Sprinkler Troubleshooting Guide

Solutions to Common Sprinkler Problems

System not shutting down

  • Open & shut gate valve to loosen whatever maybe blocking closure of valve

Sprinkler being blocked by a plant or other object

  • Keep the plant pruned back to prevent blockage. Check regularly.
  • Add an extension or riser on the PVC piping.
  • Relocate the sprinkler out in front of the obstruction. If necessary, adjust or replace the nozzle.
  • If in a plant bed, replace sprinklers with micro-irrigation devices that can be moved as plants grow. Micro-irrigation is not permitted on lawn grass.

Sprinkler being blocked by lawn/grass

  • Replace sprinkler with a model that pops up higher. (6″ or 12″)
  • Add an extension between the PVC pipe and the sprinkler.
  • Clean grass around the sprinkler and install a concrete “donut”.

Water is squirting out around the sprinkler head

  • Check sprinkler head, piping and fittings under the sprinkler for leaks.
  • Check rubber or plastic seal inside the top of the sprinkler for debris and wear; replace with recommended seal if it is damaged or worn.
  • Spray nozzles and rotor heads may need cleaning.
  • Replacement of sprinkler may be needed.

Time clock is not operating

  • Make sure it is plugged into a working outlet and switched to “on” or “automatic”.
  • Make sure that the backup battery is not corroded or low on charge.
  • Has it rained recently? Perhaps the rain sensor is interrupting clock operation. This is normal until the cork disc dries out.
  • May have a cut wire.

Rotor sprinkler does not rotate correctly

  • Check to ensure the sprinkler or the piping below it is not clogged.
  • Check if there is adequate pressure in the zone to operate this type of sprinkler. Another nozzle with a lower flow rate may need to be installed.
  • The sprinkler may be broken.
  • If the head is at the end of the main water supply line for your system, there may not be enough pressure to operate the sprinkler properly. The head should be capped.

Spray head sprinkler not putting out any and/or little water

  • Check to ensure the sprinkler, nozzle, filters or piping are not clogged or broken. A break in the system causes diminished pressure, which would cause loss of coverage.