How to Repair Your Lawn Sprinkler System (6 Simple Steps)

Our lawns need to be watered regularly, and, for that, we depend on our sprinkler systems. There are many advantages to sprinklers, but their parts can be easily damaged or worn out over time. Problems like water leaks, a lack of spray, and low water pressure, among others, indicate that your lawn sprinkler is in need of repair.

But you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot to get it working again. Try these 11 simple steps to repair your own lawn sprinkler system.


Repairing Your Own Lawn Sprinkler System

Sprinkler systems can be easily damaged, but are also (sometimes at least) easily repaired.

1. Clean and Reset the Head

Sometimes cleaning and resetting the sprinkler head is enough to do the trick. Unscrew the top to disassemble it from the canister. Use a bucket of water to rinse away debris and soil. Remove and clean the screen basket from the bottom of the head. Before reinstalling the head, adjust the watering range and check by running water through the sprinkler.

2. Replace the Sprinkler Head

Sprinkler heads are easily damaged. The head needn’t be of the same brand but should be the same type and match the delivery rate, spray pattern, and throwing distance of the old one. The wrong head can over or under-water that specific section of lawn.

To replace the sprinkler head, expose the riser by digging around the head. Then unscrew the damaged head and install the new one. You can tighten it with your hands.

3. Check the Valves

The reason for low water pressure could lie with the valve. Check on its backflow devices and see that they are open. Turn them horizontally and then vertically to adjust water pressure.

4. Repair Leaks

Before starting work on any leaks, check the lawn sprinkler controller to make sure the system is shut off. Cut out the damaged section and place a clamp on one end. At the other, insert a slip coupling and then tighten the clamp. Now place a clamp on the second end, expand the coupling, insert the edge into the pipe, and tighten the clamp. The leak should be gone. If the leak was caused due to crushed pipe, find the source of the damage and, if needed, reroute the pipes.

5. Check the Electrical Problem

Your sprinkler system is usually divided into zones. So, if one is not turning on, chances are you have an electrical problem. Check the zone wires and see that they are attached to the controller terminals and that the transformer is plugged in. Turn on the circuit breaker at the main panel and then check the voltage of the controller of the non-working zone after turning it on. If the reading falls below the required range, replace the controller. Also, check the transformer voltage; if it falls below 22 VAC, replace the transformer.

6. Replace Sprinkler Solenoid

Before you start, disconnect the wires. Now, unscrew the solenoid from the valve, insert the new one, and cork it. Turn it until it’s tight. Finish by connecting the wires on the solenoid with the common wire and the field wire with waterproof connectors.

Do’s and Don’ts of Lawn Sprinkler Maintenance and Repair

Sprinkler system maintenance is easy if you follow this useful advice.

The Do’s

  • Dirt and other ground residue can clog the sprinkler head. That in turn can result in uneven water distribution. Regularly cleaning the sprinkler head will keep the entire system running smoothly.
  • Keep a tab on valves. Faulty valves often cause leaks. Irregular water pressure or uneven distribution of water will indicate issues with the valve. Check for valve leaks in both individual sprinkler heads and the central valve assembly. Look for cracks, rips, and other damage.
  • The condition of the pipes will determine how efficiently and effectively water flows through the sprinkler system. Normal wear and tear on pipes is inevitable and can cause them to crack. You can find replacements for lawn sprinklers in home improvement stores.
  • Check all electrical parts of the system. You can easily perform multimeter tests, but leave electrical repair to an electrician.
  • Make sure the connectors are waterproof. This will keep the valve and wiring protected and they will last longer.
  • Damaged wires will not only interrupt smooth functioning of the sprinkler system but can also be dangerous. They are not always visible, so you will have to check them occasionally.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t ignore leaks. They can turn into a bigger problem, and no one wants large water bills.
  • Don’t neglect the transformers. The lawn sprinkler system won’t work properly without them powering the timer.
  • Don’t ignore detached wires. They can be the reason why your lawn sprinkler system isn’t working properly.
  • Don’t forget to replace the sprinkler solenoid if it is damaged or not working properly. A solenoid is an electromagnet that facilitates communication between the controller and valves, indicating to them when to open and close.

For a beautiful lawn, a working sprinkler system is important. And to keep it working properly, you will need to maintain and repair it regularly. If you can’t devote that much time to your sprinkler system, hire a professional to handle its maintenance and repair.