In an irrigation system, the pressure must vary within a certain range to create a proper flow. This is especially important because if the pressure is too high, the water will misdirect and cause erosion, while if the pressure is too low, it will not reach every area. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep track of your pressure to make sure it stays within the proper range.

That said, there are many different reasons that the pressure can fluctuate in an irrigation system. Below are just a few examples.

1. Your Sprinklers Are Misting

Fluctuating water pressure can cause a sprinkler to spray water in all directions, drifting and blowing across the lawn and landscape rather than being delivered at an optimal rate. Clogged sprinklers or blocked heads can also cause misting. If clogged nozzles are not the culprit, then it is likely that something below ground must be repaired to restore optimal water pressure.

2. Your Sprinklers System Has an Uneven Pressure in Drip

Make sure the system’s maximum flow rate or run length has not been exceeded. Clean filters if time has passed since the last cleaning. Clean or replace the dripper if its flow is inconsistent. Check the dripper by holding your finger over the tip for a few seconds to turn it on. The dripper should not be leaking water when off and should deliver a consistent flow.

If you suspect the dripper is not delivering a reasonable flow, replace its head. Also, make sure the drip emitter is set in the right direction (horizontal).

3. Your Sprinklers System’s Water Line Has a Leak

Water lines may also break or leak below ground. Usually, these problems occur when a water line is accidentally damaged. The signs of a broken or leaking water line below ground are typically wet lawn spots or random soil depressions. The water line may be made out of several different materials, including PVC, polybutylene, polyethylene, and metal.

Sometimes, these water lines may need to be replaced, whereas they may be repaired other times. If you suspect your water line has a leak, you should contact a qualified plumber to diagnose and repair the problem.

4. Your Sprinklers System’s Pop-Up Head Isn’t Exactly Popping Up

A decrease in water pressure can cause a pop-up sprinkler to fail to open; in such cases, the cause of the decreased pressure is most likely a broken water pipe that is preventing water from reaching the sprinkler or a worn seal on the sprinkler wiper that is preventing the water from reaching the sprinkler. To resolve, turn off the irrigation system, then open the faucet that’s stuck using a wrench to drain the system.

Next, if you are able to pull up the riser stem without any resistance, it’s the irrigation pressure. Check the hydraulics for faults, and if there are no problems, replace the seal and stem that are preventing it from opening.


Water pressure is vital for an irrigation system to work properly. This is because high or low water pressure will cause the irrigation system to misdirect the stream and send water to the wrong places. Therefore, keeping track of the pressure is important to ensure it stays within the proper range.

If you are looking for a well-trusted company that specializes in irrigation systems in Tulsa, OK, look no further than our expertise here at Extreme Irrigation & Lawn. Locally owned and operated, we offer sprinkler system repair and installation throughout the Tulsa area. Call us today and let us tend to your faulty irrigation system in no time!