Lawn Irrigation System Inspection Course

Polybutylene piping. Two studies in particular in papers published by the University of Illinois at Chicago have shown that certain disinfectants can react with the polybutylene and cause it to flake apart at any location within the PB piping system. Small fractures can deepen over time and eventually work their way to the pipe’s exterior, allowing water to escape. Some manufacturers, however, claim that the majority of leaks occur at joints and unions, which is where a leak would likely appear if a pipe were improperly installed. Despite this contention, class-action lawsuits filed against PB manufacturers have been successful and resulted in payouts to homeowners reaching $1 billion.

A common problem that can occur is the solenoid malfunctions. Solenoids can malfunction when the plunger inside corrodes, leaving the plunger in a permanent state of suction. As this is difficult to repair, it is wisest to replace the solenoid entirely when this occurs.

This picture shows the atmospheric vacuum break assembly for the lawn sprinkler system. In this particular instance, it does not sit 6" higher than (many of) the tallest sprinkler head/s and should be corrected. This would be considered an incorrect set up.

The article I chose to read was “If a Home Inspector Misses Something”. I have read this before but, it is a good article to refer back to as it is a reminder to do my best each and every inspection.

Here is shown a typical layout for a lawn irrigation system being installed by a professional landscaper 8 inches below ground using PVC pipe for the lateral lines. Planning your grid and layout system is important in order to cover the area adequately.

What we see here is a wood deck being back sprayed by sprinkler system which is not adjusted properly this is going to cause wood decay and structural failure of the deck. We suggest you consult a licensed landscaper to adjust the sprayheads and fix the situation.

This house have an electrical clock sprinkler system which located in the garage and it is about 12 years , there are 5 zone for watering the lawn 2 on the front and left side and 2 in the back and right side of the house.also there is a dipping zone to water the plants . all 5 zone are working properly but zone 3 which has a half round sprinkler head in the back that needs adjustment, at this time mostly watering the pool area .

I believe the sprinkler system(head) was installed when house was new 12 years ago which were less plants and smaller trees in the back yard. at this time adjustment of sprinkler head is almost impossible because if you try to adjusted way from the pool, it would be block by trees and overgrown plants. I would recommend this sprinkler head be moved about 30 feet the forward and adjusted to spray backward. please have this system be evaluated by sprinkler repair contractor .

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This sprinkler head located at the edge of the driveway was observed to be leaking at the time of inspection. It is typical of sprinkler heads near driveways to be damaged du to vehicular traffic. Recommend repair by a qualified irrigation repair person.

Article Review: Landscape Shading

The addition of strategically placed landscaping may help reduce cooling costs through the use of shading techniques. Fast growing trees with dense foliage placed on the south and west sides of the home may help with heat gain.

I did a home inspection on a brand new house and did notice that it had different water pressure on the drip irrigation zone than the other zones. This is a picture of the drip zone watering the flowers. It was interesting learning about this in particular. Being able to talk about the different psi in water pressure makes me look a lot more knowledgeable than before!

Lawn Decay Contributing to Post Decay:
This picture made me aware of the risks of irrigation systems have on any wooden materials on the outside. As we all know water is the number one enemy of homes and Irrigation systems should be installed in a way in which it will not damage not just posts or porches but any wooden material such as siding, fencing, etc

During the inspection of a residential sprinkler system it is important for the inspector to run ever zone. If the inspector does not run every zone broken sprinklers like the one shown above would not be discovered for our clients.

Sprinkler systems can sometimes be equipped with a rain sensor. It is a great part of the system that will detect recent rainfall and not activate the sprinkler system wasting water. In Texas it is required in SOP to locate and ensure the sprinkler system is equipped with a rain sensor

Inspected the main valve box and backflow preventer. Everything was in normal operating order. Instructed the client on the proper use of his new irrigation system. Also inspected the operation of all the sprinkler heads and confirmed that the system had adequate coverage.

Read the article about how to inspect floating homes. This is very informative in case someone wants me to inspect their houseboat I will know what to look for. Electric and sewage lines are important things to look for during an inspection.

I don’t have any inspection photos of lawn irrigation defects, since we don’t inspect for that at this time, so here is a plumbing leak photo I took during a home inspection. Leaks are a common find during an inspection.

For my essay I read “Polybutylene for inspectors”. It is plumbing related and it was a useful article. I read it because it seems that i have been inspecting many homes lately that have Polybutelene pipes in them and I always like more information.

Backflow Preventor on this house was found to be in excellent shape but had no way to drain water line to the back flow preventor. We accomplished the drain task by shutting off water main and disassembling the the gate valve that supplied water to the irrigation system. I recommended that we add a drain valve with hose bib between the supply valve and the Back Flow Preventor.