System Maintenance and Troubleshooting
The irrigation controller should be checked, cleaned, programmed and tested at a seasonal phase. Maintenance would include battery checking, environmental cleaning and connection verification. This is also the ideal time to install lacking upgrades if one is found on the internet or one is necessary for the optimum performance of the irrigation control or the entire irrigation system.
Start sprinkler and drip system maintenance by flushing out dirt that has accumulated over the last season. This way you will also see the much-needed repairs and upgrades that will make your irrigation work better and with higher efficiency. Clean or check the valves and emitters simultaneously and note much needed repairs or parts that needs replacing.
By the time winter hits, all you need to do is turn off your irrigation system and you are set. System maintenance is as easy as ABC. All you have to do is bear in mind the high cost of repairs if the system is left unattended and allowed to destroy itself by allowing dirt and rust to accumulate, although there may be external factors that may affect the performance of your system, routine checking and maintenance will ensure that nothing sets in your system and you can even escape expensive repairs.
There are instances that even the most prudent man fails to foresee and prevent. If at a certain point you may have to DIY local irrigation and sprinkler problems in your household here are some basic things you need to know:
1. The controller is not working properly in all zones when set off by electronic switch, rather they need to be motioned manually:
• Check the rain sensors, if the same is activated, find a way around it or let time pass to complete the evaporation process. If the rain sensors are not activated, check the controller and locate a 110 VAC attached to it, if there is none, go for the ground fault outlet attached to the same and reset. If a 110 VAC is attached to the controller, locate the connecting 24 VAC outlet or transformer from the controller, if there is none, simply replace the transformer. If a 24 VAC is found, check for its zonal installation and see to it that it is turned on. If it is not turned on, simply reset the controller. If it does not help, you may have to consider replacing your controller. If, on the other hand, the controller is turned on, scour the wire connection and locate evidences of bad connection or torn out wires that may be affecting the performance of the controller to electronically set off.
2. Partial Zone Dysfunction (one zone)
• Locate the wire terminal that is affecting the zone that fails to operate, find the 24 VAC, if there is none reset the controller and check again, if it still fails to launch, you have a faulty controller already. If a 24 VAC is attached to the wire terminal, check for the same where it has malfunctioned. In the absence of a 24 VAC, search for broken or scalped controller wires located between the valve and the controller. If a 24 VAC is found, then replace solenoid on the valve and then reset and recheck if the problem has been repaired.
• When two or more zones are not working properly, locate the common ground wire to see if it has been tampered, restrained, or broken and then revert to the procedure above to trouble shoot.
3. Closure Resistant Valves, continuous Running Valves despite the controller being turned off.
• Check if the plunger found underneath the solenoid on zonal valves is retracted. If yes, remove the plunger and clean the surrounding area and the plunger itself. If not, unscrew the upper and lower valve, flush the valve or wipe clean any dirt that has accumulated on its surfaces and then put it back together and check.
4. Sprinkler fails to release water
• The issue may be due to a clogged filter and nozzle. Pull out the nozzle and clean the same of flush out if possible.
5. Faulty sprinkler head
• Unscrew the head, check for possible dirt, and clean, if cleaning does not help, access the barb fitting and clean the same.
If all the above have been resorted to and nothing helps or settle the problem, then a professional may be employed to see and fix what needs repairing.