FAQ | Residential Irrigation


Residential FAQ, Watermaster Irrigation, Lubbock, Texas

Frequently Asked Questions.

Q: How do I winterize my sprinkler system?

A: This how to guide from Hunter will show you how to winterize.   Visit this site to learn more.

Q: Adjusting a Hunter Head, ever wonder how exactly to adjust a spray head?

A: This how to guide from Hunter will show you just that. If you find this how-to helpful, please let us know! If you have suggestions for additional links, please use the contact link above to suggest it! Visit this site to learn more: hunterindustries.com/Support

Q: What if the system won’t turn on?

Possible Solutions:

Check the main supply source

  • Is the valve ahead of the water meter turned on?
  • Does the pump have power and water?

Check the System Isolation Valves

  • Is the system isolation main gate/ball valve open all the way?
  • Is the backflow prevention device operating properly?

Check the Controller

  • Is the controller plugged in?
  • Has the controller been programmed properly? Many solid state controllers have several programs with several start times. All of them need to be checked. Is water budgeting set properly?
  • In an electromechanical controller, are the knobs and pins in the correct position?
  • In a solid state controller there may be a ghost program. Unplug the controller and the backup battery. Let the clock sit idle for 3 minutes and reprogram.
  • Are rain and/or freeze sensors keeping the system from coming on?
  • Is there power to the controller? Check the electrical receptacle with a volt/ohm meter. Do this by setting the meter to “Volts” and stick the red and black leads into the receptacle. The meter should read between 110-130 volts.
  • Does the controller have a fuse? Check to see if it is burned out.
  • Is the transformer working? Check the output wires with a volt/ohm meter set to volts. Stick the red and black leads on to the output terminals connected to the transformer output wires. The meter should read 24-25 volts. Most solenoids will not operate below 19 volts.
  • Are the wires properly attached to the terminal strip?
  • Talk to Watermaster Irrigation Supply, Inc. about repairing or replacing the controller.

Q: Why will some sections or zones not come on?

Possible Solutions:

  • Are the stations programmed correctly at the controller?
  • Is the valve installed correctly? Check the flow arrow to make sure that the valve was not installed backward. This is usually a new installation problem.
  • If the section valve has a flow control handle, is it in the open condition? Reset the flow handle to two complete turns open if it is completely closed. Reset the flow handle to where there is a slight hissing sound coming from the valve when the water is flowing.
  • Will the valve come on if you turn the manual bleed on? (if your system has a master valve, you may have to manually bleed it also.)
  • Open the controller so the terminal strip is exposed. Disconnect the common wire from the terminal and with a volt/ohm meter set on “Ohms” touch or clamp the black lead to the common wire. Make sure the controller is in the off position and touch the red lead to each active station post.
  • A reading between 20-60 Ohms indicates a good solenoid and electrical circuit. Turn the water source off, remove the valve bonnet and check the inlet/outlet ports for plugging or contamination. Unscrew the solenoid and check the plunger and spring for freedom of movement. If the valve has a metering rod make sure it is in place and not worn. Reassemble the valve, turn the water on, and test for operation.
  • A reading below 20 Ohms indicates a bad solenoid or a short in the wiring. Go to the solenoid location, cut the solenoid lead wires and apply the meter leads to each wire. A good solenoid will read between 20-60 Ohms. If the solenoid reads below 20 Ohms replace the solenoid. NOTE: two solenoids connected to the same location will produce a reading at half that of a single solenoid. Check each solenoid separately in this situation.
  • At the controller, if the Ohm meter reading is below 20 Ohms and the solenoid reading is good, there is a short in the wiring. The short is located between the valve and the controller. A short indicates that the current is taking a “shortcut” back to the controller, which creates the lower rating. Fault locater devices are available to locate this problem. Contact Watermaster Irrigation Supply, Inc. if you have a need to order a fault locator.
  • At the controller if the Ohm meter reads infinity (∞) or shows a reading like 1.1m or 28k, the problem is a broken wire. With a broken wire, the current has no way of returning to the meter. The Ohm meter responds with an infinity reading. (Check the specific meter manual for the exact reading.)
  • At the controller, if the Ohm meter reads between 60-150 Ohms, the problem is most likely a bad splice. If the resistance is above 60 Ohms (an open) test the solenoid without the field wires described above. Replace the solenoid if the resistance is still above 60 Ohms. More than likely, the solenoid will test within the proper limits. If this is the case, cut out the wire connectors, twist the station and common wires together at the valve location and retest the resistance from the controller. The resistance should now read very low, possibly 2 Ohms or below. If the resistance is this low, the problem is caused by a faulty wire connector. Install new water-proof wire connectors on the existing solenoid and test the resistance again at the controller. If the resistance is still high when the station and common wires are twisted together, then there is an open somewhere between the valve and the controller. Wire tracing equipment should be used to locate the problem.

Q: How can I fix a leaking sprinkler?

A: This problem will appear around the head of a sprinkler causing a damp or wet area. The sprinkler head will usually be located in the lowest spot of the affected area. The cause of the leak is not the actual sprinkler head. The problem, typically, will be found in the valve which controls the flow of water for the irrigation system. Water may seep past the valve seat or the solenoid seat, causing the wet area around the sprinkler head. To resolve this problem, take the valve apart to check and repair both seats. Reassemble the valve after repairing.


WATERMASTER IRRIGATION SUPPLY, INC., Lawn & Garden Sprinkler Systems, Lubbock, TX
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