Common Irrigation Challenges

Many homeowners have challenges with their irrigation systems. Use the table below to identify common irrigation issues along with suggested solutions.

Issues Image Suggested Solution

Tilted Sprinkler Heads

Leaning sprinkler

Adjust sprinkler head. Remove soil around the sprinkler head, re-adjust the sprinkler body to a perpendicular position, then backfill the hole with soil firmly packed to secure head in place.

Adjust direction of spray to insure the water is irrigating the grass, rather than non-living materials, such as, sidewalks, streets, and fences.

Plants block / obstruct the sprinkler spray pattern

Plants blocking sprinkler

Add a riser or change the method of irrigation.

For example, instead of watering shrubs with sprinklers, change irrigation method for this zone or valve to low-volume drip emitters.

Perform proper pruning based on plant type.



Set sprinkler run time to stop watering before water starts running off your lawn.

For example, instead of watering one time per day for 15 minutes, divide the watering time into three run times per day for 5 minute sessions, with enough time in between (about one hour) for the water to soak into the soil.

Replace spray nozzles with rotary nozzles.



Adjust spray pattern, relocate sprinkler heads or change spray nozzles.

Adjust timer to water for shorter periods of time to prevent run-off.

Misting or fogging

Misting or fogging

Result of excessive (high) pressure. Reduce pressure by installing a pressure regulator before or at the valve; set pressure according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

Adjust the flow control on the remote control valve.

Mismatched sprinkler heads

Mismatched sprinkler heads

Replace with consistent sprinkler head type and brand for matched precipitation rate within each zone.

If you've identified that you have any of the problems above, you can talk to someone at your local irrigation supply store or hardware store about how to implement the solution.