Sprinkler System Installation & Service

Clearwater Irrigation - Spring Sprinkler System Start Up

Required tools: Adjustable wrench. Teflon tape or plumbers putty

1. Go into your garage and locate the galvanized plug or spigot that is on top of the irrigation controller. Wrap it with 1-2 turns of Teflon tape or smear a light coating of plumbers putty over the threads of the plug. This step is necessary because it will prevent the plug from allowing a leak to occur during the summer months. If the plug is missing, a new one can be purchased at most hardware stores. The plug size is either a 1/2" or 3/4" diameter. PVC white plastic or galvanized plugs work best. In somecases the spigot or plug may not have been removed from the valve that is outside. If this is the case, proceed to step 3. Be sure that the spigot is closed by turning the hand wheel all the way to the right.

2. Take the plug outside to the backflow valve and screw the plug or spigot into the opening that you see where the water line comes out of the house. The plug only needs to be moderately tightened. If it is overtightened, we will have a difficult time removing it in the fall when we winterize the system.

3. After the plug is in place notice the two blue water shutoff valves that are on the backflow valve. Both of these valves need to be fully opened. To do this rotate the valves so that they are parallel with the 1" water line that is behind each valve. When this is successfully completed the lower valve will be vertical and the upper valve will be horizontal with respect to the water pipes. The above three steps should take only five to ten minutes.

4. Now proceed to the basement to turn on the water to your sprinkler system. Locate the the colored ball valve that has a yellow tag on it that says "Danger Do Not Open". If the tag is missing the valve is located somewhere near or above the water meter.

Remove the tag. Slowly open the valve over a period of five seconds until you hear the water slowing down. At this point open the valve all the way. The valve will be open when the valve handle is parallel with the water line. Once the main line is filled with water you will hear that your water meter has stopped running.

5. If your pipes rattle and bang while turning on the main water, try opening the shutoff valve in the basement a little bit faster.

6. Proceed to the garage and turn on the sprinkler controller. Set the correct time, date, watering start times, watering days and zone run times etc. If the controller was not unplugged over the winter, you should not have to reset too many of the controller functions.

7. Use manual operation to activate each zone long enough to ensure that the sprinkler heads pop up and have good pressure as they did last summer.

8. We suggest turning on your sprinklers only after we no longer have any night time temperatures below 40 degrees. Remember to abide by the odd and even watering schedules set by your local city ordinance.


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Freezing Conditions

Click here to learn how to drain your backflow preventer in temperatures are less than 32 degrees.

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