Lawn Sprinkler Repair: The Best Comprehensive Guide

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Imagine that it’s a another glorious New Jersey morning in July. You rise early, dress and enjoy a cup of coffee while reading the Star-Ledger. Then you grab your sticks and your spikes and head out for the day. The mercury is supposed to hit 87. The sun will be hot and you’re going to get in a quick round before it gets too uncomfortable and hot.

Then you walk out the front door… and your sprinkler system isn’t on.

Looks like you’ll be canceling that tee time.

What’s Wrong?

Lawn sprinkler systems are complex. They’re built with dozens of parts and components, all working in unison to keep your thirsty lawn well-hydrated and healthy. At their best, they free you from the annoying summer shackles of constantly planning your day around the need to move hoses and sprinklers. At their less-than-best, something breaks or malfunctions, and you now need to invest time and energy in lawn sprinkler repair in order to maintain your sanity–and your yard.

There are a lot of things that can and sometimes do cause people to need to address lawn sprinkler repair issues. The most common issues include:

  • Systems not turning on
  • Rain sensors not working
  • Parts of the lawn not being watered
  • Low water pressure
  • Sprinkler heads not working.

Each of these issues can arise at any moment. And when they do, you’ve got to delve into lawn sprinkler repair mode, find out what’s causing it and figure out how to best fix it.

What’s Causing the Issues?

Because irrigation systems are so complex, diagnosing the source of a problem can be tricky and time-consuming. You’ll need to have a clear understanding of how your system is built and how each part and component works with the next. For example:

  • If your system isn’t turning on, it could be a water-supply problem, the cause could be related to your timer, your control box or reduced water supply.
  • If your rain sensor is not working, this could be related to a lack of electricity–due to a blown fuse or an improperly plugged in sensor.
  • If parts of the lawn are not being watered (or parts are being over-watered), you could have broken, damaged or malfunctioning sprinkler heads. You might also have valves that need to be repaired or replaced.
  • If you have low water pressure, you might be dealing with broken or damaged valves. You might also have a leak somewhere in the system.
  • If your sprinkler heads are not working, this could be as simple as having dirt blocking the heads, or it could be as complicated as low (or no) voltage in a specific zone.

Identifying the source of the issue is the first step towards engaging in full-on lawn sprinkler repair efforts. The challenge for homeowners is to diagnose the issue with precision. Once that’s been done successfully, there are three options: Let your lawn wither in the hot New Jersey summer sun, fix the problem yourself or hire a trained professional to fix the issue.

Should You Do it Yourself?

If you watch a lot of Home and Garden Television, you might believe that lawn sprinkler repair is relatively easy. After all, they network has featured many homeowners who have rolled up their sleeves, broken out a shovel and fixed their own lawn sprinklers. And the internet provides a lot of information, videos and step-by-step guides to help homeowners.

But it’s never that simple.

The homeowners you don’t see on HGTV are the ones who wind up frustrated, confused and with a lawn that boasts a golden hue of dryness because, after days (or weeks) of trying the do-it-yourself approach to lawn sprinkler repair, they’ve given up.

Eventually, a lot of homeowners who try to fix their own irrigation systems end up calling a trained professional. Most admit that if they could do it over again, they’d call a professional right away.

A professional can:

  • Quickly and accurately identify the source of the problem
  • Fix problems as efficiently as possible
  • Use parts and components that are high-quality and installed correctly
  • Warranty their work so that if something goes wrong in the future, you can rest assured that it will be fixed.

In addition, they can take steps to ensure that you don’t face similar issues with your system in the future. They can provide valuable advice about your spring startup and winterization procedures. They can give you tips on how to keep your system functioning properly. And, most importantly, they can get you back out on the golf course much more quickly than most homeowners are able to do themselves.

Photo is courtesy of Hunter Industries.