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What Factors Affect Irrigation Pressure?

Article Details
  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Lack of irrigation pressure is something many home owners will face at some point. If the problem is serious enough, it can cause the death of plants and grass or, at the very least, put them under a significant amount of stress. Making the situation even more frustrating is that a number of different factors may be responsible for affecting irrigation pressure. Some, such as a leaky line, may be obvious. Others may take a little more searching.

The first thing that should be considered is whether the well that supplies the water still has an adequate supply. If your local water table drops to or below the level of your tap, then you will have problems getting enough water pressure, if you get any at all. In addition to low irrigation pressure, other common symptoms include water in the lines, as well as muddy or discolored water. If this takes place, your options are to drill deeper, or find a new well location.

Leaky lines can drastically decrease water pressure, or possibly even stop it altogether. In some cases, finding the leak will be easy because it will appear as a soggy area in the yard, or possibly even create a sinkhole. In other cases, the leak may be hidden underground and be very difficult to spot. In either case, replacing the pipe is the most common way to fix the problem.

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Sediment and mineral scale buildup can also be the cause of irrigation pressure problems. Such issues can arise whether on well or municipal water systems. Blockages can actually create more pressure at the point of the bottleneck, but that leads to much less pressure immediately afterward. If no other signs or symptoms are present, this may be the most likely cause of irrigation pressure problems, especially if part of the system is working well, but another part is not. Again, replacing the affected lines is likely the best solution.

If the lines do not seem to be the problem, and the well still has access to water, the pump may be the issue. Some pumps, as they get older, will not be able to move the water as efficiently. Pumps that seem to be straining more than usual, or just do not have their normal sound, may be close to dying and may need replacement or significant repairs.

If using certain water systems, times of high use, especially with municipal water supplies, may affect irrigation pressure. To take care of some of these issues, an irrigation pressure tank could be installed. This stores water in a pressurized environment so that the pressure is strong enough to run the irrigation system at almost any time. The system replenishes during times when the irrigation system is not be used.

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