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No matter who you choose to design and install your residential irrigation system or how much you shell out to have it done, no irrigation system is impervious to wear and tear. You can do everything right and still be faced with sprinkler system problems. By design, sprinkler systems are exposed to harsh weather and elements that can take a toll on even the most perfectly designed residential irrigation systems. Fortunately, many of the most common problems can be corrected with a little elbow grease and perhaps a trip to the hardware store. And plenty more can be tackled with a simple call to your trusted residential irrigation company.

Sprinkler System Problems to Watch Out For

By familiarizing yourself with your sprinkler system and knowing a few common problem areas to watch out for, you can keep your system performing as it needs to for years down the road. And by identifying and fixing problems early on, you can spare yourself from potentially high repair or replacement costs when those small issues turn into major complications. Here are a few common sprinkler issues to be on the lookout for.


Leaks from a sprinkler head can be due to sprinkler head damage (often from a lawnmower), faulty equipment, improper installation, or simple wear and tear from outdoor elements. Sometimes applying some light pressure to the sprinkler head with your foot while the system is operating can help to flush out any debris in the head itself. If this remedy works, you’re in business. More often than not, however, a leaky sprinkler head will need to be replaced.

Buzzing Pump

While very light and barely audible buzzing is likely nothing to be concerned with, louder and more aggressive buzzing should be addressed right away. A severe buzzing noise coming from your system’s pump can be the sign of a faulty relay or insufficient voltage in the system’s motor. If your system is making this type of noise while operating, you’ll want to contact an irrigation repair company to have the system inspected and fixed by professionals.

Inaccurate Patterns

When designed and installed properly, your sprinkler system should distribute water evenly to all parts of your lawn. Over time, however, you may notice your sprinkler heads begin to tilt or settle. This can cause overwatering of certain areas and little to no watering of others. To fix uneven sprinkler heads, simply straighten the heads by hand and, if necessary, pack soil in around them to keep them in place. Settling and movement is inevitable, so you may need to do this every so often to keep your lawn in top condition.

Clogged Sprinkler Heads 

Your sprinkler heads are going to be susceptible to dirt and debris buildup which can affect the trajectory of your spray (or in severe cases, block it entirely). To fix this, simply unscrew the sprinkler head, remove the filter, and rinse thoroughly. If this remedy does not resolve the issue, it may be related to the pipes and other underground components. In this case, you’ll want to contact a professional service to diagnose and fix the problem.

Bad Water Pressure

Bad water pressure is one of the more common factors relating to faulty irrigation systems. If your water pressure is too high, you’ll notice more of a mist rather than a sprinkle or shower. And if water pressure is too low, your lawn won’t get the full coverage it needs. Generally, water pressure issues are due to clogs or blockages in the system. However you can also address the problem by adjusting the flow control valve or by contacting an irrigation professional for expert assistance.

Blocked Sprinkler Heads

Make sure each of your sprinkler heads is adequately spraying the area it needs to. Overgrown grass, branches, bushes, or lawn decorations that obstruct the path of the spray can lead to wasted water and missed portions of your lawn. You’ll want to make sure anything that may block the sprinkler is addressed.


While this is by no means a complete list of potential sprinkler system problems, it should provide a few things to keep an eye on throughout the life of your irrigation system. By taking steps to fix small problems as they arise, you are helping to keep your system performing at the level you expect. The best approach you can take when it comes to keeping your irrigation system running smoothly and effectively for years to come is to partner with an experienced irrigation system maintenance provider (like Green Turf) and set up a maintenance plan. For more on maintenance plans or sprinkler system repairs, contact Green Turf.

sprinkler head watering the lawn