Lawn Sprinkler System Troubleshooting Guide

With summer in full-effect, there’s no time for an unworking sprinkler system. Lawn irrigation is key to keeping the grass healthy and helping to make the landscape look its best. So, when the sprinklers don’t function, it could easily hurt your lawn.

Brown spots might develop and spread across from one side to another, leaving an unsightly presence. So, you need to take action right away to get that irrigation system up and running again.

Don’t worry, with just a few common tools, a bit of trial and effort, and some keys observations, you can troubleshoot and fix your lawn sprinkler system. And, you’ll probably discover one or two unknown problems along the way. The best part of this is, you don’t need to be an experienced technician, just some strategic elbow grease ought to be enough.


Common Sprinkler System Problems

Over the course of our mild Sarasota “winter,” there’s little to no need to water your lawn. The temperatures are typically mild and grass is dormant as precipitation levels fall greatly. As the spring months roll around, you lawn might need a little assistance and that’s where your irrigation system will come-in handy. It’s best to spread fertilizer when it will do the most good, which is just before the break of dawn.

An automatic lawn irrigation system is the best way to keep your lawn looking fresh and green. Correctly designed and programmed, it’ll deliver the right amount of water to your yard— no more moving the sprinkler! But like any other system, it occasionally breaks down or requires maintenance. The good news is you can handle 90 percent of the repairs yourself, even without in-depth knowledge of the system. We’ll show you how to identify and fix the most common problems. —The Family Handyman

By broadcasting healthy grass nutrients and providing ample water, you’ll get the benefits of fresh morning dew and the emergence of sunlight. Using this methodology will allow the nutrients to flow down into the soil and into the root system, providing all your grass needs to take hold and grow green. Of course, you’ll rely on your lawn irrigation system to provide your grass with the water it needs to grow a beautiful yard. If you turn it on for the first time in months, you might experience one of the following common problems: broken sprinkler head(s), main and lateral line leak(s), and/or, control panel problems.

Lawn Sprinkler System Troubleshooting Guide

Just like anything else involving materials and mechanics, a sprinkler system can exhibit a glitch here-and-there. The good news is, as the nearby quote explains, the majority of any problems are simple to address. If you have a few basic tools, a little DIY can-do will be enough to get your yard irrigation system back on-track, just in time for spring. Here’s how to troubleshoot a sprinkler system:

  • Titled or sunken sprinkler heads. When heads are tilted or sunken, water distribution will be unequal, even causing grass to effectively “drown.” You can fix this simply by digging around a titled or sunken sprinkler head, right the angle or pulling it up, then, carefully replace soil around it, followed by the sod.
  • Blocked sprinkler heads. Over time, obstacles might grow and block a sprinkler head, preventing it from delivering water as it should. This is a very easy fix because all you have to do is remove what’s in-the-way.
  • Clogged nozzle. Much like an obstacle, a clogged nozzle will prevent a sprinkler head from spraying water onto your grass. Turn the system off and twist the nozzle gently off the spray head. Remove the filter from the system and clean out using water. Replace the filter and nozzle, then, turn the system back on to finish.
  • Main or lateral line leaks. This is where the figure, 9 out of 10 problems can be fixed DIY style, comes into play. For main and lateral line leaks, if you’re comfortable with shutting off the system, digging up the leaking line portion, and coupling a replacement line, then do so. However, if you’re not confident in such necessary skills, it’s best to call a professional.
  • Control panel problems. When you first restart your irrigation system, it might have lost its programming schedule due to power outages or just a glitch. Regardless of the problem, consult the owner’s manual to try to pinpoint and correct the problem. You can also reset the system back to the factor settings to start over, if necessary. Should the control panel not perform properly, check the manufacturer’s warranty.

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