Irrigation Installation and Maintenance

New Irrigation Installation Materials and Methods that Save Time and Money

By Mark J. Donovan

Installing an irrigation system is one of the best things you can do to keep your lawn healthy and looking beautiful. However irrigation installation can be difficult to do and is usually quite expensive. In addition, irrigation maintenance can also be quite time consuming and involves, for example, some special equipment for blowing out the tubing when closing the system down for the winter. Moreover the repair of broken irrigation risers is a common problem. This said recent improvements in materials and methods have simplified irrigation installation, maintenance and repair issues.

A typical irrigation installation involves a combination of PVC pipe, electrical wiring, valves and controllers and a lot of digging.

Fixing broken irrigation risers is one of the most common repair jobs with irrigation systems. With new materials and repair methods there are better ways today to reduce the risk of damaging them and fixing them more quickly, in the event they do get damaged. For example, simply by staking the riser with a piece of rebar you can help to prevent damaged shrub risers. Alternatively, others have encased the pop-up risers in concrete sleeves.

In regards to repairing damaged irrigation risers there a variety of flexible polyethylene plastic threaded nipples on the market today that be modified on the jobsite to repair cracked or broken risers. They’re also available in PVC and rubber as well, each with their own unique benefits in terms of cost and flexibility.

In regards to risers that are located in places where there is a propensity for frequent damage there are new products on the market today that can be used during the irrigation installation process to prevent the risers from becoming damaged down the road.

There are single assembly risers today, for example, that have swing joints that aid in reducing the amount of time to install the riser and the threat of it becoming damaged over time.

Another major irrigation maintenance issue is replacing lost irrigation riser heads. Often they are stolen due to the fact that they are expensive to replace. There are head-lock solutions on the market today that come in a variety of diameters that make it nearly impossible for someone to unscrew it and run off with it. These head-lock solutions involve the use of male and female threaded components that make it nearly impossible to screw one end off. To remove a head-lock riser requires a shovel, a couple of wrenches, and about 15 minutes of effort, which is just enough of a hassle to prevent a would-be-thief from stealing one.

For installing irrigation systems or making irrigation repairs to the lateral lines, there are a variety of compression fittings today that can be used to help speed up the process. They come in a plethora of styles and sizes, so there is bound to be a solution for your damaged irrigation system. There are slip adapters, threaded adapters, and compression tees, for example, just to name a few types of compression fittings. There are even some telescoping compression fittings that only require a couple of wrenches and glue to make a quick repair.

In regards to irrigation system tubing, the sun’s ultraviolet light played havoc on old PVC tubing. The old PVC tubing became brittle and cracked over time.

Install an irrigation system to ensure you lawn is water regularly and properly.

Likewise, old galvanized metal tubing used in irrigation systems inevitably corroded over time. Today there is brownline PVC that holds up much better to the effects of ultraviolet light and will not corrode.

So those are just some of the new irrigation installation and maintenance products on the market today that can make your irrigation system more functional and less of a hassle, and most importantly keeping your lawn looking beautiful.

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