Here’s What’s Included In An Irrigation Inspection

Irrigation system lines around a tree

Are you worried that your irrigation system may not be working as well as it should? Are you considering getting an irrigation inspection but aren’t sure what that entails? Regular inspections are a crucial aspect of irrigation system maintenance.

In this guide, we’ll cover what’s included in an inspection, why it’s important, when the best time for an inspection is, the signs of an irrigation issue, how much it will cost you, and whether or not you can inspect your own system. 

By the time you finish this post, you will be armed with all the necessary knowledge in order for you to make an informed decision about whether or not you need to get an inspection of your sprinkler system.

Here’s What’s Included In An Irrigation Inspection

An irrigation system inspection is an important part of keeping your lawn in top condition. It’s the best way to make sure that your sprinkler system is working correctly and that you’re not wasting water. 

During an inspection, a professional technician will check for any signs of wear and tear, blockages, or other issues that could affect the performance of your sprinkler system. Here at Simmons Landscape and Irrigation, we also adjust your irrigation timer to optimize watering based on the time of year during our inspections.

What Is An Irrigation Inspection?

Simmons employee checking a component of an irrigation system

Irrigation system inspections are a comprehensive review of your sprinkler systems, valves, piping, and all other components of your irrigation system. The irrigation specialist conducting the inspection will check the valves, pipes, backflow preventers, sprinkler heads, and the controller/timer.

They will also look at the water pressure, flow rate, and water coverage in order to make sure everything is functioning properly and efficiently. This helps reduce long-term costs by ensuring that your sprinkler system isn’t wasting water or electricity. 

Here is a list of some of the problems our inspectors check for:

  • Tilted, Sunken, Cracked, Broken, Or Sputtering Sprinkler Heads: We make sure that there are no cracks or breaks in the sprinkler head itself. We also check for any debris or clogs that could be preventing a steady stream of water from being released from the head. If the head is sputtering or leaking, this could be a sign of clogged filters or valves. 
  • Damage to Shutoff And Main Valves, Vacuum Breaker, And Bleeder Caps: The shutoff valve is what allows you to turn off the water supply to your irrigation system when needed. We make sure this valve and all other valves associated with your system are in good working order with no visible signs of damage. We also inspect the vacuum breaker and bleeder caps to ensure they are properly attached and functioning as intended.  
  • Control Panel Issues And Inconsistent Water Coverage/Low Pressure: We make sure that all zones on your control panel are functioning properly and that each zone is providing consistent coverage throughout your lawn. Low pressure could indicate a problem with one of your sprinkler heads or valves or even something more serious, like a broken pipe in the line. This can also cause inconsistent water coverage if one zone is getting less than adequate pressure compared to another zone on the same system. We also verify that your water meter is spinning, just to eliminate the most obvious irrigation issue.
  • Leaking Pipes And Valves: Pipes can corrode over time which can lead to leaks in the line that may not be visible until after a thorough inspection has been done. We make sure all pipes are connected tightly and securely so there are no gaps where water can escape from the line. We also check for any leaks at any fittings, joints, or valves throughout the system where water may be able to escape without being noticed right away. 
  • Backflow Preventer Issues: Backflow preventers help keep contaminants out of clean drinking water by preventing contaminated irrigation water from flowing back into potable drinking supplies in case of a pipe breakage or other issue with your system’s pressure levels. It’s important to make sure these devices are inspected regularly as they do wear out over time and need replacing eventually if they aren’t maintained properly!  
  • Disconnected Wiring: Another issue that can cause major problems with an irrigation system is disconnected wiring between components such as valves, sprinkler heads, pumps, and other parts of the system that require power in order to function correctly. We make sure all wiring is connected properly throughout your entire irrigation system, so everything runs smoothly during operation!  
  • Leaks In The Line: We also verify that you aren’t losing pressure due to leaks located underground. We typically do this by monitoring your water meter for unusual water usage.
  • Obstacles And Vegetation Overgrowth: Finally, we check for obstacles such as trees, plants, or rocks that can prevent proper watering coverage across different areas of your lawn if not addressed. We make sure there aren’t any obstructions blocking spray patterns from reaching certain areas where grass might need extra hydration due to lack of sunlight exposure or elevation differences throughout your landscape design.  

During the inspection process, a trained professional will also look for any signs of damage or wear and tear that could cause future problems with your system. 

Why Is An Irrigation Inspection Important?

Regular inspections are essential for maintaining a healthy lawn and garden as well as preventing water waste. By having a professional inspect your system regularly—at least once a year—you can catch any potential problems before they become more serious (and expensive) repairs down the line. Additionally, routine inspections can help identify areas where you may be able to save water by adjusting settings or replacing broken parts. 

In short, an inspection can help catch minor issues before they become major problems. It can also identify areas where you can save money on energy bills by improving efficiency and reducing waste. Finally, regular inspections can help protect and extend the life of your system since any repairs needed can be made in a timely fashion before more serious damage occurs. 

When Is The Best Time For An Irrigation System Inspection?

The ideal time for an inspection depends on where you live and what type of climate you experience throughout the year.

Generally speaking, the best time for an irrigation system inspection is typically in the spring before you begin using your system heavily throughout the summer months. This allows you to get ahead of any issues before they become bigger problems during peak usage periods when water conservation matters most.

Here in the Ohio area, we recommend getting a system inspection around mid-April, with at least one follow-up inspection through the course of a season. To be especially vigilant, you can get your system components inspected on a monthly basis. But if you haven’t had your sprinkler system inspected in some time (or ever), now is the ideal time to get one scheduled!  

Signs Of An Irrigation Issue

An activated sprinkler after an irrigation inspection

While there are many warning signs that can indicate problems with your irrigation system, these may be difficult to identify without prior experience or training as a certified technician. That’s why it’s always best to have a professional do a full inspection on your property so they can accurately diagnose any issues they find and repair them quickly and efficiently before they become worse over time due to neglect or lack of maintenance. 

That being said, if you begin noticing certain signs such as decreased pressure or inconsistent watering patterns–especially during peak growing season–it may be time for an inspection. Other common symptoms include dry patches in the lawn despite regular watering cycles as well as unusual water pooling or flooding occurring in certain areas after each cycle ends. You can read about how this issue can impact your lawn’s health in our blog post on how poor drainage damages your lawn.

Here is a list of some of the most common irrigation system issues homeowners notice:

  • Pooling water or dry spots on their lawn
  • Clogged or sputtering sprinkler heads
  • Low water pressure
  • Leaking lines
  • The backflow preventer is not working correctly
  • The control panel is not working correctly
  • Inconsistent water coverage
  • Unusually high water bill

If any of these appear in your lawn or garden, it could indicate that there’s something wrong with your irrigation system and should prompt you to schedule an inspection right away.  

How Much Does An Irrigation Inspection Cost?

The cost of an inspection varies depending on several factors, including your specific location, the size of the property, the age and type of equipment being inspected, and the type of services needed (such as valve replacement).

Generally speaking, however, you can expect to pay anywhere between $40 and $300 for irrigation system inspections depending on the factors mentioned above, according to HomeAdvisor. However, keep in mind that HomeAdvisor’s cost data is national and includes everything from tiny properties in low-cost rural areas of the country, as well as larger properties in high-cost urban areas.

Here at Simmons Landscape and Irrigation, we offer the crucial spring irrigation inspection for $215. We also offer an annual service contract for $587 that includes three visits: one in the spring, one in the summer, and one in the fall. The fall irrigation inspection also includes a full winterization process in which we prep your sprinkler system to shut down during the freezing winter weather.

Can You Inspect An Irrigation System Yourself?

In short–yes. It is possible for a homeowner to perform various basic maintenance checks on their own–like checking for clogs in sprinkler heads, ensuring all valves are open, checking wiring connections, cleaning out filter screens regularly, and assessing their rain sensor (if applicable).

However, it’s still strongly recommended that you hire irrigation specialists for a complete inspection at least once every year since only trained technicians have access to specialized tools required for more intricate repairs like calibrating nozzle pressures or making adjustments based on soil type. Furthermore, though you may think doing a lawn sprinkler system inspection yourself is saving money, doing so could actually be costing you more in the long run if mistakes are made, or issues are overlooked. 

The fact is, due to the complexity of most irrigation systems, we recommend that clients simply turn the sprinkler system on and note any obvious problems (e.g., areas of the lawn not getting watered). While we appreciate any information the client can give us about the functioning of their sprinkler system, they can rest assured that we will still inspect the system for ourselves.

This allows us to identify all of the problems (or potential issues) in a particular sprinkler system. Otherwise, if we only addressed the issues identified by the homeowner, we would be playing “Whac-A-Mole,” trying to solve any irrigation problems as they pop up rather than proactively identifying all the issues with our in-depth inspection.

Simmons Landscape And Irrigation Are Your Local Irrigation Experts

A Simmons Landscape and Irrigation truck

A regular irrigation system inspection is essential if you want to keep your lawn looking its best while avoiding costly repairs down the line due to neglect or lack of proper maintenance. It’s essential to hire a certified technician who knows exactly what they’re doing in order to ensure accuracy and efficiency with diagnosis and repairs if necessary.

With over 105 years of experience and service in and around the greater Toledo area and Northwest Ohio, there is no one more qualified to inspect your sprinkler system than the experts at Simmons Landscape and Irrigation. When you hire us, you can rest assured that a highly-qualified technician will perform a thorough inspection of your irrigation system and make sure that it runs correctly and efficiently through every season.

If you’re interested in having one of our professionals inspect your irrigation system for problems or precautionary maintenance measures for optimal performance, fill out our contact form today! One of our experts will get back to you shortly to discuss your options and help you take the next steps.