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8 Common Sprinkler System Problems (& What to Do About Them)


Want to impress your friends and neighbors with your sprinkler system repair knowledge, even if you don’t know squat about sprinkler systems?

Nod wisely and say, “I bet it’s a broken sprinkler head.”

You know what? It probably is.

Sure, there could be other sprinkler system problems.

Maybe your sprinkler system has low pressure. Maybe there are sprinkler backflow problems.

But chances are, if you have a broken sprinkler system, there’s a broken head.

Here’s a look at the top five sprinkler system problems we see. You’ll notice a trend here:

  1. A sprinkler head not rotating
  2. A sprinkler head leaking
  3. A sprinkler head mowed off by a lawnmower
  4. A sprinkler head out of adjustment: too high, too low, crooked, angled wrong
  5. Sprinkler nozzles clogged with debris

Broken Sprinkler System: Now What?

Diagnosing sprinkler system problems can be tricky. One issue could be the result of a number of problems.

Luckily, fixing those top five sprinkler system problems is pretty easy. Sprinkler heads can be cleaned out, readjusted, or replaced.
irrigation technician tests sprinkler headsIt’s an important repair. When sprinkler heads are broken, they’re not hitting all areas of your lawn. Or they might be spraying areas they shouldn’t, like your sidewalks, driveway, or the side of your house.

If heads have settled too low into the ground, they spray into the grass and not up over it.

And clogged sprinkler nozzles aren’t doing much of anything.

It all adds up to a brown and dying lawn. And a sad and frustrated you.

Beyond the Top 5 Sprinkler System Problems

So, let’s get crazy and say it isn’t a broken sprinkler head. Let’s pick back up here with number six:

6. Your Lawn Sprinkler Doesn’t Have Enough Pressure

If that’s the case, water will stream out of the sprinkler instead of forming a spray. If it’s too high, you’ll see mist instead of a nice steady spray.

irrigation technician repairs system Any number of issues could be to blame here, from intruding tree roots to a hole in the pipe

7. A Lawn Sprinkler Zone Isn’t Working

Each of your zones should turn on and off and run properly, to make sure every area of your lawn gets the right amount of water.irrigation technician adjust sprinklers

But things happen, when you don’t even realize it:

  • Lightning may have zapped your system.
  • There may be a leak.
  • An animal might have chewed through the pipe.

If one sprinkler zone isn’t working, that area of your grass will turn brown and may die.

8. Is Your Sprinkler System Leaking? Or Is It Just Controller Issues?

Think you have a leak because you’re using more water than you think you should be?

Read Our Guide to Irrigation Installation & Maintenance
Maybe it’s just your controller, set to turn on too many times. If it isn’t set correctly, your sprinklers might be watering your landscaping too much or too little.

irrigation professional adjusts sprinkler system controllerMake sure it’s set for the right season, too. It might be set to water more often than your property needs for this time of year.

Sprinkler System Problems: Catch ‘Em Early

If you’re not sure if you have any of these sprinkler system problems, don’t feel bad. You have stuff to do.

There’s usually a good game on TV. Baking the best chocolate chip cookies takes time. Oh, and there’s work and laundry and somebody has to make food.

Most homeowners don’t look too closely at their sprinkler systems, so they don’t see the little issues, the warning signs that turn into big sprinkler system problems later.

So, by the time their system needs repair, it’s an emergency. The grass is getting brown. Those expensive plants are dying.

irrigation professional works with client to program sprinkler systemYou have better things to do than keep constant watch for sprinkler system problems.

Invest in a sprinkler system maintenance plan and you’ll have peace of mind that a skilled irrigation specialist will discover issues like those broken sprinkler heads, and fix them before your precious lawn suffers.

In addition to catching sprinkler system problems early and keeping things running smoothly, professional irrigation specialists offer great advice for saving water and money.

irrigation van with sprinklers watering grass
They’ll let you know if you’re watering too much, or too little, and keep you posted on updates that can help your system run more efficiently.

Ignore lawn sprinkler system maintenance and you could face repairs far more expensive than the cost to pay for maintenance.

Sprinkler System Problems? Trust RainMaster

Now you know what’s probably wrong with your sprinkler system.

How about preventing these problems in the first place?

It’s in your hands.

Choose from our three irrigation maintenance programs to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Ready to make your lawn life easier? Request a quote today! We’ll review your options together so you can make a confident decision. Then, you can finally enjoy your well-watered lawn and stop worrying about it.

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Topics: Irrigation

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