When turning on your lawn irrigation system, you may notice that all of your sprinklers are turning on at the same time when they should instead be cycling through different zones.
This can be due to a few different issues. The first thing you should check is the controller and how it was programmed, make sure you have proper start and stop times set. If this looks good, other problems may be due to a low water pressure, open valves, and winterizing issues.
Water Pressure Issues
Low water pressure can be a definite problem for irrigation systems of all sizes. If you notice your sprinklers are all spouting out a small to medium amount of water at the same time, this could be due to low water pressure.
Many valves require a certain GPM or gallons per minute rate in order for the valve to properly shut off. The high pressure helps hold the valve flap shut when it needs to be. But in a low pressure system, the valves are not being held shut properly and water will leak out from all sprinklers at the same time.
Solutions for a low water pressure can be by reducing the size of your irrigation system, investing in a pressure regulator to boost your GPM capabilities, or switching your sprinkler heads to a brand that can work with a lower GPM requirement.
Another issue some homeowners can run into is due to winterizing. Let’s say you just moved into a new home in the spring, but didn’t get detailed information about the lawn irrigation system.
You go to turn it on and notice all of the sprinkler heads are working, albeit at a lower capacity than they should. Even with proper water pressure in your system, it would be almost impossible to have all of your sprinkler heads running at full capacity at the same time.
This could be due to winterizing practices the previous winter. Many homeowners as well as professional companies will use compressed air to blow out an irrigation system entirely. In order to make sure all of the water is removed from the system, they will manually open all of the valves.
In many cases, the valves will remain open throughout the winter so pressure does not build up in the line during temperature changes and lead to a rupture or crack in any plastic or metal components.
As a new homeowner purchasing the property, you may not realize they opened and left open all of the valves the previous winter. If this is the case, manually closing all of the valves and restarting the controller scheduling can fix the issue.
On some systems, the controller can be somewhat confusing to learn and setup. All of your sprinklers running at the same time could be due to programming errors. Always be sure to check the start and stop time for each zone.