Regular Sprinkler Maintenance Can Save Your Operation
Aug 5, 2022
When it comes to pivot upkeep, regular preventative maintenance can eliminate future issues and ensure your pivot irrigation system remains operational and efficient for years to come. This goes for your sprinklers, too.
While sprinklers are known to last many years, regular maintenance can ensure they stay working at their fullest potential. After all, one or two damaged nozzles – which may seem minor – could result in significant yield loss.
To help you inspect your sprinklers and find the proper solution when issues are found, we asked Aaron Sauser, a Sprinkler & VRI Specialist at Lindsay, for some tips.
When to inspect your sprinklers
To ensure you know when to fix or replace sprinklers, Sauser recommends inspecting sprinklers first while completing pre-season maintenance.
It's best to inspect your entire system for missing or damaged sprinklers before the growing season because they can create inefficiencies in the system's water application and negatively affect irrigation performance.
Then, Sauser recommends inspecting sprinklers again before the crop canopy covers them. "Once they get below the canopy, they're out of sight and out of mind," Sauser says.
When to fix vs. when to replace sprinklers
Depending on the specific sprinkler issue, a total replacement may not always be necessary. In some instances, a simple repair can do the trick.
Sprinklers with incorrect pressure or flow can lead to inefficient application and yield loss.
These problems could indicate it's time to fix your sprinklers:
- Obvious blockages
- Limited mobility
Sprinklers showing signs of poor water distribution could be beyond repair. If you're experiencing these problems, it could be time to replace your sprinklers:
- Worn regulators
- Incorrect nozzles
- Plugged or damaged nozzles
- Sprinklers rotating incorrectly due to malfunction
"As a rule of thumb, sprinkler packages last 8 to 10 years. But that varies based on water quality and hours of operational use each year," explains Sauser.
Crop value is another variable to consider when deciding whether you should repair or replace your sprinklers. "If the package is marginal on a high dollar crop, it would be a good idea to upgrade," Sauser adds.
We have solutions for every field and every grower
For growers looking to enhance their irrigation operation’s efficiency, it is also beneficial to evaluate beyond the sprinklers themselves and consider the entire pivot system. Zimmatic pivots have several advantages when it comes to sprinklers and sprinkler placement.
For example, Zimmatic pivots feature both 30" and 90" standard outlet spacing options. In fact, the 90" spacing provides “closer spacing [than competitive brands], which equates to a higher performing sprinkler package right away,” Sauser says.
On top of that, “due to their design, Zimmatic joints are extremely efficient in preventing pressure loss," he adds.
For more information on the benefits of Zimmatic pivots and finding the right sprinkler package for your operation, reach out to your local Zimmatic dealer today.