Troubleshooting Your Sprinkler System

Flip Law - Thursday, September 20, 2012
sprinkler system

Sprinkler system weak spray could indicate broken pipes.

Automatic sprinkler systems are vital to properly maintaining your lawn and landscaping. Knowing how to troubleshoot your system yourself will help save money on repairs. Most sprinkler system repairs can be done yourself but some issues may require a professional.

Here are some of the common problems you may encounter with your sprinkler system.

• Weak spray: The most common cause of weak spray is low pressure. If a system has been operating without any problems for some time and suddenly has a weak spray problem, then a leaking pipe is usually the culprit. Another likely cause is rocks or other debris that has become lodged in the solenoid valve. This is especially likely if you have recently performed a pipe repair.

• Irregular spray patterns: If you notice irregular spray patterns, check for debris partially blocking the sprinkler nozzle. Many sprinkler heads also have a screen at the inlet or just below the nozzle to trap debris. Removing the nozzle and flushing the system will usually solve this problem.

• System not turning on: Check to be sure the main valve is turned on. If you know you have water then the problem is most likely a controller, wire, or valve issue. Most of the time you can troubleshoot this with a basic volt-Ohm meter. First check the programming on the controller to ensure it is right and make sure that it is sending a 24-27 volt signal to the valve. If everything is working at the controller, you next want to check to see if you are receiving a 24-27 volt signal at the valve. If you are receiving power at the valve then the most likely culprit is a bad solenoid. If you are not receiving power at the valve then you most likely have a damaged or broken wire. At this point you may be better off calling in a professional irrigation contractor to troubleshoot and repair the system. Most contractors have equipment for locating damaged or broken wiring.

For the best irrigation services, contact the experts at W. P. Law. Inc.

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