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16 Jun 2022

Sprinkler Timer


What Are Sprinkler Timers?

Sprinkler Timers (sometimes called controllers) are devices that are used to control sprinkler systems. THey control when and how often individual sprinkler zones in a sprinkler system should come on. Older timers are electronic, and can have complicated push-button interfaces. Newer "Smart" timers can be controlled via a smartphone using a Wifi connection or Bluetooth. Some of these newer timers, such as the B-Hyve from Orbit do not have a user interface on the unit itself, and require a device such as a phone or tablet in order for a user to interface with the timer.

Most timers operate using off-the-wall power as an input (120v in the U.S.A.). The signal sent out is usually an alternating current (A.C.) 24v signal. This signal opens up the solenoid on the other end of the wires.

Different Types of Sprinkler Timers

Most brands of sprinklers also manufacture and sell sprinkler timers. The timers that are most common right now are older electronic timers with button interfaces.

dumb sprinkler timer

As well as smart timers, with phone and device interfaces. These two types of timers make up the vast majority of sprinkler timers in systems. Sometimes, there can be older, more mechanical control boxes that have to be activated manually by hand in order to turn a zone on or off. But nowadays these are quite rare to come across, and should be upgraded to an electrical system for ease of use and maintenance.

smart timer

How to Program Sprinkler Timers

Sprinkler timers vary widely in how programming should be done. In short, you should consult your owner's manual to learn how to program your specific timer. In many areas, there is also a mandatory water restriction in place due to drought. Utah, for example, follows the Slow the Flow initaitive. Most of the time, local watering guidance and restrictions should give you a fairly good idea of how often and how much you should water your lawns.

The amount you water your plants and lawn also depends on a few factors, such as soil type, slope of your landscaping, shade, percentage of rainfall that reaches the area, and a few others. That is one of the biggest advantages to having a system with a smart timer, as they automatically calculate how often you should water, and tell you those recommendations. If you don't have a smart timer in your system, we recommend calling your local experts to help you upgrade to a smart timer. These smart timers will also automatically do a rain delay, further increasing your water efficiency and grass watering, all without any input from you.

If you're still using an older button or dial interfaced timer, programming your systems to run on an A/B cycle will help keep things separate. Make sure to monitor how green your grass is staying, and watch for excess runoff coming off your lawn. Ultimately you can change your watering to perfectly match your lawn's needs.

On older timers that don't have a "smart water" system, make sure you do a rain delay as well. This helps prevent overwatering, and should be done every time there's rain in the foreccast, and in some cases even when there is just high humidity.

Still need help with your sprinkler system? Find your nearest Sprinkler Master to come and help!

16 Jun 2022

Repair PVC Pipe

What is PVC Pipe?


PVC pipe is the hard thick white plastic pipe used to carry water throughout a sprinkler system. Make sure you know what size PVC pipe you’re repairing. The most common size is either 1 inch or ¾ inches for sprinkler systems, but can often be as small as a half inch or as large as and and a half inches. 


Problems with PVC:


PVC is stiff, and brittle. It holds pressure in the system, so if you notice a particularly wet spot in your lawn or a random loss of pressure in a certain zone, you probably have a leak in a PVC line. The best way to find a broken pipe is to look in your yard for green spots that don’t have a sprinkler head right there. 


How to Repair PVC:


Parts used in PVC repair:

To repair a damaged PVC pipe, repairs can be made with PVC extensions in tight areas that are difficult to reach around, or a PVC union if there isn’t enough room for a PVC extension or slip fix. PVC unions are usually harder to use, because they have to have the perfect amount of space in the pipe in order for both parts of the union to match up and screw together properly. 


Remove the broken section

To repair the damaged sprinkler pipe, if it’s punctured or cracked, dig down to the pipe, and dig more than enough room around the entire pipe, on top, on bottom, and on both sides. You need enough room to move around. Once you’ve dug out enough room, make sure you take good sharp pipe cutters, and cut a straight, clean new edge onto the pipe on both ends. Take a clean rag or cloth and clean and dry the inside and outside of the pipe on the new cut. This will allow the glue to create a much more solid and clean seal and reduce chances of leakage. 


Repairing the PVC Pipe

Now that you’ve cut out the damaged part of the PVC pipe, it’s time to fix the pipe. Take the dry, clean sides of the pipe that you’re patching, and put on PVC primer to clean the pipe even more and help bond the glue to the pipe. After priming both the fitting AND the pipe, you will need to apply PVC glue to the fitting and the pipe as well. Follow the directions on the primer and glue bottles as far as usage goes. Make sure you give your pipe and fittings enough time to cure before testing, and make sure you test before you bury the new fix.



To learn more about sprinkler repair and the services Sprinkler Master offers, visit our homepage or contact us! 

20 Apr 2022

How To Make a Lawn Green

How to help your lawn stay green

Keeping lawns green can be a struggle, no matter what part of the country you're in. And it can be hard to find reliable ways of helping your lawn. But Sprinkler Master is here to help! We have years of experience working with sprinklers and lawns, and we've learned some things about sprinkler systems and how they work with lawns.

We have branches in many states, and have done research and looked at studies to discover the best way to keep your lawn green.

Believe it or not, watering your lawn less can actually help your grass stay greener, longer. Watering the top of your lawn less encourages your grass to grow roots deeper into the soil, creating more resiliant grass. This helps the grass become much more efficient at making use of the water that it's given, and when you water properly, the moisture will saok into the soil deeper, where it's less likely to evaporate before the grass can soak it up.

To learn more about how to keep your lawn green throughout the year, click HERE or call your local Sprinkler Master to get help with your sprinklers!

15 Feb 2022

Repair Sprinkler Funny/Swing Pipe

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or Find a Sprinkler Master Location near you

What is Funny Pipe?


Funny pipe, or swing pipe, is a small flexible pipe that's used to allow flexibility with installing sprinkler heads and other small parts of a sprinkler system. using funny pipe off of a lateral line allows you to have flexibility to ensure that your sprinkler heads are sitting level and at the right height in the ground.




Funny pipe is connected using a spiral barb fitting. The typical connection for a funny pipe is a spiral barb fitting on one end with a threaded end for a sprinkler head or the PVC connection. The spiral barb fittings are very tight, and simply press onto the pipe. The barb end is tight enough that it shouldn't leak or slip off. No hose clamps on spiral barb fittings are needed, though you should still use pipe thread seal tape on the threaded ends.   To connect a fitting to the pipe, take the fitting. Press the fitting directly into the end of the pipe as far as you can. Twist and press the fitting into the end of the pipe until no more barbs are visible. No hose clamps are needed.


Causes and Finding Problems


If you think you need to repair a section of the funny pipe, you can usually find a wet spot in the ground where the water has leaked from the pipe and caused the dirt to become water saturated and muddy. If the pipe is exposed,, it's usually easy to see a leak coming from the pipe when the system is pressurized.   Funny pipe can be easily cut or punctured by shovels or sharp objects, and the pipe can crimp on itself and cut off water flow when bent too far. If you have a problem with a section of your funny pipe,, it's best to replace that entire section of funny pipe rather than try to patch it. This means removing or replacing the fittings from the broken funny pipe, cutting another section of funny pipe, reinstalling the fittings, and finally replacing the funny pipe where it was before, and burying it again.


Where is Funny Pipe Used?


Funny pipe is used to connect sprinkler heads to lateral lines, and generally shouldn't be run longer than 1 or 2 feet. So make sure your system is using PVC or Poly pipe for longer Pipe runs.


Click Here to contact Sprinkler Master!


If you want professional help with sprinkler repair, see if we're in your area! Or, learn more about sprinkler repair by visiting our YouTube Channel!

14 Feb 2022

Sprinkler Head Won’t Pop Up



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What to do if a Sprinkler Head Doesn't Come Up


Check for Debris


If you have a sprinkler head that won’t pop up, there might be something you can do to quickly remedy the problem. Some common problems are a leak in the sprinkler pipe, a clogged sprinkler head, dirt in

the body, a cracked sprinkler, or even just grass growing over the sprinkler head too far.

To start off, make sure there’s no grass or dirt covering the sprinkler head. Remove grass from the sprinkler head, and turn on the water to the zone with the problematic sprinkler head. Press the sprinkler 

head down while water is on, and  wiggle it around a bit to see if you can break it free from any debris. It might help to try to grab the head with your hands and pul it up as well. This helps break any debris from the sprinkler and it should get washed out by the water pressure.

If that doesn’t fix it, check the nozzle of the sprinkler head. If there’s any debris that you can obviously see, try to gently pry it out.


Check for a Broken Sprinkler

It’s also very common to have a broken sprinkler head. They’re pretty easy to find as well. Look for cracks in the housings, or heads, or plastic pieces around the sprinkler head. If a sprinkler head is broken, they usually have to just be replaced. We have a video linked in the description that goes over how to easily replace a broken sprinkler head.



Check for Low Pressure

If these haven’t solved your issue, it’s probably low water pressure. The easiest fix for this is to make sure that all of the valves and flow controls are completely open. If only 1 zone has low pressure, check the flow control on the automatic valve. 

Low pressure on a zone or a specific sprinkler head could also be a leak in the water line. The easiest way to see if it's a leak and to find where the leak is, look for a place in your lawn or yard that’s wet and muddy or lower than the rest of the ground around it. Random wet or green spots in your yard could definitely be the spot where a leak is. 


Repair the PVC Line

Repairing a leak can be a lot more complicated, and we recommend calling professionals to repair sprinkler lines. If you want to see if Sprinkler Master offers services in your area, visit sprinklermaster.repair, or the link right here. If you’re in an area where we are, we’d be happy to come help you repair a sprinkler line.

If you want to try to replace the sprinkler line, you do it at your own risk. Contractors that are insured are the much safer option. We’re not responsible for any damages you cause to your home by trying to repair or dig out a sprinkler line. But if you’d like to learn how to repair a PVC or Funny pipe line, CLICK HERE to find videos that can help. 


Water Source

If none of these work, it might just be a problem with the water coming into your home. If it’s been a long-term problem, you might have to resort to using low pressure sprinkler heads, or splitting your sprinkler zones. Again, we highly recommend using a professional to install a pump for you. 


If the issue is relatively new and isn’t caused by new construction of homes in the town or additions or changes you’ve made to your sprinkler system, it’s possible that your pressure vacuum breaker needs to be repaired or replaced, or a main line isn’t on all the way. If it’s only one zone in your system that’s got low pressure, double check the automatic valve’s flow control is completely open, and look closely for signs of a pipe leak somewhere on that zone. Another possibility is a tree root may be squeezing one of your pipes, reducing water flow. If you know of a sprinkler pipe running by a tree, you may have to dig up the pipe around the tree and cut and splice a new piece of pipe away from the tree roots.


Get the Sprinkler Masters on the Job

If you want professional, licensed and insured help with your sprinkler system, Click Here to find out if Sprinkler Master offers services near you. If you need advice or help on something, comment below. We’d be happy to respond, or even make a video to help you with your problem with your sprinklers.

Sprinkler Head Work