It’s common to run into problems when it comes to irrigation systems. Below are some frequent problems and ways to solve them.
Problem: Sprinklers are misting.
High or fluctuating water pressure can cause sprinklers to mist. In this instance, the water is not being delivered to the lawn and garden at the optimal rate.
To keep this from happening, install a pressure reducer on the mainline to control the pressure. If installing new heads or upgrading a system, use pressure regulating heads for the best possible pressure control.
Problem: The head is not popping up.
Pop-up sprinklers need water pressure to release. A broken irrigation pipe or a worn sprinkler wiper seal can cause a decrease in water pressure. There are a couple of steps you can follow to determine whether or not the pressure needs to be assessed or if the parts may need replacement.
Activate the station with the heads in question and pull up on the stuck head’s riser stem to see if they pull up freely.
If the riser stem pulls up easily then it may be a pressure issue and the system’s hydraulics need to be assessed. If the head struggles to pop-up even with manual assistance then the riser seal and stem itself may need to be replaced.
Problem: Uneven pressure in a drip irrigation system.
Check all filters and clean as needed making sure you did not exceed the system’s total maximum flow capacity or the system’s total run length limits. Check for adequate water flow and water pressure present at the water source. Clean or replace the pressure regulator if needed.
While the water is on, hold your finger over the drip outlet for a few seconds. This often works to reset inconsistent emitters. Clean the dripper and/or replace it if necessary.
How to keep pressure when water has to run downhill? Pressure regulators can fix the problem.
First try to run the line at an angle down the slope to decrease the gravitational pull. Second, try using pressure regulators as needed. To keep the water pressure even, add pressure regulators at intervals along the line. Lay down a short run of poly tubing, then add a pressure regulator.
To keep water flowing evenly along a long line, run poly tubing down one side of the plants, across the bottom and up the other side. Connecting the poly tubing again, forming a rectangle around the line of plants.