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It's getting warm in Colorado, should I turn my sprinklers on?

Colorado is getting a taste of summer this week, but is it time to run the sprinklers?

DENVER — Hot and windy weather has settled over Colorado this April.

It's going to feel like summer over the next two days with possibly record-breaking temperatures in Denver on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Denver's record high temperature for Tuesday is 80 degrees, and the Wednesday record is 79 degrees. Both are currently forecast to be broken.

Along with the record high temperatures, look for winds to pick-up Tuesday. Fire danger is high for the eastern plains as winds are expected to pick up.

As the grass begins to turn green across Colorado, many are wondering when is the best time to turn on a sprinkler system for the summer season.

When should I turn the sprinklers on?

Denver Water recommends waiting until after the last freeze, typically around May 5, to turn on your sprinkler system.

According to Denver Water, Colorado will likely have at least one more night of temperatures below 30 degrees which can damage automatic sprinkler pipes above or below ground leading to costly repairs and wasted water.

Denver Water recommends keeping the sprinklers off for a bit longer and using a hose and nozzle if there’s a dry patch that needs a bit of extra attention. 

Denver Water’s annual summer watering rules start May 1 and last until Oct. 1.

Credit: Mariusz Blach - stock.adobe.com

How do I turn on my sprinklers?

Whenever you decide to turn on the sprinkler system this spring, here's how to get started:

Step 1: Irrigation Box

The first step is to locate your irrigation box. It's usually out in the front of your house.

Open it up and look for the drain valve. Turn it off by turning the valve to the right. Cover box back up.

Step 2: Back flow preventer

Now, go to your back flow preventer to keep the water from your sprinkler system from going back into the drinking water inside your house.

Look for your ports. It's the area where the sprinkler company blows out excess water in the fall.

You will need a flathead screwdriver. Turn a quarter of a turn so they are against the pipe, which means they are closed. Make sure they are not parallel to the pipe.

Now open your ball valves. Turn the handles to the left so they are parallel to the pipe.

Step 3: Style ball valve

Locate your style ball valve. It is usually in your basement.

Tighten your port before you turn your water back on or you will have water gushing into your basement.

Open your water valve by turning it right so it is parallel to the pipe.

Step 4: Sprinkler system controller

This is usually located in your garage.

Each system is different so find directions or go online to find an owner's manual to set your sprinkler system. 

If you don't feel comfortable turning it back on yourself, be sure to contact a professional.


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