Drip Irrigation Design Guide- System Maintenance and Troubleshooting
System Maintenance and Troubleshooting
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Like everything else, a bit of preventive maintenance will go a long way with keeping your drip system in working order. Periodically check your system for any leaks or wear in the drip tubing. Inspect all drip emitters, sprayers and bubblers and verify that each are flowing and not clogged. Clean or replace any components that have become clogged or have stopped flowing water.
Check the filter screen each week for the first month for any debris built up. Clean the screen with a soft nylon brush and water. The frequency at which your filter screen needs cleaning will depend upon your water’s quality. Check to see if any drip tubing has been moved or under strain, also check for any nicks or cuts and use couplings to replace and bad sections of tubing. It’s best to flush your drip tubing a few times each year. This can help to flush out any minerals that may have built up in the tubing. Over time, it may be necessary to add more emitters, sprayers or bubblers as your landscape matures and its watering needs change.
It helps to keep a small repair kit of parts to deal with any problems that might occur over time. Common parts to have on hand are 1/4" barbed fittings, 1/2" tubing couplings, small lengths of both 1/4" and 1/2" solid drip tubing, extra drip emitters and plenty of goof plugs.
Hose timer is not working: Hose timers tend to fall into two categories, either they work or they don’t. Always make sure you have good batteries installed. Be sure to read your timers instructions and thoroughly check the timers program for any missing information. Manually activate your timer to verify the internal mechanism is working properly. To test for automatic operations, set a start time for several minutes from the current time and observe.
No water from drip emitters, soaker hose dripline, sprayers or bubblers: Verify that you have water to your drip system. Be sure that proper filtration is installed and that all drip lines have been periodically flushed. Check to see if any flow control valves have been shut off or if any drip lines are cracked or broken. Make sure all end caps are installed and tight.
Drip emitters and sprayers have uneven or little flow at the end of the dripline: Verify that you haven’t exceeded the dripline maximum flow rate of 240 gph. Remove any excess or unused drip emitters or install lower flow emitters. Turn down any adjustable sprayers and bubblers. Making small adjustments to your system can help with solving this problem.