed, there will be additional fees for batteries and repairs.
- Sprinkler heads and nozzles: We will clear away built-up dirt and debris that can affect the performance of your sprinklers, look for signs of physical damage, and get rid of any obstructions. If any components have worn out or are in danger of failing, a spring start-up is an ideal opportunity to replace them with new parts.
- Valves and pipes: We will visually inspect all above ground hardware for signs of leaks or damage. We will then slowly open the valves and introduce water into the system, taking care to prevent pressure surges and noting any concerns our technicians witness.
Once your system is running again, we’ll test the water pressure to verify it’s where it should be. This also provides an opportunity to ensure your sprinklers are providing adequate coverage for your lawn and adjust the settings accordingly, if necessary.
Why Is a Spring Start-Up Important?
Spring is traditionally a time of rebirth and renewal. Your sprinkler system is no exception! As you prepare for the summer, it’s important to know that your irrigation system will be able to deliver the best performance possible at all times. A proper spring start-up can:
- Prevent damage to pipes, backflow devices and other system components that can be caused by improper or premature start-up.
- Save you money by identifying wear and tear before it turns into a problem that’s more expensive to remediate.
- Rest assured, knowing your system is configured to ensure a healthy lawn and garden all summer long.
The most important consideration when planning your spring start-up is the condition of the ground. Starting up your system before the ground thaws can lead to pipe damage and other issues. That’s why it’s critical to work with a knowledgeable professional such as Omaha’s Nature’s Helper. Before doing any work, we’ll assess whether or not the conditions are right and advise you accordingly.
It’s Time to Start-up Your Sprinklers!
A Spring Start-up is usually completed in April & May. We turn the water on that “feeds” the sprinkler system, the controller is reset if needed and all sprinkler heads are inspected for proper adjustments and coverage.
When you are Ready to Start your Sprinklers in the Spring, Give us a Call!
Many of our customers are eager to start their sprinklers in April, when overnight temps still dip below freezing. If you turn on your sprinklers before May 15th, pay attention to forecasts of freezing temps. If cold weather is predicted, we recommend protecting your backflow device to prevent freeze damage. You can wrap your backflow with blankets or towels. Then keep that dry by covering with a plastic garbage bag or tarp. Or you can ask us about our Insulated Backflow Covers.
When’s the perfect time to turn on your sprinklers?
We get asked this question a lot, so here are some guidelines for you to consider because it really depends on your comfort level regarding possible spring freezing temps.
- Choose April 1st – April 15th if you have an insulated backflow cover, or you are familiar with how to drain down your backflow device to prevent freeze damage.
- Choose April 16th – April 30th if you like to get an early start and you are willing to wrap the backflow device with towels or blankets when night-time freezing temps are forecasted.
- Choose May 1st – May 15th if you want to be fairly confident that freezing temps are gone for the season. You may want to hand water a bit if we have a really warm and dry May.
- Choose After May 15th if you want to be very confident that freezing temps are gone for the season. May 15th is considered to be Omaha’s frost-free date!
Want to turn on the water to your sprinklers yourself? Once you’ve turned your sprinklers on, it’s still important to adjust the heads and make sure that they are working properly in order to prevent brown spots appearing in your lawn. So you should still schedule a Spring Start-Up appointment. Contact us now to schedule your appointment.
Please make sure to protect your backflow from night-time freezing temps in the spring, as warranties do not apply to freeze damage. Water freezes at 32°F and water-filled copper pipes that are above ground will burst!