How to Tell Whether a Sprinkler Valve Solenoid Is Bad

Sprinkler Valve Solenoid is Bad

Sprinkler systems are great when they work. They make lawn care so much easier, and they’re likely to leave you with a much greener, healthier lawn. But when they stop working, they can be a source of unlimited frustration. The best way to prevent that frustration is to know how to spot signs of trouble early. Then you can learn how we fix problems at Andy’s Sprinkler, Drainage, & Lighting. Today, we’re going to talk about solenoids.

Signs You Have a Problem

The solenoid is what controls the water pressure. It receives an electric current from the controller to determine what adjustments need to be made. It uses a plunger to adjust the valve, and there are a few more moving parts in the mix. All of this is what allows an automated sprinkler system to run things for you and provide that great convenience. But when the solenoid is bad, you can get some weird sprinkler problems.

The Water Won’t Shut Off

If you have this problem, it’s very likely the solenoid. A problem with the plunger can prevent the solenoid from closing the valve when it’s time. That means your sprinklers will keep running after they’re supposed to stop. 

If you run into this problem, the first step is to turn off the water. If you can’t get it off at a local source, you can shut it off at the main. This is an issue that needs to be fixed right away. Get the water off and call for help. That’s your best recourse.

Low or Uneven Water Pressure

The solenoid controls the water pressure. Knowing that, it’s not surprising that a bad solenoid can lead to water pressure issues. If your system isn’t delivering water to every corner of the lawn like it once did, the solenoid is one of the most likely culprits. This doesn’t constitute an emergency, but you can give us a call, and we’ll get someone out to fix it as soon as is convenient for you.

Water Leaks

There are many points in a sprinkler system that can leak. No matter the cause, leaks should never be ignored. They can run up a monstrous water bill. They can also cause additional damage. So, if you see a leak, get it fixed as soon as possible.

As far as the solenoid goes, it’s the main valve for the automated sprinkler system. It’s definitely a common place for leaks to occur.

Diagnosing the Solenoid

When we come to repair your sprinkler system, we’ll do a full diagnosis. That’s part of the deal. Assuming the solenoid is the problem, these are some of the things we’re likely to do to identify and resolve the issue.

Current Testing

Sometimes the electric signal is the problem. We’ll check the current and resistance to make sure the circuitry is working as it should. When the problems are relegated to circuitry, we can find and replace the faulty part. Often a small part of the whole is the culprit, and the repair isn’t too troubling. That said, larger electrical problems can be an issue. We can solve those larger problems too.

Valve Inspection

If the problem isn’t electrical, it’s mechanical. The best way for us to rapidly diagnose mechanical issues in the solenoid is to take a good look at the valve. Sometimes the problem is apparent, and we can get straight to it. In other cases, we might need to disassemble, clean, and inspect the inner components of the solenoid. This will give us a close look at everything and help us find the faulty part. 

Parts Replacement

When we take apart the solenoid valve, we’re going to look over each individual component. That will help us identify the ultimate root cause. Once we know where the fault lies, we can replace the component and get your sprinkler system working again. In a worst-case scenario, it could be an irreplaceable part of the solenoid, such as the housing, meaning we might have to replace the entire solenoid instead of a smaller component. Knowing more about the solenoid can help you with expectations and head off some frustration before it mounts. When you have a solenoid problem, know that Andy’s Sprinkler, Drainage and Lighting is here to help. Even if your problem isn’t with a solenoid, you can give us a call. We’ll make sure your system is in proper working order and your lawn has everything it needs to remain lush and healthy.