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What to Look for When Replacing Your Sump Pump  

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The ideal time to replace an out-of-order sump pump is prior to the next large storm and not after it.

If your sump pump in the crawlspace or basement isn’t turning on as the water level increases or if your sump pump is older than a decade, you shouldn’t wait until it breaks down to replace it. Here is some information about what to look for when replacing your sump pump.

Which Type Should You Choose?

If your sump pump functioned well before it stopped working and lasted you a decent amount of time, it wouldn’t hurt to buy a similar model to replace it. Otherwise, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of submersible pumps and pedestal pumps.

Pedestal Pump

A pedestal pump places the motor on a stand that is positioned a few feet above the water. The impeller, which is responsible for pumping the water, is in the pit. In theory, a pedestal pump will last longer because the motor remains fairly dry.

Submersible Pump

With a submersible pump, the motor and pump are located in the sump pit. The motor resides in a sealed oil filled waterproof casing. When water rises to a certain level, the pump turns on and water is pumped out through the piping that runs away and outside from the house.
For more information about what to look for when replacing your sump pump, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Ultimate Lawn Guide: Getting Rid of Brown Spots  

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Your lawn is your pride and joy and the first impression people get of your home. Because of this, there is nothing worse than seeing brown spots forming in your yard, except not to understand what is causing it. While there is the possibility that your lawn has been scorched by the hot rays of the sun, if the spots are isolated and slimy, the root cause could be a fungal disease. So the question is, how do you get this disease under control and eliminate the brown spots?

Treating Brown Spots in Your Yard

When it comes to treating the brown spots in your yard all you need to do is follow a few simple tips to heal your yard and help get it back on track to looking fabulous.

  • Avoid walking on the area – A fungal disease can spread by tracking it across the lawn on the soles of your shoe.
  • Clean mowing equipment with a 1:10 part bleach and water solution after each use.
  • Appropriately fertilize your lawn – Using the right amount of fertilizer is as important as choosing the right fertilizer. Too much fertilizer or too little can make your lawn more prone to fungi. If you are not sure which type of fertilizer to choose, your lawn care professional can provide you with the best options for your lawn needs.
  • Do not over water – Try watering less frequently but for a longer period of time. Also, consider watering in the morning so it will have the rest of the day to absorb and evaporate.
  • Dethatch your lawn – Dethatching your lawn will remove a small layer from the top of your grass, giving the soil the opportunity to breathe to reduce the conditions that can lead to a fungal outbreak.
  • Apply a fungicide – If your fungal problem is too advanced, or does not improve, it may be best to apply a fungicide such as Armada 50WDG Fungicide which is powerful against fungal disease in both northern and southern areas.

Get Help to Get Your Lawn Healthy

If your yard is plagued by brown spots and you are looking for the right fungicide to rid yourself of the problem, the specialists at Irrigation Outlet can help. Contact Irrigation Outlet today to get your lawn healthy and happy again.

How to Ensure Your Sprinkler System is Working Properly  

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Your sprinkler system should be checked frequently to ensure it’s working properly. There are a number of simple checks you can conduct. They’ll confirm that the system isn’t leaking, that all the sprinkler heads are functioning correctly and that the timer is operating according to how you have it set.

Check the Water Meter

Look at the water meter gauge. There’s a smaller dial on the face, which is the leak indicator. If the arrow on the leak indicator is spinning when the water is off, then there’s a leak somewhere in the system. You’ll need to troubleshoot that further to figure out where the leak is. If the arrow’s not spinning, it’s safe to assume your sprinkler system is leak-free.

Check Your Controller

Go to your irrigation controller. Turn one zone on to operate. Then walk out to that zone and make sure the sprinklers are operational. Test each zone, one by one, in this matter. This will help you to confirm that sprinkler heads are operating as they should and that the controller is functioning properly. Also, check the controller to confirm that the run times are set to reflect the water required for that time of year.

Review Your Water Bill

Check your water bill and compare it month by month with the previous year. Look at the water usage, not the amount, because rate increases and tariffs may create differences in the bills. If you notice any large increase in water usage for a particular season compared to last year, there could be a problem with the water meter or another component in the sprinkler system.

Get a Sprinkler System Audit

You can also have a professional come out and do a thorough sprinkler system audit if you suspect something is amiss and are having trouble figuring out what the issue is.

These tips to help ensure your sprinkler system is working properly can be done in a single afternoon. It’s worth it to carefully maintain your sprinkler system since water is a limited resource that should be treasured.

3 Pathway Lighting Tips & Ideas  

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Do you ever stumble when you are coming up your walk at night? Or perhaps it is just hard to see. Avoid injuries and keep your garden paths and walkways safer after dark with these three ideas for better illumination.

  1. Direct the light towards the ground.

    Choose path lights for your walkways that direct the light towards the ground. This will not only provide better illumination for potential tripping hazards, but is less intrusive and will reduce the chance of developing night blindness due to the glare.

  2. Choose the right bulbs.

    Bulbs specifically made for the outdoors is a must. Finding the perfect match between too much and too little light can be tricky, and you may need to try a few different bulbs before you find one you love. Some homeowners prefer the flexibility and lower power consumption of LED bulbs while others prefer the classic glow of halogen bulbs.

  3. Pay extra attention to the lighting on your steps.

    The potential for a nighttime slip on your steps is high, so it pays to provide as much light as possible for any outdoor staircase. This is one area of your outdoor path lighting where you may benefit from deck lights on each individual step.

You can find a wide range of outdoor lighting options to fit your style and budget at Irrigation Outlet. Whatever your outdoor lighting needs, Irrigation Outlet is always here to help you find the perfect solution.

3 Ways to Illuminate Your Yard with Landscape Lighting

Landscape Lighting

Are you looking for ways to improve your property? Landscape lighting improves both the look and safety of your landscape. Here are three ways to effectively illuminate your yard.

1. Directional Lighting

Directional lighting can be used to direct attention to particularly attractive features of your yard. Often, this style of lighting is used beneath specimen trees or to highlight other design elements such as a rock wall or statuary. At night, the light is filtered upwards through the branches, giving a very impressive effect.

2. Underwater Lights

If you have any outdoor water features, underwater lights make these even more stunning after dark. Underwater lights can be installed in manmade Koi ponds, natural frog ponds or other water features. In addition to the beautification, underwater lights add a safety function for anyone walking around at night.

3. Area and Path Lights

To enhance both the safety and attractiveness of your landscape, consider installing area and path lights. These can be installed at intervals alongside front paths, driveways and more. If you have a particular path in your yard, such as a path to a back garden or to a workshop, path lights can help to illuminate the way as well as to brighten the back yard. Area lights look especially good when installed around outdoor living spaces such as decks and patios.

4. Timers

Setting up your landscape lighting with timers makes it convenient for you to illuminate your landscape each night without having to think about it. Timers are also valuable energy savers, since it can be challenging to remember to turn off landscape lighting as dawn breaks.

Landscape lighting increases the curb appeal of your home, enhances safety and adds value. To find out how landscape lighting can be used around your property, contact Irrigation Outlet today.

Winter Lawn Care Tips for a Better Spring

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A great spring lawn begins with a great winter. If you can keep your grass healthy during those cold months, you can expect a beautiful lawn when the weather gets warm. Here are a few tips to make sure that you get the best out of your lawn this spring.

Get Rid of Debris

Those broken branches, dead leaves, snow and other debris are getting in the way of your lawn’s precious sunlight. Remove dead leaves and other debris to help reduce damage from lack of sunlight and possible damage from insects and disease.

Aerate the Soil

One of the best ways of keeping your lawn healthy during winter is by aerating the soil. Aerating your lawn provides the much-needed air for lawn’s root system. Aeration can be done by hand, but power aerators are available for rent at most equipment rental centers for a reasonable price. Power aerators not only make the job easier, but they also do a much better job of aerating the soil.

When you are ready to take your lawn to the next level, give the dedicated experts at Irrigation Outlet a call. These are the people with the tools and the expertise to make sure that you have a healthy lawn regardless of the weather. When spring hits, you will be the envy of your neighbors if you prepare correctly with the right landscaping partner!

4 Steps to Prevent Your Pipes From Bursting  

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Contrary to popular belief, pipes do not only burst in cold climates. They are actually at greater risk of bursting in warmer climates when homeowners fail to insulate them during a cold snap. Below are four steps you can take this winter to prevent costly water damage.

Leave the Heat On

Keeping your heat turned on while you’re away prevents your pipes from freezing and then bursting. While you don’t have to keep your thermostat at the same temperature, it should be at least 50 degrees in the house to transmit some heat to the pipes.

Seal Holes and Cracks Near Pipes

Holes and cracks on floors or walls where pipes run through can let cold air into the house. To prevent this problem, be sure to fill any gaps with spray foam insulation or caulk. You should look for any holes or cracks on both sides of a floor or wall for best results.

Leave a Faucet Dripping Slightly

Leaving at least one faucet in your home dripping allows water to flow through the pipes. Moving water does not freeze as readily as standing water so a little trickle can save you from major damage. Be sure to turn both hot and water knobs slightly if both temperatures of water normally service your pipes.

Consider Adding Insulation

Pipes in your attic, basement, or other difficult to reach areas will benefit from an extra layer of insulation. Fiberglass sleeves or foam rubber make excellent alternatives. Wall and ceiling insulation helps to keep pipes warm as well.

These are just four tips to prevent a huge problem with your pipes this winter. Please contact Irrigation Outlet with additional questions.

3 Ways to Achieve Better Yard Drainage  

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Having good yard drainage ensures that your landscaping bounces right back after inclement weather. Here are three ways that you can achieve better yard drainage.

Your Drainage Plan

For more complex problems, you may need a property sketch that includes all of the features of your yard. After this, you can use a hand held sight level to find the low spots that are most susceptible to standing water.

Making a Creek Bed

If you invest in a creek bed. This is basically a trench lined with stones and edged with plants. It will add to the look of your lawn and channel excess water away from the low spots in your landscaping. Here’s the best part – creek beds look great even when they are dry.

Building a Rain Garden

The low spots in your landscaping can become a beautiful rain garden, especially if it retains water for long periods of time. Planting native shrubs and perennials on the downside slope of your yard can help redirect runoff, sediment and lawn chemicals.
The supplies for your irrigation needs are right here at Irrigation Outlet. Come to our site to get everything you need for better yard drainage and keep your landscaping looking its best no matter what the weather brings!

How to Prevent Clogs in your Outdoor Drain

Prevent-Clogs

Outdoor drains – also known as yard drains or landscape drains – are usually present in properties with swimming pools, varying terrains, and extensive landscaping. The purpose of this drain is to divert water to the storm drain or down the street especially during a torrential downpour.

Unfortunately, outdoor drains are susceptible to clogging from fallen leaves, trash, and debris. You can only detect this by inspecting the drainage and pipes on a routine basis.

You can prevent clogging by doing the following:

Clean Catch Basin

Remove the grate covering the catch basin and remove debris or pebbles that may have collected there. If this drainage has a network, clean out each branch pipe using a shop vac. Push the device as far as it can go in all directions.

Flush With Water

Having removed the reachable debris, flush out the rest with water using a garden hose so you can channel water down each pipe. Repeat this process at each branching pipe until all debris is gone and water is flowing well.

Termination Point

Check the termination point at the curb or other water channels like down the slope. Scoop all the debris that has collected here, so there is no clogging the next time water comes through.

The above process may seem arduous, but it doesn’t have to be if routine maintenance is done habitually. Avoid chemical products at all cost as they can corrode pipes made of cast-iron and what’s more, these chemicals don’t do a thorough job. Call Irrigation Outlet for all of your irrigation and drainage needs.

Natural Garden Solutions for Bad Bug Problems

Bad-Bug-Problems

One frustration that many gardeners face is insect invasions. Vegetables or flowers look good one day, and the next half of the leaves, blooms, or produce has been ravaged by evil little critters looking for a free meal. There are several ways to prevent insects from “bugging” you and your plants.

  1. Make certain the soil is healthy and right for the things you want to grow. If not, you can “strengthen” it up with additives that will help create strong roots and beautiful and delicious produce. Don’t just focus on having “healthy” soil though, focus on having soil that will be healthy for the things you plan to grow.
  2. Attract the good guys to beat the bad guys. If you can attract insects like praying mantis and other beneficial insects, many of your bad bug problems will be solved. The good insects will eat the bad insects, and the good guys won’t eat your produce.
  3. Protect your plants with natural products. At Irrigation Outlet, we offer several products that will protect your garden, your yard, and even your houseplants without harming people or pets.
    • Dipel Dust has natural bacteria that helps control cabbageworm, tomato hornworm and other pests. This product can even be used up to the day of harvest and your produce will remain safe.
    • Natural Pyrethrin Concentrate is a safe, cousin treatment of the chrysanthemum, and can be used to vegetables to control many different bugs and it can be used for houseplants or in greenhouses. It is safe, and it keeps the bad bugs away.

Irrigation Outlet has many other insecticides to help protect your garden, lawn, trees, or anything else you’re growing. Find the right solution to keep the bad bugs away.

How a Catch Basin and Grate Can Stop Water from Pooling in Your Yard

Catch-Basin

Water pooling in your yard can cause your grass to become oversaturated and cause a lack of growth. Below are some common signs of a drainage problem.

1. Wet spots in your lawn or irregular lawn growth

If you see wet spots in your lawn when it hasn’t been raining, or when some of your lawn is greener and growing faster than the rest of your lawn, that area is probably receiving water which was not drained properly.

2. Water stains in the basement

Your first sign might be discolored walls. Depending on where you spot the stain you can gauge the severity of the problem. If the stain is on the wall it could be as simple as surface water, which is an easy fix. However, if you notice a stain that extends around the basement you could be looking at a more extensive repair.

3. Cracks in the foundation of your home

Some cracks are normal, as houses settle over the years. But keep an eye on them, and if they are growing you should probably call an expert as they could damage the structure of your house. If the crack becomes larger than 1/8-inch it may be a sign that a drainage problem is ruining your foundation – so don’t wait to call in the pros.

4. Sluggish or belching drains

If you have more than one drain running slowly, chances are it’s not a hairball clogging your drain. A drainage problem can cause a vacuum in your pipes, making it hard for water to drain properly.

5. Sewer odors

The stagnant water from a malfunctioning drain can cause some pretty gruesome smells, These not-so-pleasant smells combined with the poor ventilation in your air pipes could often causes negative air pressure, letting sewer gas in.

How a Catch Basin and Grate Works

When you install a catch basin and grate in your yard, it collects the surface water that would otherwise pool in your yard and possibly affect the foundation of your home. To install a catch basin and grate, you will first need to put in an underground drain pipe to direct the water to a storm drain or other location away from your home’s foundation. The grate also prevents debris from entering the drain and clogging it.

Irrigation Outlet offers four different types of catch basins and grates. These include atrium, decorative, round, and square. You can learn more about each type by navigating to the page labeled Drainage and then clicking on Grates.

The Complete Guide to get Your Pond Ready for the Winter Months

Get-Your-Pond-Ready

Although it is officially still the autumn season, it’s the perfect time to prepare your backyard or commercial pond to ensure it is ready to survive the long winter months ahead. Here’s how.

Remove Your Pond Filter

If your pond will not be running during the winter months and you use a pond filter, be sure to remove it while preparing your pond for winter. Leaving the filter elements in the pond while the water freezes increases the chances of damage to your filter in the spring.

Clean the Pond

You will need a long rake to pull dead leaves and plants, algae, flowers, and other debris to the edge of the pond, taking care not to damage the pond liner. Next, remove the debris from the end of the rake and place it in a trash bag. Take extra caution not to disrupt floating vegetation while cleaning because it can grow again in the spring.

Move Any Remaining Plants

If any tall plants remain, move them inside if you expect your pond to completely freeze over. For climates where water does not freeze entirely, move the plants down lower into the pond. You will need to dig a minimum of 18 inches to keep them safe during the winter season.

Vacuum the Pond

After completing the above steps, finish the job by running a vacuum hose across the bottom. This clears away any remaining debris as well as eliminates any wastes that can be toxic to fish.

Irrigation Outlet carries these and other pond cleaning supplies. Check us out today.

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