Lawn sprinkler systems provide even irrigation to an entire yard. Because most sprinkler parts are made from plastic, breaks and malfunctions are inevitable. When one happens, you could call a professional to fix the problem, or you could save yourself a great deal of money and make the repairs yourself. Most sprinkler repairs are very basic and require little expertise.
Determine the Problem
When you see a brown spot on your lawn, there may be a problem with the sprinkler system. To diagnose the problem, you might need to get a little wet. Turn on the sprinkler system and go over to the brown spot. Check to see if the sprinkler pops up and how much water is released. Determine whether the surrounding sprinklers are releasing water or if the problem extends throughout the area.
Diagnose the Cause
Isolate the area of sprinklers that seem to be affected and route your entire water pressure to that area. If the issue was water pressure, then all the sprinklers will function. If the sprinklers still are not functioning properly, then the cause could be either a clogged sprinkler head or a leak in the system.
Solving Water Pressure
If water pressure is the cause, you have two options. First, increase the water pressure to your home from the pressure access point, typically located in front of your home. To do this, remove the covering and turn the bolt one to two full turns to the left. Check the water pressure and adjust as needed. If you cannot adjust your water pressure, then program the sprinkler system to route water at different times to various parts of the system. Try watering half of the yard at a time. If the pressure seems fine, then no further work is required. If not, divide the yard into smaller sections.
Cleaning Sprinkler Heads
To clean the sprinkler head, carefully unscrew the head from its casing. Bring the head inside and soak it in 1 cup of hot white distilled vinegar for an hour. The vinegar will break down any mineral residue from your water supply. Remove the head from the vinegar and scrape off any remaining residue or dirt with a toothpick. Reinstall the head and try running the system again.
Fixing a Pipe Leak
Fixing a pipe leak requires digging underground. If you're not used to this kind of physical labor, consider hiring a professional. Dig around the suspected leaking line, and run the water with the line visible. Turn off the water supply once you spot the leak. Cut away that part of the pipe and cut a new piece to size. Use PVC glue (usually blue in color) and two new joint pieces to glue the replacement piece in place. Rebury the pipe and check your system again.