Rain Bird sprinklers are generally highly reliable. However, like any other fast-moving mechanical part, problems can still arise with frequent use. Here are some of the most frequent problem that occur with Rain Bird sprinklers, along with their solutions.
Bad Spray Pattern
Problem: The spray goes up and down, skips areas or is inaccurate in general.
Solution: This usually means something is blocking the spray. The best way to remedy the issue is to clean the nozzle and the head. Do not use a towel or paper to clean the nozzle. Instead, use a garden hose, or use pressurized air.
The Stem is Leaking
Problem: Water flows between the stem and the cap.
Solution: This usually means dirt is stuck between the stem and the seal. Try turning the system on, then using your foot quickly press down on the sprinkler. This presses a burst of water between the cap and stem, which should wash the dirt out. If the stem still leaks afterwards, you may need to replace the cap.
The Sprinkler is Leaking
Problem: Water comes out of the sprinkler when in the “off” position.
Solution: This is usually a problem with either the seal or the washer. Replace these parts and the leak should stop. This is part of normal wear and tear.
Sprinklers Are Misting
Problem: Instead of spraying, the sprinklers are generating mist.
Solution: Reduce your water pressure. You can usually control the water pressure at your remote control valve, by adjusting the flow control. If you don’t have flow control, you may need to install a pressure regulator.
The Sprinkler is Stuck
Problem: The “arm” of the sprinkler is stuck, causing the water to only spray in one direction. All Rain Bird sprinklers use a head and arm system. The “arm” pivots back and forth, causing water to spray in an arc. When the arm is stuck, the sprinkler no longer has a dynamic arc.
Solution: Generally this is caused by either pressure that’s too high or too low. As the arm is driven entirely by water pressure, pressure that’s too high or too low can both cause the arm to stop operating. Try increasing or decreasing the pressure to fix the problem.
Do not apply lubrication to the arm! While applying lube can help in the short term, it quickly destroys the sprinkler. Oil attracts dust and dirt and creates additional friction.
Arm Range is Reduced
Problem: The range of the arm is reduced. It seems like the arm is still throwing, but not as far as it should.
Solution: This usually means something is blocking the arm. Clean the area around the arm, as well as the inlet screen and the nozzle. Do not attempt to dislodge debris with a hard object like a pen or fingernail. Use only water from your hose, or pressurized air.
There’s a Puddle Near the Lowest Sprinkler
Problem: This usually means the valve is seeping.
Solution: There are four possible parts you may need to replace. The first two possibilities are the solenoid or solenoid seat. To verify if these are the parts you need to replace, look immediately past the plunger. If that’s where the leak stems from, you’ll need to replace the solenoid or the solenoid seat. The second two possibilities are the diaphragm and valve seats. Check both the valve seat and the diaphragm for damage or debris. Replace parts as necessary.
Fuse Blown on Controller
Problem: The wiring is short or the fuse is blown out on the controller.
Solution: Place the controller in the rest position. Then replace the blown fuse. Turn the system on again. If the fuse blows again, you may need to test each station individually. To test each station, first replace the fuse again. Then turn each station on, one at a time. Let each station run individually for a couple minutes. Repeat this process for every station. When the fuse blows again, you’ll know which station is causing the problem. You can turn on all the stations other than the problem station. Contact an electrician to fix the problem in the problem area.
Controller / Microprocessor Problems
Problem: The controller’s screen is blank, the screen is frozen, or the controller doesn’t execute its programs.
Solution: The most consistent solution is to completely reset the controller. This will put the controller back to its factory condition. Unfortunately, it does delete your current program, so you’ll have to reconfigure the controller from scratch.
To reset the controller, disconnect it from the main power source. If it’s plugged into an outlet, unplug it. If it’s wired, you’ll need to shut off its circuit at the circuit breaker. Then disconnect the 9-volt battery in the controller. This battery keeps power in the microprocessor to keep data intact during outages. Wait about 5 minutes, then reconnect the main power. Test the controller again to see if it’s functional.
Author Bio – This article has been written by Brett Thomas from Rain Bird Corporation, a leading manufacturer and provider of irrigation products and services. If you’re looking for a wide variety of irrigation products like valves, timers, clocks etc you can buy Rain Bird sprinkler parts here.