In ground sprinkler systems are designed to be low maintenance. Most of the time, they’ll operate as they should, with no problem whatsoever. But, like anything else, they are not impervious to damage and disrepair, and over time your sprinkler system may fall victim to issues that require intervention, either by you or by a professional.
Before you call in the pros, however, take the time to examine your sprinkler system yourself. You may find that the problem is a simple one you can solve on your own. Although you should always exercise caution when attempting DIY repairs on your sprinkler system, at the risk of causing further damage, you may be able to avoid a costly repair with a relatively simple fix. Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems that afflict in ground sprinkler systems. These are the details you should check first if you notice a problem with your own system.
Clogged Sprinkler Heads
The fact that sprinkler heads sit underground most of the time makes them prone to clogging by dirt and grass, so if one or more of your heads are failing to engage, check them and ensure they’re clear. You can identify a clogged head by intermittent or weak water flow—this is a sign that the water is having trouble bypassing a blockage in the system. Fortunately, a clog is a very basic problem that you should be able to resolve on your own. If you discover clogging, use a straightened paper clip or other slim metal tool to push the dirt clear of the hole. You may also need to remove the head from the system and flush it with running water after you’ve finished cleaning it with your wire to ensure that it’s fully unclogged.
Always make sure you disengage the system before removing a sprinkler head. Remember that if the water should come on when a sprinkler head is removed, your yard is likely to flood, which will cause a whole new set of problems for you.
Broken Sprinkler Heads
If your sprinkler heads fail to pop up altogether, they are likely damaged or broken. This problem often occurs due to damage caused by mowers or edging tools when they run over or clip against the sprinkler heads as you are tending to your grass. Once again, the problem of a broken sprinkler head is an easy one to fix. Again, simply remove the damaged head, making sure to disengage your sprinkler system before doing so. Then you can replace it with a new sprinkler head. These can be purchased at a reasonable price at most hardware stores. It’s a good idea to take the old sprinkler head with you to the hardware store while shopping to ensure that the replacement you purchase is a correct match. Many sprinkler heads do look similar, so even if you think you know what yours looks like, you might accidentally make extra work for yourself by purchasing the incorrect one. It’s best to save yourself an extra trip.
A stuck sprinkler valve is easy to spot—the sprinkler head will continue to emit water after it should have shut off. This is usually caused by a chunk of debris blocking the valve from closing properly. There are two valves in your sprinkler system, and you’ll want to check them both. Start by turning off the water. Then locate the valve—it looks like a thin cylinder—and turn it to the left to release it. Remove the spring and flexible diaphragm, give each a good cleaning, and reassemble the valve carefully. Make sure you remember how it looks as you’re taking it apart so you can put it together correctly and not cause further damage.
If you’ve examined these three common problems and found that none of them are the issue—or if one of the above problems is your issue, but you aren’t able to solve it on your own—call in the Denver sprinkler repair professionals. They have the experience and know how to deal with not only these problems, but many more complex lawn sprinkler issues. Your lawn will be green and immaculate again in no time!