Sprinkler System Service: How Long Should A Sprinkler System Last?
Updated: Sep 8
Nearly every home throughout the entire nation has an irrigation system of some sort. Most often they go unnoticed, turning on in the middle of the night when we are asleep, keeping our lawns and landscapes well watered with little to no work on our end. However, if you have ever had to deal with sprinkler system issues, you know that these usually seamless systems can quickly and easily turn into a huge and costly mess if not properly cared for and maintained. So, to help you avoid mayhem with your irrigation system, we are going to go over some things you should know about your system, things that could potentially cause damage, and what you can do to help extend the life of your sprinkler system.
How Often Should an Irrigation System Be Checked?
In Colorado, your sprinkler system should generally be checked twice per year. This happens somewhat naturally in the spring and fall.
Fall Sprinkler System Maintenance
Every year at the end of the warm season, sprinkler systems in Colorado (or any state that experiences freezing temperatures throughout the winter months) must be winterized. This involves using an air compressor to blast any remaining water out of the pipes of your sprinkler system. This is a great opportunity to walk around and inspect all your sprinkler heads and irrigation zones to make sure that everything looks in good order. If your sprinkler system is not winterized, any water left in the system will freeze and expand, potentially causing pipes to crack. This is one of the most important ways to maintain your sprinkler system, as fixing broken pipes is not easy! It is not always simple to locate and repair the burst pipe and you often have to do a lot of digging to access the pipes, so we highly recommend prioritizing winterizing your sprinkler system at the end of the summer/beginning of fall.
Spring Sprinkler System Maintenance
Since your system was winterized and turned off for the season, it will also require being turned back on for the season. Sometimes it can take some time for water to make its way through your system and push out all the air that was blasted through your pipes in the previous fall. This is the best time to walk around and inspect all your sprinkler heads. Colorado winters can be harsh, and while your system may have been operating well last season, but it could have sustained some damage over the winter months and may be in need of some repairs. As you walk around, make sure to look for broken sprinkler heads. Depending on the damage, these probably won't be hard to miss as they often create a geyser of water shooting up from the ground. You will also want to make sure that your sprinkler heads are distributing water evenly and are pointing in the right direction. If any water begins to bubble up from the ground, that may be a sign of a damaged pipe.
What is the Average Lifespan of a Sprinkler System?
The lifespan of a sprinkler system is completely dependent on the quality of the system. As with all things, higher-quality parts will last longer. Same with care. In general, the better you take care of something the longer it will last! Keeping this in mind, most sprinkler systems can last for around 20 years or more.
What are the Causes of a Sprinkler System Failing?
There are several different factors, some in your control and some outside of your control, that can affect the health and functionality of your sprinkler system.
Not Winterizing Your Sprinkler System Properly
This factor is very much within your control. Failing to winterize your sprinkler system will all but guarantee damage. Even failing to properly winterize your sprinkler system can still leave enough water in the pipes to cause small amounts of damage that will compound year after year until serious damage is done. Because this aspect of sprinkler system maintenance is so important, we offer sprinkler system shut-off and winterization services at the end of every year so that you can be sure it is done right!
Lawn Mower Accidents
Be aware when mowing your lawn throughout the summer months! If there are any sprinkler heads that stick up a little further or are on some sort of uneven ground, it can be easy for the blades of your lawn mower to catch the sprinkler head, cracking it and leading to the necessary replacement of that sprinkler head. This is easily avoided just with a bit of awareness!
Not Checking Before You Dig
Always be careful when deciding to dig. Though you may think that the likelihood of digging into one of the pipes of your sprinkler system is very low, you can never be too careful. Especially if the sprinkler system is one that was already installed and you may not be 100% sure where the pipes were placed! See if you can track down a blueprint of your sprinkler system before digging so that you can avoid causing damage.
This factor is harder to control than the others but is also not an uncommon issue to run into. Especially with older systems that were installed, a young tree may have been planted in the vicinity and, over time, as that tree has matured, its roots may have crept near one of your sprinkler lines. While root growth is slow and steady, over time, if a tree root puts too much pressure on a pipe buried underground, it may burst, requiring you to dig it up and replace the broken piece or possibly reroute it altogether depending on the size of the tree's roots.
Wear and Tear Over Time
This is also a factor that is not entirely in your control, though if you properly maintain your irrigation system and replace any damaged parts throughout the years with quality irrigation parts, the wear and tear over time will be diminished and your system will last longer. However, parts will always break down after so long and eventually might require a complete replacement of the sprinkler system.
How To Boost The Life Expectancy of Your Sprinkler System Service
You can boost the life expectancy of your irrigation system by being aware of all of the factors mentioned above. In the end, a system that is well maintained will last longer than a system that is not maintained well, regardless of whether it is a cheap system or a quality system. If you are having an irrigation system installed, purchasing high-quality parts and making sure you replace damaged parts with quality parts throughout the years will only add to the longevity of your sprinkler system!
At Bath Landscape and Irrigation, we provide you with all the irrigation system services you could need to help keep your system in good condition. We offer sprinkler system audits to help ensure that your yard is not getting over-watered or under-watered, as well as to ensure the efficient use of your water. We offer sprinkler system winterization services where we will come and blow out your system so that it is ready for winter. We offer start-up services where we will come out to your property to turn on your system and inspect it for any damages. And on top of all this, we also offer irrigation system repairs and maintenance whenever something does not go according to plan. Our seasoned and experienced irrigation system technicians are the best in the industry and will pay special attention to every aspect of your irrigation system, ensuring that it will last as long as possible.
How To Know When It's Time To Replace Your Sprinkler System
It is rather common and expected to have to make small repairs or replace certain parts on your sprinkler system throughout the years. However, the biggest sign that it is time to replace your entire system is if you are having to make excessive small repairs or are having to make the same repairs year after year or even multiple times in a year. If your sprinkler system has reached this point, you will likely spend more money just trying to keep up with repairs than you would spend on a new system entirely. Plus, a system in that condition will only continue to degrade, and there is only so much you can do for a sprinkler system that is on its last leg. If you think this may be the case with your sprinkler system, give us a call or fill out a contact form on our website! We would be happy to come out and inspect your sprinkler system and we will give you a reliable recommendation concerning the state of your system.
Learn More About Our Irrigation System Services
If you are in the market for a new sprinkler system, learn more about our services and submit an inquiry today! With over fifty years of experience in the industry, you know you can trust Bath Landscape and Irrigation with all your landcaping and irrigation needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and sign up for our monthly newsletter (find the sign-up form on our resources page!) to receive seasonal reminders to help you keep your sprinkler system and landscaping in peak condition!