Landscaping with Style

Irrigation System Maintenance


Since your irrigation system provides a lifeline to the plants in your landscape, remember to include it in your regular maintenance routine.

Monthly Care

Inspect your irrigation system to check for leaks, clogged emitters and other problems.

  • Turn on the system at least thirty minutes before the inspection to allow enough time for emitter wetting patterns to show.
  • Walk through the yard, checking the pipe/poly tubing for leaks and checking each water distribution end point (emitters or micro tubing) to see if it is functioning properly.
  • Replace or repair damaged or clogged emitters and micro tubing.
  • Check the location of water distribution end points. Emitters and micro tubing can be moved as a result of yard maintenance activity (i.e., raking) and pet activity (i.e., digging). Return stray emitters and micro tubing to their proper positions.
  • Check the schedule on your irrigation controller. Sometimes power failures and other factors will cause the controller to return to a default schedule. Reset the controller if necessary. If the weather has changed, reprogram the controller to accommodate changing plant water needs.

Yearly Care

Once a year (preferably during the spring):

  1. Flush the irrigation lines
    - Start with the cap that is closest to the control valve and work your way toward the end of the system.
    - Flush each line for about a minute, until the water runs clear. Remember to close each cap before moving on to the next. Do not allow contaminated water to flow back into the line.
    - Check valve boxes to make sure they are clear of debris.
  2. Clean and inspect the filters
    - Inspect filter screens for holes. Replace as needed.
    - Clean the system by opening the end of the filter and turning on the system briefly.
    - If there is calcium buildup on the screen, remove it and soak it in a solution of 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar until the buildup is removed.
  3. Replace the controller battery
    - A fresh battery will save the programmed information and prevent the controller from reverting to the default program in the event of a power failure.