Four Signs Your Irrigation System Isn’t Running Properly


Here in the high desert of northern Nevada, water is precious. Using water to keep our outdoor spaces thriving is important, but doing so responsibly is even more important for our community. Here are four signs that your irrigation system isn’t running properly – and what you can do about it.

Four Warning Signs

Irrigation systems can require a bit of attention to ensure they’re operating according to manufacturer’s specifications. While some of these warning signs may require the experienced eye of a licensed landscape professional, like Harris Landscape Construction here in Reno and Sparks, others will stand out to anyone. Here’s what to look for:

  • You overwater, and you routinely notice soggy patches in the lawn, beds, or water that runs across patios, driveways, and walkways
  • You water even if it rains
  • Your adjustments and settings aren’t accurate
  • You can’t identify water flow rates or breaks

Effective water management is the key to a beautiful outdoor space, and it’s one of the hallmarks of responsible water use. Too much water won’t make your lawn greener or your plants more lush. Instead, it will oversaturate the soil, which starves the roots of your lawn and plants of the oxygen they need to flourish. You can keep your soil’s moisture levels at the right amount with proper water management, which will allow the soil to dry out enough that oxygen can come in.

New Technology Makes Effective Water Management Easy

Healthy root systems typically need watering that is deep and less frequent. Watering should also adapt to prolonged changes in the weather and account for rainfall. Many irrigation systems have a rain sensor that will automatically shut off the system during a rainstorm. These systems use small disks that swell in the rain, which sends a signal to shut down. The drawback to these kinds of sensors is their inability to measure moisture in the soil. That’s where smart controllers can be have an advantage.

Smart controllers are being added to existing irrigation controls to improve water conservation and system efficiency. Plus, they’re designed to run irrigation based on soil evaporation and rainfall. A running moisture balance determines when it’s time to water, which can mean a significant savings in water consumption. Many of these controllers also monitor flow rates through the irrigation system’s pipes to notify you of any interruptions. Interruptions can occur when a pipe or fitting cracks or breaks. The sooner a problem like that is identified, the better!

If you’d like to learn more upgrading your irrigation system, or you’ve notice some of the issues we shared above your current system, contact Harris Landscape Construction in Reno today. We’ll be happy to conduct a professional review to check for any potential issues.


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