How do I turn on my sprinkler system in the spring?

If your sprinkler system was installed properly, turning it on in the spring is relatively easy.

Please refer to the diagram, “Backflow Device.”


  1. Be sure the manual drain valve is closed. This valve is usually located below or before the backflow device outside your house.
  2. Slowly open the gate valve. This valve is usually located after the meter in the basement on the line going out of your house to the backflow device.
  3. Check the main line, valves, and backflow device for any sign of leakage. Repair breaks as needed.
  4. Open the front cover of your sprinkler timer, find the battery backup (if it has one) and replace. Follow the instructions in your sprinkler’s timer manual. Go through all the zones one at a time. Check each zone for water coverage, leaky heads and breaks.
  5. Cut and clean any excess lawn or plant growth away from the sprinkler heads that would inhibit proper operation of the sprinkler head.
  6. Check and make sure the sprinkler heads are level and flush with the grade of the lawn, to insure that they will not be hit my mowers or other lawn equipment.
  7. Be sure your sprinkler heads are at least an inch away from walks or curbing to insure that edgers do not hit them.
  8. Check that the sprinkler heads are adjusted properly and coverage is correct for each zone area. Adjust heads as necessary using your hand and/or tools.
  9. Make sure the sprinkler heads are not clogged. If clogged, unscrew the head casing or nozzle and check the filter at the base or in the stem of the head. Clean out the filter with air or water. Check to see if a stone or other debris is lodged in the nozzle; clean or replace as necessary.
  10. If you experience problems with a particular zone, turn that zone off on the timer so the rest of the system can continue to operate normally. Contact Horizon for service or your local NJ State licensed irrigation professional.

irrigation-hands[1]We suggest checking your system at least two additional times during the watering season. It is especially helpful to check the system whenever you experience severe weather changes, such as increased rain or periods of drought.

Horizon Landscape Company

Horizon Landscape Company