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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Landscaping & Gardening > Sprinkler System Spring Start-Up

Sprinkler System Spring Start-Up Cost


How Much Does Sprinkler System Spring Start-Up Cost?

 
average costSpring Activation: $40-$150+high costWinterization & De-Winterization Package: $100-$200+
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In cold climates, it's necessary to empty all water out of a home sprinkler system during the cold winter months to prevent the water from freezing and damaging the system. So in the spring it's necessary to reverse the process by inspecting, cleaning and recharging the system, and setting it up to work effectively and efficiently throughout the summer.

Typical costs:

  • Re-activating and tuning up a winterized sprinkler system can be a do-it-yourself project, and typically takes mostly time and patience. However, if any problems have developed over the winter, materials for needed repairs can cost $25-$100 or more. HomeTips.com provides do-it-yourself instructions[1] .
  • Hiring a landscape or sprinkler company to re-activate and tune-up a previously winterized sprinkler system can cost $40-$150 or more, depending on the number of irrigation zones in the system and the local cost of living; some companies charge more if the work is done after a certain date. For example, Lewis Landscape Services[2] in Beaverton, OR, charges $70 for a sprinkler system activation before May 1; after that, it is charged as a regular service call ($120). Lawn Pros[3] in Denver, CO, charges $39 for two zones, and $10 for each additional zone. At TriState Water Works[4] in Cincinnati, OH, it costs $80 for 8 zones and $8 for each additional zone.
  • Many companies offer package deals which include both winterization and de-winterization services for $100-$200 or more; some also include a summer inspection in the package, to check that the system is functioning correctly during peak usage. For example, Matt's Lawn & Landscape[5] in Otsego, MN, charges $120 for a fall winterization, spring start up and summer inspection; and GreenWave Associates[6] in Gastonia, NC charges $105 for a system shutdown and winterization, $105 for a spring start-up and system analysis, and $185 for both.
What should be included:
  • The exact procedures may vary depending on the system, but a sprinkler activation and tune-up can include: slowly recharging the water in the pipes to avoid damage from water surge; inspecting and cleaning the backflow preventer; pressure testing the main line to detect leaks; inspecting each zone to ensure it is functioning properly; straightening and raising any crooked sprinkler heads; testing the system for potential electrical problems; visually checking the pressure in each zone; cleaning spray nozzles; setting the basic watering schedule for the coming season; replacing any cracked, chipped or worn components; and checking and adjusting sprinkler coverage. Sprinkler manufacturer Rain Bird provides a spring sprinkler tune-up checklist[7] .
Additional costs:
  • Minor or minimal repairs might be included in a spring sprinkler activation, particularly if the same company winterized the system the previous fall, but generally the crew makes notes of any needed repairs during the start-up process, and presents the homeowner with a written estimate after the de-winterization is complete. Depending on what is needed, this could add $50-$200 or more to the total cost. For example, Horizon Landscape Company[8] in Wyckoff, NJ estimates that sprinkler heads can cost $60-$100 each, a valve replacement can cost about $125 and a new backflow device starts at $200.
Shopping for sprinkler system spring start-up:
  • To find a landscape or sprinkler company, ask for recommendations from friends, neighbors or the staff at local plant nurseries or home improvement centers. Or, search for professionals certified by the Irrigation Association[9] .
  • Ask exactly what is included in the company's sprint start-up service, and whether the price changes depending on the number of zones included in the sprinkler system, or if there are any other factors that can affect the total cost.
  • Request (and check) references from satisfied customers; verify that the company is properly bonded and insured; and look for any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau[10] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.hometips.com/diy-how-to/yard-irrigation-spring-startup.html
  2.  www.lewislandscape.com/sprinkler_winterization_Portland_Oregon.html
  3.  www.lawnpros.biz/sprinkler-startup.html
  4.  www.tristatewaterworks.com/lawn-sprinkler-winterization-service
  5.  mattslawnandlandscape.com/services/irrigation/
  6.  www.greenwaveassociates.com/extras/winterize.pdf
  7.  www.rainbird.com/homeowner/education/spring-sprinkler-tuneup.htm
  8.  blog.horizonlandscape.com/irrigation/why-winterize-your-sprinkler-system/
  9.  www.irrigation.org/Certification/Find_a_Certified_Professional.aspx
  10.  www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business-Reviews/
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