When Should You Start Up Your Sprinkler System?

February 29, 2024

Late March or early April is a common time to start-up a sprinkler system in the Wichita, KS area. Sprinklers that use well water are often turned on sooner. There is no specific date for either type of system, it just depends on the weather.

If your sprinkler system is winterized, you’ll want to start monitoring the weather as spring approaches. Consistently cold temperatures and frozen turf can damage your sprinklers and cause leaks, so you should wait until the ground has thawed.

Well water sprinklers can be turned on earlier because there is typically no above ground backflow preventer attached to the systems. This device is susceptible to freezing. If you do start a system with a backflow preventer, you may need to protect the device if freezing temperatures are in the forecast.

The Ground Should Be Thawed

Even though the temperature outside might be starting to feel like spring, the soil underneath your lawn might not have thawed from the winter months. This is key because starting your sprinkler system while the ground is frozen can cause cracks in the pipes.

In order to test the soil to make sure it’s not still frozen, use a shovel and insert it about a foot into the ground. The soil should be malleable and not too hard to dig into. If the ground is still rock hard, you’ll need to wait another week and test the soil again before starting up your sprinkler system.

Typically the right time to start testing the ground in Kansas is in March or April, depending on how severe winter has been. Most years, the second or third week of March is a safe time to startup a sprinkler system, but keep an eye on the forecast if you want to begin using your system early in the season.

Getting Your Sprinkler System Checked Before Use

We suggest turning on your sprinkler system in the spring. Even if there’s a lot of rain in the forecast, it’s important to schedule before the rainy season ends. Most sprinkler companies experience a backlog of appointments as soon as the hot weather starts. This can leave your lawn and landscaping without the hydration it needs.

You might also find that your system is in need of a repair, which could further put your lawn at risk.

Backflow Testing

In Wichita, Derby, Andover, and most other municipalities, spring also means it’s time to have your sprinkler systems backflow preventer certified. Backflow preventers ensure that water flowing from the city water supply moves in only one direction. This one-way flow ensures the city water supply does not get contaminated. It is required by most cities. learn more about backflow testing here.