Anyone know how to turn off a sprinkler?

My SO is in Denver until Tuesday afternoon. The way things look, the outermost sprinklers on the front lawn will still be running then.

This morning, one of the valves(?) out back was screaming before the sprinklers turned on (they’re on a timer.) So, I did what I always do when one of them does that - opened the control panel and turned the system off. The screaming continued unabated. Thirty minutes later, it was still screaming, so I phoned my beloved. He walked me through bleeding the air out of the valve. He didn’t tell me that’s what I was doing. He told me to turn the screw beneath the knob. I fetched a screwdriver, loosened the screw, heard the air escaping, and said, “oh. You wanted me to bleed it.”

Water began to seep from the screw hole. I tightened it back up and turned the system back on. The screaming stopped and the set of outermost sprinklers in the front turned on. I thought, “good. All is well.”

Thirty minutes later, the same set of sprinklers is running. I phoned him again, but service is spotty up there and I had to leave a message. I went to the breaker box to find the switch marked “sprinklers.” There’s no such animal.

An hour and a half after that, he saw the message and called me. It’s still running. So he told me to unplug the controller. I said, “:doh:”.

Unplugging it didn’t stop the flow of water from the sprinklers. And I could still hear it flowing through the valve(?) out back. He walked me through unscrewing some kind of thingamajig atop the valve(?) and that created a fountain about a foot high.


He said that the sprinklers should be stopped now because the water’s flowing direct from the valve(?)

They were still running. I asked him how to shut off the water supply to the sprinkler system. He said that’s impossible, that I’d have to shut off the supply to the entire house.

So, I waited a few minutes, screwed the fountain thingamajig back into the valve(?), plugged the controller back in, turned the switch to off, and then back to run/manual. I thought the sprinklers may quit after a few minutes because that’s what the instructions inside the panel door told me to do.

That was two and a half hours ago. They’re still running.

I guess I should turn off the water when I head to bed. And I guess it’s ok to leave it off while I’m at work. But… :???: This is stupid. I feel so incompetent. And WASTEFUL.


I just found the controller manual online!

ok, I think I just killed it dead. But it’s still running. yay me.

It’s good you were concerned about waste. I would have wound up turning the mains off and then trying to unplug the system. As long as you don’t leave mains off too long in terms of your hot water system (especially if its gas) it’s usually ok. But hope you got it resolved. We all need to be careful these days about water consumption as a community and global responsibility. Good for you.

yeah, but I just broke the solenoid. I suck. The water heater is gas, so I don’t know whether to shut off the water tonight or not. I need a keeper.

Gonna go make a pot of spaghetti and eat all of it.

ok, so I’m not the first person to accidentally have a few sprinkler heads running for three days, nor will I be the last.

The gardeners will be here in the morning. Hopefully, they’ll have an idea or two about how to turn it off.

edit: i should’ve cavorted through it while the sun was still out. :rofl:

Sounds like something that would happen to me. I hope you get it sorted out soon!

I don’t know if I’ve ever been as frustrated as I was this morning when I awoke to find that a helpful neighbor had called the water department to have my water turned off, which was done today at 6 a.m. Pity the guy who answered the phone at the water department when I called them at 7 a.m. His ears are probably still burning. :grrr:I was livid. And the next time the kid next door throws oranges or dirtclods at our house, or spits on one of our cars, or intentionally tosses a ball over the fence into our back yard then giggles while he rings the front doorbell, or screams for an hour at 10 pm while he’s playing in the pool, I’m calling social services.


My beloved got on the phone this morning to alert the gardener. Don’t ask me how he knew it was better that he handle it instead of my doing so.

When they arrived this morning, I made sure they were informed, then I left to run an errand. I returned home an hour later. They were gone. The lawn is gorgeous. The sprinklers aren’t running. The water does run in the house. There is a God.

So glad you got it straightened out. Your neighbor sounds as wonderful as mine. They are getting a divorce and I think they were both gone for most of last week, but they left the back porch light on , the one that shines right into my bedroom window and lights it up like daylight. So after 3 nights of that and no one ever home over there, I went and unscrewed the lightbulb :wall:, so I could get some sleep.:gah:

It’s unbelievable how thoughtless people can sometimes be, isn’t it? you know… except for us. :wink:

I do know how absurd my sprinkler experience was. When my SO was directing me via telephone, it was like Larry telling Curly what to do. My dog, who’s honestly named Mo, stayed inside under the bed.


this thread had me in stitches- thanks for the chuckle! (I’m not laughing AT you- but WITH you!!! I can envision poor Mo hiding under the bed while you ran in and out of the house looking for the controller and trying to work it all out…)

:rofl: I even told him on the telephone, “this is absurd.” I spoke with a friend yesterday, who told me to call him the next time that happened. I said, “there won’t be a next time. I’m never touching that sprinkler again, no matter how much it screams.”

Glad I could entertain everyone. :wink:

Funny story! One of my friends told me a similar one about problems with his sprinkler system. Apparently there’s a way to turn off the water to the system, but I couldn’t tell you what it is!