Even when you do your best to maintain your sprinklers, there are things that can go wrong. One of the more common problems that homeowners experience is low water pressure either to a head or the whole system. With a little investigation, you can likely determine the cause and either fix it yourself, or you will know what kind of service to request. Here are a few of the most common issues you will find that can cause low water pressure.
Backflow Preventer Valves are Not Fully Open
This is the first culprit to suspect when your system is not getting enough pressure and the pressure from your home is okay. The backflow preventer has two pipes, one horizontal and one vertical. Each pipe has a handle that is either turned parallel (running in line with) or perpendicular (across) to control the valve opening. The valves are fully open when the handle is parallel to the pipe. Even if it is partly correct, the water may not be flowing as freely as possible.
Another very common cause for low water pressure in your sprinkler head is a broken line. The first thing to consider in this case is whether you or a service provider has recently done any digging in your yard. Another option to consider is whether anyone put anything into the ground near a sprinkler line such as a plant holder, trellis, fence, stake from tent, or a screw to hold a dog leash. If so, a line may have been cut accidentally and it will need to be repaired. Usually, it's a good idea to call in the pros for this one.
Grass or Dirt Clogs
If the low pressure problem is with just one head, the issue could simply be grass has grown up around it and not allowing the water to jet out properly. A simple thing to do to solve this is to check to make sure the area around every head is clear of any long grass or weeds.
If there is no grass in the way, the issue could be a dirt clog. There are a few ways dirt can get into a line and it doesn't take a lot to cause issues. Over time, even a small crack in a line will wash dirt into the system. Another way dirt can get in is during repairs and maintenance. It is good practice to flush the line to the last head of the zone being fixed whenever repairs are made.
Municipal Water Supply Issues
As everyone knows, this summer has been extremely hot and dry throughout the Metro area. As one might expect, this is tough on city water systems. Even though some places have water restrictions, others do not. This means some neighborhoods could be watering more than others and affecting the pressure of nearby areas. If you are experiencing low pressure and none of the other reasons above seem to apply, it may simply be a case that you will have to wait for weather and watering situations to return to normal. If you feel it is a significant problem, you could contact your local water company or government offices.
As you can see, there are many potential reasons for low water pressure in a home sprinkler system. Many homeowners choose to take care of some of these problems themselves. However, if you are unsure of what to do, it is always best to call a professional to make sure the job is done correctly and safely.
My Sprinkler Guys is a full service irrigation company located in the Macomb/Chesterfield Township area. We offer new installations, repairs and maintenance of existing sprinkler systems. If you need service or more information, please contact us at 586-477-4243 or visit www.mysprinklerguys.com