Turning off your sprinkler system for the fall only to discover your system still running might cause sudden distress. You might think that something could be wrong with the whole sprinkler system, and you could be in for an expensive repair! However, that may not be the case.
Here at Mr. Plumber, we know a thing or two about sprinkler systems. Here are few reasons why your sprinkler system may still be running and some do-it-yourself solutions you can try.
Make Sure Your System is Off
Before jumping to any assumptions, you should first locate your sprinkler control panel and make sure the dial is turned to the “off” position. If your sprinkler system is still running, then it is likely a mechanical issue.
Locating the Sprinkler Valve
You’ve likely seen your sprinkler valve box or cover in the past while maintaining your yard. If you haven’t found the valve box, it can usually be found near the road or by your water meter.
Once located, you might discover that the lid is covered with overgrown grass or debris, making it difficult to remove the lid. In this case, you might need a shovel to dig around the lid to remove it properly. Once uncovered, you should find a sprinkler valve. Depending on how big your system is, you may have more than one valve.
Check the Sprinkler Timer
The sprinkler timer can occasionally be off, causing your system to run despite being turned off. To test this, disconnect one of the valve wires. If this shuts off the sprinkler, then something is wrong with the timer.
Shutting off the Water Supply
Before checking anything else, you’ll need to shut off the water to your sprinkler system to ensure proper and safe repairs. Start by determining if your sprinkler valve is a gate valve or ball valve.
A gate valve is in older sprinkler systems. You can shut it off by locating the faucet-like lever and turning it clockwise. These levers can be tough to turn, so find a pair of gloves to ensure a proper grip.
A ball valve is in newer sprinkler systems. It’s shut off by turning the T-shaped handle clockwise.
Checking the Solenoid
Locate the solenoid on the outside of the valve and check if it’s loose or open. If it is, then this may be the problem. Start by turning the solenoid clockwise back into place. If you notice the solenoid is damaged, then it’ll need to be replaced. You can replace the solenoid yourself by picking up a new one at a local hardware store.
With a new solenoid in hand, take the two wires out of the broken solenoid and unscrew it from the valve body. Screw the new solenoid into place, reattach the wires, and test your system.
Checking the Valve for Debris and Damaged Parts
Debris can be one of the most common reasons why your sprinkler isn’t turning off. In this case, you’ll need to follow the steps below.
- Unscrew the solenoid by turning it counterclockwise and remove the wires.
- Make sure the plunger in the valve can move freely and is clean.
- Unscrew the bonnet screws and remove the diaphragm and spring.
- Clean these parts and make sure they are not damaged. If you notice damage to the diaphragm, then it must be replaced. You can find a replacement diaphragm at a local hardware store.
- Clean out any debris that you might find in the valve body and examine the seal seat for damage.
- Put the parts back in place and test the system.
Contact Mr. Plumber
If you find your system is still running or don’t want to fix it yourself, then it might be time to call the experts. Call Mr. Pumber today, and we’ll fix it.