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What are the Best Methods for Irrigation Repair?

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  • Written By: N. Kalu
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2016
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Irrigation repair is primarily concerned with fixing the sprinkler heads and valves associated with a functional irrigation system. Signs that a system needs to be repaired include an increase in water bill costs and a noticeable wet patch at the site of the irrigation installation that will not dry. As these problems become increasingly apparent, there are several best practices to keep in mind when searching for the correct solution. The solution will depend on which part has caused the malfunction. Some of the best methods for irrigation repair involve disassembling the parts in need of repair, if necessary, and cleaning them thoroughly before reassembling the parts.

In order for one to most effectively deal with a broken irrigation sprinkler head, a common problem in irrigation repair, he or she first must determine what sort of sprinkler head needs to be fixed. When fixing a spray-type sprinkler, one should begin by cleaning the sprinkler thoroughly. This involves detaching the nozzle from the head and ridding the screen of any impurities. Using an old toothbrush or a similar tool works best.

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If cleaning the spray-type sprinkler head does not solve problem, the problem might be an improper adjustment of the sprinkler head. One can straighten the head by locating the adjustment screw at the top of the spray-type nozzle. The screw should be turned accordingly to prevent the sprinkler from spraying water on unwanted areas. To cut down on mist, one can try closing the adjustment screw slightly, leaving only a small part exposed.

There are also rotor-type sprinkler heads to consider with regard to irrigation repair. When fixing a rotor-type sprinkler head, one should begin by removing the cap at the top of the head and cleaning out the filter. Cleaning out the screen is also very important when repairing this type of sprinkler head. One should start by removing the cap from the head thus pulling out the nozzle and the drive assembly with it. The screen is located at the bottom of the drive assembly, and a small brush can be used to carefully clean it out.

Irrigation repair might also consist of repairing the valve, a critical part of irrigation equipment. Valve damage is almost always because of an obstruction inside the valve — grains of sand, a twig or a rock, for instance. When repairing an automatic sprinkler valve, one should completely disassemble it, removing one piece at a time. Any foreign particles should then be removed from each piece.

After this is done, a water-based lubricant should be applied to each piece before the valve is reassembled, in order to prevent further damage. A petrolatum-based product should not be used as lubrication, because this could clog the valve. An illustrated explanation of repairing a valve can be found by searching for comprehensive home irrigation tutorials online.

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