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What Should Be Included in an Irrigation System Audit?

Jack Moore
Nov 4, 2022 10:23:45 AM

You probably know that irrigation systems in Northern Texas are vital, but you might not know exactly what’s needed in order for your system to perform its best. The truth is, it’s not enough to just have an irrigation system. You want a system that is performing optimally in order to keep your property looking its very best.

This is why an irrigation system audit is so valuable.

The idea is that an irrigation system audit will find problems before they get serious. Leaks and other irrigation problems can become much bigger issues if they aren’t fixed. And the longer a problem goes on, the more money you’re sending down the drain. After all, water isn’t cheap.

While plenty of companies offer a landscape sprinkler system audit service, some are more thorough than others. You want to make sure that your audit is looking at the system as a whole with a comprehensive inspection.

Here’s what we feel needs to be included in an irrigation system audit so that you get the full value.

An Irrigation System Audit Should….

As we mentioned, not all landscape irrigation audit services are created equal. At Grassperson, ours is very thorough.

Read These Essential Tips to Irrigation in Texas
We believe that an irrigation system audit should include all of the following checks.

✔ Seek out any potential leaks (even the small ones)

Leaks will send money down the drain. Even a small leak can become a bigger problem over time if left unfixed. A lot of times, homeowners assume that lawn irrigation system problems are going to be obvious. There would be a lot of standing water in the yard or maybe a really noticeable leak with water spraying where it isn’t supposed to.

irrigation technician adjusts sprinkler head

But leaks can be subtle and you might not notice anything at all. This is why the landscape irrigation audit is so valuable.

✔ Evaluate coverage and make changes as needed

Your landscape is a living and evolving thing meaning that what “worked” as far as water coverage three to six months ago might have completely changed as your plants have grown.

irrigation technician inspects sprinkler system

Sometimes people also have enhancement work done with new plants added. These weren’t there when your irrigation system was set up. You want to make sure that you are getting full coverage for your entire landscape.

To that point, a good irrigation company will also talk to you about the future. They’ll ask if you have upcoming landscaping projects that may require a design change to the current coverage.

✔ Evaluate rain/freeze sensors

Your rain/freeze sensors are what allow your irrigation system to make adjustments for the weather conditions. There’s nothing worse than irrigation kicking on in the middle of a rainstorm. But if these sensors aren’t working properly, there can be unexpected problems.

irrigation technicians repair broken sprinkler system

That’s why you want to make sure your landscape irrigation audit includes an evaluation of your rain/freeze sensors.

✔ Check on irrigation head movement

Heads can get bumped or moved when your kids or grandkids are out on your lawn playing…or when your lawn is being mowed. But even a slight change in the irrigation head’s positioning can impact your results. This is why an audit should also evaluate the placement of the heads.

✔ Determine if water is excessively spraying toward unwanted areas

Is water spraying toward the sidewalk, driveway, or fence instead of ending up on the grass or landscape where you need it? An audit should evaluate where the water is being applied and make any adjustments needed to ensure you aren’t wasting water (or money).

sprinkler head waters garden

✔ Check for sticking heads

Heads that pop up but do not retract after the zone stops running are an irrigation system issue that comes up from time to time. Your landscape irrigation audit can check whether your system has “sticking heads” that aren’t retracting the way they are supposed to.

pop up sprinkler head waters grass

✔ Look for missing valve box covers

If your system is missing a valve box cover that needs to be replaced, this will become apparent during an irrigation system audit.

✔ Evaluate the controller

The controller itself is such an important part of your system and should also be evaluated during an irrigation system audit.

smart irrigation system app on phone

Along with that, a good irrigation company will also tell you if you’d benefit from upgrading to a smart controller. Smart irrigation systems are those that tailor their watering schedules and run times to the actual conditions, not just blindly following a preset schedule.

A smart irrigation controller that makes these types of adjustments will significantly improve water efficiency. You might be able to save a lot of water (and money) with a smart upgrade.

✔ Look at the doublecheck valve

Some homeowners do not always realize their system has a doublecheck valve but this is an important part of the system. From the water meter that you have at the street, there is an underground pipe that runs a few feet and then T’s off. One line goes to the doublecheck valve (which is the beginning of your underground irrigation system in the yard) and one goes to the house.

irrigation technician digs in ground to repair system

This doublecheck valve is valuable because it allows you to just turn off your irrigation system (rather than shut all the water off). However, the handle to it is often made of cheap material and frequently rusts or breaks.

In as many as 8 out of 10 irrigation system audits that we perform, there is a problem with this valve. It’s one of those things that you don’t think about until you really need it.

✔ Set the controller for an upcoming season (or a seasonal change)

During an irrigation system audit, it also makes sense for your irrigation professional to set the controller for the upcoming season. Your lawn and landscape will need a lot more water in the spring and summer than they do the fall and early winter.

irrigation technician sets controller

Choosing an Irrigation Audit Near Flower Mound, Highland Village, and Lewisville, TX

At the end of the day, an irrigation system audit is all about getting the most value for your investment. You want your sprinkler system running properly so that you can get the most out of it.

At Grassperson, we recommend at least bi-annual irrigation checks in the spring and in the fall. In the spring, we’re making sure everything looks good as we head into the hottest months (and drought-like conditions). We’re making tweaks where they’re needed and making sure any repairs (however minor they may be) are handled.

In the fall, we’re making sure the system is set up for winter when the lawn and landscape needs will dramatically change again.

But we certainly have clients who want more than that. During the active growing season, some clients have us perform an irrigation system audit monthly.

It all boils down to peace of mind. You deserve to know that your sprinkler system is in the best possible shape so that you won’t waste money or water. It’s all part of having the best lawn on the block without the worries!

Instead of worrying about potential irrigation problems that may be lurking, you can leave it up to a pro who knows exactly what your Northern Texas property needs. Get a Free Quote, then you can enjoy the best lawn and landscape on the block!

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