Choked Sprinklers: The What, Why, And How Of This Problem

An automatic sprinkler system is a great thing to have in your yard, especially if you live someplace hot and arid, like Nevada. However, there are a lot of outside forces that can wreak havoc on the system. Professionals who are called in for sprinkler repair, such as A Ronnow Lawn Sprinkler, Inc., frequently see choked sprinklers. Here is more on what this problem is, why it happens, and how to fix it.

What Choked Sprinklers Are

The only thing that runs through a sprinkler system is water, so how can it get "choked"? Well, there are two ways this can happen. One, you have really hard water that builds up mineral and rust deposits in the sprinkler line, closing it off like lipids in an artery. The other is tree roots. The trees or bushes are planted too close to the sprinkler line and once the tree or bush gets bigger, its roots wrap around the sprinkler pipe and squeeze the daylights out of it.

Why This Happens

Choked sprinklers happen because you have untreated hard water. Install a water softener in your home, and this ends the interior problem. If the choking is a result of roots, be aware of the fact that tree and bush roots will grow in the direction of a water source. When these living things sense water in the sprinkler system, they send roots out to try and tap it. The roots do everything possible to get the water, including squeezing and breaking through the pipes.

How to Fix This Issue

First and foremost, engage a professional who knows how to fix sprinkler systems. He or she will open up the ground, find the choked pipes, and provide the appropriate solution. If the pipes are being choked internally, they will remove the broken pipes and send a small scope through the system to see what other pipes are at risk. At this time, they will advise you to install a water softener to eliminate future problems.

If the problem is tree roots, the roots need to be cut away before the pipes can be replaced. Unfortunately, unless you are willing to remove the tree or bush responsible, you may be revisiting this problem in the near future. Cutting the roots away now only temporarily resolves this choking issue. The tree or bush will only send out more roots in search of water, and then you are back to square one. Consider removing the tree or bush so that the sprinkler system can work unhindered.