Spring Irrigation Startup: How We Do It & How Much It Costs

Key Points

  • Simmons Landscape & Irrigation provides a comprehensive spring startup service for your sprinkler system, ensuring it operates efficiently and saves water through meticulous inspections and adjustments.
  • Routine maintenance and on-the-spot repairs by Simmons Landscape & Irrigation help prevent major issues, keeping your lawn’s irrigation system in peak condition without the need for extensive paperwork.
  • For more complex irrigation system repairs or modifications, Simmons Landscape & Irrigation ensures transparency and requires homeowner approval to maintain compliance with local regulations and ensure customer satisfaction.

Thaw Out and Turn Up: Kicking Off Your Lawn’s Irrigation System

Are your sprinklers still sleeping after the long, cold winter?

Wondering if it’s too early to wake them up?

Spring in Toledo, OH, brings a mix of anticipation and dread as you think about starting up your irrigation system.

In this post, you’ll discover a comprehensive explanation of what we do to get your irrigation system up and running in the spring, ensuring it’s in prime shape to keep your lawn lush and green.

By the end of this read, you’ll not only know the steps to a successful start but also understand the irrigation maintenance costs involved, helping you make informed decisions without soaking your budget.

Spring time irrigation system

System Inspection Prior to Startup

Before we unleash the refreshing streams that quench your lawn’s thirst, a thorough inspection of your sprinkler system is crucial to ensure everything is in top-notch condition.

Here’s how we at Simmons Landscape & Irrigation conduct a detailed checkup of your system components to avoid any surprises:

Inspecting for Winter Damage

After a chilly Toledo winter, your lawn sprinkler system might be a bit under the weather.

Here’s how we ensure it’s ready for a spring revival:

  • Check the Pipes: We look for any signs of damage or wear on the pipes that may have occurred during freezing temperatures. Any cracks or breaks need immediate attention to prevent leaks.

  • Examine the Sprinkler Heads: We inspect each sprinkler head for clogs or damage. We make sure the heads are clear of debris and positioned correctly for optimal coverage.

  • Assess the Valves and Vacuum Breaker: The main sprinkler control valve, along with any zone valves, should operate smoothly. We ensure the vacuum breaker doesn’t show signs of wear or leakage, which is critical for preventing backflow into your home’s water supply.

Checking the Control Panel

Your irrigation controller is the brain of your system, and it needs a clean bill of health:

  • Power Supply: We verify that the controller has power. We replace batteries if needed or ensure the power connection is secure.

  • Settings Review: We make sure the settings are appropriate for the current lawn needs. We adjust the watering schedule according to the spring weather patterns in Toledo.

This initial inspection sets the stage for a seamless spring startup, keeping your lawn lush and your system efficient.

By tackling any issues now, we can save you time and money on potential repairs later in the season.

Spring Irrigation Startup Checklist

A sprinkler is spraying water on the grass.

After ensuring your system is in optimal condition, it’s time to bring it back to life for the spring.

At Simmons Landscape & Irrigation, we follow a meticulous process to start your system efficiently and safely, minimizing the risk of damage and ensuring everything functions as expected.

1. Filling the System

Before we activate your lawn sprinkler system, here’s how we safely reintroduce water:

  • Locate the Main Valve: Typically found in a basement, crawl space, or at ground level outside, we ensure it’s in the off position before we start.

  • Slowly Open the Main Valve: We open the main valve very slowly to allow water to gradually fill the pipes, preventing any sudden surge that could cause water hammer.

  • Listen and Check for Water Flow: As we open the valve, we listen for the sound of water flowing and check for consistent water flow to ensure there are no blockages or leaks.

2. Check the Outdoor Backflow Preventer and Winterization Port

Ensuring the integrity of the backflow preventer is crucial for preventing contaminants from entering your drinking water:

  • Inspect for Leaks: We check the backflow preventer for any signs of leaks or damage.

  • Operate Valves Carefully: The valves on the backflow preventer, often large ball valves or smaller bleeder valves with rubber handles, are turned to ensure they are working properly and not leaking.

3. Verify the Function of the Controller

The controller is essential for managing the operation of your irrigation zones:

  • Manual Activation: We manually turn on each zone using the controller, walking through each zone to ensure all heads are responding correctly.

  • Adjust Settings: We adjust the controller settings to match the specific watering needs of your lawn this spring.

4. Adjust the Alignment of All Irrigation Heads

Proper alignment of heads is key to efficient water distribution:

  • Inspect and Adjust Heads: We check each head for proper rotation and alignment, making adjustments with a flathead screwdriver where necessary.

5. Check for Easily Observable Leaks During a Run Test

Conducting a thorough run test helps identify any leaks:

  • Run Each Zone: We activate each zone sequentially and walk the area to inspect each sprinkler head for leaks.

  • Document Any Issues: Any issues found are noted for immediate repair.

6. Check for Proper “Head-to-Head” Coverage

Ensuring each area of your lawn receives adequate water is crucial:

  • Coverage Check: We verify that each sprinkler head’s spray patterns fully cover the intended area, adjusting as needed to eliminate any dry spots.

7. Checking the Water Meter to Ensure No Leaks

Monitoring the water meter helps identify hidden leaks in the system:

  • Monitor During Tests: While zones are running, we keep an eye on the water meter to detect any unexpected water usage that could indicate a leak.

8. Visual Verification of Communication of Any Watering Interruption Device

We also check any devices designed to interrupt watering under certain conditions:

  • Test Rain Sensors: We ensure that rain sensors and other similar devices are communicating correctly with the controller and functioning as intended.

This comprehensive startup checklist allows us to systematically bring your lawn sprinkler system back to operational status, ensuring every component functions efficiently and effectively for the coming growing season.

By managing the spring start with such detailed attention, we help you save on water and avoid costly repairs down the line.

Testing and Adjusting the System


Once the initial startup of your irrigation system is completed, the next crucial phase is testing and adjusting to ensure everything is functioning perfectly.

This step is vital to maintain an efficient system and a lush lawn throughout the season.

Checking for Leaks and Blockages

A smooth-running sprinkler system is key to optimal lawn care.

Here’s how we ensure there are no hitches in the system:

  • Pressure Check: We monitor the water pressure in each zone to detect any signs of low pressure that could indicate leaks or blockages in the pipes.

  • Visual Inspection: We inspect all visible components such as the valve boxes and sprinkler heads for any signs of leakage or damage.

Adjusting Sprinkler Heads and Water Pressure

Proper adjustment of sprinkler heads ensures that water is distributed evenly across your lawn:

  • Sprinkler Head Adjustment: We use a flat head screwdriver to adjust the heads for proper rotation and coverage, ensuring each section of your grass receives adequate water.

  • Pressure Adjustments: If any zones exhibit low pressure, we investigate potential causes such as blockages or leaks and make necessary adjustments to maintain optimal flow.

Programming and Scheduling the Controller

Efficient water use not only saves you money but also preserves this vital resource. Here’s how we fine-tune your system:

  • Custom Scheduling: Based on the specific climate conditions of Toledo and your lawn’s particular needs, we program the watering schedule to avoid over or under-watering.

  • Smart Controls: If your system includes smart technology like rain sensors or soil moisture sensors, we ensure they are properly calibrated to respond to weather changes and soil conditions automatically.

This careful testing and adjustment phase is designed to optimize the performance of your irrigation systems, ensuring they run only when necessary and deliver just the right amount of water to keep your lawn in prime condition.

Quick Irrigation Repairs We Can Make Without Extra Paperwork

At Simmons Landscape & Irrigation, we understand that when issues arise with your sprinkler system, you want them resolved quickly and efficiently.

Here are some common repairs we can perform on the spot to keep your system running smoothly, without the need for additional paperwork.

On-the-Spot Fixes

These quick fixes are typically straightforward and can be handled immediately by our technicians:

  • Pressure Vacuum Breaker Adjustments: We ensure the vacuum breaker is functioning correctly, adjusting valve handles and checking for any leaks that can be quickly sealed.

  • Sprinkler Head Repairs: If heads are not functioning properly or can’t be adjusted, we can replace them or fix the sprinkler head on the spot.

  • Leak Repairs on Visible Pipes: For leaks that are visible and accessible, we can often make immediate repairs to ensure your system continues to operate efficiently.

Component Replacements

Some components may wear out or break and can be replaced without extensive approvals:

  • Replacing Worn O-rings and Seals: We stock common parts like O-rings and seals, which can wear out over time and cause leaks.

  • Valve Repairs: We can replace or repair malfunctioning valves to ensure proper operation of your zones without affecting other parts of your system.

  • Pump-Related Issues: We can replace suction lines, valves, intake filters, and pump start relays/pressure switches/start capacitors.

  • Controller Modules: We can replace malfunctioning controller modules with Toro or RainBird brand modules.

This proactive approach to maintenance ensures your watering system remains in optimal working condition, preventing larger issues and maintaining the health of your lawn throughout the spring and beyond.

More Complex Repairs That Require Homeowner’s Signed Approval

For more extensive issues with your system, certain repairs require your approval before we proceed.

These repairs are typically more involved and may affect the long-term operation of your irrigation system.

At Simmons Landscape & Irrigation, we ensure transparency and your complete understanding before starting any significant work.

Major System Repairs

These repairs are significant and require homeowner approval to ensure satisfaction and compliance with local regulations:

  • Mainline Leaks and Breaks: Repairing large breaks in the main pipe can prevent water wastage and damage to property. These irrigation pipe repairs are crucial for the system’s proper operation and must be addressed immediately.

  • Valve Box Overhauls: When valve boxes are damaged or their functionality compromised, replacing or repairing them involves careful planning and sometimes landscaping adjustments.

Structural and Compliance Repairs

Some repairs affect the structural integrity of the system or its compliance with local codes:

  • Backflow Prevention Devices: Any modifications or replacements of backflow preventers require homeowner approval due to their importance in protecting your household water supply from contamination.

  • System Modifications: Changes that alter the layout or function of your irrigation system, such as adding new zones or upgrading controllers and sensors, must be signed off to ensure they meet your needs and local regulations.

Repairs Near Utility Lines

Working near utility lines or on shared property boundaries involves extra caution and legal considerations:

  • Utility and Property Line Work: Repairs or installations near utilities or property lines need clearances and sometimes permits, which require your consent and sometimes that of your neighbors or the city.

By requiring homeowner approval for these more involved repairs, we ensure that you are fully informed and agree with the approach we take to maintain the integrity and efficiency of your sprinkler system.

This policy not only protects your property but also helps maintain good relationships with local utilities and regulatory bodies.

Cost Considerations

Understanding the costs associated with starting and maintaining your sprinkler system is crucial for budgeting and planning.

Here at Simmons Landscape & Irrigation, we believe in transparent pricing to help our customers in Toledo, OH, make informed decisions about their irrigation maintenance needs.

Most irrigation maintenance clients of Simmons Landscape & Irrigation pay between $600 and $900.

See below for a more detailed breakdown of costs.

Estimated Costs for Professional Services

Our pricing is designed to be straightforward and affordable, ensuring your lawn remains lush without breaking the bank:

  • Spring Startup: Typically, starting your sprinkler system for the spring season starts at $249. This service includes system activation, initial inspection, and basic adjustments.

  • Routine Maintenance: To keep your sprinkler system running efficiently throughout the year, we offer maintenance packages starting at $637. These packages include 3 visits per year and the adjustment of settings and sprinkler heads to suit seasonal needs, including winterization of your irrigation system.

  • Repair Costs: Repairs can vary widely based on the extent of the damage and the complexity of the repair. Minor fixes generally start at $300, while more extensive repairs and parts replacement can cost several thousand dollars. We always provide a detailed estimate before beginning any repair work.

  • Systems With Multiple Controllers: For systems exceeding 3 independent controllers, with or without a pump, we have an hourly service rate of $200 (with a $600 minimum). This visit includes minor repairs during the initial visit.

Ready for a Lush Lawn? Let Simmons Landscape & Irrigation Do the Heavy Lifting!


You’ve just navigated the essentials of starting up and maintaining a sprinkler system, setting the stage for a verdant, vibrant lawn all season long.

Simmons Landscape & Irrigation is your expert partner in managing all aspects of irrigation maintenance, from routine check-ups to complex repairs.

Trust us to keep your sprinkler system in top condition, ensuring your lawn remains a neighborhood standout.

Ready to take the hassle out of lawn care?

Fill out our contact form today, or give us a call.

Let Simmons Landscape & Irrigation help you achieve the lush, green lawn of your dreams effortlessly.