How To Inspect A Homes Irrigation System Before You Buy

Experienced home buyers know that their homes foundation, electrical system and plumbing should be inspected before they agree to buy a house. But many fail to check out the irrigation system installation if one is installed in the home.

If the home you are planning on buying has an irrigation system, then a thorough inspection of the system could keep you from waking up to problems down the road.

Old sprinkler systems in bad repair are vulnerable to a variety of problems. From bad heads to serious leaks these problems can harm the health of your lawn and landscape and even cause damage to driveways and sidewalks when irrigation lines are near these permanent structures.

To help homeowners avoid buying someone else’s  irrigation system problems, here are a few tips that can help when making your home buying decision.

  • Find and check the irrigation timer or clock and make sure it is plugged into an unobstructed  electrical outlet in a weather-safe environment. An improperly placed irrigation system clock is susceptible to an electrical short which can wreak havoc on the wiring in an automatic irrigation system. If the timer is outside it should be in a waterproof box.
  • Test the timer to make sure that each sprinkler system zone can be turned on manually. If not there could be issues with valves or wiring or the clock itself.
  • After the system has been turned on for a few minutes, walk around the yard and check for any unusual wet spots. Look for exposed pipes that could be prone to cracking, look for major brown spots around the irrigation system sprinkler heads, saturated turf or soil, or sick and diseased plants.
  • Check the irrigation valves. Open and close each individual irrigation valve, checking for moisture caused by cracks or broken seals in the pipes or exterior casing. Most valves contain a screw or knob on top that can be easily turned by hand.
  • Turn on each irrigation zone and check each sprinkler head. Heads that do not pop up or otherwise operates improperly may need to be replaced. It is also possible that a sprinkler head that does not pop up is a sign of a problem with the water pressure, and may indicate that there is a leak in the system somewhere.
  • When checking the heads also look at the coverage area. An efficient system should have head to head coverage. Meaning that all the landscaped areas between the heads should be receiving water. If they are not, this indicates either the heads are set too far apart to adequately water your landscape or there is not enough water to supply the zone which could mean inadequate water pressure to operate the system or a serious leak.
  • If the system is connected to a rain sensor, test the sensor by first turning on one of the zones and then giving the rain sensor a good soaking with a garden hose. If the irrigation system does not stop, there may be a problem with the sensor.
  • Ask the sellers if they have a maintenance records, or a receipt from the last time they had the system winterized by a professional.

If you are not comfortable conducting an inspection of the sprinkler system yourself, call Camden Landscape Group, we will be happy to inspect the system for you and give you a written report on the condition of the system and the approximate repair cost.

How An Irrigation System Works

When inspecting an irrigation system look for broken heads.

Irrigation System Bad Head

When inspecting an irrigation system look for leaks.

Irrigation System Line Breaks

A Properly Designed and Installed Irrigation System Will Conserve Water With Little or No Waste.

Irrigation system over spray is a waste of water resources. Usually this can be corrected with head adjustments.

Irrigation System Overspray

An irrigation system operating during a rain storm is another waste of water. This can be corrected with a properly operating rain sensor.

Irrigation System Running In The Rain

Standing or pooling water in your lawn can indicate a broken irrigation system line. Make sure you know where the shut off for the system is and call a professional for the repair.

Irrigation System Standing Water

Call Us Today To Inspect Your Irrigation System...

Call Us Now 336-808-1309
Call Us Now 336-808-1309

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