How to troubleshoot and repair a sprinkler system zone that won’t stop running

There are two common reasons that a sprinkler zone could appear to not turn off when it’s supposed to.

1. Low head run off.
If low head run off is an issue, water will seem to slowly seep out of the lowest head on the zone after it has turned off. This occurs because the irrigation pipes are full of water and the water will drain out of the pipes if they are on a slope. The water should stop running quickly after the pipes empty out. An easy solution for this is to install a check valve on the low sprinkler heads or purchase a sprinkler head with a check valve already in it, then reinstall the head at the lowest head locations.

2. Solenoid valve failure or blockage.
If the valve is determined to be the problem, it is usually fairly simple to repair. Turn the main water supply off to the irrigation system and follow the steps below.

  • Find the valve location in the field, and find the retainer bolts that connect the bonnet to the valve body. Loosen the bolts with a screw driver or nut driver.
  • Next, take the bonnet off of the valve body and locate the diaphragm and support ring. Carefully take the diaphragm out of the valve body and inspect it for damage or wear and tear. If the diaphragm needs replaced, you can usually get replacement parts from a supply house or local contractor.
  • Check the valve body for dirt or debris that may be inside the valve itself or main sprinkler piping.
  • Flush the main sprinkler line to clear out any debris.
  • Be sure to reassemble the valve exactly how it was taken apart.
  • Turn the water supply on and test the system.

If your sprinkler system won’t stop running and you need further help, give us a call at (440)935-1182 or send us an email at [email protected].

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