Intermittent Low Pressure for sprinklers


Old 05-29-14, 08:27 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 29
Intermittent Low Pressure for sprinklers

Hello All,

I have a question for everyone. I have been living in my house fro 3 years which came with a 6 zone sprinkler system. This year I have experienced a few problems. Zone 1 has intermittent low pressure and the heads will not pop up. This mostly happens if it goes to turn on if it has not been on for a while. However, when I shut it off at the controller then immediately turn it back on it will work perfectly. Then there are times where it is working, I shut it off and immediately turn it back on and it then the low pressure starts. Any idea what this may be? I was thinking maybe I had to replace the valve???

Secondly, I have a few heads in the backyard which do not go back down after watering, hopefully an easy fix.

Thanks in advance,
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Old 05-30-14, 06:53 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 18,553
You keep saying "pressure". Have you checked the water pressure supplied to your system? If you are on a well the pressure could vary 20psi depending on where you are in your pumps on/off cycle.

If you suspect a problem with the valve for zone one I would start with taking it apart and cleaning. A small bit of sediment may preventing it from opening fully. But, for the trouble of opening up the valve you might as well throw in a new diaphragm. They are a common wear item and need to be replaced periodically. Luckily they are inexpensive.

Sometimes heads, especially at the low point in a system may not immediately retract. If they don't go down within a few minutes of the zone turning off there is something wrong. Grab the sprinkler riser and pull it up. Do you feel any resistance other than the spring? When you let it go it should snap down smartly. If not there may be dirt inside binding it up. If that doesn't seem to be it you can easily replace the internal parts. Just swap out the guts with those from a new sprinkler. If the problem persists it's possible that the sprinkler's plastic body/housing is no longer round and may need to be replaced. I've seen this usually happen when the sprinklers were hose clamped to rebar stakes to hold them in position during construction. Over time the pressure of the rebar & clamp deforms the plastic housing.

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