Preparing your Irrigation System for Summer…if you haven’t yet!

December 2021

Irrigation in Australia is in full swing through the summer months with climbing temperatures and fluctuating rainfall. With summer on our doorstep, the time is perfect to give your irrigation system a bit of a service and order in any parts for maintenance from your irrigation supplier.

Irrigation in Australia is used in many different sectors including residential, agricultural and commercial. When servicing your irrigation system, the first thing you need to do is run a test to identify any obvious problems. Let’s start with your controller and make sure you adjust the timing; start times and durations for the different zones. This gets the right amount of water down during the hot months. Turning the irrigation system on and doing a visual check can be quite revealing and can help you identify the parts and products you need to order from your local irrigation store to repair the problem.

For example, inspecting the soil or grass can tell you a lot about the condition of your underground pipes. If there are areas along the pipeline that are wetter than other areas you should be suspicious of a crack in your water pipe or a faulty join. To check this further you will need to remove the soil on top of the pipe and visually go hunting for the problem area. If this is not something you feel confident doing yourself, your local irrigation store in Australia will have specialist irrigation suppliers who can help you fix the problem. If you do feel confident doing it yourself, your local irrigation supplier will have all the products and equipment you need to get you up and running again. The fix could be quite simple – such as repairing the pipes with solvent cement or more complex needing a professional irrigation supplier to help you out.

Once you are confident your pipes are in good condition, make sure you also check your hoses and connections. Look for any signs of cracking and replace any connections that look worn. In Australia, these will be readily available through your local irrigation equipment supplier. It is also important to check the filters on the irrigation system and replace them if necessary.

When you start your sprinkler testing, start with low water pressure and inspect the valves furthest away from the water source. Gradually increase the water pressure and work your way back, checking for any blockages as you go. Repeat the process as many times as necessary until you are satisfied the valves are not blocked and working well. If you are not sure how to do this speak to our friendly team at Think Water who is only too happy to help. The team at Think Water are experienced irrigation suppliers who understand the demands of the Australian climate – especially specific to your area.

It is important to inspect sprinkler heads and drip irrigation systems for any blockages and any obvious damage caused by mowers, tractors or soil, debris or roots clogging the sprinkler system. Remove any blockages and replace any damaged heads or drip lines. These can be ordered through your local irrigation store in Australia. Be sure to also check your backflow device which keeps contaminated water out of the system.

A word about water pumps.

Larger scale, more complex irrigation systems often include a water pump. Pumping systems in Australia need to be serviced regularly to ensure they continue to pump efficiently and have longevity. Your local water pump supplier will be able to help you with servicing your water pump and any pumping equipment you may need. In Australia, you can tap into Think Water’s network of water pump suppliers to find a water pump technician for all your servicing and maintenance needs.

Identifying a problem in an irrigation system is fairly straight forward and usually shows up as a problem in the water flow. Diagnosing the cause can sometimes be a little more complicated. If following the above steps hasn’t helped you resolve your problem, it may be time to call in a professional.

Of course, prevention is always better than cure, so it is a good idea to run checks on your irrigation system all year round. The change of seasons, such as in the lead up to summer, serves as an excellent prompt to do some maintenance on your irrigation system and to make a visit to your local irrigation store to get all the irrigation equipment you need to keep your water flowing freely.

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