Protecting Irrigation System From Power Surges

Protecting Irrigation System From Power Surges

You can count on it every summer. The afternoon thunderstorms roll in and Hernando County is mesmerized by bolts of lightning and the cacophony of thunder. The show is dramatic, and often short-lived, so we’ve come to appreciate our storms; except when we are affected by power surges or outages. During the summer months, we usually recover from these quickly, but if the surges occur during a tropical storm or hurricane, they can last long enough ruin more than the food going bad in your freezer – they can harm your irrigation system, as well.

What Happens

When there is any loss of power – temporary or prolonged – the flow of water through your irrigation system is interrupted. This results in a surge of alternating low and high pressure, which exerts five to six times more pressure on your system than usual. This excess of pressure can cause cracked pipes, damaged pump casings, valve damage, and leaks. Sometimes, the damage is not obvious until it weakens your entire system.

How To Prevent Damage

Ultimately, the same things that protect your other electronics – such as an elaborate television and sound system – can protect your sprinkler system, as well. The most common are:

  • Surge Protectors – Also called “surge suppressors” or “lightning arrestors,” these devices are integrated into the wiring of your system and channel the surges away from your equipment.
  • Grounding – These work with surge protectors to direct the power to the path of least resistance, which if you have a surge protector, will literally be the ground.
  • Isolation – This one is simple: unplug your system. The obvious problem is that, in Spring Hill, the weather can change within minutes and without warning. If you’ve had several days of rain, then you won’t be needing your irrigation system for a few days and it’s safe to unplug until it’s time to run your sprinklers. If there hasn’t been a good soaking, then you’ll still need to have it hooked up on the day Hernando County allows you to water. When you unplug your system, the programed timers are wiped out, so you will need to reset it.

Challenger Irrigation has helped Florida protect their lawns and irrigation systems from our severe weather conditions for over 25 years. If you would like to make sure your sprinkler system has not already sustained damage or are interested in preventative systems, call us today to schedule an appointment.