Throughout the year, I get a lot of maintenance calls. There are many components to a lawn sprinkler system, with many more problems that can occur and cause the system not to work properly. One of the most common calls I get in my office is that the lawn sprinkler system just will not stop running. A zone is staying on no matter what you do.
Now, there is no straight cookie cutter answer to all situations, but lucky for you, there are a few common ones that cover most of the problems. First, it must be determined if the problem is electrical or mechanical. To determine this, go to your main power supply to the lawn sprinkler system and turn off the breaker or at the very least unplug the controller from the outlet. If the sprinkler system shuts down, we may assume it is an electrical problem. If the system is still running, the problem is mechanical.
The most common mechanical problem is a zone valve has stuck open on a pressurized system. Once it has been determined that it is indeed a valve problem, you will need to shut down the main supply of water to the lawn sprinkler and replace the valve on the zone which is having the issue. You may be able to locate a valve repair kit which has a diaphragm (this is usually difficult unless you exactly which valve you have.)
Most electric valves have screws or bolts that can be easily removed. Once these are loosened or removed, the top of the valve may be lifted off and the diaphragm removed. If this is an older valve or a generic valve (from a Lowe’s, Home Depot or other home improvement store), you may need to dig a pit or a large hole, cut the PVC pipe and replace the entire valve. Once you have replaced the valve, turn system back on and check for leaks before reburying the valve.
As always, good luck, happy watering. If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office.