sprinkler system upgrade portland or


Portland Sprinkler Repair & Installation is a specialized business division of irrigation technicians operated by Shovel & Thumb. We are your expert and reliable source for repairs, upgrades, maintenance, and installations.

Irrigation system technology has undergone vast improvements in the last couple of years. Every year, manufacturers of sprinkler systems come out with newer, more efficient, and technologically advanced designs. The goal of manufacturers has always been to deliver more user-friendly, versatile, and water-conserving systems.

If your sprinkler system in Portland, OR, is more than 5 years old, the likelihood is high that the controller is outdated and does not have the latest smart sprinkler technology. Smart controllers are capable of determining how much water your landscape requires every day.

Upgrading to a more efficient design with climate or soil moisture sensor-based controllers will automatically adjust the irrigation schedule according to the specific needs of your lawn.

When properly installed and programmed, a smart irrigation system can save substantial amounts of water. Think about it, an automatic sprinkler system that is not programmed properly can waste more than 30,000 gallons of water annually.

Latest drip irrigation system designs enhance the overall performance. Technological advancement by itself is reason enough to upgrade the system.

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Sometimes, irrigation systems need to be rerouted. What does this mean? It refers to moving or modifying the system in some way. There are numerous reasons why a reroute might be a necessity.

A common reason for rerouting is landscaping changes, such as when a growing tree creates a dead zone that water does not touch. Other reasons for rerouting include:

  • Redesign of the landscape
  • Expansion of the lawn
  • Introduction of a swimming pool
  • Addition of a sidewalk, driveway, or retaining wall
  • Addition of a patio, deck, or outdoor kitchen

Rerouting helps to conserve the water that might be wasted by channelling it to where the lawn actually needs it. If your system needs rerouting, be sure to consult an irrigation professional in Portland, OR.


With the passage of time, your irrigation system gradually ages. The useful life of a good underground sprinkler system is anywhere between 10 to 15 years. That old system may still be working, but that does not mean that it provides you with cost-effective water usage.

However, you may be reluctant to replace an outdated system that seems to be giving a fairly good service. What can you do? Modernize the system. Consider upgrading its vital parts such as the sprinkler heads and nozzles. Lately, manufacturers have improved the sprinklers’ reliability to distribute water uniformly.

Modernizing would also involve installing a rain shutoff sensor that will automatically turn off the system when it rains. These sensors are inexpensive and can be retrofitted into almost any sprinkler system. What you spend on modernization, you will save through years of efficient irrigation.

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Let us face it, your existing sprinkler system will inevitably deteriorate due to wear and tear. But how can you determine that it is time for a sprinkler upgrade? Here are some clues:

  • Lifecycle: Is your system past the manufacturer’s lifecycle? Time may have passed, and your system is just plain old.
  • Leaks: If the leaks are taking place on the main line, the system will be highly wasteful and inefficient. It is time to upgrade.
  • Frequent Breakdowns: Repeated breakdowns and repairs—more so in one season—is indicative of an impending upgrade.
  • High Water Bills: A sudden or sustained hike in the water bill is a telltale sign that your system is becoming inefficient and needs replacement.
  • Outdated System: Older systems cannot regulate glows based on climate, plant, or soil type, meaning increased work for you.


Keeping that sprinkler system in tiptop form will reward you with years of efficient landscape irrigation that conserves water and saves money. Here are some helpful tips for maintaining your irrigation system in Portland, OR:

  • Perform regular checkups, at least once a month for leaks, broken lines or misdirected sprinkler heads.
  • Inspect and replace faulty sprinkler heads.
  • Check for sprinkler runoffs to unwanted areas such as the driveway and adjust accordingly.
  • Check for and remedy any leakages around the upper part of the nozzle or spray head.
  • Be sure to winterize the system sometime before the cold winter months.
  • Ensure you clear obstructed or blocked sprinkler heads as instructed by the manufacturer, especially after the cold season is over.
  • Flush the irrigation system at the start of spring to prevent clogging.
  • Hire a professional to audit your system at least once during the summer.