[Mark Brown, Pulaski County, U of A Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System, holding a pipe wrench.]Hello everyone, this is Mark Brown, outdoor water efficiency agent with the Pulaski County Cooperative Extension Service. Well, it’s that time of year again; it’s time to get out those tools and start looking around the house to repair any of those leaks that you might have, whether it be inside with a leaky toilet or maybe even a faucet, or outside with the outdoor irrigation system.
March 12th through the 18th is National Fix-A-Leak Week, and the EPA water sense partner, Central Arkansas Water, along with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, is helping you to avoid those high water bills by fixing those leaky irrigation systems. [Slide - Central Arkansas Water. University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System. EPA Water Sense. Fix-A-Leak Week, March 12-17, 2012.]
[Mark Brown holds up a RPZ valve.] During Fix-A-Leak Week is a great time to reinstall your RPZ valve, or also known as your backflow preventer. This will get your irrigation system set up and ready to go for your spring and your summer time landscape water needs.
The RPZ valve is a common source of home irrigation leaks. These valves are metal, so if not stored properly during the winter can become cracked, or seals and connection points can become faulty and develop costly leaks.
We’re here at a residential location with David Munsey with Better Lawns and Gardens, and he’s going to demonstrate the process of hooking up a RPZ valve correctly. [Video shows David connecting the RPZ valve.]
The first step you are going to do is clean off the pipes from the ground and make sure that all debris is clean and clear. Second thing you want to do is tape each side of the pipe to ensure a tight seal with Teflon tape. The third step is to place the valve and tighten down each connection point using a pipe wrench. Step four, you are going to go over to the water meter and find the sprinkler meter, and then turn it on. Be sure to contact your local municipality to let them know that your meter is back on. The final step is to visually inspect the valve for any leaks. Check all seals and connection points. [David looks at the irrigation system to ensure there are no leaks.]
After you have inspected the backflow preventer for leaks, you are now ready to visually inspect your entire irrigation system by turning on each zone and inspecting each head for leaks. Also, walk the area of your landscape between the heads and also in-between the zones, just to look for wet spots that may be developing in the ground. When you see this, this could mean leaks in the pipes of the systems, or the connection points. [David walks around the yard to inspect the sprinkler heads to check for leaks.]
[Slide - Central Arkansas Water. University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System. EPA Water Sense. Fix-A-Leak Week, March 12-17, 2012.]