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Tip: Repair or Maintain Sprinkler Systems

Common sprinkler problems: The automatic timer has a clock that controls when and how long to water an area of your yard. And just like most other clocks in your house, it runs off of electricity. If you are having trouble with your timer, check to see if it’s plugged in or if the circuit is getting power. If the clock still doesn’t work, it may have an internal electrical problem that needs professional help.

Your sprinkler system has several interconnected pipes both above and below ground. In most parts of the country, these pipes can freeze and burst if the temperature gets cold enough. Many sprinkler systems are designed so you can drain (or blow out) all the water from the pipes. They may also have a shut-off switch to keep the system from activating during the winter. Consult your system manual to see how to re-activate your system for the spring.

If you have no water in one sprinkler head and all the other sprinklers in the area are spraying water, then something is blocking the sprinkler. If it’s a “pop-up” head, check to see if sand or dirt is keeping the head from popping up and activating. You might also have a leak underground. Look around the problem head and see if water is leaking from the tube feeding the sprinkler.

An area of sprinklers is called a “zone.” If a zone isn’t activating, first check the automatic timer. Perhaps it’s not programmed to activate the zone. If that checks out, then the problem may be with the delivery box that directs water to various zones. Consult with a water sprinkler service professional to fix the problem.

If water is running continuously, first check the automatic timer to see if it’s programmed to do that. If not, then you may have a serious problem. Consult your sprinkler manual to find out how to manually turn off your system. Then call a sprinkler service professional to fix the problem.

Most sprinkler heads are adjustable, and over time they may get knocked off their intended target. Usually, this is a quick fix for any homeowner. Check with your sprinkler manual to find out how to adjust the head properly. When it starts getting cold, it’s time to winterize your system. This often involves draining or blowing out all the water from the pipes and shutting off the timer so it can’t accidentally activate during the winter. Many system installers provide winterizing services at reasonable prices. And some systems are designed so you can easily winterize it yourself. Consult your system manual to see what option works best.

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