How to Turn Off the Water to a Sprinkler System

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The way to shut off the water to a sprinkler system varies according to the type of valve that controls the system. There are generally two types of sprinkler system valves: hand operated manual valves and electronically operated automatic valves. Both types of valves are easy to use and, once you learn how they function, you have complete control over your irrigation system’s water supply.

Things You'll Need

  • Rag
  • Sprinkler Valve Key

Manual Operation

Walk the perimeter of the yard to locate the sprinkler system’s shut-off valve. Shut-off valves typically consist of two pipes that protrude from the ground and connect to a cylindrical solenoid. Older valves consist of brass cylinders that stand above the ground or are partially buried. If you cannot locate the shut-off valve around the yard’s perimeter, search the perimeter of the home and outbuildings.

Locate the shut-off handle at top of the valve. Look for a cross-shaped, brass handle on older valves or a straight, plastic handle for newer valves. Turn the handle of a plastic valve counterclockwise to turn off the valve.

Attach a sprinkler valve key to the cross-shaped, brass handle of older valves. Turn the valve key counterclockwise to turn off the valve.

Automatic Operation

Open the cover of the automatic sprinkler control panel.

Turn the control panel's dial until the dial's indicator points at the text that reads “off.”

Read the control panel’s LCD screen to ensure that the sprinkler system is in the off position.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your automatic sprinkler control panel doesn't have a dial, look for an "on/off" button or switch.

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