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Sprinkler Won’t Turn off: How Do We Resolve The Issue

By Leonard Evans
I am a senior editor at Bebest, where I can share valuable content about convenience in life based on issues related to household devices.

When your sprinklers won’t turn off, it’s more than just an inconvenience. It could lead to excessive water usage, resulting in inflated bills and potential damage to your garden. Therefore, you need to check your system’s controller settings to rule out scheduling errors. If the issue persists, consider calling in a professional irrigation specialist to diagnose and fix the problem, ensuring efficient water usage. In this article, we will provide you How do we resolve the sprinkler won’t turn off.

Common Causes of Sprinkler Won’t Turn Off

Identifying and addressing these common causes of continuous sprinkler operation can help you maintain an efficient and water-conserving irrigation system. 

Common Causes of Sprinkler won't turn off
Common Causes of Sprinkler won’t turn off

Faulty Solenoid

A faulty solenoid is a common culprit when your sprinkler system won’t turn off. The solenoid is an electromagnetic device controlling water flow to the sprinkler heads. If it malfunctions or gets stuck in the open position, it will allow a continuous flow of water even when the system is supposed to be off. 

=> Replacing a faulty solenoid is typically a straightforward fix that can restore your system’s regular operation.

Timer Programming Issues

Timer Programming Issues
The issue of timer programming

The sprinkler system’s timer or controller is responsible for scheduling when each zone should be active and for how long. If there are programming errors, such as incorrect start times, run durations, or days of the week, it can lead to your sprinklers running continuously or at unexpected times. 

=> To resolve this issue, review and reprogram your timer settings to ensure they align with your watering needs.

Valve Problems

Sprinkler systems have multiple valves that control the water flow to different zones or sections of your lawn or garden. If one of these valves fails to close properly due to wear and tear, debris, or damage, it can cause continuous watering in that zone.

=> Inspect the valves for visible damage, clean them if necessary, and consider replacing any malfunctioning valves to prevent water wastage and ensure proper system functioning.

More solutions on how we resolve the issue that the sprinkler won’t turn off?

Give more solutions on how we resolve the issue that the sprinkler won't turn off
More solutions on how we resolve the issue

Your sprinkler system seems to be malfunctioning and won’t shut off, and you still do not find out the causes. Before considering professional assistance, try troubleshooting to identify and resolve the issue again.

Inspect the Backflow Preventer

The backflow preventer serves as an alternative means to shut down the system. You can locate it by looking for a green box, typically near your water meter.

  • Turn the handle clockwise for a T-shaped ball valve to shut it off.
  • If your sprinklers continue running or the backflow preventer leaks, consider repairing or replacing it.

Examine the Controller

  • If the water flow ceases after using the shutoff valve, proceed to check the controller.
  • Is the controller display blank? Utilize the reset button for a restart. You may require a fine-point tool like a needle or paper clip to access the reset button.
  • Hold down the controller reset button until the screen reactivates.
  • Verify the condition of the batteries; replacing them might resolve the issue.
  • If the controller screen remains active, inspect the settings for each zone. Ensure the controller is set to ‘auto’ for automatic operation.
  • Review the programmed watering times to ensure they are correctly set. If not, configure them accordingly.
  • If the controller appears to be functioning correctly, it’s likely not the cause of your sprinklers continuously running.
  • These troubleshooting steps can help you identify the source of the problem with your sprinkler system.

Things to consider to avoid risks

Things to consider to avoid risks
Factors to consider when using sprinklers

Before attempting to perform a DIY sprinkler repair, there are several important factors to keep in mind:

  • Avoid tampering with the system’s backflow valve, as doing so can result in the reintroduction of contaminated water into the municipal water supply, posing a significant health risk.
  • Prioritize addressing the most evident and straightforward issues, such as a clogged valve or a power surge. By doing this, you can prevent unnecessary and time-consuming work.
  • A power surge can disrupt your system’s operation, even if the display still appears functional. Some plans may have backup batteries that keep them running. Therefore, consider needing a system reset based on the display’s status.

When to Call a Pro

Suppose you need clarification about the issue with your sprinkler system or how to resolve the issue that the sprinkler won’t turn off. In that case, it’s advisable to seek the assistance of a professional rather than attempting a DIY repair.

Attempting to force a repair without the necessary expertise can lead to further damage to your sprinkler system, exacerbating the problem and ultimately requiring costly replacements.

Moreover, if you try to fix the sprinkler system without confidence in your abilities, you may inadvertently damage other critical components, such as the backflow valve. This can result in contaminated water flowing back into your municipal water supply, posing a health risk.

It’s best to contact an irrigation professional to avoid the risks of damaging your sprinkler system, harming yourself, or contaminating fresh water. They possess the expertise and tools to identify the problem accurately and safely repair or replace the necessary components.


Dealing with a sprinkler system that won’t turn off can be a frustrating ordeal, but it’s a challenge that can be met with the right know-how. By carefully inspecting components like the solenoid, timer settings, and valves, you can pinpoint the issue and take the necessary steps to resolve it. Whether it’s a faulty solenoid, programming glitches, or valve problems causing continuous operation, tackling the problem systematically is key. You need to remember that tampering with the backflow valve is a no-go, so avoid it at all costs. With patience and precision, you can save water, protect your property, and keep your irrigation system running smoothly. So, the next time your “sprinkler won’t turn off,” face it head-on and restore order to your lawn care routine.

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