Warning Signs That Mean Your Sprinkler System Isn't Watering Your Lawn Correctly

A garden sprinkler is very handy for keeping your garden in tip-top condition. A steady stream of water directly onto your lawn will help to stop it from drying out when the weather hits high temperatures. Several sprinklers have built-in systems that allow you to water your lawn while you're at work as well as numerous other features. However, when these features start to break down, your lawn will quickly start to look past its prime. Some issues you might face when your sprinkler system isn't working as it should include low water pressure, uneven water distribution, and a water bill that suddenly spikes.

Things like a faulty timing mechanism can also have an impact. It's important to keep an eye out for the above signs so you can make the most of your lawn irrigation system. If not, you could be in for a lot of stress, not to mention that your lawn could dry out in the meantime. Below are some common issues sprinklers can run into and when you need to investigate further.

An oversaturated lawn is a sign something is wrong

The first sign your sprinkler system probably isn't working as it should is if you notice your garden is unusually saturated with water. A sprinkler should dampen the grass and surrounding areas but never soak a section. If you find your grass is less damp and more sodden or is visibly squelchy when you step on it, it's likely there's a fault with either the pump or the actual system itself. Another sign of too much water being directed at your lawn is if it's starting to brown. 

If this is the case for you, check the controller. This is the part of the sprinkler that dispenses water amongst other tasks, and its being faulty could be a clear reason why your lawn is suddenly waterlogged rather than quenched. As the controller is electric, it's important that you deal with the issue effectively before it potentially causes your entire system to shut down. The above issue could also be a sign of low water pressure.

A hefty water bill isn't only annoying, but could indicate something isn't right

Speaking of too much water, a major sign that your sprinkler system may need a closer look is if you find your general water bill has gone through the roof. Whether it's by a smidgen or by a significant amount, if there's no reason for the bill to go up, it's time to look into it. Though it's normal for your bill to go up in the summer months or during weather where your grass is in danger of becoming dehydrated, a sharp hike in your bill could indicate something is wrong with how the system is operating. It could be giving out too much water or distributing the water incorrectly, leading to both a soggy lawn and a high water bill.

Another potential reason for this issue is that the system itself has a leak, so it's best to call out an expert to ensure the leak gets properly fixed. It's essential to fix even the smallest of leaks in your irrigation system. If you do check for a leak and come up short but still have a high water bill, don't hesitate to begin checking other appliances to get the issue sorted.

Strange noises indicate your sprinkler isn't working as it should

It's normal for your irrigation system to make various noises as it sprays your lawn. However, it's not normal for there to be sputtering, static, or buzzing sounds emanating from your sprinkler. If you hear any of these noises on a regular basis, the likelihood is that your system may have stopped working properly. Even worse, if you don't fix the issue soon the whole system could shut down, leaving you with either a hefty repair bill or no choice but to buy a new sprinkler.

A buzzing sound usually means that there's a problem with the relay of your sprinkler. This part of the system activates the head, which keeps water flowing and maintains proper direction when the system is switched on. If left for too long, a sprinkler head that isn't performing properly can lead to the above issues like uneven water distribution or a steep water bill.

A faulty timing mechanism can throw things into disarray

Even if the rest seems to be working fine, you'll probably face several problems like low water pressure if the timer function of your sprinkler becomes faulty. If you prefer to set your irrigation system to come on at certain times during the day and this function stops working, your grass is at risk of becoming dry and dehydrated. Your sprinkler may also come on at random times such as during the night if the timer isn't working as it should.

If the timer is broken, it can wreak havoc on your careful garden planning. Trying to get to the root cause of the broken timer could lead to more hassle than it's worth, especially if you have had your irrigation system for a while. Unless you're a DIY expert, we recommend calling in an expert for this particular problem, as there may be other underlying issues causing the timing function to be off.

A clogged sprinkler head could lead to more problems in the future

Finally, a big warning sign things aren't going as they should is if your sprinkler has a clogged head. This is a common issue, but not one that should be ignored. A sprinkler head that isn't working properly could cause chaos down the line or lead to bigger problems — like the ones on this list.

The head may have become clogged for a number of reasons, including build-up of dirt, dust, or anything else you might find outdoors. Not only will this stop the head from working properly, but it could also mean your sprinkler is spraying all of this build-up onto your lawn, leaving your grass dusty and scattered with dirt and debris. 

You can clean your lawn sprinkler head easily. Simply remove the nozzle and filter, clean both, and then put the filter back inside the nozzle before reassembling. If cleaning the filter doesn't work, there might be a deeper issue at hand that you need to ask a professional about.