Landscaping, Irrigation, and More - R & R Sprinkler & Lanscape, Inc. of Cape Coral, Florida Blog

Landscaping, Irrigation, and More

R & R Sprinkler & Lanscape, Inc. of Cape Coral, Florida Blog

Ants! Ants! Ants!

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On September 6, 2012

If you have intermittent power issues to the automatic timer to your sprinkler system there are a few things to check:

1. Is your irrigation timer plugged into a GFI?
2. Is your GFI working properly? Plug a small appliance to check.
3. Is your timer turned on? (Don’t roll your eyes, it happens!)
4. Is your timer set properly?
5. Are there any loose or cut wires?
6. Do you have ants?

Did that last question catch you off guard? Most homeowners we propose that question to look at us like we are crazy. Ants get inside the wiring of your sprinkler timer. They get in between the wires and the contactors and block the flow of electricity. Not a very smart move if you ask us. We first recommend you shut off the power to this circuit. Then take a screw driver or pair of pliers and gently tap the heads of the contactors. The ants will usually fall out pretty easily. You may need to loose the screw and tap again to make sure all of the ant carcasses are eradicated. Tighten everything back up. Turn the power back on and see if that solves the problem.

Ants are a common “interrupter” to electrical service for not only sprinkler timers but also well pumps. If this is a consistent problem consider pest control in the area. We have some great pest control companies we can recommend.

If ants weren’t causing the problem and the automatic timer to your irrigation system still isn’t working feel free to contact us. We are sure we can help!

Southwest Florida Afternoon Thunderstorms May Affect Your Irrigation System Timer

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 21, 2012

It’s summer in Southwest Florida and there’s one thing you can count on – afternoon thunderstorms. A lightning strike in your area can trip your ground fault electrical outlets (GFI outlet) which renders them inoperable until you reset them.

Why is this important to the operation of your irrigation system you may wonder? It is required by Florida Law that your the timer to your automatic lawn irrigation system be plugged into a GFI Outlet. Furthermore, if the GFI is outdoors it is required to have an in use cover installed to prevent the water from entering the outlets.

If you sprinkler timer is plugged into a GFI outlet and it trips that means there is no electrical service to the outlet that is supposed to be operating your irrigation system. That means that your sprinkler system is not going to operate.

You can install a battery back up on your automatic irrigation system timer. This will ensure that your timer is still operating even if the GFI outlet has been tripped. However, the battery back up will only work for a couple of months. It’s only meant to be a short term temporary solution. If you are a seasonal resident that lives out of state for many months at a time then you are risking having your sprinkler not operating, your lawn drying out and your landscaping dying because your sprinkler timer didn’t have any electric running to it to tell your system to operate.

So, the moral of the story is to check your GFI outlets often, especially during the summer (thunderstorm) months. R & R Sprinkler and Landscape has many options for irrigation system service contracts to ensure the maintenance and operation of your lawn sprinkler system throughout the year.

Contact us if you’d like to find out how much a monthly, quarterly or bi-annual service contract for your sprinkler system is today.

My Sprinkler Head Won’t Pop Up?

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 15, 2012

So you have an automatic irrigation system with sprinkler heads that pop up to water your yard. However, you notice that one of your sprinkler heads won’t pop up. Let’s trouble shoot to figure out what’s wrong:

1. Is Water Pressure To Blame?
Each city or municipality will regulate their water pressure however they please. They may lower water pressure to a particular area at a specific time of day due to high demand. They have the best interest of all property owner’s in mind and want to make sure that they have water supply to all in lieu of high water pressure to some. I guess it makes sense unless you are the person trying to get your sprinkler head to pop up, LOL.

2. Is There A Broken Pipe In Your Area?
Look around. Has there been any new trees, shrubs or landscaping installed in your area? Has there been a fence repaired or installed recently? Have there been any repairs to or installs to the utilities in the area? If there is a broken pipe there is an interruption of water flow. There needs to be water flow to make your sprinkler head pop up. R & R Sprinkler and Landscape can make repairs to your irrigation system and fix broken pipes.

3. Is There Debris Caught In The Lines Of Your Irrigation System?
Various forms of debris can get caught in your irrigation lines. If you have turned your system completely off (this is a big no-no) then sediment may have settled in the bottoms of your pipes. When your system is turned back on the sediment gets flushed into your pipes and up through your sprinkler heads. The sediment may exit the sprinkler head or clog it. A clogged sprinkler head usually won’t pop up. If you are on a dual water system there are elements that can clog your sprinkler heads like snails, stickers from fruit and other small elements that have made their way into the reclaimed water system.

4. Does Your Sprinkler Head Need Cleaned or Repaired?
Your sprinkler head may just need cleaned out. Your sprinkler head also has a seal around it that keeps the water from leaking out around the head and spraying out into your grass. If the seal is broken or damaged it may interfere with the sprinkler head popping up. Call a certified sprinkler repair company like R & R Sprinkler to repair or replace the sprinkler head. Your lawn maintenance company may not repair or replace a sprinkler head unless they have a specialty contractors license.

If you have questions or need a sprinkler head repaired please contact us for a free estimate. We do offer a variety of sprinkler system maintenance contracts that will check for all of the above items.

Lee County Florida Licensing Requirements for Irrigation Contractors

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On August 1, 2012

Lee County Licensing Requirements for Irrigation Contractors

Most folks think that obtaining an occupational license gives them permission to perform any type of work. This is a false mis-conception. You are paying a business tax that allows you to be in business but does not allow you to perform just any kind of trade activity. You must be State Certified OR receive a Certificate of Competency for Lee County. In addition, you must apply for a State or Specialty Trade Contractor’s License for each city municipality you are going to perform work in.

To install or repair an irrigation system in Lee County we must obtain not only an occupational license but also a license as a specialty trade contractor as per Lee County Ordinance No: 00-26.

As a contractor that will perform installation with and for a water source the Board of County Commissioners recognizes that the work an irrigation contractor performs for and on sprinkler systems could be harmful or could pose a danger if not performed by a competent, honest, educated contractor.

Furthermore, we’d be required to be State Certified if we were performing any type of installation or hook up to a potable water source that did not have a backflow prevetor in place. Currently we connect our new irrigation sprinkler systems to the following:

1. A potable water source that has a backflow preventor in place
2. A well
3. A reclaimed water system
4. Other water sources that draw water from canals and retention areas by permit

We are not only required to be licensed as a specialty trade contractor in Lee County, but also in all cities and municipalities we install or repair irrigation systems. This includes but is not limited to The City of Fort Myers, The City of Cape Coral, The City of Bonita Springs, The City of Fort Myers Beach, etc.

The same rules and reguations apply in Charlotte County Florida and Collier County Florida.

In summary, make sure that anyone that installs a new sprinkler system or perform repairs to your existing irrigation system has a Specialty Trade Contractor’s License.

If you’d like a list of current Counties and Cities that R & R Sprinkler and Landscape are permitted to provide new irrigation system installation or repair to existing sprinkler system please contact us. If any company is reluctant to provide this information to you perhaps you should reconsider doing business with them.

Irrigation Maintenance Contracts For Southwest Florida Sprinkler Systems

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On July 31, 2012

At R & R Sprinkler and Landscape, we know how important it is for our customers to save money. That is why we developed irrigation maintenance contracts that will save you hundreds of dollars in costly repairs.

Maintenance contracts ensure that irrigation systems are checked periodically to ensure they are working efficiently, providing the proper coverage. We will also check to make sure there aren’t any leaks and/or broken parts of your sprinkler system such as heads, sprinkler lines, etc.

We offer maintenance contracts for residential, commercial, homeowner associations and backflow devices. They are offered monthly, every other month, quarterly, semi-annually.

Fill out our online quote form and our office will contact you to update you on our maintenance contracts. Trust us to make sure your irrigation system not only works but saves you money on monthly water bills and future sprinkler system issues.

The City of Punta Gorda Watering Restrictions

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On July 27, 2012

As of July 10, 2012 The City of Punta Gorda is enforcing the following water restrictions

To Report Water or Sewer Problems
(During Business Hours) 941-575-3339
(After Business Hours & Holidays) 941-575-5070

On Tuesday, November 16, 2010 the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board voted to enter into a Phase 1 Water Shortage Order for all 16 counties in the District’s boundaries beginning December 1, 2010. A “Phase 1” declaration means that conditions are below normal and warrant alerting the general public and ordering water utilities and other water users to review and implement procedures as a means of preparing for possible additional action.

The watering schedule listed below remains the same for twice-per-week watering. Residents are encouraged to water only if their lawn and landscape needs it and turn off their irrigation system if it has rained or rain is predicted in the next 24 hours. Some of the signs that a lawn needs water include a blue-gray appearance, blades folded in half lengthwise and footprints remaining on the lawn for several minutes after walking on it.

Lawn Watering Schedule
Addresses Current Watering Day May Also Water
Ending in 0 and 1 Monday Thursday
Ending in 2 and 3 Tuesday Friday
Ending in 4 and 5 Wednesday Saturday
Ending in 6 and 7 Thursday Sunday
Ending in 8 and 9 Friday Tuesday
Addresses that end with a letter instead of a number will water on: Friday Tuesday

Lawn Watering Schedule/Times:
Lawn watering is limited to twice per week (if needed), before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.
Hand watering and micro-irrigation of plants (other than lawns) can be done on any day and at any time using a shut-off nozzle on their hose, so water isn’t wasted.

New Lawns and Plants:
New lawns and plants have a 30-30 establishment period, which allows any day watering during the first 30 days.During the second 30 days, watering is allowed three days per week: Addresses ending in an Even number may water on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Addresses ending in an Odd number may water on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Fountain Operation, Car Washing and Pressure Washing:
There are no restrictions on fountains, car washing and pressure washing.
However the District and the City ask that residents be as efficient as possible, such as using a shut-off nozzle on their hose, so water isn’t wasted.

For questions concerning this schedule you may contact the Utility Department at (941) 575-3339
Utilities Administration
3132 Cooper Street
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Phone (941) 575-3339
Fax (941) 575-5006
E-mail: [email protected]

For more information follow the link: http://www.ci.punta-gorda.fl.us/depts/utilities/waterrestrict.html

The City of Naples Watering Restrictions

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On July 23, 2012

Watering Restrictions for The City of Naples as of July 10, 2012 are as follows:

The South Florida Water Management District has ordered Phase I Water Restriction schedule to begin on November 18, 2011. This schedule should be followed until further notice.

Odd Numbered Addresses:

Residents and businesses with an odd-numbered street address may water lawns and landscapes on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, in early morning hours only between 12:01 a.m.- 8 a.m. for all types of irrigation and 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. for low-volume hand watering with the use of automatic self-canceling or closing nozzle.

Even Numbered Addresses:

Residents and businesses with an even-numbered street address may water lawns and landscapes on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, in early morning hours only between 12:01 a.m.- 8 a.m. for all types of irrigation and 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. for low-volume hand watering with the use of automatic self-canceling or closing nozzle.

Irrigation System Maintenance:
(cleaning, adjusting, repairing)

New irrigation systems may be operated 30 minutes per zone on a 1- time basis. Existing systems may be operated 30 minutes per zone per week.

New Lawn & Landscape:
(in place less than 30 days)

5 days each week: Monday through Friday: 12:01 a.m.- 8 a.m. for all types of irrigation. Low-volume hand watering with the use of automatic self-canceling or closing nozzle allowed any time for the first 30 days.

Reclaimed Water:

Irrigation using 100% reclaimed or supplemented reclaimed water is allowed from before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., any day of the week.

Other Outdoor Uses:

Car and boat washing. Nonporous surfaces; sidewalks and driveways. Exterior home surfaces and roofs. Allowed any time with use of low-volume pressure cleaning equipment and/or water hose. Water hose shall be equipped with an automatic self-canceling or closing nozzle.

For more information follow the link: http://www.naplesgov.com/index.aspx?NID=375

City of Marco Island Watering Restrictions

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On July 20, 2012

As of July 10, 2012 The City of Marco Island is enforcing the following watering restrictions:

Landscaping Irrigation-Established:
Odd numbered addresses
3 days each week; Monday, Wednesday, Saturday; 12:01 am to 8:00 am for irrigation systems

Even numbered addresses:
3 days each week; Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday, 12:01 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. for irrigation systems

Landscaping Irrigation–New (in place less than 90 days):
All addresses 5 days each week; Monday through Friday, 12:01 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. for irrigation systems

Irrigation System Maintenance :
Existing systems –
10 minutes per zone per week; person must be present in zone and working on the system during each such operation

New systems-
30 minutes per zone, one time only; person must be present in zone and working on the
system during such operation

Pesticide, Fungicide, Herbicide, Fertilizer Application:
All addresses. Application shall be coordinated with the scheduled day/time for landscaping irrigation; if applied outside of the allowed hours, and “watering in” is specified by the manufacturer of the applied material, a licensed application technician must be on the premises

Other Outdoor Water Uses:
All other outdoor water uses Other outdoor water uses, including low volume hand watering, car, truck,and boat washing and the washing of exterior home surfaces and roofs, shall be allowed anytime with the use of low volume pressure cleaning equipment, low volume mobile equipment washing and/or water hose equipped with an automatic self-canceling or automatic shutoff nozzle; in all cases, the water used must drain to a pervious surface or to a water recycling/reuse system

For more information follow the link: http://www.cityofmarcoisland.com/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=7463

Curb Appeal for Your Southwest Florida Property

Posted by Landscaping, Irrigation and More On June 25, 2012

There are some simple and inexpensive ways to maintain the curb appeal of your Southwest Florida Home.

1. BE CLEAN
Keep your grass mowed. Clean up fallen tree branches and palm fronds. Keep pine cones, pine needles and fallen flowers and debris consolidated and picked up.

2. BE NEAT
Keep your trees and shrubs neatly trimmed. Keep your flower beds and landscape island edged. Noting is worse then a row of edges blocking the window of a home. It blocks light into the house, it block the view out of the house and it looks unkept.

3. ADD COLOR
What a difference adding a little pop of color makes to the front of a house. Small, seasonal plants such as impatients, pansies or mums make a big impact with just a little bit of output.

4. KEEP MULCH FRESH
Flower beds with mulch fade in the Florida climate. Throw some fresh mulch in your flower beds and landscape island for a renewed look to your property.

5. GET RID OF THE WEEDS
A house with weeds screams “unkept home” or “abandoned house”. If you are like most of us, you don’t have time to spend hours to pull weeds from your yard and landscape. You can purchase a sprayer and some weed killer from your local garden center. Take a walk around your house once a week to spray the weeds. You’ll kill your weeds and get some exercise in the process.

6. KEEP YOUR GRASS GREEN
This is often easier said then done with dry seasons and water restrictions. However, installing an automatic irrigation system is a step in the right direction. Once you have a sprinkler system installed you must be meticulous in keeping the sprinkler heads accurately adjusted to get the best coverage of your grass and landscaping. An irrigation maintenance contract is a wise investment if you are not fond of the mechanical aspects of maintaining an irrigation system.