Avoid Wasting Water by Monitoring These Five Key Parts the Sprinkler System

Avoid Wasting Water

Automatic lawn and landscape irrigation systems add convenience and value to a home. Considering that as much as half a household’s water consumption can be for landscaping, ensuring the system is operating properly can provide long-term savings.

Most problems occur when a domestic or campus irrigation system is damaged, or parts wear out. Turf magazine says even just one component such as a broken sprinkler head or damaged pipe can degrade the performance of the system and greatly increase water use.

Among the problems that can affect an irrigation system, there are five most common issues.


Installed irrigation systems add appeal to the landscape because nearly all of its components are hidden from view. However, an underground piping system is susceptible to damage from construction work. Subsurface pipes can also be affected by freezing temperatures so seasonal maintenance services such as Sprinkler Blowout Denver can help prevent damage that won’t be apparent until the spring.

Rotor Heads

The gear drives and seals on rotor sprinkler heads can be expected to last three to six years under normal service. Rotor heads that fail to retract can be damaged during lawn mowing.


Spray nozzles are key to determining how much water is applied in a given area. Debris or dirty water can clog nozzles decreasing their ability to supply the proper volume of water.


Valves that open and close when needed allow irrigation controllers to water by zone and maintain pressure across the system. When valves do not turn on or off, the entire system can be affected, and water consumption rises. Faulty valves can be caused by debris in the water, damaged diaphragms, an electrical problem or solenoid malfunction.

Wiring and Controls

Irrigation controllers that are improperly programed by homeowners are a common cause for systems not operating according to an installation plan. Other problems can be due to an electrical short or voltage drop, damaged rain sensor or water supply shut-off.

Buried wires connecting the control box and various solenoids and valves are often not encased in conduit and exposed to the elements. Damage can come from excavation or burrowing animals. Most irrigation wires should carry between 24 and 28 volts for solenoids to operate and the solenoids themselves can fail. Wiring breaks and shorts as well as failed solenoids can be detected using an ohms meter.

Homeowners with newly installed irrigation systems can sometimes overlook the importance of regular seasonal maintenance and timely repair.


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