As spring sets in, the lawn is starting to show signs of thirst. I've been using a simple yellow wave-back-and-forth sprinkler that I set in the middle of the lawn, but that's a hassle, and I've had trouble making time to do it.
Our house had a sprinkler system when we bought it, but it's ancient. Most of the heads spray suboptimally, some don't pop up, some don't pop back down, and a couple heads just bobble helplessly as water flows around them into the grass. Also, the heads in the back yard spray in maybe a three foot radius, not nearly enough to reach much of the yard.
Today I went around and tried to clear grass from around all of the sprinkler heads. Some had been completely overrun by grass, at the root level. To find those I had to turn on the sprinklers and wander around, bent over, listening for pathetic subterranean spray. Clearing the grass helped a bit, but there's still real repairs to do.
I also found out something important. There's a section right in front of the house that was swampy and partially submerged when we were in escrow, and we assumed it was because the sellers were overwatering to make things green. That was probably true, but today I found out that that area gets swampy within minutes of turning on the sprinkler system. There are some sprinkler system valves nearby; I suspect a serious underground leak. Maybe fixing that will give the backyard heads enough pressure to do their jobs.