Sprinkler Timer Troubleshooting
Are your sprinklers behaving erratically? While you might think you’ve got an issue with your valve or possibly an underground leak, strange behavior may not actually be a problem with your irrigation plumbing lines at all—the brain that controls your system could be the issue. Timing computers are not immune from issues, and figuring out what’s going on with them is sometimes tricky. While they may look like everything should be working properly, your timer could actually be the source of your sprinkler system’s problems.
Here are four of the most common issues with your sprinkler system’s timer and how to fix them.
Watering at Odd Times
While some sprinkler systems have a 9-volt battery or a couple AA batteries for power backup, some systems are simply powered by a wall adapter, and that means they will lose power when your home does. And when your timing system loses power, it could lose track of the date, time, and even the timing program you had put in and set up. If you find out your sprinklers aren’t turning on when you expect them to, and you’ve just recently had a power outage, then there’s a strong chance your sprinkler system could have lost its timing program as a result of the outage.
The best thing to do is head out and set up a timer to turn on within a few minutes to make sure your timer is in fact working properly. If your sprinklers turn on with this temporary timing program, then you can reset the timer to your normal schedule and everything should work again.
Some Zones Not Being Watered
Is one particular area of your law not being watered? Many people mistakenly believe this to be a valve problem or a water line leak, but the easiest and most common issue to cause this is a problem with your timer. Check it out by going to your timer and checking each of your zones individually. If each zone turns on, then there may be a simple issue with your timing program.
Check your owner’s manual to see if your timing unit has a self-diagnostic function. If so, run it and it should tell you whether or not you’ve got an issue. If not, then you may need to have your system professionally inspected in order to determine if there’s a fault in the wiring to control that particular zone. Stress on wiring can cause it to break, and shorts can prevent an activation signal from reaching your control valve for that particular zone.
Sprinklers Turn On Then Off Right Away
Do your sprinklers turn off almost as quickly as they turn on? This is almost always a problem with your timing system. Check your timing program and make sure that your duration settings are properly configured. When you make an adjustment, run a test by setting up a temporary program to turn on within a minute or two and check how long the sprinklers stay on for. If they stay on for the full duration of the time you set, then you should be good to go.
Sprinklers Don’t Turn Off
If your sprinklers turn on but then refuse to turn off again, then you more than likely have an issue with your setup. Usually this is because of a simple error with the turn-on and turn-off times. For example if you tell your sprinklers you want them to turn on at 5am and turn off at 5:10am, check to make sure that the shut off time is set for 5:10 AM and not 5:10 PM. You’d be surprised how easy of a mistake this is to make, particularly with some timers.
If your settings are all configured properly, then the issue you’re having may not be with your timer, but with a control valve itself. Old valves can get stuck in the open position, and even though the signal has turned off, the valve will continue allowing water to flow through.
If your timer is giving you issues, the Idaho Falls home service experts at Advanced Home Services can help! Give us a call at (208) 269-9556 today to schedule your appointment.