This page provides answers to many of the questions you may have regarding issues with your sprinkler system. If you have further questions or we can assist you in any way, please call us at 210-826-6474 or 830-980-8899 or use the form on the Contact Us page.
Click HERE to download the questions you should ask before you hire a sprinkler system company.
Late February is a good time to turn your sprinklers on and check them for possible breaks, clogged sprinklers, and any other issues. Your system will then be ready for Spring start-up in mid-March.
Usually around Thanksgiving, we start getting our seasonal rains. This would be the best time to turn off your system, so as not to overwater your yard. If it is a dry winter, you will need to reduce the watering time and days accordingly. Rule of thumb is, during the winter season, 2 days a week is more than plenty.
We recommend watering in multiple sessions. Example: Instead of watering your yard for 15 minutes straight, break it up into 3 to 5 minutes sessions, with a 1-2-hour soak time in between. This will promote fewer run-offs and will encourage deeper root growth.
We also recommend not watering daily allowing roots to breathe. Example: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and one day on the weekend. We suggest watering your grass in the early evening from 6:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. or early morning hours from 4:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Please note that this does not apply to new landscaping, annuals, and new plantings.
Drip Irrigation has become extremely popular. This allows you to water shrubs and flowers more efficiently. Drip Emitters put water at the base of the plant to soak into the root base where it is needed, rather than on top of it. Emitters put out a regulated drip that can be changed to meet the needs of various plants. A 2’ shrub needs less water than a 20’ tree.
Rain sensors turn the system off, if it is raining or has been raining, for an extended period. This saves on your water bill and saves your landscaping from drowning. Too much water is just as bad as not enough!
A backflow preventer is a device that prevents outdoor water that has been contaminated by landscape fertilizers and pesticide chemicals from syphoning back into your home water supply.
No, but if your controllers are in the garage, prior arrangements need to be made.
Below are links to user manuals and instructional videos for 2 of the more popular controllers:
At the Point of Connection
Turning off your sprinkler system from the controller works well when there are no leaks and when your controller is functioning properly; however, if there is a leak, or your controller isn’t working, turning off the Sprinkler controller will not stop the flow of water to the sprinkler system. Turning off the water to your sprinkler system involves closing the valves at the point of connection/backflow preventer. All sprinkler systems get their water source from somewhere, and typically this point of connection is in the vicinity of the water meter.
Inside the backflow preventer box are two levers. One lever closes the valve that controls the water coming into the backflow preventer from the water meter, and the other controls the water that leaves the backflow preventer, going to your sprinkler system. When it comes down to it, it does not matter which valve you close. To close the valve, turn the lever 90 degrees (a quarter turn). Sometimes the levers are old and rusty or even broken off. If this is the case, do not try to turn it. It is very possible that when it closes it will be stuck closed and then the whole valve shut will have to be replaced. In situations such as this, please call a professional.
At the Ball Valve Shut-off
Most newer sprinkler systems are required to have a ball valve that can be a more reliable, and easier, shut-off. If your system has a ball valve, it is typically located in front of the house, between the street and sidewalk. It is located directly downstream from the point of connection, on the sprinkler system side. A ball valve is very easy to use and will not rust out. Just like with the control box above, turn the lever 90 degrees to close the valve and stop the flow of water to your sprinkler system. If you do not have a ball valve, I would recommend having one installed. It does not require permitting or testing.
At the Water Meter
If all else fails, turn the water off at the water meter. Unfortunately, this will turn the water off to your home as well however, this may be your best option to stop the uncontrolled flow of water down the street. Unlike the double check valve and the ball valve, you will need to turn the handle a full 180 degrees to stop the flow of water. You will likely need a special key/pliers.