SPRINKLER SERVICES FAQ

Irrigation Service - Boulder and Fort Collins Area


Sprinkler Services - Organo-Lawn specializes in organic lawn and tree care. Sprinkler systems can cause major problems with trees and lawns if they are not programmed properly. Too much water, watering too frequently, or sprinkler head coverage problems can cause lawn and tree diseases. This is why Organo-Lawn offers professional irrigation services, including sprinkler start-ups, sprinkler audits, and sprinkler blowouts.

One thing that many homeowners struggle with is how to properly program a sprinkler system so it will water the lawn and trees properly, but won't waste water. Organo-Lawn has developed the best method in lawn watering called the 1,2,3,2,1 lawn watering technique. Lawn care customers in Boulder and Fort Collins have seen amazing improvement in the health of their lawn and trees when using Organo-Lawn's lawn watering program. Organo-Lawn offers this information for free for the do-it-yourself homeowner and we also offer it as a service, in which we can get your system set up to follow this watering technique. Our sprinkler technicians perform hundreds of sprinkler audits and sprinkler blowouts every year for customers in and around the Boulder and Fort Collins areas.

Click on the link below to take you to the Sprinkler System FAQ Sections




Sprinkler Blowout FAQ

Q. Do I need to be home for you to perform the blowout?
A. That depends. If your water shut off is outside and everything is accessible to us, you do not have to be home. If your water shut off and drain is inside and you want us to drain the downstairs pipe and shut off the water, then you do need to be home. If you can shut off the water inside the house and drain the downstairs pipe yourself then we can winterize the system from the outside and you do not need to be home. We have instructions on how to drain the downstairs pipe on the website.

Q. I don’t know how to shut off the water and drain the downstairs pipe; do I need to be home?
A. If you can follow the directions we have on our website on how to drain the pipe, you can do this yourself. However, if you are more comfortable with us doing the draining and shutting off of the water then you will need to be home.

Q. I have a sprinkler clock; do you need access to that to winterize the system?
A. In about 99% of cases, no. We can manually control the sprinkler through the manifold or valve boxes. These are the boxes that are in the ground and have the green covers. However, if the valve boxes are not accessible then we will need to use the clock.

Q. I am trying to self drain my system but I cannot find my water shutoff in the basement; what should I do?
A. You should have us turn off the water and drain the pipe. We can find 99%+ of all shutoffs.

Q. I am draining my downstairs pipe and it is taking a long time to drain, did I shut of the water properly?
A. Yes; if you did not shut it off properly you would have water gushing out of the pipe at about 50 PSI. Sometimes it takes several minutes for the pipe to drain completely if the pipe is quite long.

Q. I am trying to drain my downstairs pipe but no water is coming out, am I doing this correctly?
A. Probably not. You need air flow for the water to release. You need to go outside to the vacuum breaker and open a petcock to get proper airflow. Please read our instructions on how to self-drain the downstairs pipe.

Q. Can I pick a time for you to come?
A. Unfortunately, no. We do not allow you to pick the time that we come. We route in the most efficient driving order the day before you are scheduled. We email you the afternoon before your winterization to let you know what time we will arrive. We do this so we can route the jobs in the most efficient order so we do not waste fuel. Typically we can take requests for morning or afternoon appointments, but we cannot guarantee a certain time.

Q. What days do you perform sprinkler blowouts?
A. We perform sprinkler blowouts Monday thru Friday.

Q. When should I have my sprinkler winterized?
A. We recommend having the sprinkler system winterized prior to the first hard freeze. Since we cannot predict when that is going to be, we recommend having your system winterized between the last week of September and the end of October. Our schedule fills up quickly so the sooner you call the more dates we will have available for you to choose from.

Q. Does having my sprinkler system winterized ensure that I will not have any damage over the winter?
A. Even a properly winterized system can still have damage. Typically there is damage from winter on 3-5% of all sprinkler systems. This is typically not because of improper winterization, but more likely due to old parts or bad luck. Remember most sprinkler systems have plastic parts and in very cold conditions plastic parts can become brittle and break.

Q. What air pressure do you use to winterize the system?
A. We use 40-80 PSI depending on your system.

Q. I have a water shutoff valve that is in the ground and it requires a key to turn it off, do you have a key or do I need to supply the key?
A. You will need to supply the key. If you don’t own one we can sell you a key or advise you where to buy one. It is very important that you own a key because if you need to shut off the water in an emergency you need to have quick access to the key.

Q. Are your technicians trained to winterize sprinkler systems?
A. Yes.

Q. I waited too long and my sprinkler system froze and I need some repairs; can you do that?
A. That depends; if it is the bonnet or pop-it which are inside the vacuum breaker, yes we can. Typically, 95%+ of freeze issues are going to be the bonnet or the pop-it. If a pipe ruptured or something else broke inside then you will need to get a plumber out to fix the problem. Note: the bonnet and the pop-it are not included in the price of the winterization.




Sprinkler Startup FAQ

Q. What time of year is the best time to start-up my sprinkler system?
A. We recommend that you start up your sprinkler system when hard freezes are unlikely or if we are no longer getting moisture on a regular basis from Mother Nature. This is usually the middle of April or into May.

Q. What do you do when you start-up the sprinkler system?
A. We start the water properly and check all the zones to make sure they are watering accurately. We program the clock to water the lawn properly, check to see the heads are spraying in the correct direction, and check for problems.

Q. I have a repair that needs to be done; can you do that while you are there?
A. It depends on the severity of the repair. We can replace bonnets and pop-its, some sprinkler head tips, and micro-mist tips, but we typically do not have the equipment or enough time to handle many major repairs on the spot. If it is a repair that we can do but is a major repair, we will write you an estimate and we can schedule the repair for another day. If there is a repair we are unable to perform, we will advise you of the situation and can give you a referral for the repairs to be completed.

Q. I have a sprinkler head that is broken; can you replace that during the audit?
A. Typically not unless you have a replacement head available. We do not have many parts with us and we do not specialize in sprinkler repairs. We can advise on how to do this but it is very rare that we can repair a sprinkler head unless it is just a replaceable tip.

Q. Do I need to be home for the sprinkler start-up?
A. Yes, you need to be home so we can get access to the water valve and the clock for programming, unless your sprinkler clock is located outside. We will email you the afternoon before your appointment with a 2-hour estimate arrival time window.

Q. I want to move a sprinkler head; can you do that?
A. No; you will need to contact a company that specializes in full service sprinkler system repairs.

Q. You winterized my system and there is a problem, is that guaranteed?
A. Even a properly winterized system can still have damage. Typically there is unavoidable damage from winter weather on 3-5% of all sprinkler systems. This damage is likely unrelated to an improper winterization service, but due to old parts or bad luck. Remember most sprinkler systems have plastic parts and in very cold conditions plastic parts can become brittle and break.

Q. My water is already on. Why did you recommend a sprinkler start-up?
A. Turning on the water is one small part of our sprinkler startup service; we also adjust your system to water appropriately for your grass type and conditions. We call this a sprinkler audit. If we recommended a start-up/audit for you, it is probably because we are seeing an issue related to lawn watering. 99% of lawn problems are watering related, and a proper watering schedule with proper coverage is necessary to develop and maintain a living soil as well as a healthy turf.




Self Draining the Basement Pipe FAQ

Q. What time of year is the best time to start up my sprinkler system?
A. We recommend that you start up your sprinkler system when hard freezes are unlikely or if we are no longer getting moisture on a regular basis from Mother Nature. This is usually the middle of April or into May.

Q. Why do I need to drain the pipe?
A. If you don’t drain the pipe then it is possible that the water that is inside the pipe on the outside of the building will freeze and break the pipe.

Q. Why don’t you drain the pipe for me?
A. We are more than happy to drain the pipe for you. However, if you can drain your own pipe you do not need to be home for us to be able to blowout the sprinkler system. This makes it easier on you because we cannot guarantee appointment times.

Q. How do you blow out the sprinklers if you cannot get into the garage to use the sprinkler clock?
A. We can typically operate each zone through the valve boxes which are the boxes in the ground with the green lids.

Q. I have opened the valves and the petcocks but there is no water coming out of the drain. What is happening?
A. You probably have a vertical pipe somewhere and we need to back blow the system. Read below.

Q. What do I do if my pipe comes into the house, then it goes up (vertical) and then down?
A. This is rare but it is possible and we need to back blow the system. This means we apply air pressure to the pipe and blow the water backwards. This is important due to the fact that your pipe goes vertical and therefore will not drain properly without air pressure. You will need to be home for us to be able to back blow the system. Please call our office to have us return to the house if we have already blown out the sprinkler system.

Q. When I went to the backflow preventer and turned the valve from perpendicular to parallel a lot of water came out of the system. Do you need to return and blow out the system again?
A. Yes; please contact our office. This visit will be free of charge to blow out the system.

Q. I cannot find the shutoff valve for the sprinkler system; what should I do?
A. You will need to wait until our technician gets to the house, and we will find the shutoff for the water.

Q. I don’t think that I am handy enough to drain my pipe by myself; what should I do?
A. You should meet us at your house and our technician will do this for you.

Q. My sprinkler shutoff uses a key in the ground; how do I drain the system?
A. You do not need to drain the system. If everything is outside our technician will do this for you. You just need to give our technician access to the key.

Q. I don’t have a key to turn of the water; do you have a key?
A. No, we do not have a key with us, but we can purchase a key for you that you can then buy from us. We will leave the key at your house after we are done using it. It is very important for you to have your own key in case of emergency.

Q. Why do I need a key?
A. It is important that you have a key handy in case you need to shut off the water to your system immediately.