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Gallery of common problems

We have listed a few of the many problems that lawn sprinkler systems can experience. We provide a short explanation of what may cause the problem. Click or tap on each picture to enlarge it. Do one of these problems look like something going on with your system? Contact us.

Leaky head

This type of problem is quite common in older heads. The cause for this problem is often a worn out or damaged wiper seal in the head.

Low heads

You may start noticing that your heads pop up with a little hat of sod. This may look rather comical, but as heads settle in the ground and/or sod grows over, sprinkler heads end up below the sod line; this in turn can make the head stop working prematurely.

Choked lines

Tree roots can be bad news for a sprinkler system. Once they begin to encroach on the water lines they will constrict them little by little until the sprinkler line is completely choked and no water comes out. This is a problem you won't find out until the damage is done.

Loose fittings

Poorly glued PVC or unclamped poly fittings can snap off with water pressure, causing a major leak.

Water puddling

The source of this problem is usually a broken underground pipe. This can sometimes go unnoticed until someone walks on it.

Plugged heads

Lake systems are more prone to this problem where debris from the lake make it through the filter and into the valves and heads; the first two pictures are an example of this. The third picture is an example of the problems "rusty" water can cause; in this case it plugged the filter. An indication of this problem is reduced pressure at the heads or no water at all.

Freeze damage

Freeze damage can be detrimental to a sprinkler system, causing costly damages. One of the first things to freeze is the plumbing that comes out of the house and into the ground. In these pictures the master valves froze causing them to burst. In this situation metal or plastic doesn't make much difference: freeze will break it!

Bare wiring

This electrical problem can cause some zones or even the entire sprinkler system to not work. This problem is commonly caused by rodents chewing off the wiring's plastic shield and leaving bare cables exposed, which causes them to short out.


It is not uncommon for sticking heads to get hit by lawn mowers or by plow trucks during the winter for heads along the driveway. The result is something that looks like Old Faithful.

Cracked heads

Heads close to walkways on shrub beds are easy to accidentally hit. When that happens, water will be coming out of where it shouldn't.

Punctured lines

Unwitting landscapers can sometimes damage a sprinkler system. Edging stakes can easily puncture through a sprinkler line without the installer even noticing.

Dirty filters

This problem is specific to lake systems. Excessive build-up in the filter screen can restrict the water flow and strain the pump or even burn it out.

Lightning damage

A rare occurrence, but when a house gets struck with lightning here is the damage it can cause to your controller.