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How much does it cost to maintain my irrigation system?

Irrigation systems are fairly inexpensive to maintain.  Just like most things, regular maintenance is required.  Some you can do on your own while others require a licensed and experienced contractor do the work.  

Spring Time

$55 - $85

In the Spring, for the most part, is the time that typically requires the most maintenance.  Over the winter months, irrigation equipment can be damaged by snow removal equipment and heavy loads of snow.  

Heads around driveways and walkway often have broken nozzles or are directed in the wrong direction from snow shovels and snowblowers.  

Valve boxes are typically safe but can also be crushed from heavy loads of snow and ice.  Shoveling snow from the roof can also cause a valve box to get crushed from the speed at which the snow is being dumped from the roof.  

To have a licensed contractor come out and turn on your irrigation system and make adjustments and do minor repairs to your irrigation system can range from $55 - $85.  The price usually ranges by how many zones your irrigation system has.  

Backflow Test

$55 -$85

Every year, the State of Oregon will require you to perform a backflow test and it is up to the water company you are purchasing water from to enforce that test.  All water companies have different rules so it is best to contact your water company for which devices your are repsonsible for testing.  

Mid Season

$75 - ??

Some common problem's that happen mid season that would require you to contact a service professional.
  • Brown spots in the lawn that weren't there before
  • Watering the side of the house
  • A head not spraying
  • Watering the road
  • A head not rotating
  • A sprinkler zone will not turn on.
  • The system will not stop watering
  • Noticed water running down hard surfaces
  • Pooling water
  • A sink hole has developed
  • A nozzle is not spraying correctly
  • Power outage caused the controller to reset itself
  • Broken pipe caused by working in the yard
  • Broken head from the lawn mower and/or edger

While some of these problems are easily fixed by an unskilled professional, it is well worth the investment of a service call to get someone to fix it correctly the first time.  Many times we have been called after either of two things happen.  Either the "gardener" tried to fix it and used incorrect parts or the homeowner tried to save a couple of bucks and do it themselves.  

While all of these services can mean different costs due to the severity of the problem, you can probably expect to spend around $100 when all is said and one when parts are added into the labor costs.  

Expect to pay for a minimum of 1 hour of work for a service call.  So get a couple of things in mind that you would like to have to maximize your hour.  Maybe straighten a couple of heads, check your controller programming, raise a head that is low, etc.

Winterization (Blowout the Sprinklers)

$70 - ??

Much like the spring services, your winterization is usually based off the size of your system.  Some have a 4 station base price while others have a 5 station base price.  Pricing structure can vary greatly based on the company and the service level they provide.  

In the State of Oregon, only licensed irrigation and plumbing contractors are eligible to winterize irrigation systems.  Services performed by unlicensed individuals can come with consequences.  This can include damage to your irrigation system, damage to your property and potential other liabilities.  Licensed companies are required to hold insurance and bond certificates in the event damage happens to your property or irrigation system.  

The typical time to winterize your irrigation system is between October 1st and November 15th.  I highly recommend you get on companies blowout list sooner rather than later.  Many companies fill up their schedules quickly.  Some companies offer packages to pre-purchase at the beginning of the season to receive a discount on your years services.

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