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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

 

 

11 Feb 2022

Troubleshoot Automatic Valves

How do I know if my sprinkler valve is bad?

Skip the headache, contact Sprinkler Master today!

Click to Find Sprinkler Master near you

 

 

Sprinkler systems may seem a little complicated at first. There's wires, and pipes, and they can all seem like they're tangled together like spaghetti. It's hard to make sense of it, sometimes.

 

When an issue comes up in your sprinkler system, it can be difficult to diagnose and find the problem. If you think you might have a problem with a sprinkler valve, we'll go over:

 

  • What and where is a sprinkler valve
  • How to diagnose a sprinkler valve
  • How to fix a valve

 

What is an Automatic Sprinkler Valve?

Sprinkler valves are usually found in the sprinkler manifolds in your system. These are most often found in the green boxes buried around your yard. Inside these boxes, you'll see an array of pipes and fittings with little black valves. On those black valves, you should see a cylinder rising out of the top of each valve, and wires running out of the cylinder. This black valve with the black cylinder is the electrically automated sprinkler valve. Complicated as they may seem, it's usually not hard to find -and fix- the problem.

 

Diagnosing the Problem:

 

There can be a few giveaways that a problem is almost certainly your sprinkler valve. This includes:

  • Sprinkler Zone not turning on consistently
  • Sprinkler Zone not turning off
  • Water leaking through sprinklers after zone is off
  • Sprinkler not turning on at all

If you look in the valve box, there's a few things you can look for to easily find a few problems.

 

Inspect the Sprinkler Valve

 

First, look for any leaks. If there's water in the valve box, particularly if the sprinkler zone hasn't been run in a while, this could mean either there's a crack in the sprinkler valve, or in the pipes immediately around the valves. Try turning off your main water shut-off valve for the sprinkler system, and let the box drain out. When the box is mostly drained, inspect each sprinkler valve and all the pipes. Look for cracks or punctures in all the plastics. Carefully make sure that all of the fittings are tightly secured as well, as these can loosen and leak water, causing pressure issues. While you're here, make sure the bleeder screw, pictured below, is tightened all the way.

 

If you haven't found any visible cracks or leaks, try turning the water back on, and going back to the box. Listen and watch for water drops. If you can see any water dripping out of a pipe, make note of where, and turn off the system again to make repairs.

 

Finding problems by Actuating the Valve

 

If you still haven't found any issues, we'll move on to actuating the valve itself. This is a good time to grab someone to help, if you haven't already.

First, take the flow control, that's the screw in the picture below (not all valves have this, so if yours doesn't, skip this step). All you're going to do is tighten this all the way clockwise, then loosen it all the way counterclockwise. Repeat this a few times.  This can help work dirt and debris loose from the diaphragm inside. When you've loosened and tightened fully, loosen it all the way counterclockwise and we'll move on to the next step.

 

Now, put your hand on the solenoid. That's the black cylinder poking out of the top. Rotate this about a quarter turn counterclockwise. This should activate the sprinkler valve, and allow water to pass through freely. If it does, tighten the solenoid again. This should turn off the sprinkler zone again. Put your hand on the valve, and listen. If you feel or hear water trickling through the valve when the solenoid is screwed all the way in, and the bleeder screw is tightened all the way, it might be time to rebuild or replace the automatic valve.

 

If the sprinkler has worked perfectly through the tests thus far, it's likely an issue with a sprinkler timer or wiring. These tests should have found a problem with your automatic valve, if there was one. You can still proceed to the repair section of this article to clean the valve, but the valve itself is probably not the issue.

 

If you're not sure what the issue is, call Sprinkler Master. We're happy to find and fix any problem with any sprinkler system!

 

Repairing and Cleaning an Automatic Sprinkler Valve

 

Sprinkler valves are often way less complicated than people think, and they're actually quite easy to repair.

To repair a valve, we need to start with disassembly of the valve. These are pretty simple steps, but it's crucial to keep all the parts clean and organized. As you remove pieces from the sprinkler valve, clean each piece, and keep them in a clean place while you finish cleaning and reassembling the valve. Be careful to remember exactly where each piece of the valve goes.

Here are the steps to disassemble a sprinkler valve. There is a gallery of images below for reference. Clean each part with water until visibly clean and to the touch.

  1. Remove the Sprinkler solenoid (Not necessary to clean this part, unless there is a large amount of debris on it.)
  2. Take the screws out of the top of the housing
  3. Carefully pry the top of the housing away
  4. Remove the spring from the sprinkler diaphragm
  5. Carefully remove the rubber diaphragm from the housing
  6. Clean each part, especially the surfaces between the diaphragm and the housing
  7. Reassemble

 

If any parts are damaged, you can buy most individual parts online (such as at Sprinkler Warehouse) or at your local wholesale sprinkler parts company.

 

Test the valve the same way as before, and hopefully your problem is fixed!

 

Still got sprinkler issues? We can help! Contact Sprinkler Master today!