Reticulation Troubleshooting: Tips for Repair and Maintenance

Proper watering is the single most important thing to do so your lawn is always in tip-top shape. It doesn’t stop at just setting out a sprinkler, turning it on and then letting it run for a while. This can result in you over-watering or under-watering the grass, which can lead to problems such as brown patches.

To help ensure proper hydration for your lawn, here are tips on reticulation repairs and lawn maintenance.

How often should a lawn be watered?

The answer is pretty simple – water the grass when it needs it. Most lawns need only an inch of water per week, spread over two or three watering sessions, to stay green.

Additionally, keep an eye on the sky. Water less when it rains for several days. Consecutive hot and dry days mean you should water more. If you’re unsure whether your lawn needs water or not, we recommend this test: If the grass doesn’t spring or bounce back after you step on it, it’s probably time to irrigate.

dew on green grass under the morning sunlight

Early morning watering is best

Watering during the morning gives the grass enough time to absorb the water, sending it down into the roots and the grass plants. In turn, that plumps up the grass blades with the water they need to endure the day’s heat. As much as possible, avoid watering during mid-day because water will evaporate quickly.

Late afternoon is also a good time to water grass, although it is still best to water in the early morning. Never water in the evening, as lingering moisture will result in fungal diseases in the grass.

Reticulation repair and troubleshooting

Is your reticulation system not working properly? Here are some irrigation maintenance tips to follow.

Conduct a visual inspection

The best way to know if your sprinklers are operating properly or not is to watch them in action. Turn on your irrigation system and observe its operation to identify common problems such as:

  • Are there areas of your lawn that are not being reached by the water? In this case, you will need to adjust the sprinkler heads to ensure it’s covering the right area or aiming in the right direction.
  • Are some sprinkler heads not spraying water? A sprinkler head that is not spraying water may be clogged with mud, lawn clippings and debris or experiencing low flow. To solve this issue, you can remove the head, flush it through under a trap or with a hose.
  • Are there certain areas with puddling or extremely heavy water flow? If you notice puddling or an area where water is flowing too heavily, the reason may be a broken sprinkler head. You will need to replace it.

woman takes a break while caring for her lawn


Mark your sprinkler heads

As sprinkler heads can be hard to locate and impossible to tell apart when they are not spraying, marking the problem sprinklers will lead you back to areas that need repair. It will also help your lawn care specialists when they conduct their own inspections.

Replace old sprinkler heads

Sprinkler heads that are exposed to harsh natural elements are more prone to damage compared to sprinkler heads in covered areas. Over time, it’s inevitable for the material to deteriorate and if you wait long enough, signs of wear and tear will soon be very visible even to the untrained eye. You could wait for this to happen before you replace the sprinkler heads, or you could keep tabs of how long the old sprinkler heads have been installed and replace them long before they start showing signs of damage.

It’s pretty easy to do if you’re familiar with your reticulation system. You can simply turn off the entire system, remove the sprinkler head using a hand tool, then tightly screw in a new sprinkler head to ensure no leaks. Keeping a calendar should help you remember to replace the old sprinkler heads before they get worn out.

lawn sprinkler waters the grass early in the morning

Regularly clean sprinkler heads

Clogs in the sprinkler heads are common because they’re constantly exposed to debris, dirt, and mud. It might seem like a harmless thing, but this simple issue can lead to uneven watering in your turf. The very first sign of a clogged sprinkler head is erratic water spraying.

You can do this by turning off the system and digging out the problematic sprinkler heads. You need to take it out of the canister and then very carefully take it apart. You should eventually find a screen inside the head as well as a filter. From there, it should be easy for you to remove any particles blocking the filter. Use an old toothbrush to gently remove the debris. If there is caked on mud, clean it under running water to help dissolve the dirt.

Once the filter is clean, reassemble and reinstall everything and test it to check for even spraying.

Periodically check for leaks

It’s a little more challenging to DIY this step. Reticulation systems usually have underground irrigation pipes which is one of the reasons homeowners prefer them. That’s why spotting leaks might be difficult for an untrained person to do. To prevent inflicting more damage to the area, you need to talk to a reticulation professional. Here’s what you can expect once they’re at your home.

The experts you talk to will dig around your yard in a systematic way to find the source of the leak. Once they find the source, they will replace the damaged section or the entire pipe with a new one. To make sure no other issues arise, they will also check leaks in and around the sprinkler heads. You can ask to schedule a periodical check with them, but you can also check for signs of dripping (even when the system is off) and let them know that a problem may be.

irrigation system installed by landscaping technician

Is it worth investing in a lawn reticulation system?

If you want a pristine and well-maintained lawn, a comprehensive lawn irrigation system solution. A comprehensive system typically includes pop-up sprinklers that water your plants evenly, underground pipes to transport water, valves for water flow regulation and a reticulation control box. If you have a busy household and don’t have much time for lawn care and maintenance, a reticulation system will help keep your lawn lush and verdant by watering it on a consistent schedule.

At Green Oasis Lawn and Reticulation, we help you find the right irrigation system that works best for your home. We design your irrigation and reticulation system to suit your property’s specific needs, helping minimise the effect of Perth’s heat waves and preventing common garden problems. We make sure to build you a high-quality reticulation system so you don’t worry about high water bills and costly maintenance or repair.

If you’re in need of Perth reticulation services, make sure you only work with the best. Reticulation requires expertise and extensive skills in the field, something that Green Oasis has. So, for more information and enquiries, don’t hesitate to contact us today.


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We are a team of dedicated turf and irrigation professionals with over 15 years of experience. A family business, we are passionate about our work. We strive to provide a uniquely personable service built on excellent client relations and unparalleled attention to detail.

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