Bob's Irrigation Solution
One of my sprinkler stations isn't coming on...
We regularly serve clients who can't get one of their sprinkler stations on. This is very common and can mean two things; a bad diaphragm in the valve, or an electrical issue. In order to narrow it down, you must do some basic troubleshooting.
Step 1. Determine if you have a master valve. You can take the cover or open the cover of the sprinkler controller (usually located in the garage) and look to see if you have a wire going into a terminal labeled "P" or "M". If you don't, continue to step 2, but if you do, keep reading, because you now have an extra step. If you have a master valve, you need to now locate it. A master valve is typically next to your backflow preventer (green rectangular box). Once you locate your master valve, you need to turn it on manually. You do this by turning the solenoid on the top at least 90 degrees which will then allow water to go through to the other valves in the system.
Step 1. Find the valve in the ground that is connected to the station that will not come on. These valves can get buried over time so you may need a valve locator or a professional who carries one in order to locate the valve.
Step 2. When you find the valve, there will be a solenoid on top. Every valve is different, but they all have solenoids that stick up from the top. You will need to turn the solenoid on top at least 90 degrees to the left (counter clockwise) which will manually turn on that zone. If no water comes out of the sprinkler zone then you have a bad diaphragm inside that valve. If water does come out, then you have some type of electrical issue that could be the following; bad solenoid, cut wire leading to that station, bad connection/no connection at the controller.
My Sprinkler Station Won't come on
Troubleshooting your sprinkler system when a station isn't coming on.