Why Won't My Sprinkler System Turn Off?

Why Won’t My Sprinkler System Turn Off?

As the fall season approaches, discovering that your sprinkler system won’t turn off can be alarming. Not only do you potentially have to pay for wasted water, but there might be underlying issues with your sprinkler system that need to be addressed. Here at Terry’s Plumbing 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’s likely a mechanical issue.

Check your Sprinkler Valves

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 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’ll be able to examine the valve(s) and determine if they need repaired or replaced.

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.

Checking the Solenoid

Locate the solenoid on the outside of the valve(s) 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 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.

  1. Unscrew the solenoid by turning it counterclockwise and remove the wires.
  2. Make sure the plunger in the valve can move freely and is clean.
  3. Unscrew the bonnet screws and remove the diaphragm and spring.
  4. 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.
  5. Clean out any debris that you might find in the valve body and examine the seal seat for damage.
  6. Put the parts back in place and test the system.

Contact a Pro

If you find your system is still running after your DIY attempts or you don’t want to fix it yourself, then it might be time to call the experts. If you are in the market for sprinkler system maintenance, give Terry’s Plumbing a call today!