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How to Turn Off Sprinkler Head

Dr Ahsanur Rahman, PHD

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To turn off a sprinkler head, locate the shut-off valve and turn it clockwise. If you have a sprinkler system installed in your lawn, it’s important to know how to turn it off in case of any emergency or maintenance requirement.

Sprinkler systems can cause serious water damage if left unattended. There are several reasons why you may need to turn off a sprinkler head, such as repairing or replacing a component of the sprinkler head, adjusting the position of the sprinkler head, or protecting your lawn from damage caused by overwatering.

In this article, we will guide you on how to turn off a sprinkler head. We’ll discuss the steps you can take and the tools you may need, and provide tips on how to prevent common mistakes while turning off a sprinkler head.

How to Quickly Shut Off a Sprinkler Head
How to Turn Off Sprinkler Head 18


Understanding Your Sprinkler System’s Layout

Understanding The Different Parts Of A Sprinkler System

Sprinkler systems are complex and have different components that work together to release water uniformly on the lawn. Understanding each part and its function will help you identify the location of the shut-off valve and how to turn off a sprinkler head.

These parts include:

  • Sprinkler heads: These are the visible parts that release water onto the lawn.
  • Valves: Control water flow throughout the system.
  • Control box: This is the brain of the system and controls the timing and duration of watering.
  • Pipes and tubing: Transfer water from the source to the sprinkler heads.

Identifying The Location Of The Shut-Off Valve

Knowing the location of the shut-off valve is crucial in case of an emergency, such as a broken sprinkler head or a pipe leak. Here are some key points to help you find the shut-off valve:

  • Look for the main water supply: Start by identifying the location of the main water supply to your home. The shut-off valve may be located near this connection.
  • Check for a valve box: Sometimes shut-off valves are installed in a box buried underground. Look for an access panel for the valve box around your yard, and lift it to search for the valve.
  • Consult a professional: If you cannot locate the valve, it may be wise to seek assistance from a professional plumber.

Familiarizing Yourself With The Layout Of Your Sprinkler System

Understanding the layout of your sprinkler system will help you to identify where the valves and sprinkler heads are located. Here are some tips for familiarizing yourself with the system’s layout:

  • Follow the pipes: Locate where the pipes run from the main supply to the various parts of your yard.
  • Draw a map: Consider drawing a layout map of the sprinkler system to help identify areas where valves and sprinkler heads are installed.
  • Check the control box: The control box can provide you with valuable information about the location of valves and sprinkler heads. Check the manual that comes with your particular control box to understand which zones are linked to which pipes.

By using these tips, you can familiarize yourself with your home’s sprinkler system and turn off a sprinkler head when needed.

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Shutting Off A Sprinkler Head Using The Control Valve

Identifying The Control Valve

When trying to shut off a sprinkler head, you need to locate the control valve. The control valve regulates the flow of water to the sprinklers. The valve is usually buried underground, and you might have to dig around to find it.

Follow these steps to identify the control valve:

  • Look for a small box, usually made of plastic or metal that is either green or brown, situated near the sprinkler lines.
  • Remove the lid of the box and find the valve that is controlling the section of the sprinkler you want to turn off.
  • The valve usually has a lever or a knob and is connected to the water supply line.

Turning Off The Control Valve

Once you have identified the control valve, follow these steps to turn it off:

  • Turn the valve handle or knob clockwise until it is completely closed.
  • If the valve has a lever, turn it ninety degrees until it is perpendicular to the pipe. This will restrict the water flow.
  • Check that the valve is securely turned off, preventing any water from flowing into the sprinkler line.

Ensuring All Water Flow Has Completely Stopped

After turning off the control valve, it is essential to make sure that all the water flows have stopped. You can do this by:

  • Turn on the sprinkler system from the control panel and observe if there is any water flowing from the sprinkler head.
  • If the sprinkler system uses a timer, switch it off to prevent the system from turning on automatically.
  • Inspect all the sprinkler heads to check if water flows have stopped from each one.
  • If there is still water flowing, it might be an indication that the valve is not functioning correctly, or there is damage to the sprinkler line.

By following these steps, shutting off a sprinkler head using the control valve will be a breeze. Remember to regularly conduct maintenance checks of the sprinkler system to prevent water wastage and ensure its optimal functioning.

Shutting Off A Sprinkler Head Using The Main Water Supply

Sprinklers bring life to your garden, but what do you do when one starts acting up? One simple option is to shut off the particular sprinkler head in question. We’ll take a closer look at how to do that using the main water supply.

Locating The Main Water Supply

Before shutting off the water to your sprinkler system, you need to know where the main water supply is located. It is typically at the water meter, which is usually near the street. The meter could be enclosed in a pit or covered with a camouflaged cap.

Most water companies tend to mark the location of the meter with a small metal rod or painted line. If you’re unsure, you can always call your water company and ask for help in locating the meter.

Turning Off The Main Water Supply

Once you have found the main water supply, you can turn off the valve using the main shut-off key. Here’s how:

  • Insert the main shut-off key into the slot on the valve.
  • Turn the key to the right until the valve stops turning.
  • Place the key in a safe location.

Checking If The Switch Is Working

After shutting off the main valve, check if the switch is working. Here are some simple steps to follow:

  • Turn on a faucet somewhere in your home to release any leftover water in the sprinkler system.
  • Check if the sprinkler heads have stopped spraying water.
  • Inspect the shut-off valve to be sure it has stopped the flow of water completely.

By following these steps, you can turn off a sprinkler head using the main water supply. Don’t forget to turn the water back on again when you’re finished working on the sprinkler heads. Good luck!

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Shutting Off A Sprinkler Head In An Emergency

Overview Of Emergency Procedures

Sprinkler systems are incredibly useful, but they can malfunction or cause damage in certain situations. That’s why it’s essential to know how to shut off a sprinkler head in an emergency. Follow these steps to minimize water damage and prevent further harm.

Shutting Off The Water Quickly

When you have an emergency, shutting off the water quickly can help avoid significant damage. The process of turning off a sprinkler head might vary depending on the system installed, but here are some general steps to follow:

  • Locate the main water supply valve by following the pipeline from the sprinkler head to the source.
  • Turn the valve clockwise to shut off the water supply.
  • In case you can’t find the main valve, there might be a shutoff valve located at the base of the sprinkler control box. Turn this valve off to cut the water supply to your sprinkler.

It’s crucial to act fast when you have an emergency to prevent further damage.

How To Handle Damaged Sprinkler Heads

Sometimes things go wrong despite our best efforts, and sprinkler heads can become damaged. Here’s what you can do to ensure the safety of your landscape and prevent further damages:

  • Turn off the water supply immediately. It will stop the sprinkler from spraying water, which could lead to more damage.
  • Some sprinklers have replacement caps, which can be screwed on top of the broken sprinkler, stopping the water from spouting out of the broken head. It is a temporary measure to suppress the flow of water.
  • If you can’t find a replacement cap, cover the damaged sprinkler head with a plastic bag or other material to prevent water from spraying out.

Remember, if the damage to your sprinkler system is severe or beyond repair, it is better to call in a professional to help.

By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to handle a sprinkler emergency situation and minimize potential damage.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Turn Off A Sprinkler Head

How Do I Turn Off A Sprinkler Head?

To turn off a sprinkler head, locate the valve box, and turn off the valve for that specific head. Or you can turn off the main water supply to the system.

Can I Turn Off A Sprinkler Head Without Digging?

Yes, you can turn off a sprinkler head without digging. It would help if you looked for the valve box and turned off the valve for that specific head.

Should I Turn Off My Sprinkler System During Rain?

Yes, you should turn off your sprinkler system during rain. You can program the system to skip watering during rainy periods to save water and reduce water bills.

Is It Okay To Turn Off The Sprinkler System During Winter?

Yes, it is okay to turn off the sprinkler system during winter. You can do this to prevent freezing, leaks, and other damages caused by severe temperature drops.

How Do I Know If I Need To Replace A Sprinkler Head?

You need to replace a sprinkler head if it’s broken, cracked, or not spraying correctly. You may also need to replace it if you notice muddy spots on your lawn, indicating a leak or a damaged head.


As you can see, turning off a sprinkler head is not as complicated as it might seem. In fact, with the right tools and some basic knowledge about your system, you can quickly and easily shut off any sprinkler head that is causing you trouble.

Remember, regular maintenance and upkeep of your sprinkler system will help prevent any future issues and save you time and money in the long run. Don’t let a malfunctioning sprinkler head ruin your lawn or garden – take action and fix the problem today! With these simple tips in mind, you’ll be able to keep your sprinklers running smoothly and enjoy a beautiful and healthy yard all year round.

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