How to Troubleshoot Water Sprinkler Valves


Sprinkler valves are an essential part of any automated irrigation system. They provide control of water pressure to any given watering zone in the system from an electronic control unit that can be programmed to open or close the valves. Sprinkler valves are relatively trouble free and should last for many years. However, if a problem occurs, some simple troubleshooting steps can help get the valve functioning properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Philips screwdriver

Water will not shut off

  • Check the control unit to see if the shut-off time is properly set. Reprogram the control unit, if necessary.

  • Ensure that the valve is not set manually to the "on" position. Resolve this by tightening the solenoid and the bleed screw.

  • Check the diaphragm to see if it is blocked by unscrewing the bonnet screws and removing the bonnet, the cap that covers the diaphragm. Clean the filter and replace the diaphragm, if needed.

  • Check the solenoid for wear or damage and clean or replace it, if necessary.

Water leaks through sprinkler when turned off

  • Flush the valve by manually opening the bleed screw to remove any dirt in the diaphragm.

  • Check the solenoid to see if it is loose and tighten it, if necessary.

  • Remove the solenoid and check the o-ring to see if it is damaged or positioned improperly. Replace the o-ring, if necessary. Clean the solenoid filter and replace the solenoid.

Valve will not turn on electronically

  • Check the control unit to see if it has power. Check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker and replace the fuse or reset the breaker.

  • Ensure that the control unit is properly programmed to control the valve. Reprogram, as necessary.

  • Check the solenoid in the valve to see if it is functioning properly. Replace the solenoid, if it is malfunctioning. If the solenoid operates properly, check for blockages in the valve and remove them.

  • Ensure that the flow control stem is open.

Low flow through valve

  • Check the water supply to ensure that the pressure is high enough. Increase the water pressure from the source, as necessary.

  • Check to see if the zone has too many sprinkle heads and is unable to maintain proper pressure. Remove some of the sprinkler heads to improve the water pressure.

  • Check the valve flow control stem to see if it is fully opened, and open, if needed.

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