Mr Sprinkler Repair

Sprinkler Repair

Mr Sprinkler Repair

Why Isn’t My Sprinkler System Starting?

When your sprinkler system fails to start, it can be a source of frustration – especially if you’re looking to maintain a healthy and vibrant lawn or garden. Understanding the potential reasons behind this issue can help you diagnose and fix the problem effectively. Here are some common reasons your sprinkler system might not be starting:

Electrical Issues

Power Supply

Check that the power supply to your control system is active. Power outages, tripped breakers, or unplugged systems are common culprits.

Sprinkler Controller Problems

The controller may have malfunctioned or is not properly programmed. Ensure the current date and time are correct and that the settings correspond to the desired watering schedule.

Fuse or Wiring Malfunctions

Inspect the controller for a blown fuse, which could easily halt operation. Additionally, damaged or corroded wires can interrupt the electrical signals to the valves.

Valve Complications

Manual Valves Not Open

Some systems have manual valves at the backflow device which need to be open for the system to function.

Sprinkler Valve Solenoid Failure

The solenoid is an electromagnet that opens the valve when energized. A defective solenoid will prevent the valve from opening, thus halting the system.

Blocked or Damaged Sprinkler Valves

Debris or wear and tear could block the valve from opening. Physical inspections and cleaning may resolve this issue.

Water Supply Issues

Main Water Valve Is Off

Ensure that the main water valve feeding the sprinkler system is fully open.

Backflow Preventer Valves

If your system has a backflow preventer, check to see that its valves are in the open position.

Low Water Pressure

Exceptionally low water pressure may prevent the sprinkler heads from popping up or distributing water properly.

Sprinkler Controller & Sensor Issues

Sensor Interference

Rain or soil moisture sensors may prevent the system from starting if they detect sufficient moisture levels. Sensor malfunctions could also simulate these conditions falsely.

Incorrect Zone Settings

If your controller is not correctly programmed for specific zones, it may not start the sprinkler system as anticipated.

Sprinkler Head and Pipe Issues

Clogged Sprinkler Heads

Over time, dirt and debris can clog sprinkler heads. Clean them to ensure they operate correctly.

Leaky or Broken Pipes

Underground pipe damage can cause significant system failings and may require professional repairs.

Seasonal and Environmental Factors

Winterization Side Effects

Improperly de-winterizing your system can result in air pockets or valve issues.

Root Growth

Trees and large plants can cause damage to underground lines, which might not be immediately apparent.

If you’re experiencing difficulties with your sprinkler system not starting, work through this checklist systematically. Often the fix might be simple, but if the troubleshooting steps do not resolve the issue, it may be time to consult a professional irrigation specialist. Remember that regular maintenance can help prevent many of these problems from occurring in the first place.


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.