How to replace faulty or broken solenoid valves in your garden retic system!

One of the most common and irritating garden repair issues around the Perth metro region turns out to be faulty or broken solenoid valves. In brief, solenoids regulate the flow of water through your irrigation system. They do this through an electric current that either lifts or closes the valve connected to the mains water supply or from your tap that supplies your irrigation system. It’s the gateway that controls when water is available and flowing through your system, and when it’s shut off. The central controller is connected to the solenoids and is where you can schedule your irrigation times. 

This system is used in virtually all underground and pop-up sprinkler systems and as such, is the cause for many repair issues when things go wrong. 

What could be wrong with my solenoid valves?

While there are many possibilities, the most common are: 

  • Solenoid stuck in the ‘open’ position 
  • Solenoid coils damaged or burnt out
  • Solenoid wires have become unattached or wet and are shorting out
  • Internal electrical failures 

Steps to replacing a solenoid valve: 

The first step is to make sure you have the right equipment handy to do the job right. You will need a pair of pliers, a new solenoid, a twist-on wire connector, a waterproof grease cap, and some gloves. 

  1. Firstly, turn off your mains water supply. Usually, this is at the front of your garden or inside the house. It’s also a good idea to turn your timer off too.
  2. Open the valve box containing your broken solenoid. Start by cutting the old wire connections without losing too much length. These may be corroded and can be discarded. 
  3. Unscrew the old solenoid and replace it by screwing it clockwise. Using the pliers, strip back a few centimetres of bare wire and connect by twisting together the existing wires and your new solenoid’s wires.
  4. As you connect the new wires, bind them tightly together using the twist-on wire connector. 
  5. Clip on the water-proof grease cap. Making it secure and water-tight will mean less maintenance in the future.
  6. Make sure as you close the valve box to double check for potential leaks or other corrosives that could endanger your solenoid connections. 
  7. You’re back in business. Now you can turn the mains water supply back on and re-activate your timer.

Do I need professional assistance with replacing solenoids?

While replacing solenoids can easily be done on your own, sometimes it won’t be the final answer to your irrigation woes. Reticulation repairs in Perth often demand professional attention due to the complexities posed by a harsh climate or the electrical components involved. Badly installed wiring might warrant a complete re-wiring, which you’ll want to run by the experts. With this in mind, it’s handy to know your irrigation system as well as the professionals who can fix it. Going into summer with a fully functioning irrigation system is very important. Check your solenoids for corrosion or dampness whenever you get a chance.