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Sprinkler Zone Won’t Turn Off? (With Solutions)

Every drop of water counts! Especially during the scorching hot summer months. So, the last thing anyone wants is to waste water due to a malfunctioning sprinkler zone. If you too are dealing with a sprinkler zone that just won’t turn off; then you have come to the right place!

Why does my sprinkler zone won’t turn off?

There are more than one problems that can cause the sprinkler zone from turning off. Hence, a thorough search of the entire system must be conducted to help find the problem. As problems in the main water line, controller or the valves and solenoid of the sprinkler can prevent it from turning off.

Since the problem can be anywhere in the system, it makes it a bit difficult to locate it without checking every part with precision. Because if the problem was in one isolated place, it would be easier to find and fix.

But unfortunately, if your sprinkler zone refuses to turn off after you are done watering the lawn, then you must go through the grueling task of checking the entire system and this will most likely reveal which part is the culprit.

And to make it easier for you to understand which part is causing the malfunction. We have tried to list below the most common causes people usually face when their sprinkler zone does not turn off.

This should help understand the problem and also help you identify the problematic spot.

Issues with sprinkler valves:

If you notice the water continues to sprout out of the sprinkler even after you have turned off the controller or unplugged it, you should check the valves of the sprinkler.

Because sometimes the valves are manually opened which prevents the sprinkler zone from turning off.

Broken solenoids:

The sprinkler zone sometimes won’t turn off because the solenoids have broken. The broken solenoids will be unable to stop the sprinkler even when the controller is off or unplugged.


The diaphragm is also sometimes to blame for the sprinkler zone not turning off. As a dirty diaphragm – clogged due to the accumulation of debris – will stop the valves from closing properly.

And when the valves cannot close all the way, the water continues to run even when the sprinkler is turned off.

Torn down diaphragm:

In addition to being dirty, the diaphragm sometimes gets torn due to years of use. And this tear causes the water to remain on.

Why these sprinkler zones won’t shut down?

There is quite a big selection of sprinklers in today’s current market. And as you can imagine they have their own differences, despite being manufactured to do a similar, if not same job.

Hence, this comes as no surprise that they all have their own reason for not being able to shut off in time. Let us take a brief look at a few of the different brands of sprinklers and what causes them to remain on.

Rain bird sprinkler zone:

There is a very common reason behind the rain bird sprinkler zone not shutting down. Most of the customers who experience this blame it on the incorrectly set controller.

Because when the controller is not set correctly, this will prevent the valves in the rain bird sprinkler from turning off. The valves play a crucial role on the water flow inside the sprinkler.

Another thing to keep in mind is these valves are usually grouped togethers and these grouped sections are known as zones. And only one zone should be working at once.

Orbit sprinkler zone:

When an orbit sprinkler zone begins to act up, usually the problem is caused by a broken valve.

When the valve in the orbit sprinkler zone breaks, it becomes unable to stop the water even when the controller is off. Thus, you will notice water weeping out of the sprinkler even after you have tried to turn it off.

Lawn sprinkler zone:

Lawn sprinkler zone can refuse to shut off for a couple of different reasons. The valves or diaphragm gets clogged at times and a dirty valve or diaphragm does not work properly.

And since the accumulated debris stops these parts from working properly, they are unable to shut off the water flow even after the main controller is turned off.

Yard sprinkler zone:

The yard sprinkler zone works wonderfully as most customers who have used them have commented.

But they too come with their fair share of problems, one of which is the sprinkler zone remaining on even after being shut off. And a common cause for this can be due to a valuable part of the sprinkler being broken such as the solenoid.

When the solenoid is broken the sprinkler will not shut off properly when you want it too.

Hunter sprinkler zone:

Hunter sprinkler zone also sometimes experiences malfunctions, this mainly happens when there are more than one programmed start time. This causes the controller to repeat the cycle.

In simpler terms, if there is only one start time, the cycle will run for that one time only. But if a second cycle is started when the first is still running. The time of the cycle program will be prolonged for some additional time.

How do you fix a sprinkler zone that won’t shut off?

If your sprinkler zone isn’t shutting off properly, it is best to find the problem area and fix it as soon as possible. Because imagine you are not home and your sprinkler zone automatically gets to work but is unable to shut off.

The water will remain on which will leave you with not only a soggy lawn but also a huge water bill at the end of the month. To help you avoid this, we have listed below some quick fixes for a faulty sprinkler zone.

Shut off the open valve:

If you notice that your sprinkler zone doesn’t shut off properly because the valve has been left open manually, then you need to close it by turning the solenoid in a clockwise motion till it is snug.

This will hopefully solve the problem. You can check if it has worked by waiting for 30 seconds after you have shut off the sprinkler and see if the water stops coming out, if it does then the problem has been solved.

Thorough clean:

Sometimes the best way to fix a sprinkler is by giving it a good and thorough clean-up. As we have discussed earlier, dirt and debris are a great hindrance for the valves and diaphragm.

As it can collect in the valves and diaphragm and stop them from closing properly. If you notice this is the case, then you need to clean them to help the water run and stop at the accurate time.

Replace broken parts:

However, if you notice that the valve or solenoid has broken. The only thing you can do is replace them. 

These parts are usually easily available at any hardware store. So, hopefully, it will not be difficult to find replacements for the broken parts.

If you can’t find the problem or none of these solutions work; it is best to get a professional to take a look at your sprinkler zone to determine the problem and find a suitable solution for it.

Why is my sprinkler valve not closing?

A few things can prevent the sprinkler valve from closing. If it is left open manually, shutting off the controller will not close the sprinkler. A broken valve or valves will also be unable to close properly.

Finally, dirt and debris can collect due to use for a prolonged period of time and cause the sprinkler valve to remain open. There is not one isolated problem that causes this. You need to check all the valves to find out what is preventing them from closing fully.

Why is my sprinkler system stuck in one zone?

A sprinkler system can stop working in different zones and remain stuck in one zone when one or more zones have stopped working properly. These faulty zones will disrupt the function of the zones that are in good working condition.

You have to manually start checking at all the zones and their individual valves. If you find any of the valves are opened, broken, rusted or stuck, you will have to clean, fix or replace them.

Final Thoughts

A lot of individual parts make up a sprinkler system. And a problem at one of these parts can stop the sprinkler zone from turning off. The reasons could be with manual open valve, dirt, or broken solenoid. Check each of the parts to fix the sprinkler zone accordingly.