Top 5 Ways to Handle a Non-Working Irrigation System This Spring

Posted in Blog, Maintenance Services

Close-up of an irrigation system pipe

As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. While spring certainly has a natural way of restoring life to the landscape, you can’t solely rely on the weather to keep your green spaces healthy and thriving. There’s no telling whether this season will bring steady rainfall or feature a fair share of dry days, which is why irrigation systems are so important. When fully functional, an irrigation system provides lawns and gardens with the right amount of water at key intervals – if it rains a lot, the system backs off, and if it doesn’t rain, it kicks into gear. In this way, your green spaces always receive the proper amount of hydration. That said, what happens if your irrigation system doesn’t spring to life this season?

Like any system, irrigation systems can malfunction in any number of ways. Individual parts can get damaged or clogged, electrical components can become disconnected, sensors can go on the fritz – the list goes on. If winter was particularly harsh in a given year, the cold conditions can literally freeze your system, making it difficult to bring back to life come springtime. Whatever the case, it’s important to identify and resolve these issues before spring truly takes off. Otherwise, your landscape will get off to a rough start, and you’ll have to work even harder to restore and maintain it throughout the year. Keeping up with facility maintenance is challenging enough as it is, so here are five ways to handle a non-working irrigation system this spring.

Five Ways to Handle a Non-working Irrigation System

1. Keep Your Landscape Clean

Irrigation system problems aren’t always easy to see. Sometimes, these issues are deep-seated, involving complex electrical wiring and so on. In other situations, however, a quick inspection will reveal that the reason your sprinklers aren’t working right is because they’re filthy. Indeed, a little dirt and litter can go a long way. If you want your irrigation system to perform at its peak capacity, you must ensure that your green spaces are well-kempt and free from trash. Staying on top of landscape debris removal is also important for the sake of keeping up appearances. While there’s no guarantee that these efforts will keep your irrigation system operational, they will reduce the possibility of this particular problem. So, in the event that your irrigation system stops working, you’ll know that dirt and debris aren’t to blame, at least.

2. Maintain a Stock of Back-Up Components

Irrigation systems consist of many parts, including a water supply, supply pipe, valve box, valves, electronic controller, sprinklers, and more. If any one of these components breaks down, it will affect the system as a whole. As such, it’s a good idea to get to know what your system is made of and how it all works. You don’t have to be an expert, but even having a basic understanding of your system will help you with initial troubleshooting and minor repairs. Equally as important is maintaining a supply of spare parts so you can quickly replace broken components if necessary. Even if you don’t feel confident replacing these parts on your own, your irrigation and/or landscaping services can take care of the repairs and installations for you – simply having the right parts on hand makes the process that much easier.

3. Consider How You Handle Irrigation Preparation

As previously mentioned, winter weather can take a major toll on your irrigation system. In order to prevent these negative outcomes, you or your lawn care services should always conduct an irrigation shutdown before winter arrives – this involves completely shutting down your system for the cold season, including draining any water remaining inside pumps and distribution lines. Failing to do so will increase the likelihood that water will freeze inside your system, potentially causing irreperable damage. Indeed, neglecting the proper shutdown procedures contributes to a significant number of irrigation problems faced by facilities come springtime. And if you’re concerned about turning off your irrigation system for such a prolonged time, remember that your lawn won’t need irrigation during winter anyway, since it will lie dormant until spring returns. 

Read our blog, “What Are Irrigation Shutdowns and Why Are They so Important?” for more details on this important topic.

4. Receive Regular Irrigation Audits

If you want to keep tabs on your health, you receive a physical exam from your doctor. If you want to make sure your car continues to run smoothly, you get it inspected at least once a year – and if you want to ensure the ongoing efficiency and functionality of your irrigation system, you should have it periodically audited. An irrigation audit is a comprehensive examination of your system, during which professionals gather data on key points such as precipitation rate, uniformity of application, and overall system condition. Experts recommend that facilities receive these audits every 3-5 years, but you can hire irrigation services to inspect your system more frequently if you wish. Should your system stop working, this is the perfect time to invest in an irrigation audit, as the professionals you hire will be able to identify the problem’s root cause and help prevent such problems in the future.

5. Invest in a Brand New Irrigation System

If this isn’t the first time your irrigation services has failed, it might be time to consider replacing it with something newer. While all irrigation systems operate according to the same principles, many modern systems offer state-of-the-art features that increase efficiency, minimize water waste, automate processes to reduce human error, and better withstand environmental pressures. Your irrigation service provider can help you find the best modern system for your facility – and they may also be able to install it and train you and your employees on how to operate it properly.


At The Budd Group, our landscape maintenance services extend far beyond trimming, mowing, and fertilization – our experts can also audit, repair, install, and maintain irrigation systems. No matter the problem with your current irrigation system, we’ll make sure your facility’s green spaces receive the proper amount of watering to stay healthy and lush this spring and beyond. To learn more about our services and values, give us a call today at 800-221-8158!

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