What to Do If Your Sprinklers Freeze and Break

What to Do If Your Sprinklers Freeze and Break All American Sprinkler and Landscaping in DenverHave you ever wondered what to do if your sprinklers freeze and break? All American Sprinkler and Landscaping in Denver, Colorado has all the information you need. We’re moving into the cold winter months with our first snow already on the books. If your system is not winterized correctly, it is in danger of major problems as the temperatures drop.

So, here’s what to do if your sprinklers freeze and break.

Find the Leak

If it turns out that your sprinklers have frozen and broken, the first thing you will need to do is find the place (or places) where it is leaking. Sometimes this will be pretty obvious and other times, not so much. Here are a few tips on how to find it.

Underground pipes are less likely to have this problem as the dirt surrounding the pipe insulates it from cold temperatures. For this reason, start your search with the above-ground pipes, it’s easier! Pipes are more likely to break at joints, so check those first.

If the crack occurred in a pressurized pipe, you will find a geyser shooting up, and the leak will be easy to find. If by some chance one of the underground pipes did rupture, the best way to find it is to search for a wet area, soaking the ground around the broken pipe.

Repair the Leak

You generally can’t repair a leaky pipe or valve since a patch is usually not sufficient to handle pressurized water on a regular basis. Instead, you will have to replace the cracked portion. Repairing a leaky valve is as simple as removing the old one and installing a new one.

If the break occurred in a section of pipe, you must cut out and remove the portion of tube where the crack occurred. Replace your sprinkler system pipe it with a slightly shorter portion of the new pipeline and use couplings to attach it securely. You can find telescopic PVC couplings that make it easier by having a piece that slides out to connect to the original pipe once the new hose and couplings are in place.

Avoid Leaks

Avoiding leaks is as simple as draining the system before winter sets in. Water can’t freeze in the pipes and cause cracks if there isn’t any water in the system, no matter how cold it gets.

Firmly close the main line supply valve to ensure that water isn’t trickling into the system. Then open all the valves and leave them a half turn open all winter. This will drain the system and ensure that if there is a little water left in the system, it has somewhere to go if it begins to freeze. We also provide sprinkler winterization services if you’d like us to take care it for you.

So now you know what to do if your sprinklers freeze and break. If this happens to you, be sure to contact us at All American Sprinkler and Landscaping. Of course, our experts recommend not allowing the pipes to break in the first place. So, if you haven’t already winterized your system, we recommend getting it taken care of as soon as possible.

How to Winterize Your Denver Sprinkler System

How to Winterize Your Denver Sprinkler System All American Sprinklers DenverToday, the experts at All American Sprinkler and Landscaping discuss how to winterize your Denver sprinkler system. This is important, especially in areas like Denver where the winters can get bitterly cold. Otherwise, you will end up with major problems in the spring that you will have to attend to before you can actually use your system. If the damage is severe enough, you might even have to replace the entire system.

Tip 1: Turn off the water

This is the first and somewhat obvious step in how to winterize your Denver sprinkler system. Also, take the time to ensure that the shut-off valve is protected from freezing. If that step was skipped during installation, be sure to take care of it now before winter sets in.

Tip 2: Turn off the timer

The timer, or controller, for your sprinkler system, needs to be turned off separately. You may even have to go one step further and disconnect it from the power source.

Tip 3: Remove backflow preventer

The backflow preventer is a convenient mechanism during the watering season but needs to be removed as part of the winterizing process. This is done in preparation for the next step.

Tip 4: Drain the water

To prevent cracked or broken sprinkler pipes caused by water freezing and expanding in the pipes, all of the water in the system needs to be drained. You can use a wet/dry shop vac to do this, but that method is a bit time-consuming. A quicker method is to use an air compressor to blow out all the pipes. Make sure to open all valves and remove the backflow preventer first.

Tip 5: Know your system

To perform this winterizing well it’s a good idea to know your system. Know where all the drain valves are located, or you won’t be able to get all the water out. You can even draw up a schematic or chart and keep in a safe, waterproof place to help yourself out from year to year, so you don’t have to try to remember it all.

Tip 6: Understand the climate

The entire sprinkler winterizing process doesn’t always have to be performed depending on your location. For example, in areas where the winters are generally milder, you won’t have to drain all the underground pipes as the earth will insulate them enough to keep the water from freezing and thereby bursting the pipes. Unfortunately, here in Denver, you’ll need to err on the side of caution since we do get a pretty deep chill.

Tip 7: Add protection to spigots and hoses

While focusing on winterizing your sprinkler system, don’t forget about your other outdoor water fixtures and equipment. Get and install some styrofoam protection devices for your spigots and be sure to thoroughly drain and store your garden hoses away from snow and ice.

By following these tips on how to winterize your Denver sprinkler system, your irrigation system will be well protected and ready to use in the spring. With a bit of sprinkler knowledge, the right equipment, or just a quick call to a professional like All American Sprinkler and Landscaping, you can save yourself quite the headache come spring.

Troubleshooting Your Sprinkler System

Troubleshooting Your Sprinkler SystemToday, All American Sprinkler and Landscaping in Aurora offers some great tips on troubleshooting your sprinkler system. Unfortunately, gadgets don’t always work the way we want them to, but it can often be easy to figure out what the issue is just by knowing what to look for when you need a quick fix.

So, here are five great suggestions to get you started on troubleshooting your sprinkler system.

The Controller isn’t Functioning Correctly

Let’s say you first turn your sprinklers back on after not using them for a while. The controller, basically the electronic core of the system that runs everything, might not be functioning correctly. First, be sure that you turned the water on properly. If that’s not the issue, check the transformer output to verify that the wires going in and out of the controller box look good with no signs of damage.

Water Pressure Too High or Too Low

You may notice that the sprinkler heads aren’t popping all the way out, or the water isn’t thrown as far as it should. This indicates that the water pressure might be low. You may have a blockage somewhere, a leak, or a broken head. If you notice your sprinkler heads misting rather than spraying steadily, you probably have the opposite problem of high pressure which can wear out your system more quickly. Pressure regulating heads or pressure reducers on the valves can help lengthen the life of your system and improve its watering efficiency.

Sprinkler Head Won’t Pop Up

This generally has to do with low water pressure, and you can try the suggestions mentioned above. If it is only one head, however, there could simply be debris inhibiting the head’s ability to come up. Check it carefully for rocks, roots, dirt or anything else that could be the culprit.

Water Puddling on the Lawn or at a Sprinkler Head

There are several potential causes for this issue with your sprinkler system. If the problem is widespread it could be high water pressure, poor drainage or the watering schedule is too intense. If the problem is more concentrated in one area, you could have a leak, or on an uneven property, you may find that the system drains to the lowest heads when it is turned off and leaves puddles around just those heads. A component called check valves can remedy the problem by not allowing the water to drain.

Spray Patterns are Uneven

You might find brown patches where water is not reaching or extra wet patches that are being watered by two heads overlapping each other’s area. Adjust the heads carefully to ensure even watering of your lawn and avoid patchy areas. It could also be that there are a couple of broken heads, so be sure to inspect for that as well.

If you’ve tried troubleshooting your sprinkler system on your own and are still left scratching your head, don’t be afraid to call the experts here at All American Sprinkler and Landscaping in Aurora, Colorado. Our knowledgeable staff can help you with all kinds of sprinkler issues. With our years of experience, we have the know-how to get your sprinkler system running smoothly.

Sprinkler and Lawn Watering Tips for Summer

Sprinkler and Lawn Watering Tips for SummerToday, All American Sprinkler and Landscaping in Aurora offers our sprinkler and lawn watering tips for summer. While there is no one size fits all watering schedule, these pointers will help you determine the right amount of water for your lawn so that your grass receives what it needs without wasting water.

An extremely general rule of thumb for how much water your lawn needs is about 1 – 1 ½ inches per week. This can come from irrigation or from rainfall, so be sure to be conscious of how much it is raining.

However, there are a variety of factors that affect this amount. Grass type, soil type, temperature, humidity and lawn age to name a few. If you live in a hot, windy, low humidity area with sandy soil, you will have to water a lot more than if you live in a cooler area with higher humidity. Also, keep in mind that a newer lawn will need more babying as it establishes itself.

Now let’s look at a few helpful tips for finding the right watering schedule for your lawn.

Have the Right System

There is a myriad of different types of sprinkler systems available today, and each type serves a purpose and works best in different situations. Experts like those here at All American Sprinklers can help you choose (and install) the perfect system for your situation.

Determine the Soil Type

Clay takes a long time to absorb water and retains it well for a long time afterward. This means that you should only water for short periods of time otherwise you will create water runoff as the clay can’t absorb the water fast enough. You also won’t have to water as often. However, at the opposite extreme, sandy soil absorbs water quickly and doesn’t retain it well, so you will have to water more frequently.

Watch Your Timing

This is both how long and when you should water. If you see puddles or little streams you should shorten the time you are watering. If you notice that the soil seems dry, either, set your sprinkler system to water for a longer period or water more frequently. Use the timer function to turn the water on and off in a consistent manner. Or you can even get a smart timer that will also monitor rainfall, humidity, and even the evapotranspiration rate, then automatically adjusts your sprinkler system accordingly.

Other things to consider about timing include watering just before the sun comes up to minimize evaporation. However, don’t water during the night because you can eventually cause disease. Also, pay attention to high water use hours in your household, city regulations and avoid those times of the day.

We hope that these sprinkler and lawn watering tips for summer have been helpful to you. For further information contact us here at All American Sprinkler and Landscaping in Aurora. We will help you choose the perfect system and devise the ideal schedule for watering your lawn. With our help, your beautiful lawn will quickly become the envy of the neighborhood.

New Fence Considerations

New Fence ConsiderationsThe friendly folks at All American Sprinkler and Landscaping have a few new fence considerations for you if you are thinking about putting in a new one. Fences are a great way to add style and functionality to your outdoor space, but the type of fence to choose is based on a few factors like what kind of material, what you need the fence for and who will be doing the work on it.

Materials

When starting a landscape design project, there are several great options for fencing materials, and each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Wood is a great and versatile material with a style that’s easily customizable. Many times, you can find pre-manufactured panels that make installation relatively easy and it’s a great privacy barrier that provides a safe backyard. The major disadvantage with wood fencing is maintenance – you’ll need to paint and seal it from time to time to ensure you maximize its lifespan.

If you don’t want the maintenance, some people choose a vinyl fencing made to look like wood. It’s a durable, low-maintenance option that’s also pretty inexpensive. It also doesn’t have to look like wood; vinyl comes in a wide variety of style and color options so that you can customize it how you like.

Chain link is great if you’re not concerned about privacy. It is durable, long-lasting, relatively maintenance free and inexpensive. If you’re after privacy, though, the plastic inserts and covers that you can use to create a visual barrier with chain link are not very attractive options.

Yard Use

Another area to consider for landscape projects and fencing is how you want to use your yard. Is the fence for aesthetic purposes only? Are you only concerned with corralling kids or pets and giving them a safe space to roam? Do you want to create a privacy barrier for your backyard?

These issues will obviously affect what type of material you choose, as well as the style. If you want to keep a big dog in, the fence will likely have to be built higher than standard fencing. If you often have kids running around, you may want to think about whether the material can be dangerous to them, such as wood giving them splinters.

Who will Install

If you want to try to do the work yourself, that is going to affect what kind of fence to install. Whatever it is will have to fall into your particular skill set and that, of course, depends on your particular level of handyman (or woman) prowess. Choosing professional installers might cost a bit more but it’s a whole lot less work, and you have the broader option of choosing whatever kind of fencing you want and know that it will be installed correctly.

We hope this info about new fence considerations has been helpful. Here at All American Sprinkler and Landscaping, we are all about making your outdoor space comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. A fence is a huge part of that because it is so large and can completely change how your yard looks and functions. To learn more about our landscape services, including fencing, get in touch with us today.

7 Steps to a Healthy Green Lawn after Winter

7 Steps to a Healthy Green Lawn after WinterFor today’s helpful tip, All American Sprinkler and Landscaping in Aurora offers 7 steps to a healthy green lawn after winter. A beautiful green lawn doesn’t just magically happen when the sun comes back out after the long winter. Well, maybe for a few lucky folks it does, but a little bit of planning and work at the right time can make a world of difference in how lush and vibrant the lawn is this summer.

Clean it Up!

First things first, your lawn probably has a fair amount of debris piled up from winter. Leaves, sticks, dirt whatever, clean all that off the lawn to get started. You can do this either by hand, or use a blower to make it a bit easier to round up dead leaves. If any of your plants died during the winter, pull those out and be sure to trim up the surviving ones in preparation for new growth. 

Aerate the Soil

Next, loosen things up a bit. Heavy snow and foot traffic packs down the soil quite a bit over the winter and makes it difficult for nutrients to get to the roots of grass. To aerate, rent a plug aerator or hire a professional landscaper to get things opened up again.

Clean out the Dead Grass

The weight of snow and ice all winter inevitably kills off some grass. Dethatch your lawn with a rake to clean out the dead stuff and allow the living grass room to breathe and free access to water from your sprinklers, as well as nutrients.

Get Rid of Weeds

Weeds and their seeds are going to try to make a comeback also. Get the jump on them by pulling up the big ones and spraying an herbicide over your lawn to give the grass the advantage. If you prefer not to use chemicals, cornmeal can work as well.

Fill in the Blanks

If winter damaged part of the lawn enough, you might have barren patches that will need help. For this, you can either, put down seed and wait for it to grow in, or a faster approach is to buy sod. Keep in mind that it may be difficult to find sod that matches your existing grass perfectly.

Fertilize

Your lawn needs to eat! The nutrients in fertilizers will help the lawn grow lush and green. Be sure to set your sprinklers to water in the morning and don’t drown your lawn or you could wash away all those nutrients you worked so hard to put down.

Keep it Up

Once your lawn has gotten started, all you need to do is keep it mowed at regular intervals throughout the summer. You can throw a bit of fertilizer down once in a while, but too much will actually cause more harm than good.

If you need help with any of these 7 steps to a healthy green lawn after winter, feel free to contact us here at All American Sprinkler and Landscaping in Aurora. Our goal is to make sure that your outdoor space is the lush green oasis that you want it to be!

How to Run Your Sprinklers for Better Lawn Care

How to Run Your Sprinklers for Better Lawn CareOur experts at All American Sprinkler and Landscaping in Aurora want to share our take on how to run your sprinklers for better lawn care. We have a commitment to customer satisfaction and part of that includes providing valuable information to help you enjoy an incredible yard. These tips and tricks to better care for your yard are just one of the ways we like to help!

Make no mistake, there is a right way and a wrong way to handle lawn care. By following our tips, you’ll be able to minimize water waste (which can lower your water bill) and decrease the amount of time and effort you have to put into maintaining your landscape. You’ll also have a green beauty that is the envy of the neighborhood. First, let’s talk about a couple of myths regarding proper watering schedules:

  • The evening is the best time to water.

This seems like it should make sense. Watering during the cool of the day means less water evaporation and your lawn is absorbing the most water for the least amount of watering.

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Allowing water to sit on the grass and in the soil for too long and can encourage the growth of fungi or even grass diseases. While Denver is not a particularly humid area, it still is a risk you take when watering in the evening, and it is not the preferred method of caring for your lawn.

  • Afternoon watering helps keep the grass from burning.

Again, to some, it would make sense that if the lawn is wet during the hottest time of the day, it will help keep it from burning. But…it doesn’t, and during the heat of the day, water evaporates as soon as it hits the ground. Plus, the sun causes the ground to harden, thereby offering the least amount of water absorption of the day. Running your sprinklers is a waste at this point.

So, When Should You Water Your Grass?

When it comes to how to run your sprinklers for better lawn care, we say find a happy medium when water absorption is at its highest, the heat isn’t too intense, and the water won’t cause the grass to be overly damp for hours every day. That sweet spot is typically about an hour before sunrise.

This is where an automated sprinkler system comes in handy. Most people are not too excited about getting up at 4 or 4:30 in the morning to water their lawn. But with an automated sprinkler system from a reputable company like All American Sprinkler, you can set the time to whatever you want. You can even set your timers to water each zone for a specified amount of time, turn off, and then turn back on again for another burst. This can help prevent water runoff if the ground can’t absorb it fast enough.

Being smart about how to run your sprinklers for better lawn care can save you time and ensure a happy lawn that looks great all summer long. If you need even more help, feel free to contact our experts here at All American Sprinkler for advice, sprinkler services, repairs and much more.

Getting Your Sprinklers Ready for Spring

All American Sprinkler and Landscaping in AuroraGetting Your Sprinklers Ready for Spring wants to help you with getting your sprinklers ready for Spring. Winter is coming to a close and signs of Spring are beginning to pop up everywhere. Soon all that new life is going to need some water, so your hibernating sprinkler system needs to be ready.

Getting your sprinkler system ready for Spring isn’t too difficult, especially if you have a basic understanding of your system. You’ll just need a flat head screwdriver and maybe a small channel-lock. Of course, if you’d rather skip ahead to enjoying your green grass this Spring, you can always give us a call and have our experts take care of everything for you. Otherwise, here are the steps to take:

Step 1: Make sure that the irrigation clock is off.

Step 2: See that the test cock valves on the backflow prevention device are closed. If you don’t know what the backflow prevention device is, look for a bronze device somewhere against a wall on the outside of the house. You should also find a couple of ball valves here that should also be closed.

Step 3: Go through the entire system and ensure that all valves are closed, as well as the drain.

Step 4: Find the main water shut-off for the irrigation system. If you don’t know where it is, try looking in your utility room, basement, or crawlspace. If you find a copper pipe running from a water source to that backflow prevention device you already located, then you have found the water shut-off!

Step 5: Check that the drain valve right next to the irrigation shut-off is closed. Now, get ready for the exciting part. You’re all set to turn on the water to your sprinkler system!

Step 6: Turn the water on very slowly until you hear it start to run. If the system is closed up snugly the water will stop running in a few seconds after the pipes to the backflow prevention device have filled. If it keeps running, either a valve is open, or you have a leak somewhere. Double check the valves or look for water escaping. Once the shut-off valve can stay open without any water running, you are ready to proceed to the next step.

Step 7: Head out and slowly open the ball valve closest to the house next to the backflow prevention device. Once the backflow device pressurizes, open the other ball valve and wait for the system to fill up. Again, the water should stop running after a few moments and if it doesn’t then you need to start checking the entire system for either an open valve or a leak.

Use your best judgment and don’t try to fix a problem that you don’t understand. If there seems to be a problem that you can’t fix easily, it is better to call in the professionals than to end up breaking something trying to fix it yourself, only making it worse.

Step 8: If there are no problems, you can turn on the irrigation clock and run through the zones. Of course, always check for leaks and also ensure the heads are adjusted properly. You want to water the grass, not your walkways or house.

As you can see, getting your sprinklers ready for Spring isn’t that difficult, provided that you don’t run into any issues. Of course, whether you go DIY or want us to jump start your sprinklers, just give a call to the friendly team at All American Sprinklers. We’ll get your system up and running in no time!

Improving Your Sprinkler System

Improving Your Sprinkler SystemHere at All American Sprinkler and Landscaping, Inc., we are dedicated to improving your sprinkler system and ensuring that you always receive the best customer service. Having been in the business and serving our neighbors in the Denver area since 1979, we have a vested interest in our community and want to do our part to keep things beautiful by helping you properly maintain and improve the function of your sprinkler system. Let’s go over a few tips. 

  1. Check for low head drainage

In some sprinkler systems, particularly if they are older, the heads leak water that is left over in the pipes, after the system has been shut off. This leaves a puddle around your sprinkler head and wastes water facilely used for the next cycle. If you notice this problem, try replacing your current heads with newer ones that contain check valves to prevent water from draining from the pipes when the system shuts down. 

  1. Check that the water pressure is right

Usually, sprinkler heads work best at a certain water pressure. If the pressure isn’t correct for your heads, they can mist and waste water. Find out the correct pressure for your heads, and if your system isn’t working right, consider installing heads with a built-in pressure regulator to fix this problem. 

  1. Choose the correct nozzle

Things to look for in a good nozzle include:

  • Sends out large enough droplets that the wind won’t be able to carry water off course or turn it into water vapor
  • Waters slowly enough that the ground has time to absorb the water and doesn’t create a bunch of wasted runoff or pooling
  • Waters evenly and doesn’t result in brown, damaged spots from any un-watered patches
  • Maintains the correct adjustment and arc and doesn’t fall out of adjustment easily
  • Consistently maintains the correct throw distance and doesn’t throw too far or fall short 

  1. Reserve drip irrigation for mixed borders, vegetable gardens, pots and the like

You shouldn’t mix drip irrigation and sprinkler heads in the same area. They each serve their own unique purpose and should be used accordingly. Otherwise, you end up with soggy spots from overwatering portions and, of course, wasting water. 

  1. Check for issues with your sprinklers regularly

As with anything, proper maintenance is the best way to prevent a wide variety of issues. That doesn’t mean that you have to inspect your system every day but set a regular schedule to take a quick look and make sure that things are running smoothly. This will ensure that your system functions well and you don’t end up wasting or overusing water.

As always if you have any further questions about improving your sprinkler system or anything else, feel free to give us a call here at All American Sprinkler and Landscaping. Our friendly experts are always willing to provide you with the answers you need and wow you with our superior customer service. As we said, we want our customers to have the highest quality sprinkler systems and always receive the best service that we can offer.

So What is Xeriscaping Anyway?

So What is Xeriscaping Anyway?If you’ve spent any time researching landscaping techniques, you may have run across the term xeriscaping. You may be wondering, so what is xeriscaping anyway? And how can it be helpful to my yard? All American Sprinkler and Landscaping would like to take out the mystery and explain xeriscaping and its uses in your yard.

Simply put, xeriscaping is a set of common sense gardening principles that can create a gorgeous landscape for your yard while saving water, time, and other resources. Now, we all know that water bills can add up and few people have massive amounts of time and resources that they want to dedicate to their landscaping. That’s what makes xeriscaping such a helpful and popular idea in landscaping circles.

So, without further ado, here are the 7 principles of xeriscaping:

  • Principle #1: Plan and Design. Every project is going to end up in a better place if you take the time to plan it out beforehand. Think about what elements you want to be where and how it will impact the overall yard. Keep aesthetics and water conservation first and foremost in your mind during this process.
  • Principle #2: Create Practical Turf Areas. Pay attention to the size, shape, and grade and ensure that they are manageable.
  • Principle #3: Choose Plants that Need Little Water. This will cut down on your watering needs. Also, group plants according to watering needs. That way plants that require more water will all be in the same place, and you can water only a section of your yard more frequently.
  • Principle #4: Amend the Soil. As you plant, be sure to use a good soil amendment like compost.
  • Principle #5: Mulch. Employing a good mulch like cobble rock or wood chips will help to keep the soil fresh and cool and slow the process of water evaporation.
  • Principle #6: Employ an Efficient Irrigation System. Obviously, an efficient irrigation system is going to cut down on wasted water.
  • Principle #7: Maintain Regularly. Keeping your landscape correctly mowed, weeded, pruned and fertilized will further ensure that these principles work to their best capacity.

Bear in mind that xeriscaping is a gardening method that provides an opportunity to build a more efficient garden that helps conserve water. However, the idea is not to completely restrict water to the point that you can only use cactus and rocks as your landscape adornments. You also aren’t limited to only using native plants.

The point, rather, is that by planning and designing carefully, you can minimize your water consumption. So choose plants that adapt well to your climate. Use strategic placement to limit the need to water. Pick a few plants that might need extra water and strategically place them, or limit the amount of them. Follow these principles and enjoy a beautiful, thought out garden space.

If you are not quite sure how to do this, don’t worry! There are lots of experts that you can consult with to help explain what is xeriscaping anyway and how to go about doing it in your yard. Start with us here at All American Sprinkler and Landscaping, and we’ll get you well on your way!