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Sprinkler Service & Irrigation FAQs

Get the Answers You Need

It’s hard to know everything about your sprinkler system, especially if it’s been several years since it was installed. Please browse our FAQs for helpful information regarding the health of your lawn and garden. Our team at Conserva Irrigation® hopes to provide all the answers you’re looking for.

Why does my sprinkler system run when it’s raining?

Although most municipalities require rain sensors, most systems either don’t have one installed or don’t receive the necessary maintenance to ensure the device is working properly. If the sensor is older than five years, consider replacing it. If your system doesn’t have a sensor, get in touch with our team of lawn irrigation professionals.

Why does my sprinkler system continually run?

We’ve found that one of two scenarios is happening when a system runs continually:

  • Human error Many clients get confused by the Start Time functionality and accidentally program multiple start times, which forces the system to continually restart its program.
  • Failed valve(s) – A zone valve may be worn out or have debris caught in it, allowing water to continually run through it. We recommend that you flush the valve or replace it if to ensure efficiency and function. It may be beneficial to consider installing a master valve on the system, which only allows it to charge when it’s supposed to run and therefore limits the amount of time that the failed valve can continue to water.

Why does my street or driveway get wet?

Not only is watering the street or driveway wasteful, but it can lead to asphalt or concrete damage. It’s common that rotor and spray heads can move over time during the freeze/thaw cycle. Simply adjust the head, which may require a key. If the head is damaged or unable to be adjusted, be sure to replace it right away. Conserva Irrigation can easily adjust or replace sprinkler heads for you if necessary.

Why do I have dry or brown spots in my yard?

Your sprinkler heads may need adjustments. They may also be clogged with debris. Fortunately, we have all the tools necessary to ensure your system functions optimally so you can maintain your beautiful lawn.

Why do I have a soft or wet spot in my yard?

A soft or wet spot in your yard is often an indicator of a system leak. It may be a lateral (zone) line that’s leaking or damaged. If you’re experiencing leaks when your system isn’t running, it may be due to a leak in the main line. We highly recommend having your professional service provider diagnose and resolve the leak before your landscape is significantly damaged. You can turn the water supply to your system off until Conserva Irrigation arrives on site. A leaking or damaged head may also be the culprit of wet spots in your yard. Our sprinkler repair team can easily resolve any issues with your damaged sprinkler heads.

How do I program my controller?

There are many different types of controllers on the market today. Reference the manufacturer’s manual, if it’s available. If not, many manuals are found online in a PDF format and can be downloaded for your convenience. Conserva Irrigation is also trained to program most controllers, and can show you how to make the necessary changes. If the controller is outdated, consider updating it with a Smart Controller that’s far more efficient and often times more intuitive than older technology.

What’s the best time to water my grass?

Choosing the best time to run your sprinkler systems can help you save water, money, and even your grass.

The best time to water your lawn is determined by several factors:

  • Rate of evaporation
  • Temperature
  • Wind
  • Humidity (including dew)
  • Lawn diseases
  • Municipal laws (watering restrictions)

The best time to water is early in the morning (somewhere between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.), when the wind is minimal. This helps to prevent water from evaporating, plus you get the added moisture from the dew, which can help you save even more money. Having your systems run in the morning also helps prevent lawn disease because it gives your lawn a chance to dry as the day progresses.

How much water does my grass need each week?

Without getting too technical with run time formulas (T=60 x Eto x Kc / Pr x DU), a good rule of thumb is to give your lawn 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. Fewer, longer soakings are preferred and will train the grass roots to grow deeper. You can run your lawn irrigation system with a series of catch cans (Tupperware or tuna cans) in order to determine how long your sprinklers should run each week.

Why do I need a vacuum breaker/anti-syphon device on my sprinkler system?

An anti-syphon valve is a device that prevents liquid from returning to the line from which it came if a syphon action occurs. An anti-syphon device is frequently required on outdoor irrigation systems to prevent possibly contaminated water from being drawn back into the water supply lines. Many municipalities require that a vacuum breaker be installed correctly and per code in order to reduce contamination.

Why does my city care about which day or what time I water my lawn?

In an effort to more efficiently distribute fresh water from a municipal well, city managers have established “watering bans” to regulate when large amounts of water are most commonly used. Daytime commercial water use accounts for much of the water used each day. Therefore, citizens are encouraged, or required, to water only during “off peak” times. Additionally, other factors for efficient watering of your lawn are taken into consideration. For example, midday watering is less efficient due to evaporation from solar radiation and higher wind speeds. Therefore, many municipalities only allow watering in the early morning or later evening.