10 Commonly Asked Questions About Sprinkler Systems

Posted by Joe Mouad on Dec 4, 2020 11:40:30 AM

Sprinkler systems are mysterious contraptions.

On one hand, it seems simple: turn it on, it sprays water.

But there’s a lot going on, from your controller (which can be confusing enough on its own) to parts underground you can’t even see. Chances are, if you have a sprinkler system at your home, you’re going to ask a question about it at some point.

Allow us to answers these common irrigation system questions.

1. Why Isn’t My Sprinkler System Starting?

If your sprinkler system isn't starting, you can probably blame it on a weird little part you've likely never heard of — the solenoid.

What’s a solenoid? Every sprinkler valve has one — a coil component that uses electrical signals from the irrigation controller to open and close each valve, letting water move through the system.

If a valve is worn out or damaged in one zone, or a solenoid is bad, that zone won’t turn on.

Sometimes the solenoid wires and connections corrode or come loose. The diaphragm can also break or stick shut, not allowing water to get past the valve.

That can prevent your system from turning on.

2. Why Won’t My Sprinkler System Turn Off?

A broken valve is usually the culprit here. If your irrigation system isn't turning off, the diaphragm in the valve could be sticking or broken.

Also, that solenoid could be putting out constant power to the valve, or the timer has malfunctioned and is putting out constant power to the valve.Irrigation system watering grass

3. Why Does My Sprinkler System Run Twice?

Check all the run times. Irrigation system controllers are tricky. It might be programmed to run more than once.

4. Why Does My Sprinkler System Keep Running?

A common reason for a controller to repeat a cycle is too many programmed start times. Only one start time per active program is required. A second start time will cycle the program an additional time.

A solenoid valve can also be stuck open if the same zone continues to run even after you’ve shut the system off.

Choose the Right Irrigation Company With This Helpful Guide

5. Why Is My Sprinkler System Leaking?

Another common sprinkler system question, why is it leaking? If your irrigation system is leaking water, you might have a cracked line, a worn-out valve diaphragm, or a broken irrigation head.

An irrigation tech can inspect your line and diagnose the problem.

6. How Long Should My Sprinkler System Run?

Here at Ground Source in Central Florida, we recommend 3/4 inch of water per zone, both for your lawn and your planting beds. (If your beds are planted with drought-tolerant plants, they’ll need less water than the rest of your yard.)

How long does it take to deliver 3/4 inch of water? It depends on the type of irrigation head. You could stand out in the middle of your yard with a cup and a ruler. Better yet, follow our rule of thumb, which applies for irrigation systems with head to head coverage:

  • Spray heads: 30 minutes
  • Rotors: 50-60 minutes
  • MP rotors: 1-2 hours
  • Drip irrigation: 1.5 to 2 hours

Sprinkler head

7. Should I Winterize My Sprinkler System?

If you’ve moved here to Florida from a northern state, you’re used to winterizing your sprinkler system. It’s crucial to blow every bit of water out of those lines so it doesn’t freeze and damage your system.

But here in Florida you don't need to winterize your irrigation system.

8. When Should I Turn My Sprinkler System On?

Run your irrigation system between midnight and 4 a.m. for established landscapes and lawns.

That’s when your lawn and landscaping can best absorb the water, and it will saturate well.

If you wait until the sun is shining, much of that precious water will evaporate, and be wasted. You’ll basically be watering the air.

9. Do I Really Need Regular Irrigation Inspections?

Yes, you should get your sprinkler system inspected regularly. If you set up an irrigation maintenance program to stay ahead of repairs, you’ll save yourself from asking a lot of these questions as well as prevent higher water bills and dead landscapes.

Schedule regular irrigation inspections and technicians can often spot the little issues that can lead to bigger problems later, from cracked lines and leaky valves to clogged nozzles or broken spray heads.

It doesn’t take long for a healthy green lawn or landscape to turn brown and die without enough water.

10. Who Should I Trust with My Sprinkler System? 

OK, this is an easy one. Ground Source provides irrigation services in Central Florida.

Your sprinkler system isn’t working? Or running twice? Or not turning off?

We know how frustrating and stressful that can be.

Before you lose sleep over risking your healthy lawn and garden, give us a call. Trust our skilled technicians to quickly diagnose the problem and get your sprinkler system back up and running.

We’re irrigation experts, but our skills don’t stop there. We’re with you every step of the way as you plan your perfect outdoor space.

Sod, irrigation, landscape design: Let us transform your yard from an embarrassing eyesore to a place you spend every spare minute.

Are you ready to enjoy the vibrant, impressive yard you've always wanted? Request a quote today! We’ll help you review your options and then transform your property.

Read The Essential Guide to Hiring the Right Irrigation Company

Request a Quote