Went to turn on my sprinkler system for the second time this year and nothing comes up. Confirmed water is flowing from pump (not sure if rate has changed though). No sprinklers come up, but every sprinkler I check has water weeping out of it (enough to cover the head, as the heads are a little low).

I've confirmed the controller is sending proper voltage to the valve, the solenoid actuates, but seems water is coming out of each zone. When I go to each valve, I open the bleed valve (hunter pgv) and water slowly comes out. Walked near the main to confirm there isn't a main leak, haven't found anything yet. Pulled a valve and didn't see anything (debris).

If I pressurize the main only, without opening any valves, water still flows from all sprinklers.

I don't want to run all zones at once. Just want to run one zone (5 sprinklers) at a time. However, whether I try one zone, or just pressurize the main line and no sprinklers, all sprinklers leak. Yes, I don't think supply can run all zones at once (and it's not meant to). I don't know why when I turn on 1 zone, all sprinklers leak.

  • 1
    When you had it turned on the first time, did you have all zone on at the same time? If so, then it sounds like a flow issue that's changed. If you didn't have all zones on, then likely it's a situation where your pump can't supply enough pressure for all zones at the same time. I'd suggest trying energizing only one zone at a time, to see if just one zone behaves differently than having them all on at the same time.
    – Milwrdfan
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 21:20
  • 2
    How many sprinklers do you have? If you have a bunch, and they are all on at the same time, then the pressure would be low, and likely not enough to "pop up" the heads.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 21:21
  • First run was fine. Only 1 zone was activated and was fine. 5 per zone, 20 zones
    – asp316
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 21:21
  • what about the pump ? is the pressure in home ok
    – Traveler
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 21:32
  • 1
    Why do you have zones, even? Is it possible your supply can't run all zones at once? How about one at a time. Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 0:27

2 Answers 2


After confirming I had enough water, which cleared the pump and the water supply, started opening valves. There was a scum on top of the diaphragms. Cleaned them thoroughly and check the diaphragm for hardening of the rubber. If they didn't spring back quickly and easily, I replaced it. After going through every valve this way, this solved the problem. Thanks for the advice.


You should have a valve box inside which you can operate each of the zone valves manually.

My usual first step is to turn off all zones by shutting down the controller. But if you need a pump to be activated you'll need to figure out how to do that with your controller. Get the pump running but all the zones off.

Make sure the main water supply is fully on, the pump running, and make sure any bleed valves, pressure reducers, pressure relief or any other gadgets are turned on, or off, as they should be. Make sure all the manual valve controls in the valve box are off.

You should not hear any water flowing or see any water bubbling up from the ground. If you do, there's a leak in your main supply line.

If not, turn one of the zones on using the manual valve in the valve box. You should get one zone sprinkling. If not, turn that off and try one or two more zones.

If some zones work but others don't, you might have a broken underground pipe in one or more places that is losing all the pressure.

If nothing above works, your problem is between the main supply and the valve box. If you have a hose spigot along the main line, thats' a good way to check pressure and flow. If not, consider installing one now.

If all the above doesn't solve the problem, it should hopefully help you zero in on it.

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