Solutions to Common
If any of these activities are beyond
your capabilities, you may need to hire a professional, licensed irrigation
contractor for assistance in maintaining your system. Assistance in finding a
contractor is available from the
Florida Irrigation Society in their publication
Know Your Irrigation Contractor
(PDF) or from the
EPA WaterSense Program.
Sprinkler being blocked by a plant
or other object
Keep the plant pruned back to prevent blockage. Check regularly..
Add an extension or riser on the PVC piping under the sprinkler so it is
above the obstruction. Although popular, this option is many times
inefficient as it throws water higher into the air where it will be affected
by evaporation and wind.
Relocate the sprinkler out in front of the obstruction. If necessary, adjust
or replace the nozzle so that all plants are watered
If in a plant bed, replace sprinklers with micro-irrigation devices that can
be moved as plants grow. Micro-irrigation is not permitted on lawn grass
Determine whether the plants can survive without the sprinkler.
Sprinkler being blocked by lawn
Replace sprinkler with a model that pops up higher.
Add an extension between the PVC pipe and the sprinkler, ensuring that the
top of the sprinkler remains just above soil level to avoid breakage when
Clean out grass around the sprinkler and install a concrete "donut" around
Water is squirting out around the
Check sprinkler head, piping and fittings under the sprinkler for leaks.
Check rubber or plastic seal inside the top of the sprinkler for debris and
wear; replace with recommended seal if it is damaged or worn.
Spray nozzles and rotor heads may need cleaning
Replacement of sprinkler may be needed
Time clock is not operating
Make sure it is plugged into a working outlet and switched to "on"
Make sure that the backup battery is not corroded or low on charge.
Has it rained recently? Perhaps the rain sensor is interrupting
clock operation. This is normal until the cork disc dries out.
Rotor sprinkler does not rotate
Check to ensure the sprinkler or the piping below it is not
clogged. Clean sprinkler by soaking.
Check if there is adequate pressure in the zone to operate this
type of sprinkler. Another nozzle with a lower flow rate may need to be
The sprinkler may be broken. Replace it with the same type as
others on the same zone.
If the head is at the end of the main water supply line for your
system, there may not be enough pressure to operate the sprinkler properly. The
head should be capped, or a new zone should be installed. This may be a point
where a licensed irrigation contractor should be contacted.
Spray head sprinkler not putting out
Check to ensure the sprinkler, nozzle, filters or piping are not
clogged. Clean parts by soaking.
information is not intended to provide step-by-step instruction on sprinkler
system repairs and design issues, but created to be a checklist for homeowners
desiring to know more about efficient sprinkler system management. Equipment
operation manuals should be consulted for proper use and repair instructions.
Many manufacturers provide the manuals electronically on their website. It is
suggested that the assistance of a professional licensed irrigation contractor
be sought for those tasks beyond the knowledge and abilities of the homeowner.
Persons involved in the creation, production, or delivery of this information
shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, or incidental
damages (including property damages, damages for loss of business profits,
business interruption, etc.) arising out of the use of this information, or any
omission or inaccuracy of any information.
* Adapted from a
publication created by Christine Claus,
St. Petersburg Water Resources Department, and Dr. Joan Bradshaw,
Florida IFAS, with funding provided by the Pinellas-Anclote River basin
Board of the
Florida Water Management District.
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