If you’ve got an in-ground sprinkler system, more than likely you’ll deal with one or more of your sprinkler heads shooting nothing but air. If you haven’t dealt with it yet, you likely will. It’s one of the most common problems that in-ground sprinkler system owners face and can be caused by a wide variety of issues within your system, from the source of your water to the very tip of your sprinkler head.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most common reasons for this unbelievably common sprinkler issue.
You’ve Got A Clog in Your Line or a Sprinkler Head
This is often the most common issue that causes air to come from your sprinkler heads instead of water and can be the easiest to fix. The pipes and mechanisms that control your in-ground sprinkler system are…well, in the ground. That means that dirt, debris and other gunk can clog up the works. We do our best when installing your system to prevent this from happening, but the combination of weather, water and nature will generally cause some clogging.
You can check your sprinkler head by simply unscrewing the top from the canister that holds it in the ground. Then, take the top off and ensure that the screening basket is clean. Additionally, check the piping below the canister for dirt and debris. If the head in question still malfunctions, you may have a clog deeper in the system, requiring a professional scope.
If you have had your system for many years, tree roots may invade your lines. If you’re feeling adventurous you can remove these yourself, but be careful as you dig so as not to cause more damage. Contacting a professional is always best.
You’ve Got a Leak in Your Line
This is certainly more serious than a clogged sprinkler head and unfortunately, there’s no good way to find out if this is the problem. If a line of sprinkler heads are shooting air but others are not, it could indicate that the leak is in this area. If the leak is bad enough, you may notice some erosion or water pooling on the ground somewhere near where your pipes travel through the ground. Otherwise, your best bet is to call a professional to inspect your system.
Your Backflow Isn’t Activated Correctly
Your in-ground sprinkler system works by using water pressure to pop the sprinkler heads out of their housing and spray the water. The water pressure is achieved by using a backflow device that is generally set higher up than the sprinkler heads themselves. This devices has valves that can be adjusted to control the pressure. Check these valves to ensure that they are open and unimpeded.
Your Water Pressure is Too Low
This is a much larger issue and you may first notice low water pressure in your shower or sink inside your home. You can increase your water pressure by contacting your local water company and getting professional advice from a plumber.
The best way to keep your sprinkler heads from shooting air is regular maintenance. We offer maintenance plans that fit your needs and will keep your system in tip-top shape.