Mr Sprinkler Repair

Sprinkler Repair

Mr Sprinkler Repair

How Do You Troubleshoot An Irrigation Valve?

Solenoid Valve Troubleshooting Guide

Irrigation systems rely on solenoid valves to control the flow of water to various parts of a landscape. If you’re experiencing issues with your irrigation, there’s a good chance a solenoid valve is at the heart of the problem. Here’s a step-by-step guide to troubleshoot a solenoid valve effectively.

1. Identify the Problem

First, identify the specific issue you’re experiencing:

  • The valve doesn’t open or close
  • The valve partially opens
  • The valve leaks or doesn’t shut off completely
2. Check the Power Supply
  • Ensure Power is On: Verify that the power source to the irrigation controller is active, and the controller is operational.
  • Inspect Wiring: Look for any visible damage to the wires leading to the solenoid valve. Corrosion, nicks, or cuts could be the culprit.
3. Examine the Solenoid
  • Visual Inspection: Remove the solenoid from the valve and inspect it for damage or debris.
  • Test the Solenoid: Use a multimeter to check the solenoid’s resistance. A reading of between 20 and 60 ohms is typical, but consult your valve’s documentation for specific values. An infinite or zero reading indicates a faulty solenoid that needs replacing.
4. Inspect the Valve Diaphragm
  • Disassemble the Valve: Carefully disassemble the valve, paying close attention to how it’s constructed so you can reassemble it correctly.
  • Clean the Diaphragm: Remove any dirt or debris that might be preventing the diaphragm from sealing properly.
  • Check for Damage: Look for tears or brittleness in the diaphragm. A damaged diaphragm will prevent the valve from functioning correctly and needs to be replaced.
5. Clean the Valve Seat and Ports
  • Use a soft brush or cloth to clean the valve seat and ports. Debris here can prevent proper operation.
  • After cleaning, reassemble the valve and solenoid. Ensure all parts are secure and correctly aligned.
6. Test the Valve Manually
  • Most solenoid valves have a manual override, often a small lever or screw that allows you to open the valve without electrical power. Use this feature to check if the valve can open and close fully by hand.
  • If the valve operates manually but not electrically, the issue might be with the electrical components (solenoid, controller, or wiring) rather than the mechanical parts of the valve.
7. Re-check Electrical Connections
  • If you haven’t already, thoroughly inspect all electrical connections for loose wires or corrosion, especially at the controller and the valve solenoid.
  • Ensure that the wire connectors are waterproof and make a solid connection.


After performing these troubleshooting steps, if the valve still does not operate correctly, you may need to replace it. Always refer to the manufacturer’s documentation for specific guidance related to your valve model. Regular maintenance and inspection of your irrigation system can help prevent issues with solenoid valves and other components, ensuring efficient operation for years to come.


If you have any questions or need any type of sprinkler system repair, the experts at Mr Sprinkler Repair will be glad to help. Give us a call or 855-695-1000 to set an appointment.