Irrigation Control

The Importance of Full Irrigation System Inspections

As a commercial property manager, preparing for summer means ensuring your landscape stays green and healthy. One critical aspect of this preparation is a full irrigation system inspection. Timing matters because catching and fixing issues before the hot, dry months can save water, reduce costs, and maintain the aesthetic appeal of your property.

Preparing for Summer: Why Timing Matters

Early inspections allow for preventative maintenance, addressing minor issues before they become major, costly repairs. By scheduling your inspection before peak watering season, you can avoid unexpected breakdowns and ensure efficient water use.

Understanding the Irrigation Inspection Process

An irrigation inspection begins with a thorough evaluation of the system, including controllers, valves, heads, and lines. This involves turning on each irrigation zone to check for visible issues and testing system pressure and functionality.

Common Issues Identified

Technicians often identify various common problems, such as:

  • Broken Heads: These can lead to water waste and uneven watering.
  • Valve Malfunctions: Faulty valves can prevent sections of the system from operating correctly.
  • Lateral Line Breaks: These can cause significant water loss and damage to property.
  • Blocked Heads: These can result in dry spots and plant stress.
Irrigation & Sprinkler Management & Repair by Southern Botanical

Understanding the Irrigation Inspection Report

An irrigation report provides a detailed account of the inspection findings. It includes the location and nature of each issue, the priority level, and the proposed solution. These are some of the key steps technicians follow while performing an inspection:

Visual Inspection

  • Sprinkler Heads: Check all sprinkler heads for damage or misalignment.
  • Surface Water: Look for pooling water, indicating leaks or inefficient water application.
  • Rain Sensor: Ensure the rain sensor is functioning to prevent watering during rain.

System Performance

  • Water Pressure: Measure water pressure to ensure optimal operation.
  • Application Rates: Verify that the system’s water application rates are appropriate for the growing season.

Functional Testing

  • Zone Check: Test each zone for proper function, looking for breaks or issues in coverage.
  • Sprinkler System: Run the system for at least 20 minutes to identify any irregularities.

Component Examination

  • Irrigation Systems Components: Inspect valves, controllers, and other components for wear and tear.
  • Leaks and Breaks: Identify any leaks or breaks in the pipes and connections.

Efficiency Evaluation

  • Wasting Water: Assess for signs of over-watering or under-watering.
  • Water Bills: Compare current water usage with previous periods to spot inefficiencies.

Report and Recommendations

  • Inspection Report: Document findings in a detailed inspection report.
  • Cost and Repair Recommendations: Provide a cost estimate for any needed repairs and recommendations for improving system efficiency.


Irrigation issues are categorized as critical or non-critical. This helps the property manager quickly identify what issues need to be resolved first and plan their budget accordingly.

Critical issues, such as broken lateral lines or valve malfunctions, require immediate attention to prevent water waste and potential damage.

Non-critical issues, like minor adjustments or less urgent repairs, can be scheduled accordingly.

David Cerda, one of Southern Botanical’s Irrigation Superintendents, highlights the dual focus of our inspections: “While we do look for irrigation breaks in the system, we also look for opportunities to improve our clients’ irrigation systems. This includes recommending changes to heads in areas with poor coverage or identifying zones that need to be split.”

Schedule Your Inspection Today

A certified irrigation technician can help conduct these inspections best. They have the expertise to identify and repair issues, ensuring the system operates efficiently.

Frequency of Inspections

It is recommended to schedule a full irrigation inspection at least twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall. This helps maintain the system’s efficiency and extends its lifespan.

Benefits of a Comprehensive Irrigation System Inspection

Conducting a thorough irrigation inspection offers several advantages:

  • Cost Savings: Identifying and fixing issues early can significantly reduce water bills.
  • Water Conservation: Efficient irrigation systems prevent wasting water, a critical resource during summer.
  • Improved Landscape Health: Proper water application rates ensure your landscape remains lush throughout the growing season.
  • Preventative Maintenance: Regular inspections can extend the life of your irrigation system and avoid costly repairs.

How to Schedule

Contact a certified irrigation service provider like Southern Botanical to schedule your inspection. Investing in a full irrigation system inspection before summer is essential for maintaining a healthy landscape on your commercial property. By addressing issues proactively, you can save on costs, conserve water, and ensure your irrigation systems operate efficiently. Don’t wait until the peak of the growing season—schedule your inspection today and keep your landscape thriving.