Frequently Asked Questions About Irrigation Systems

Irrigation Systems FAQ

What should I do if my irrigation system is not coming on?

  • Check to make sure that the water valve in the basement is turned on, with the handle parallel to the piping.
  • Check to make sure that the backflow prevention device is also turned on, with the handles perpendicular to the pipes.
  • Is the clock plugged in, and power to the controller? If the clock has no display you need to reset the GFI to activate the controller.
  • Is the dial in the run position? It must be in the run position to activate the controller.
  • Has it rained recently? Check to see if the red LED is on to the left of the SENSOR button.
  • Is there a Start Time programmed? You must have a start time for the system to run.
  • Are there Water Days scheduled? You must have at least one day a month scheduled for the system to activate.

Why is my irrigation system is coming on at the wrong times?

  • Check that the time of day is correct, including A.M. or P.M.
  • Check that the Start Time is set correctly, and for A.M.
  • Make sure you only have one start time per program, and that each program has a different start time that does not overlap with other programs.

Why is my irrigation system is still running in the rain even though I have a rain sensor?

  • The rain sensor and or weather station installed for your system takes a minimum amount of water to activate. This is to prevent quickly passing showers from interfering with your watering. It typically takes ¼” of water to turn your system off.
  • Check to see that you have not accidentally bypassed the rain sensor component of your system. This button is to the left of the SENSOR tap above and to the right of the dial.

Why is my system watering multiple times during the day?

  • More than one Daily Start Time has been set for each program. The program will start at the designated start time and run all zones assigned to that program in consecutive order.
  • If you are using Auto Adjust mode with an SLW weather station, the Auto Adjust mode will automatically divide run times to minimize water run-off. To turn off extra start times, turn the dial to the Daily Start Times position and use the Next button to view all start times for each program (A, B, C and D). Use either arrow button to advance to the OFF position for each start time.
  • In Auto Adjust the combination of Soil Type, Slope and Precipitation Rate (Sprinkler Type) set an automatic Run/Soak feature that causes the controller to cycle multiple times so that the proper amount of water can be applied without creating runoff.
  • In the Standard mode a Run/Soak feature has been set in the Advanced Functions position causing the controller to cycle multiple times so that the proper amount of water can be applied without creating runoff.

Why are some zones not working while others do?

  • Check to see that each zone has a watering time allocated.
  • Perform a manual test during daylight hours to watch each zone run to see if there are any breaks or damage taking pressure from the zone.
  • Check your Zone chart to see if it is a drip zone, you will not see water run on drip zones.

How do I start a manual watering program in my Weathermatic Smart Line controller?

There are 3 ways:

  1. If you want to run all programs for the scheduled run time programmed in the controller, just push the RUN MANUAL PROGRAM button at the top of the controller. It will run all programs and return to the auto adjust mode by itself.
  2. If you want to select a single zone, you can turn the dial to MANUAL ZONE, use the arrow buttons to enter a run time for the zone and then return the dial to RUN to start the operation.
  3. You can also use the MANUAL TEST position on the dial to quickly run through all zones with time assigned. When you turn to MANUAL TEST, the screen will display a 10 second run time for all stations. You can change this time using the arrow buttons if you like; then return the dial to RUN to start the operation

Why do some sprinkler heads work while others do not have water coming out?

  • Each zone has several heads that run at the same time, but not all heads run together.
  • Make sure that the head you are looking at is supposed to be running by seeing if it has risen out of the ground.
  • If the head has risen but no water is coming out it may be clogged. See question below.
  • Check the area around the head for water seeping out of the ground. If water is present you may have a broken line and need to call for an appointment.

Why do my spray heads come up, but no water is coming out?

Check to see if they are supposed to be up. If not, gently step on the top of the head to help retract the head into the ground. This should clear any dirt around the seals and allow it to retract properly in the future. One of the many advantages of the spray head is that it is easy to flush and clean.

To remove the nozzle and clean simply:

  1. Pull up the pop up part of the sprinkler (the stem) and the nozzle is on the very top.
  2. Holding tightly onto the stem with one hand, turn the nozzle counterclockwise until it separates from the stem.
  3. You do not need to turn the screw on top to remove the nozzle; it is just for adjusting how far the stream throws. As you remove the nozzle, you should see a screen inside the riser.
  4. Pull out the screen and rinse both the nozzle and screen in clean water. Never clean plastic nozzle orifices with wire or a wire brush because this can deform the interior passages and lower the quality of nozzle performance.
  5. If the nozzle is blocked and cannot be cleaned, you will have to replace the nozzle with another one of the same type. The type of nozzle is stamped into the top of the nozzle and is designated by numbers and some letters.
  6. Before replacing the screen and nozzle, open the valve and flush out the head. Turn off the station, then put the screen and nozzle back into place and turn the zone back on.
  7. After this cleaning, you may need to re-adjust the direction of the sprinkler's spray. You can make these adjustments by grabbing and twisting the stem (the part that pops up) left or right until the spray of water is confined to the area that needs to be watered. The stem may be somewhat difficult to turn and will make a ratcheting noise when turned, which is normal.

Why are my sprinkler heads spraying the wrong areas?

While adjustments rarely need to be changed during the season, a head can get knocked out of alignment.

To correct this issue, simply:

  1. Gently move the top of the head to ascertain which direction the head is spraying in.
  2. Move so that you are standing behind the head.
  3. Pull up turret and turn to the left trip point (counterclockwise). CAUTION: If the rotor does not turn easily to the left, first turn it right (clockwise) to the right trip point.
  4. Gripping the head at its base, gently turn the head so that the water is being applied in the correct general direction.
  5. Again gently check the head by turning the top, moving the base in small increments until the head is back to watering the correct area.
  6. To extend or reduce the areas being covered please refer to question 7 or call for service.

How do I adjust the coverage after my landscape or lawn has changed?

To readjust your lawn rotors, simply:

  1. Setting the Arc: The arc is adjustable from 40 –360 degrees (PC units only). The rotor is factory set to 180 degrees.
  2. Align Fixed LEFT Edge:
  3. Pull up turret and turn to the left trip point (counterclockwise). CAUTION: If the rotor does not turn easily to the left, first turn it right (clockwise) to the right trip point.
  4. Rotate entire case to the desired fixed left position, OR unscrew cap and pull out assembly. Rotate internals to re-align left trip point to the desired point and re-install.
  5. To increase or decrease the arc: While holding the nozzle turret at the fixed LEFT stop, insert tool or screwdriver into the adjustment socket.
  6. Turn the screwdriver clockwise, (+) to INCREASE arc.
  7. Turn the screwdriver counterclockwise, (-) to DECREASE arc.
  8. Each full clockwise turn of the screwdriver will add or remove 90 degrees of arc.
  9. When the maximum arc of 360 degrees or minimum arc of 40 degrees has been set, you will hear a ratcheting noise. Do not adjust the rotor beyond the maximum or minimum arc.
  10. Radius Adjustment: (Radius can be reduced up to 25%)
  11. Insert screwdriver into the radius adjustment socket.
  12. Turn the screwdriver clockwise to reduce radius, and counterclockwise to increase radius.

I am having my lawn aerated, or construction done, do I need to do anything?

  • With any type of work that involves digging you will need to have the system marked out. We will flag all heads and valves as well as paint the location of mainlines and other piping as best as possible.
  • You may need to have some or all of your system turned off during construction, depending upon the area disturbed.
  • When coring, slit seeding or aerating your lawn, you will also need to have your heads and valves marked out, as the equipment can damage these components.
  • There may need to be changes made to the system when adding to or changing your landscape beds. Please call the office to discuss your plans so we can determine the best solution to your situation.


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