May long weekend typically kicks off the official start the Prairie gardening season, although it does look we are going to experience some variable weather conditions. If you plan on starting up your sprinkler system this weekend or in the near future keep reading.

  1. Go outside to your valves, located in green underground boxes, open the valve box lid and check that:
  • There is NO ice in the box.
  • Your valve tops and bleed screws are tightened down and in the OFF position.
  • That all wires look like they have a good connection.
  1. Check that all manual drains and taps are closed, you may have one on the outside of your house where the water comes out, and/or one in your valve box, and/or one in your basement downstream from your irrigation check valve.
  2. Turn on your mainline valve VERY SLOWLY. You should stop hearing water run within two minutes of turning the valve fully on. If water continues to run, turn the valve off and go outside and check your valve box again. Try to find where the water may be seeping from. If your system is automatic, check to make sure that none of your automatic valves are turned on manually.
    For Automatic Systems: After the water stops running, replace the battery (if applicable) and plug-in controller. Program your controller to water each zone for two minutes starting five minutes from the time on the controller or run a test cycle if that option is available. When the system turns on, be sure to watch each zone operate and look for problem areas, such as; sprinklers not working, and/or zones not working.
    For Manual Systems: Go to your valve manifold and turn your zones on one at a time, check that each zone is operating properly including heads.

Troubleshooting Sprinklers: If an entire zone is not turning on please go to Troubleshooting Valves. If one sprinkler is not popping up there is probably a little bit of frost in the line and you can try turning the system off. Wait a few days and try again. If it still does not pop-up take the nozzle off the top of the head to be sure that there is no dirt or debris in the head, you can also look down and see if there is any ice in the head. If there is some foreign matter in the head try washing the nozzle under a tap. If there is still ice in the head wait another few warm days before trying again.

Troubleshooting Valves: Valves that will not turn on; start by trying to turn the valve on manually with the bleed screw, or manual switch. If the zone turns on you know that the problem is with either your wiring or control panel. Check your controller’s Owner Manual or troubleshooting in this case. If the zone still doesn’t turn on then the problem is with your valve. Open the valve and check to be sure that there is no debris inside. If there is, flush it out, close valve and try again. If you are still having problems please call the office and we will try to talk you through fixing the problem or book a service call. 403.250.2685