Lawn Irrigation System Inspection Course

I chose the article “backflow prevention.” Backflow is the reversal of normal water flow in the system. Backflow is dangerous because it can spread contaminated water into the distribution system of potable water supply. One type of backflow is called back-pressure. This is when the demand downstream is greater than the supply pressure. This high demand will then begin pulling water from the rest of the distribution system and create a situation where water is flowing in reverse direction and potentially sucking in contaminated water where a cross connection occurs or a system that is missing a backflow prevention device.

The picture attached is of a broken sprinkler head from an inspection I performed earlier today. Even though some larger properties can have many zones, it is important to take the time testing these zones and finding defects. In some of my recent inspections I have even found damaged or improperly placed sprinkler heads that were a source of water intrusion into an interior wall.

The article I researched today was “Hard Water” by Nick Gromicko. Hard water can over time damage water related components including sprinkler systems. It is important to know that having hard water is not considered a health hazard but should be taken into consideration when buying a home if the home does not currently have a water treatment system.

This is my irrigation manifold in a protective box. Usually this box would be buried flush with the soil, but it was installed using a very poor quality. I will be looking for this out in the field. Thank-you very much.

Any type of wood, whether is be pressure treated or not, will decay with a large amount of water constantly applied to it. This is true for all types of wood. Cedar and mahogany are the most weather resistant woods.

Sprinkler head type and location are critical to a properly functioning system. Care needs to be taken to ensure that spray patterns do not affect the home or any wooden structures such as fencing, decks, posts etc. thus preventing any unnecessary staining or rot

This is a situation that I ran into at a property. They had the a sprinkler going and the underground sprinkler system going at the same time. I was not able to adequately check because the ground was saturated with water

You should not need a sprinkler head under your deck. This will aid in the decay of the wood of the deck. You also want to make sure that the sprinkler is not hitting the decking material or the support beam

Photo is of a control valve manifold including the electric control valves. These particular valves have a built in atmospheric back flow valve. Manual operation of each zone is accomplished by setting the control clock to manual and energizing the soliniod some by one. Also, valve can be opened by rotating the soliniod clockwise or opening the bleed valve on the top side of the diaphragm.

Repeated showering of water on wood components such as posts, siding, or trim will eventually result in rot and structural compromise. Water source can be misdirected lawn sprinkler head(s) or splash back for rain water flowing off the roof. Water is the enemy of every home so proper water management is important.

Sprinkler heads should be installed as not to spray water up against the structure of the house or any decks or supporting posts so as not to create any flooding of water against the structure or posts which could cause seepage into the basement or bring on the onset of wood decay to posts and other wood structures

These are exterior water shutoff valves for faucets and irrigation line.These should be winterized and irrigation lines drained and blown out in the months of October to november to prevent system freezing.The system has a pipe outside which facilitates this by connecting to an air compressor and blowing out any water from each individual zone

In this photos the large force full stream of water rising from the ground indicates that there is a cracked sprinkler head. Because of the close proximity to the concrete driveway, the damage was most likely done by a tire on a vehicle.

In some instances an Inspector will see over spray stains from a sprinkler system on the siding of the home. This condition needs to be brought to the home owners attention in the home inspection. The inspector can use a moisture meter to test and see if the material is wet, or if it is stained from a prior occurrence.

this valve box seems to be typical. Full of debris, and solenoid covered in dirt. Good idea to wear gloves and poke around a little before diving in. Discovered a zone not functioning, found broken solenoid wire, rusted inside a standard wire nut

There is frost damage to the sprinkler pressure vacuum breaker (PVB). This will need to be replaced before the sprinkler is operational. Recommend having a licensed landscape contractor evaluate and make all necessary repairs before the closing of your contact.

Backflow is a potential problem in a water system because it can spread contaminated water back through a distribution system. For example, backflow at uncontrolled cross connections (cross-connections are any actual or potential connection between the public water supply and a source of contamination or pollution) can allow pollutants or contaminants to enter the potable water system. Sickness can result from ingesting water that has been contaminated due to backflow.

The picture shows a sprinkler head the is not perpendicular to the ground. Although it’s a relatively easy fix, it’s an important one. Having a head in this condition does not allow for an even spray coverage and the excess water in the concentrated area may cause damage to the lawn.

Although I knew that the sprinkler heads should always be perpendicular to the ground, I wasn’t fully aware of the damage that it could cause to the lawn and sprayed areas. I also learned how easy a fix it is. By making sure the heads are installed properly, the covered area is maximized each time the system is utilized.

The sprinkler shown in the photograph is controlled under the irrigation clock/controller through zone 1 which irrigates the shrubbery along the front of the house below the deck. This sprinkler head appears to have shifted from a perpendicular to the ground to about 45 degree angle relative to the ground. The results of this misalignment places water into the area covered by zone 5 which irrigates other shrubbery which is above the rock wall. Inspector recommends that this sprinkler head be adjusted to be perpendicular to the ground so the water is directed to the intended area and plant.