How Do I Know If My Sprinkler Controller Is Bad? – Sprinkler Controller Troubleshooting

Sprinkler Controller

We all understand the annoyance when something doesn’t work as usual. The annoyance becomes a frustration when you can’t even pinpoint what is the actual problem. The same goes for sprinkler controllers. As it’s one of the best buddies of homeowners, they feel like fish out of water when their sprinkler controller goes wrong.

So, today I gathered almost all the answers about “How do I know if my sprinkler controller is bad?”

When you start your sprinkler and it’s showing some unusual problems, it’s better to troubleshoot before this summer comes in full swing. A damaged sprinkle will not only waste water, and hike up your bills but also will make your lawn or yard lifeless grass field.

It’s not all. I’ve given ideal and easy solutions forbad sprinkler controllers. Now, let’s get into it!

How Do I Know If My Sprinkler Controller Is Bad?

In this segment, the most common 11 problems are given you may encounter as your sprinkler controller is damaged. The simple ways to repair them are also given after each problem. Therefore, let’s dig in.

Sprinkler controller damages

1. Uneven Spray Patterns

Is your sprinkler missing some specific parts of your garden or yard? Or having criss-cross patterned spray instead of straight patterned? Or, some multiple heads are spraying at the same spot? Well, most probably then the problem is in your sprinkler head there is clogged dirt or debris.

How to Fix This?

  • You can adjust the spray heads in the right directions, so they can reach your desired areas.
  • Sometimes, broken spray heads also cause this problem. In that case, you’ll have to replace the spray heads. This should be done with the help of professionals.

2. Blank Display

Is your controller unit display blank? Then, the problem is that your controller has some electrical service disruptions. For that disruption, it automatically went offline. It’s an easy problem and the solution is easier.

How to Fix This?

  • Find the “reset” button in your sprinkler controller.
  • The “reset” button is a small inverted button that you can only open with a tool like a paper clip or smartphone sim opener.
  • So, when you find the reset button, insert the tool into the slot.
  • Press the tool until your display is on and indicates that it’s online back again.

3. Off-Schedule Watering

Is your sprinkler controller watering your yard when it isn’t supposed to? Then, the chance is somehow the schedule accidentally changed or the manual override key has probably been activated. Like the previous one, it’s also a simple problem that only needs a simple solution.

Off-Schedule Watering

How to Fix This?

  • The first and easiest way to solve this problem is to rotate the dial to the off position for a couple of minutes.
  • Then, turn it back to run. Most of the time, this solution works at once.
  • If the problem is still there, then check the watering schedule and delete the unwanted watering time.

4. Inactive Controller

If your sprinkler isn’t working at the scheduled time, then check the controller. It may be the culprit because even if the schedule settings are programmed, it won’t be activated until the controller is set to “auto” mode. So, check that your controller is into “auto” or “run”.

How to Fix This?

When you see it’s in “run” mode, then probably the watering time still hasn’t started. To fix this-

  • Turn the controller dial and set the proper watering time.
  • If there isn’t any time, insert the scheduled time in the program.
  • Lastly, confirm the date, time, and days to ensure the watering schedule.

5. Low or High Water Pressure

Is your sprinkler controller spraying more water than usual or isn’t properly spraying water? Any of these problems is probably for the uneven water pressure. If your sprinkler head isn’t properly out of the ground or for poor water coverage, then it’s low pressure. When your sprinkler heads are misting, instead of spraying water, then it’s for high pressure.

sprinkler controller spraying

How to Fix This?

If it’s low pressure, there are some solutions-

  • Ensure that your sprinkler heads are properly out of the ground. There shouldn’t be any obstacles besides it.
  • If not, then check for any underground leakage that needs to be repaired by professionals.
  • For having high water pressure, your sprinkler system may damage quickly. So, purchase one sprinkler controller that can operate the water pressure and increase/decrease it by optimizing the water usage.

6. Sprinkler System Is Inactive In One Zone

Just like an uneven spray pattern, is your sprinkler head not watering in one direction? Then, the culprit is a broken valve or damaged solenoid. Each valve has one part that looks like a coil. It uses electrical signals to open and close the valves for watering. It lets the system know about watering time and direction.

How to Fix This?

As it’s caused by broken or damaged valves or solenoids Then, you should ask the professionals to help to repair or replace the items.

7. Sprinkler Isn’t Switching On/Off

Just like the previous problem, your sprinkler may not turn on or off for a broken or damaged solenoid. Sometimes, the connection may come loose or the valves can break or shut down, so no water can go through the valves. Plus, for a broken valve, there can be constant pressure on the valve that prevents the water from stopping from sprinkle controllers.

How to Fix This?

It’s better to get checked by professionals for this problem. Replacing the valves or solenoids isn’t an easy task.

8. High Water Bills

Is there any sudden rise in your water bills? Then, check for the sprinkler controller watering schedule and systems. There’re a couple of reasons your water bill is high-

  • If your valves are worn out or broken.
  • Your sprinkle head is probably broken.
  • Your sprinkler controller line or connection is probably cracked.
  • Finally, it can be the overlapped time of your watering schedule.

How to Fix This?

All of these problems are easily fixable!

  • If it’s damaged or worn out, then call for professionals to repair it.
  • If it’s a system line problem, then also you need professionals.
  • If it overlaps, then just reschedule the watering time.

9. Broken Spray Heads

Are your sprinkler heads not popping up or popping up only to spray water? This happens when you have broken or damaged sprinkler heads. A spray head can break for get run down by any vehicles or lawnmowers.

Broken Spray Heads

How to Fix This?

Simply, you’ll have to purchase a new sprinkler head and replace it with the help of professionals. You should choose the ideal and perfect sprinkler head that can match your sprinkler controller.

10. Valves Disruption

When a valve fails to spray water, then it’s probably because the run time or watering schedule isn’t set still. However, if your valves don’t work after any remedies, it’s probably because of the damaged valves’ solenoid issues.

How to Fix This?

  • You can simply turn the controller dial to the exact valve to spray water.
  • If there isn’t any run time still, then use the “up” and “down” button to set the duration time.
  • Henceforth, if you see any error message or any alarm, then probably you’ve broken valves and you’ll need to replace them with professionals’ help.

11. Any Suspicious Noise

If your pump is usually quiet, but suddenly starts buzzing after switching it on. Then, probably the reason is the relay on the fritz. This thing needs to be repaired or replaced then. A relay is a magnetically activated switch. When it starts oxidizing, then it fails to pull the high-voltage contacts together. Then, this sound occurs.

How to Fix This?

As the relay becomes worn out or damaged. It’s better to replace it rather than repair it. Take help from professionals to get this job perfectly done!

When to Call Professionals to Solve The Sprinkler Controller Troubles?

As mentioned before, there are some simple problems, you can fix by yourself to make your sprinkler controller worth it. Just like that, some problems require professionals. Removing dirt or debris from the controller’s head may seem an easy task, but you may eventually break the head during this process if not careful.

There Are some tasks you think that you can do, but instead of fixing the problem, you may make the trouble bigger. For example- updating your controller, changing the spray heads, etc! So, I suggest instead of troubleshooting or fixing by yourself, you better take help from professionals or get a get sprinkler controller.

Our awesome service with skilled workers has years of expertise to maintain, install or set up the sprinkler controller. We recommend getting help from us if you face problems like-

  • Replacing spray heads.
  • Update the system.
  • Adjust the run time.
  • Or, checking spray patterns.


sprinkler controllers faq

1. How long do sprinkler controllers last?

Sprinkler controllers are built to last, but how long they last depend on a few factors. The average lifespan of a sprinkler controller is about 10 years, but some can last much longer. The key to a long-lasting controller is proper maintenance.

Be sure to regularly check your controller for any signs of wear and tear. If you notice any damage, it’s important to get it repaired or replaced as soon as possible. This will help prevent further damage and extend the life of your controller.

With proper care, your sprinkler controller can provide many years of reliable service.

2. How do I reset my sprinkler controller?

If your sprinkler controller is not working properly, you may need to reset it. To do this, first, turn off the power to the controller. Then, remove the cover of the controller unit and locate the reset button. Press and hold the reset button for about 15 seconds. After that, turn on the power to the controller and test it to see if it is working properly.

3. Why is my sprinkler system not turning on?

Your sprinkler system not turning on could be due to a few different reasons. The most common reason is that the system is not receiving enough water pressure. This can be caused by a number of factors, such as a clogged water filter or a broken pump.

Another possibility is that the sprinkler heads are not properly installed, which can cause them to fail to turn on. Finally, if your sprinkler system is connected to an irrigation controller, it may be necessary to reset the controller after making any changes to the system.

4. Why won’t my sprinkler system turn on manually?

If you’re having trouble getting your sprinkler system to turn on manually, there are a few things that could be causing the issue. First, make sure that all of the valves in the system are turned on. If they’re not, the water won’t be able to flow through the system and activate the sprinklers.

Next, check to see if there is power going to the system. If there isn’t, you’ll need to reset the circuit breaker or replace any blown fuses. Finally, take a look at the controller to see if it’s set to manual mode. If it’s not, you won’t be able to turn on the system manually.

If you’ve checked all of these things and you’re still having trouble getting your sprinkler system to turn on manually, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help troubleshoot the issue.

Final Verdict

So, that’s all about How do I know if my sprinkler controller is bad?

We hope you have enough knowledge and ideas to understand any problems with your precious sprinkle controllers. If you encounter any troubles, you may give us a call no matter what bigger or smaller issues. Our repair service will be at your door! Contact us at any time. Thank you!

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