Wouldn't You Like To Know?
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to maintain my system?
Most folks tend not to think about their sprinklers until warmer temps start to come around, but in reality, it's the harsh mid-summer and late-winter conditions that cause an array of issues which might go undetected. A good rule of thumb is to run a self system check in the fall and early spring to spot problems right away. An annual or semi-annual tune-up is highly recommended to keep water loss at a minimum and directed where it should be - on your landscape and not down the drain. It's also a very good idea to run the sprinklers after any work is done on the property which involves a shovel entering the ground, such as plumbing, construction, deck or fence work, landscaping, turf installation, or pool remodeling, etc.
What do I check for?
Look for soppy areas that stay wet all the time, or any excessive water pooling, heads that leak during a cycle, or stay popped up after the zone goes off. Inspect the control panel for proper scheduling and check the rain sensor battery. Have you made adjustments to the landscape, or have your plants matured lately? Check for coverage of all plant life. Spray should be dropping on the nearest adjacent head. Make sure water is staying off the house and shutters, and any hardscape or wood fencing.
I can't get my sprinklers to turn on at all... What do I do?
#1 - Check the main shut off to the irrigation system and see that all valves are open. You typically find this at the front of the house near the city water meter access. Often plumbers and other contractors such as gutter repair folks, remodelers or roofers, will close the backflow device or isolation valve to prevent any unwanted water on their tools or in their workspace from the sprinklers.
#2 - Make sure that your controller is plugged in to a working outlet. You may see a display, but this could be from the battery only. Test a questionable outlet with another appliance if needed. Look for any error messages displayed on the unit itself.
#3 - If you have a rain/freeze sensor, it may have been activated by a recent drizzle or drop in temps. If so, an indicator light is usually present on the panel. This will have to be bypassed in order to operate the system manually.
#4 - If all these have been checked, you may have an electrical issue with the wires running in the field. Think back to when you last knew your system was working, and if you had any work done on the property since then. Sometimes tree roots and ground movement can also break wires leading to the station valves.
Only some zones are working. What could be going on?
The best way to diagnose a specific zone not working is to inspect the wires and valve for that zone. Be sure the controller is off or unplugged before troubleshooting. If you can locate the box for the valve that powers the bad zone, check to see if the splices are all good and then try to open the valve manually. Also, a station can appear to not be working if there is a major leak that prevents water from getting to the heads. In this case, try running the zone for several minutes and walking the surrounding area to check for any signs of water.