Dealing with Irrigation Systems Damaged by Winter

Man Tightens Part Of Lawn SprinklerWhen the ground freezes, so can your irrigation system. From sprinkler heads to in-ground pipes, when irrigation components freeze, any remaining water inside can freeze too. Forgot to perform winterization on your irrigation systems? This can cost you as that water expands when freezing into ice, warping and cracking your pipes and sprinkler heads. Below we look at the two most common issues on irrigation systems after winter, and what it takes to solve them.

Two Common Irrigation Issues

As mentioned above, after a long and frigid winter, the freeze can reach deep into the ground, affecting your irrigation. Before you call the professionals, here is some quick troubleshooting you can do to find out what the damage most likely is.

Broken Sprinkler Heads

If you have sprinkler heads that aren’t functioning, it’s time to inspect them. Check the heads for damage for both ice expansion damage (cracking around the piping of the head), as well as shearing or chipping from snow removal or mowing. Remove the head and clean it to see if it will rise properly. If not, try replacing the head.

Drop in Water Pressure

If your sprinkler system is suffering from low or no water pressure, first check to make sure water is feeding into the system and the zone controller is working. If neither is the source, you most likely have a leak. Let the system run and look for pooling and wet spots on your lawn to identify leaks. If your pipe pressure is simply a little low, you’re just looking at a leak. If it’s very low or non-existent, you’re looking at a crushed pipe.

Repairing and Replacing Winter Damaged Irrigation

If your troubleshooting turns up what looks like cracking and leaks, especially if you didn’t perform winterization on your irrigation systems with a manual/automatic drain or a blowout, you’re looking at some serious work to fix it. The pipes will have to be excavated and repaired or replaced. We recommend at this point consulting the professionals to inspect the damage to provide an estimate for digging up and replacing the damaged portions. Depending on the damage, it may make more sense to completely replace the system with a newer one.

Here at Dolan Landscaping has been installing and maintaining irrigation systems for over 25 years: contact us today for a consultation on your irrigation needs for your home or business, from troubleshooting issues to full replacements.