Check Your Irrigation System

You’ll save money and water if your system is working well. Here’s what to look for.

Rebecca Bull Reed
Irrigation Checklist

Each year at start-up, take a close look at your irrigation system--you could be losing water and not even know it. Check out the potential problems below to see if your system could use some fine-tuning.

Symptoms of Poor Maintenance

  • erosion or water runoff
  • swampy areas
  • obstruction of spray pattern
  • dying plants
  • water spraying on the street or sidewalk


Problems With Sprinkler Heads and Valves


  • valve leaking
  • head clogged
  • head leaking or broken
  • plants blocking sprinkler
  • rotor or impact heads are not rotating
  • head pushed too far into the ground
  • head tilted or spraying in wrong direction
  • sprinkler spacing not providing head-to-head coverage on the lawn


Symptoms of Low Water Pressure


  • pop-up system not fully extending
  • spray is not reaching proper areas
  • doughnut-shaped dry areas in lawn


Symptoms of High Water Pressure


  • pipes keep breaking
  • sprinkler nozzles blow off
  • spray is misting or fogging
  • spray is overshooting desired areas