Having an irrigation system in your yard is a great benefit when you want to keep your lawn lush, but want to minimize your own effort. However, there may be times when you notice your sprinkler system isn’t switching to different zones of your property like it should.

There are a few reasons this may happen, and troubleshooting can be a somewhat simple process. However, depending on the issue, it may either be a simple project you can do yourself, or it may be something you need to contact a professional to fix.

Let’s take a closer look at the different reasons your sprinkler zone won’t turn on, and how you can take steps to determine the cause so it can be quickly fixed.

Different Reasons a Zone Won’t Turn On

There are three very common issues that can be related to sprinkler zone issues. Depending on your particular issue, fixing the problem may be quick and simple, or could be a bit more involved and costly.

Piping Clogs or Leaks

One of the most straightforward causes of problems are clogs or leaks in the irrigation pipes. Finding the location of a leak can be rather simple as you may notice puddles in the lawn near that area. Finding a clog, however, can be much more difficult. You will need to see which sprinkler heads are working and which are not to determine the area of the clog.

Pipes can be damaged due to underground rodents, insects, a pet dog digging in the yard, or from tree root damage. Fixing a leak will require replacing the damaged section of piping, while fixing a clog can be as simple as blowing compressed air through the system and removing the clog at a sprinkler head.

Valve Issues

If you are sure a leak or clog in the piping isn’t an issue, your valves may be to blame. Since each zone of your irrigation system is managed by an independent valve, certain zones not working can be caused by a faulty valve.

Valves can become rusted or clogged by dirt that gets into the system. If you know the location of your valves, you can manually try to move each one to see if it seems stuck or not. If you notice the valve is very difficult to open and close, or if it does not open and close completely, it may be time to replace the valve.

Controller Problems

Many irrigation systems use variable controllers that can adjust the watering times of different zones in your yard. In some cases, a controller can malfunction and no longer monitor the zones properly.

The easiest way to fix this is by redoing the zone assignments you had previously input to see if this helps. If not, you may need to replace the controller itself, especially if multiple zones are not being triggered as they should. Replacing a controller is a simple project you can do yourself at any time.

What if my sprinkler system won’t change zones?

This might be a related problem, or something completely different. Learn more about what to do if your sprinkler system won’t change zones.