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How to Fix What Appears to be a Sprinkler Valve Problem


If you find that your sprinklers are giving you trouble, one of the most common areas you’ll find the fault itself is with your sprinkler valves. Your valves are responsible for turning the water in your irrigation system on and off in conjunction with signals set to them from your timing and control box. While your valves are designed to last for years, they aren’t immune from issues. In fact, the majority of the time you can trace the problems in your irrigation system to some sort of an issue with your valve itself.

As a homeowner, being able to quickly diagnose what’s going on with your valves and implement the proper fix is important both for the health of your yard and for control over your utility bills. Here are three of the most common sprinkler valve problems you could have and how to fix each of them.

Broken Sprinkler Head

Sprinkler heads are essentially nozzles through which water sprays onto your lawn or garden, and they’re connected to your valve through your irrigation lines. It’s not uncommon for sprinkler heads to break, and it’s pretty common when collisions happen with a shovel, weed whacker, or lawn mower. Fortunately, repairs are usually simple in this case, just unscrew the old, broken head, and replace it with a new one.

However, a broken sprinkler head could also present problems with your valves, including those which may appear to be reduced water pressure. Many people don’t actually watch their irrigation system function day after day in order to make sure it’s working right, and under-watered spots may often make people think their valve may be stuck or refusing to open all the way. The best way to tell is to check for any spots that may be over-watered, particularly in the same area as the underwatered spots. This usually indicates that the issue isn’t with your sprinkler valve itself, but rather the sprinkler head, and thus replacing the sprinkler head usually fixes the problem.

Stuck Sprinkler Valve

A stuck sprinkler valve can prevent your sprinklers in a particular area from turning on, or from turning off again once they’ve turned on. The majority of the time, this can be attributed to a small rock in the diaphragm of your sprinkler valve. To check this, unscrew the solenoid, allow water to pass through the valve, and then close the solenoid again. If this doesn’t solve the problem, turn off your sprinkler system, disassemble the faulty valve, and look for any small rocks in the diaphragm. Use a small screwdriver to remove them, and then reassemble the valve. Finally, if that doesn’t work, then your valve itself may have simply worn out and need replaced. This is rare, and a pretty big job, so you should trust a professional Idaho Falls sprinkler services company to take care of it for you.

Faulty Valve Wiring

A fault in the wiring leading to your valve may make it look as though you’ve got a problem with your valve when the issue actually lies elsewhere. In fact, many people mistakenly interpret a wiring fault to be a dead or stuck valve that needs replaced. The easiest way to check this is with a multimeter at your control board. If you do receive proper resistance levels over these circuits, then you more than likely have a stuck valve, but if you have no resistance or too much resistance over one particular circuit, then your wiring is actually the problem.

If your sprinklers aren’t working properly, call Advanced Home Services at 208-745-9406 and let our irrigation experts diagnose and repair your yard’s system problems!
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