Troubleshooting Your Irrigation System: Save Water, Money, Energy

Posted on: January 30, 2014

When a sizable fine can be the price of a broken sprinkler head or a hole in a hose, we have an investment in helping all of our customers be able to readily recognize those irritating irrigation malfunctions. Of course there’s no substitution for a yearly or twice-yearly inspection of the system, but let’s spend some time today reviewing what makes a healthy system and offering some quick tips to identify those drip irrigation trouble spots.

Watch For Dirt

One of the first things to be on the alert for is dirt getting into your system. This can cause clogging of the system and will be the first thing to cause a malfunction of drip irrigation. If you’re planting new plants in your gardens, putting vegetables in your raised beds, or adding to your foundation plantings, be very aware of disturbing the existing irrigation. If you add new lines yourself, be careful that no dirt enters the lines where you punch in the new line.


Be cautious of any vehicles driving over your lawn where the sub-terrain system is installed. This is a definite set-up for damage to lines or heads of your existing sprinkler or drip irrigation system. One way you might notice harm to your system in this case would be a puddle forming in a particular area of your lawn or beds while the rest of the system seems to be watering normally. In this case, turn the system off and contact us immediately.


A simple but important check is the filter on your system. If it is clogged, your system won’t function properly.  This is important for water conservation as well as optional functioning. Air in the system is another simple but difficult issue. If air has accumulated in the system, you might hear whistling in the system near the starting point, and you will find that whole areas of your lawn are receiving no water. In this case, the irrigation will need to be flushed, so contact us.


If you have added to the system yourself or attempted to make your own repairs, you may find that components that are installed backwards may look like they are right, but they don’t function properly and need to be reversed. You can try it yourself, and if it still doesn’t work, meaning, no water is flowing, contact us.

Pressure settings, gauges set at the wrong settings, flow meters, malfunctioning gauges:  all of these will result in a misuse of water and a cost to you in both energy and possibly fines. Better to have the system inspected and readjusted than to risk damage to your landscape.

A number of factors are considered in setting up your drip irrigation system: water conservation, accurate flow to all of your varied plants, trees and lawn, the correct fixtures to supply the right amount of water without waste and the best value for your money. Figured into this is the maintenance contract to keep your system running at its optimal level throughout the year. Don’t underestimate the value of this maintenance contract.