Irrigation and Sprinkler Repair Tips

Main components | Winterization | Troubleshooting

Main components

Mainline pipe

This is the pipe that supplies water to your system, specifically the control valves.

Main shut-off valve

If you need to stop the water supply to your irrigation system, you will turn this valve off. To begin, you will need the valve key. Then slide the valve key down the pipe and line-up the key over the valve handle. Turn the valve key clockwise until the valve handle stops and is snug. The system is now turned off.

Drain valve

You generally use this component when manually draining your system for the winter. After turning off the main valve, you would then open the drain valve to allow all the water to flow out of the pipes.

Backflow preventer

It will prevent any water in your irrigation system from running back into your house water. The backflow preventer is installed in a valve box which has two shut-off valves and four test ports. While you can turn your entire system off here if needed, it is not recommended because there would be water left in the system that could freeze, expand, and break the pipes. (see Winterization instructions below)

Control valve

These valves control the flow of water to each station (section). They are installed in valve boxes.

Irrigation controller

This is the operating mechanism to control when the system starts, how long each station (section) runs, and what days you want to water. (See your Controller Manual for specific instructions)


Manual drain

Step one is to turn-off the Main Shut-Off Valve with the valve key. To do that, slide the valve key down the pipe and line-up the key over the valve handle. Turn the valve key counter-clockwise and leave the valve open for an hour. This will allow the water to drain out. When all the water has drained out, close the valve. Now, turn your Irrigation Controller to the off position. If you’re unsure as to what kind of irrigation system you have, check with your landscaping company and ask them to determine what winterization options will work best.

Air compression blowout

This is done by Landscape East & West, and we recommend it for several reasons. First, it forces all the water out of the mainline and valves. Second, it also forces all the water out of the lateral lines and sprinkler heads. Plus, when we do this we guarantee against any freeze damage to your system.


Sprinkler head pops up and no water comes out

Debris may be clogging the nozzle or the screen. This is easy to fix. When the water is not running, pull the sprinkler stem up with your fingers and unscrew the nozzle. Under the nozzle is a plastic screen. Remove the screen and wash it off with water. Then check the nozzle to be sure there is no debris. Reinstall the screen and then run the system to test.

Nozzle spraying water too far or not far enough

There is a silver adjustment screw in the middle of the nozzle head. By turning it counter-clockwise you will increase the spray and by turning it clockwise you will decrease the spray.

Sprinkler head does not pop up

This is often caused by grass growing over the sprinkler. Take a knife or scissors and cut the lawn away and this should solve the problem.

System does not run

Check to make sure the water is on. Then see if you have set the time on the Controller for that station (section).