by | Jun 14, 2024

Lawn Sprinkler System Maintenance: Top Tips for 2024



Maintaining a lawn sprinkler system is crucial for keeping your yard green and healthy while ensuring that your system operates efficiently. Proper lawn sprinkler system maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs, save water, and extend the lifespan of your sprinkler system.

Here are some quick tips for maintaining your lawn sprinkler system:

  • Set a watering schedule: Adjust seasonally and water at optimal times.
  • Inspect regularly: Check for leaks, broken heads, and other potential issues.
  • Clean the heads: Ensure there are no clogs or residues.
  • Check the valves: Ensure they seal properly to avoid leaks.
  • Test the voltage: Ensure electrical components are working correctly.

Hello, I’m Steve Sylva, owner of Steve’s Services Landscape Company with over 25 years of experience in lawn sprinkler system maintenance. Our team specializes in comprehensive, high-quality maintenance services to keep your sprinkler system running smoothly.

Lawn Sprinkler System Maintenance Infographic - lawn sprinkler system maintenance infographic process-5-steps-informal

Understanding Your Lawn Sprinkler System

To keep your lawn lush and green, it’s crucial to understand the key components of your lawn sprinkler system. Here’s a breakdown of the main parts that make up a typical system:


  1. Sprinkler Heads: These are the outlets from which water is sprayed. They come in various types, each suited for different watering needs.
  2. Pipes and Water Lines: These transport water from the main supply to the sprinkler heads.
  3. Valves: These control the flow of water to different zones of your lawn.
  4. Controller: Often called the “brain” of the system, it schedules and manages the watering times.
  5. Sensors: These include rain and freeze sensors that prevent the system from operating under unsuitable conditions.

Types of Sprinkler Heads

Different heads serve different purposes. Here are the common types:

  • Stationary Heads: Also known as fixed spray heads, these are ideal for small areas. They spray water in a fixed pattern.
  • Rotor Heads: These rotate to cover larger areas and are great for medium to large lawns.
  • Pop-up Heads: These are hidden underground and pop up when activated. They are perfect for high-traffic areas.
  • Pulsating Heads: These are best for large areas and can be adjusted without tools.


The controller is the central unit that manages your watering schedule. Modern controllers have advanced features like:

  • Smart Controllers: These adjust watering schedules based on weather conditions.
  • Manual Controllers: These require you to set the watering times and durations manually.
  • Hybrid Controllers: These offer both manual and smart features.


Sensors are critical for efficient lawn sprinkler system maintenance. The most common types are:

  • Rain Sensors: These stop the system from running during rainfall, saving water and preventing overwatering.
  • Freeze Sensors: These prevent the system from operating during freezing conditions, protecting your pipes and heads from damage.

Understanding these components will help you maintain your system more effectively and ensure your lawn stays healthy and green.

Sprinkler System Components - lawn sprinkler system maintenance

Next, we’ll dive into the Lawn Sprinkler System Maintenance Schedule to keep everything running smoothly year-round.

Lawn Sprinkler System Maintenance Schedule

To keep your lawn sprinkler system running smoothly, follow a regular maintenance schedule. This involves frequent inspections, seasonal adjustments, and timely cleanings. Here’s a simple guide to help you stay on track:

Inspection Frequency

Regular inspections are key to catching problems early. Aim to inspect your sprinkler system at least once a month. Look for:

  • Leaks: Check for any signs of water pooling around sprinkler heads or along water lines.
  • Broken Lines: Inspect the pipes and connections for any visible damage.
  • Misdirected Heads: Ensure sprinkler heads are aimed correctly to cover your lawn evenly.

Seasonal Adjustments

Adjusting your sprinkler system according to the season can save water and extend the life of your system.

  • Spring: Perform a thorough inspection and make any necessary repairs. This is also a good time to adjust the watering schedule as new blooms and grass growth begin.
  • Summer: Water more frequently, typically three to four times a week during hot months like those in North Texas. Water early in the morning or late in the evening to minimize evaporation.
  • Fall: Gradually reduce the watering frequency as temperatures drop. Inspect the system for any wear and tear and make necessary adjustments.
  • Winter: In colder climates, it’s crucial to winterize your system. Drain the water and insulate exposed pipes to prevent freezing. In milder climates, you can reduce watering to once or twice a week.

Cleaning Timelines

Keeping your system clean ensures optimal performance and prevents clogs.

  • Sprinkler Heads: Clean the heads every few months to remove dirt and debris. This helps maintain proper water flow and direction.
  • Filters and Valves: Check and clean filters and valves at least twice a year. This prevents blockages and ensures efficient water distribution.

By following this lawn sprinkler system maintenance schedule, you’ll not only save water but also extend the lifespan of your system. Up next, we’ll cover essential maintenance steps to keep your system in top shape.

Essential Maintenance Steps for Optimal Performance

Cleaning and Unclogging

Keeping your lawn sprinkler system clean is crucial for optimal performance.

Filters: Clean your sprinkler filters at least twice a year. Here’s a simple way to do it:

  1. Pull up the sprinkler tip and clamp it with a vice grip.
  2. Unscrew the top to remove the filter. Use needle nose pliers if needed.
  3. Rinse and scrub the filter screen with water and a toothbrush.
  4. Re-install the clean filter.

Sprinkler Heads: Dirty sprinkler heads can cause uneven watering. Follow these steps:

  1. Detach the spray head by turning it counterclockwise.
  2. Soak it in water with some rust remover for 30 minutes.
  3. Scrub off any buildup with a brush.
  4. Rinse and grease the moving parts with a lubricant like WD-40 before reattaching.

Valves: Clearing out the valves ensures smooth water flow:

  1. Turn the sprinkler head counterclockwise to remove it.
  2. Turn the valve on for about 5 minutes to flush the system.
  3. Replace the sprinkler heads after flushing.

Regular Inspections

Regular inspections help catch issues before they become big problems.

Leaks: Look for soggy spots in your lawn or unusually high water bills. These could indicate a leak.

Broken Lines: Inspect the entire system for any broken pipes or lines. Fix them immediately to avoid water wastage.

Misaligned Heads: Check if the sprinkler heads are pointed in the right direction. Misaligned heads waste water by spraying on sidewalks or driveways.

Adjusting Settings

Properly adjusting your system settings ensures efficient watering.

Spray Patterns: Manually turn on your system and observe the spray patterns. Adjust any heads that are spraying unevenly.

Water Pressure: Check the water pressure. Too high, and the heads might break; too low, and the coverage will be poor. Use a pressure regulator if needed.

Controller Settings: Make sure your controller is set correctly. Adjust the watering schedule based on the season and the specific needs of different zones in your yard.

By following these essential maintenance steps, you’ll ensure your lawn sprinkler system operates at its best. Next, we’ll dive into common issues and troubleshooting tactics to help you address any problems that arise.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting in Lawn Sprinkler Systems

Sprinkler Leaks

Causes: Sprinkler leaks are often caused by broken pipes, damaged heads, or faulty valves. These issues can occur from regular wear and tear or external factors like lawnmowers and cars.

Detection: Look for puddles on your driveway, soggy grass, or eroding soil. These are telltale signs of a leak.

Fixes: Once you identify a leak, you may need to replace broken pipes or damaged heads. Faulty valves should be repaired or replaced to ensure proper water flow.

Damaged Sprinkler Heads

Identification: Damaged sprinkler heads are usually easy to spot. Look for heads that are not popping up, spraying water unevenly, or are physically broken.

Replacement: To replace a broken head, turn off the water supply, remove the damaged head, and install a new one. Make sure the new head is adjusted correctly to match the spray pattern needed for your lawn.

Electrical and Timer Problems

Symptoms: Common symptoms include the system not turning on or off at the scheduled times, or certain zones not activating.

Solutions: First, check the controller settings and replace the batteries if needed. Ensure the programming is correct. If the problem persists, inspect the wiring and connections for any faults. In some cases, you may need to replace the controller.

By addressing these common issues promptly, you can keep your lawn sprinkler system running smoothly and efficiently. Next, we’ll explore advanced maintenance techniques to further enhance your system’s performance.

Advanced Maintenance Techniques

The Tuna Can Test

One simple and effective way to check your sprinkler system’s performance is the tuna can test. This test helps you measure how much water your sprinklers are putting out.

1. Place empty tuna cans (or any shallow, straight-sided containers) around your lawn.
2. Run your sprinklers for 15 minutes.
3. Measure the water depth in each can using a ruler.

– If the water level is even across all cans, your sprinklers are distributing water evenly.
– If some cans have more water than others, you need to adjust your sprinkler heads for better coverage.

This test helps ensure your lawn gets the right amount of water without wastage.

Seasonal Adjustments

Adjusting your watering schedule according to the season is vital for optimal lawn health.

Watering Schedules:
Summer: Water early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce evaporation. Water 3-4 days a week.
Winter: Reduce watering to 1-2 days a week, preferably in the morning.

Sensor Checks:
Rain Sensors: Ensure they are functioning to prevent watering during rain.
Freeze Sensors: Check these to avoid watering during freezing temperatures.

Making these adjustments helps your lawn stay healthy and conserves water.

Professional Audits

Hiring experts for a professional audit can significantly boost your system’s performance.

Thorough Inspection: Detects issues you might miss.
Customized Solutions: Tailored advice for your specific lawn needs.
Efficiency: Ensures your system operates at peak efficiency, saving water and money.

Annual Audits: At least once a year, ideally before the watering season starts.
Post-Installation: After any major changes to your landscape or sprinkler system.

By incorporating these advanced maintenance techniques, you can ensure your lawn sprinkler system remains in top shape year-round. Next, we’ll discuss how Steve’s Services Landscape Company can help you with all your lawn sprinkler system maintenance needs.

Lawn Sprinkler System Maintenance by Steve’s Services Landscape Company

When it comes to lawn sprinkler system maintenance, Steve’s Services Landscape Company stands out for its expertise, custom solutions, and local service.


Our team consists of highly trained professionals who understand every component of your sprinkler system. From identifying leaks to adjusting spray patterns, we know how to keep your system running smoothly. Our technicians are equipped with the latest tools and knowledge to address any issue efficiently.

“Regular maintenance and prompt repairs are essential for keeping your irrigation system in top shape.” – Steve’s Services

Custom Solutions

Every lawn is unique, and so are its watering needs. We offer tailored solutions to ensure your sprinkler system meets the specific demands of your landscape. Whether it’s adjusting zones for varying sunlight exposure or retrofitting your system to accommodate new plant beds, we’ve got you covered.

We also specialize in upgrading older systems with modern technology like smart controllers and rain/freeze sensors. These upgrades not only save water but also reduce your utility bills.

Local Service

Being a local company, we understand the specific challenges that Northern Texas landscapes face. Whether it’s dealing with extreme heat or unexpected cold snaps, we offer solutions that are tailored to the local climate. Our close proximity allows us to respond quickly to any service calls, ensuring your system is back up and running in no time.

By choosing Steve’s Services Landscape Company, you’re investing in a hassle-free, efficient, and customized approach to lawn sprinkler system maintenance.

Next, we’ll explore common issues and troubleshooting tips to keep your sprinkler system in optimal condition.


Maintaining your lawn sprinkler system is crucial for optimal performance and longevity. Regular lawn sprinkler system maintenance not only helps in conserving water but also ensures that your landscape remains lush and healthy. By following a consistent maintenance schedule, you can avoid costly repairs and keep your system running smoothly.

The benefits of regular maintenance include:

  • Water Conservation: Properly maintained systems use water efficiently, reducing waste and lowering your water bills.
  • Cost Savings: Early detection of issues can prevent expensive repairs down the line.
  • Enhanced Longevity: Regular upkeep extends the life of your sprinkler system, protecting your investment.
  • Optimal Performance: Ensures even water distribution, keeping your lawn looking its best.

If you’re looking for expert help in maintaining your lawn sprinkler system, look no further than Steve’s Services Landscape Company. Our team is dedicated to providing top-notch service tailored to your specific needs.

Contact us today to schedule your maintenance service and ensure your sprinkler system is in peak condition. Let us take the hassle out of lawn care so you can enjoy a beautiful, healthy landscape year-round.