Troubleshooting Lawn Sprinkler Problems
LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to Michael in Colorado with a sprinkler question. What can we do for you today?
MICHAEL: Hi, this past summer I replaced most of the sprinkler heads in my front and back yard and on one section – actually, on my entire backyard – I have approximately 17 sprinkler heads and I went from a Toro head to a Rain Bird and what I’m noticing is that all the heads don’t pop up and they just barely spit out about four or five feet. And I was wondering if there’s that big of a difference in sprinkler heads and should I just switch back to the previous product. I thought all sprinkler heads were the same.
TOM: Well, they’re not all created equally and I wonder if there’s another issue in the design of the Rain Bird versus the Toro in terms of how much water pressure it needs to operate or something of that nature. Have you talked to the manufacturer?
MICHAEL: I spoke with them and they had me do a couple of tests. They had me do a water pressure test …
MICHAEL: … which I had 46 pounds and they had me take a five-gallon bucket and see how long it takes to fill it up and they said that I had 7.5 gallons per minute.
TOM: Hmm, sounds like enough.
MICHAEL: And I had the water district come out and check for leaks and everyone’s saying that I shouldn’t be having this problem. I’ve even gone one step further and on a couple of quarter-spray sprinkler heads I even removed those because they weren’t really that well needed.
TOM: I have an idea for you. What if you were to essentially disconnect some of these sprinkler heads and temporarily plug up the sprinkler lines so maybe instead of having 17 heads you’re now running, say, maybe 10 and see what happens to those 10? See if you get the distribution you think you should be getting.
MICHAEL: Yeah, because I went from 17 to 15 and it helped a little bit; so maybe that is what I’ll have to do and …
TOM: Well, what I would suggest – what I was thinking was if that works then what you might want to do is, instead of having – are those all on the same zone?
MICHAEL: Yes, in the same zone, unfortunately.
TOM: Yeah, you know what? You may have too many heads on the same zone. So if that works, you may end up having to create a separate zone. Because it certainly sounds like you don’t have enough water volume to do the job with all those heads and it does sound like an awful lot of heads for one zone.
MICHAEL: Alright. I thank you for your help.
TOM: You’re welcome, Michael. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.