Irrigation System Checkups Made Easy

With spring around the corner as Florida temperatures begin to warm and Spring Break on the horizon, it is an opportune time to think about a giving your home’s landscape irrigation system a thorough checkup.

Here are some steps to consider to make sure the system is working well and not wasting water.

Checklist for a proper irrigation checkup:

1. Check controller for correct time, date and day.

2. Manually turn on each zone: Check for proper pressure (low pressure could indicate a line break or a possible missing sprinkler head). Check for proper rotation for rotor sprinkler heads and adjust these to perform efficiency. Don’t waste water on impervious surfaces, like the road or sidewalk. Adjust fixed sprays in the same manner.

3. Replace heads that are overgrown with grass and cannot pop up to irrigate properly. st. Augustine should have 6-inch heads and sprays. Some of yards in this area likely had the system installed with 4-inch heads or sprays. If this is the case, it would be better to replace these with 6-inch ones. This will definitely help with the overall lawn appearance.

4. Check and clean filters for all rotors and sprays. If you have Netafim (micro-irrigation), then clean this filter as well.

5. Reprogram the irrigation controller for the necessary allowance of water per zone. Typically, rotors are set on average for 30 minutes and sprays are set for 15 minutes. Many may also have the newer Netafim, which usually waters on average of 45 minutes. This can be cut back as plants become established. Some Netafim zones can be completely cut off as they are irrigating Florida Friendly Plants.

6. Keep in mind plants have grown or, in some cases, have died off due to weather or disease. So, areas might need different irrigation times depending on the situation. Adjust these areas as necessary.

7. Replace the battery backup on the controller. The battery backup does not operate the controller, but keeps run times and start times in the controller in the event of a power outage. This will stop the system reverting back to a default setting.

These seven steps will keep the irrigation system working in top condition to keep the lawn and landscape hydrated without wasting water.

Need help?

The Water Conservation Team at Toho Water Authority can assist and advise on your irrigation needs. Upon request, we conduct free irrigation evaluations for customers in our service area. Interested? Contact Toho at or 407-944-5121.

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