How to Troubleshoot a Rainbird Sprinkler System

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In-ground sprinkler systems need occasional troubleshooting.

A Rainbird sprinkler system has many different componentsand these individual elements work together to provide lawn irrigation. As the owner of a Rainbird sprinkler system, you need to know how to troubleshoot your lawn sprinkler. It's not a difficult job; you just need to understand what task each component performs, so that if they are not working properly you can troubleshoot them first before having the system serviced by an expensive technician.


Step 1

Turn the water "On" to the irrigation system, and check that it is set to provide enough pressure to operate the sprinklers.

Step 2

Allow the rain sensor to dry out if your watering schedule seems different than normal. If you have had rain, the rain sensor turns the system off until the ground needs irrigation (sprinkling) again.

Step 3

Clean the spray heads and nozzles of any debris. Remove any grass or twigs that may be keeping the heads from spraying properly. Clear the area around the spray heads to allow them to pop up out of the ground whenthey operate and retreat when they're not. If there is something lodged in a spray head, gently clean the head with a soft brush. If you can't remove the object, replace the spray head.


Step 4

Replace the seals around any leaking connections in the water line for the irrigation system. This is simply a matter of opening the fitting, removing the old seal and putting a new one in its place.

Step 5

Examine the valves. Feel for a slight vibration from the solenoid within the valve. Turn off the electricity to the irrigation system. If you didn't feel a vibration, the solenoid isn't working. Replace it. Remove any physical obstructions that may keep the valve piston from operating properly. Change any seals if they are leaking. If the water pressure is set properly and the valve has no blockage, yet it still isn't working, replace the valve.


Step 6

Check all the electrical wiring to the valves to ensure there are no broken or exposed wires.

Step 7

Turn the electricity back on. Set the controller to "On" or "Automatic." Work your way through the programming modules set up on the controller to make sure everything is set correctly. For example, you may have the lawn sprinkler set the work every third day, when you actually want it to operate daily. Ensure the programming has a start time, a run time and the days it is to operate set. Without one of those, the controller won't activate.