FAQs

Why should we choose Dew Sprinkler Service, Inc.?

Just as there are many suppliers of irrigation products to choose from, there are also many installation techniques and unseen products that can directly affect the performance and longevity of your system.

There are products a contractor can use that cost less or that cut down the time required for installation. Most of these products involve making the connections between the pipe and the head without a clamp, the use of smaller fittings or both. Although shortcuts of this nature are below ground and unseen by the homeowner, we would not use them in our own yards.

For Chicago's climate, we believe that polyethylene pipe best prevents system damage from the thermal movement of the lawn. The flexible poly pipe is pulled into the ground by our vibratory plow leaving little more than a cut mark on your turf. We then dig only where a sprinkler head or fitting needs to be installed. We use insert fittings and stainless-steel clamps to ensure secure connections. Upon backfilling each of these dig sites, we compact the soil to prevent erosion of the soil that was disturbed. Without this technique, the soil can erode around the buried head leaving a head that is higher than the thatch line and thus a target for damage.

Our business has been built on attention to detail and reliable affordable service. We welcome the opportunity to treat your lawn like our own.

Once my system is up and running for the season, is there anything further I need to do?

While your system is designed to operate automatically, to get the most from your system, we recommend some personal involvement, such as:

1 - An occasional walk through of the system to verify that its desired operation is continuing.  You can set “Program C” for 2 minutes per zone and start it manually to commence the walkthrough;

2 - Occasionally check your lawn and mulch beds shortly after a normal cycle has completed.  If large areas of the lawn are dry or soggy, a program adjustment may be called for.  Be sure to look at the dirt below the mulch to monitor the moisture level in the beds.

What is Drip Irrigation?

Drip irrigation is an efficient way to irrigate your planting beds. Water is delivered from pressure compensating emitters that are inside the brown ½ inch piping which is installed at the surface of the beds.  A drip zone provides specific control and even watering throughout the beds.  We have been installing drip zones for over 15 years.

Where is the water shut-off valve for the system?

It is usually located near the water meter.  The water supply to the system can also be shut off at the RPZ/backflow device.

Why is my system coming on at the wrong time?

Check the date and time of day (AM or PM) indicated on the controller, it may need to be reset.  Refer to the owner’s manual for programming instructions.  If you don’t have a manual, you can access the appropriate manufacturer’s website via our “Product Information” links.

Will my system run if it is raining?

We can install a water saving rain sensor to your system. The sensor can be adjusted to react to rainfall between 1/8 and 1 inch. The sensor acts when it has absorbed the designated amount of moisture and will halt or prevent watering until the moisture has sufficiently evaporated. If the sensor bypass function has been selected, the rain sensor will not operate.

How can I get my timer/controller to run a program?

Most timers/controllers require 3 programmed events to automatically run a program.  They are:

  • What day or days to run;
  • What time of day to run (Start time);
  • Station/zone run times… duration (length of time) of each zone to run.

All 3 of these must be present and the timer set to Run or Auto for a program to work.

Will my system get damaged from core aeration and dethatching machines?

Any heads or valve box tops in the lawn can be damaged when contacted by these machines. These parts should be marked with flags so your contractor can avoid these areas. Do not use spray paint to mark head locations because the paint on the riser can make the heads stick up.

When should my system be winterized?

In the Midwest climate, you should consider winterizing your system anytime from the middle of September to the end of October.  Our technician will turn off the water supply to your system, use a compressor to blow water out of your lines, and remove your backflow valve for storage in the basement or in a heated location.

Temps are going below freezing, what should I do?

The first thing to freeze will be the copper and brass components that are above ground outside of your home.  A temporary shelter that will trap the radiant heat of the house should provide a few degrees worth of freeze protection.  A shelter could be a plastic tarp or a cardboard box along with a few bricks to weigh it down and keep it in place to create a tent or doghouse. A second step that may provide additional protection involves turning off the water supply in the basement and then running the timer for a few minutes on each zone.

After winterization, should I unplug my timer/controller?

Leaving it plugged in will keep the clock running, which generates a little heat within the printed circuit board and thus helps prevent any condensation on the circuit board.  A surge protector between the transformer plug and the outlet should eliminate the reason for unplugging the timer.  If you do unplug the timer for more than a few minutes, remember to remove the battery.

The content herein is designed to provide helpful information. Since not all irrigation systems are alike, we disclaim any liability in connection with the use of this information.

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