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Replacing a Sprinkler System

Replacing a Sprinkler System

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Replacing a sprinkler system is sometimes necessary to keep a home’s landscaping from being ruined. In climates like south and central Florida, a couple of weeks without watering a lawn means a lawn that has to be completely dug up and replaced with fresh, and costly, sod. The sun, especially in the summer months, in the Tampa Bay area and just beyond takes a tremendous toll. Even during the spring and fall months, when watering is less necessary can wreak havoc on a landscape.

Not only will you lawn suffer without being properly watered, a broken sprinkler system will tack gallon after gallon on your water bill. You’ll be coughing up a lot of dough when a leak goes unrepaired. In some cases, your unwieldy watering system will cause more problems, like soaking the ground, which makes it too soft to care for. So, mowing will become an extraordinary feat in itself.

Last but not least, it isn’t out of the question local code enforcement will slap you with a fine if your system is programmed to water at a scheduled time but has a mind of its own and begins spraying at the most inopportune time.

Removing the Old Watering System

Before you put in a new watering system, you’ll have to remove the old one. It’s highly advisable to take out the entire system, not just replace the sprinkler heads or switch out the timer. Truth be told, once a sprinkling system reaches its end, part by part will fall apart.

Doing quick fixes will only lead to replacing the entire thing in the end, so it’s better to do it in one fell swoop rather than incrementally. If you go the fix as it breaks approach, you’ll likely be piecing together different parts from different systems, which will just cause more problems.

The manufacturer will supply instructions on how to check your water pressure—typically, you need at least 30 to 35 psi (pounds per square inch) of pressure and about 10 to 13 gpm (gallons per minute) of water flow to support a sprinkler system. They’ll also give you a template so that you can sketch your property boundaries. Send them the sketch and they’ll return a detailed plan for your landscape—including specific instructions—and a list of everything you’ll need to buy at the hardware store to put the system together. –This Old House

In addition, this is a good time to revisit how much water you’re using. After all, you probably put the existing watering system in years ago and left it on autopilot. With new technology, the replacement system is likely to be much more efficient.

Start by turning off the water supply and electrical supply, then remove the timer and control panel. Get out a shovel and start to excavate the lines. A clever trick is to place the old water lines and sprinkler heads near the trenches you’ve dug so you don’t have to rethink the configuration.

Replacing Your Sprinkler System

Now that the old system is out of the ground, you can install the replacement sprinkler system. Begin with the water supply line and then do the following:

  • Install the valve manifold. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper installation and be sure to leave enough room to manipulate the valve manifold because you’ll likely be “moving” it around as you hook-up the rest of the lines.

  • Run the PVC lines. Begin putting the PVC lines in place, “staging” them where they will be buried. Use glue lightly and give it ample time to dry.

  • Install the sprinkler heads. Connect the sprinkler heads to the lines and situate them in a way the spray from one to another touch. This will ensure you don’t leave part of your lawn unwatered. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines carefully for the best results.

  • Install and activate the controller. Connect the wires as directed by the manufacturer’s specifications. Then, program it and turn on the system and make adjustments as necessary. Once it functions correctly, backfill the trenches and spread grass send over the soil to fill in the patches.. Monitor the watering system the first few times you use it to ensure that it’s working as it should.

When your sprinkler system needs to be replaced to save your beautifully landscaped property, then call us. We are the leading landscape design and architect firm serving both Sarasota and Manatee. Not only can we replace your old sprinkler system with one that will last for years and is easy to use. We can also refresh your outdoor space to make it a place to enjoy year after year.

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