Sprinkler valves are responsible for switching the sprinklers on and off. When these valves break, they may cause a plethora of headaches, including a ridiculous water bill while having a dry lawn.

Calling a company that offers top-notch sprinkler repairs is your best course of action. But if that is not an option at the moment, here are some tips for you.

Sprinkler Valve Is Not Turning On

Electrical issues, water supply problems, and solenoid failure are three of the most common causes that prevent sprinkler valves from turning on. Here are some strategies you can follow to pinpoint the cause of the valve failure.

Electrical Issues

When you notice a patch of your lawn looking drier than the rest, locate the valve responsible for that area and try opening it manually. Most sprinkler valves have levers and switches, allowing you to open them without electricity. If water sprays out of the valve, you may want to check the sprinkler system’s electrical connections with a multimeter. 

Water Supply Problems

In case your lawn looks drier than usual, try checking the valves. Suppose you turn on the valves manually and no water comes out, and your home is not experiencing any water issues. In that case, the possibility is high that the sprinkler’s water shutoff valve is the root of the problem.

Valve Solenoid Failure

If the electrical wiring and water supply are not the problems, the issue is likely the solenoid. The valve’s solenoid is an electrically energized part of the valve that turns the sprinkler on and off.

Sprinkler Valve Is Not Turning On: Fixing the Issue

Asking assistance from sprinkler system repair professionals is the best way to go about this problem. These people know exactly how to get your sprinkler system up and running without causing any more issues. But if you want to make the repairs alone, here is what you can do.

Electrical Issues

  1. Use a multimeter and check the common and dedicated wires. Common wires connect the sprinkler control panel to the master cylinder. On the other hand, dedicated wires skip the master cylinder and attach the panel to every valve.
  2. If a zone does not show any resistance on the multimeter, then there is a bad connection in that zone.
  3. Locate the cut wire and carefully replace it.

Water Supply Problems

  1. Look for the sprinkler system’s water shutoff valve.
  2. Turn the valve in the other direction and try turning on the sprinkler valves manually.
  3. When no water comes out, return the valve lever how you saw it and check the hose valve.
  4. Turn the valve in the other direction and try to open the valves again manually.
  5. If that does nothing, return the lever how it was and check if your home has no water supply issues. Otherwise, you may want to call someone to inspect your sprinkler system.

Valve Solenoid Failure

  1. Shut off your sprinkler’s water supply.
  2. Disconnect the bad solenoid’s wires to the rest of the systems’.
  3. Turn the solenoid counterclockwise to take it out the valve.
  4. Take the faulty solenoid to your local home center and get a replacement that matches its brand and model.
  5. Place the new solenoid in the valve and turn it clockwise until it positions into place.
  6. Combine the wires of the new solenoid to the rest of the system.
  7. Protect the wire with waterproof wire connectors.
  8. Slowly turn the water supply on and test the new valve.


Sprinkler valve issues can cause you a lot of headaches. That is why identifying sprinkler issues and knowing how to do minor sprinkler repairs are beneficial. But if you are unable to determine the cause of the problem or how you can address the issue, always ask for help from irrigation and sprinkler system professionals.

Extreme Irrigation & Lawn is a locally owned and operated company that offers professional sprinkler system installations and repairs in Tulsa, OK. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!