Summer Checklist for Your Sprinkler System

Summer Checklist for Your Sprinkler System

May 30th 2024

As warm weather and limited rainfall approaches, your lawn will need regular watering to stay lush green and attractive throughout the summer. A lawn sprinkler system must be checked before peak summer because a damaged system can cause drought-stressed grass and lead to costly repairs. An irrigation system that runs well is essential, so you don't end up with brown grass patches or dying plants. We'll share a few crucial points that every homeowner should check to ensure a smooth and efficient irrigation system.

Here is a handy summer checklist for sprinkler system maintenance, which will help you keep your irrigation system in optimal condition and remain stress-free.

Inspect Sprinkler Heads

Sprinkler system maintenance starts with ensuring the sprinkler heads are in good condition. They are often neglected during winter. Over time, sprinklers can get buried or blocked by dirt, sand, or other debris. Inspect every sprinkler head by walking around your yard and remove any grass or dirt blocking them. When inspecting the sprinkler heads, examine each head closely for damage. It is common for sprinklers to be damaged by lawnmowers or if someone accidentally steps on them. If the sprinkler heads are damaged, replace them.

Repair or Replace Damaged Nozzles and Heads

When debris accumulates in the system, sprinkler nozzles can be damaged and fail. Sprinkler heads, nozzles, and rotors can also break when someone steps on them. These plastic components can wear down in 3-5 years, so check for signs of wear on the nozzles.

As nozzles wear out, you will see more yellow patches of drought-stressed grass next to the completely soaked areas because the sprinkler will alter its spray pattern. Dry spots result from damaged components that prevent the water from covering the whole area. If your system has been unused for a while, first test-run it to ensure all parts are working correctly. Then, replace damaged nozzles and heads immediately for full water coverage throughout the lawn.

Assess the Sprinkler Head Height

The position of sprinkler heads affects irrigation efficiency. If the heads are too low, the water will not reach the desired spots. Instead, you'll experience flooding around the sprinkler area. On the other hand, sprinkler damage is highly likely if the heads are positioned too high. So, assess the sprinkler head height and set it to the proper height for optimal watering.

Check the Rest of the Sprinkler System Components

After inspecting the sprinkler heads, carefully check the valves, solenoids, pipes, and other parts of the sprinkler system. Valves are the heart of every irrigation system because they control the water distribution. Leaky valves will waste water and increase water bills. So, you should visually check each sprinkler valve to ensure they're operating properly. Before turning the water on, make sure all manual drain valves are in a closed position. If any part is damaged, repair it immediately.

Check for Leaks

Your sprinkler system should not leak water when it is off. If it does, your water bills could increase significantly. Leaks and breaks in your sprinkler system can cause water wastage, unhealthy grass and plants, mold problems, and property damage. Replace broken fittings, pipes, and connections leaking from the threads, or use thread sealant tape to ensure a tight fit.

Adjust Irrigation Controller

The next crucial part of your sprinkler system maintenance is to reprogram your irrigation controller settings. Adjust the controller run times and the duration for watering. Remember, you cannot simply set your controller once a year and forget it. Watering requirements change throughout the seasons, so adjust the timer according to hot and sunny weather.

Your irrigation controller must be programmed and working properly so that if your irrigation system's components are working correctly, your yard will benefit fully from the irrigation system. If you need help with programming your sprinkler controller, check out this all-about irrigation controller or water timer guide.

Check Rain Sensor

Most automated sprinkler systems come with a rain sensor that sends signals to the controller when rain falls so that the sprinkler skips watering. If your system has a rain sensor, inspect it to ensure the batteries are working and the sensor is adjusted correctly. Additionally, ensure the sensor is clear and free from debris.

Conduct a Pressure Test

After setting up the controller, you must test the water pressure flowing through your system. This is crucial to checking your sprinkler system because high or low water pressure indicates a problem. Sudden changes in water pressure can weaken pipes or damage valves. Exposing the valves and pipes to high pressure can damage them, leading to high repair costs. Turn the system on and allow the water to fill the system slowly.

Use a pressure gauge to determine how much water pressure is applied to pipes. If the pressure is low, it indicates a leak in the system, a clog, or a poorly designed sprinkler system. Most sprinklers require between 30 to 50 PSI to work correctly. If your pressure is above 50 PSI, use a pressure regulator to reduce the pressure. If you are unsure of how to check your pressure or if you are having issues with the sprinkler system, it is best to contact a landscaper to prevent further damage to the system.

Prepare Your Sprinkler System for Summer with DripWorks

Summer is a challenging season for irrigation systems, so it is crucial to check your sprinkler heads, nozzles, controller, and the rest of the system to prepare everything for the busy watering season. No gardener wants their irrigation system to fail when their plants and lawn need it the most. Poorly maintained sprinklers can make a difficult situation more challenging. It can be hard to schedule regular sprinkler maintenance during summer, but following this checklist will reward you with the best system performance when needed. Simple irrigation maintenance practices can go a long way toward conserving water and promoting a healthier yard. Following these tips ensures that your sprinkler system runs smoothly and efficiently during hot weather.

DripWorks carries the best quality sprinklers, nozzles, irrigation controllers, and a wide range of sprinkler tools that you will need during sprinkler system maintenance. Visit to explore our vast collection of sprinkler system products and find the ones you need for your yard.