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The main purpose of the sprinkler system is to properly distribute the required amount of water to different parts of the lawn. You can leave it all year round, or you can turn it off before the cold season begins. Regardless of your desired settings, it is important to know when and how to turn off the water from your Rain Bird sprinkler system.

If you have no idea how to turn off the water in your sprinkler system, do not worry because it is quite an easy job to do. Many homeowners have the same concern, but they eventually managed and learned how to operate their Rain Bird sprinkler system from minor adjustments to completely shutting it off. In most cases, the sprinkler system is switched off before or during the cold months. This is because most of the plants do not require as much watering on cold seasons as they are during summer.

The winter could bring about a lot of moisture and even rain that naturally keeps the grass well-hydrated. Shutting off your sprinkler system during this time of the year could potentially save you money, and it could also help you to conserve water. 

There are four ways to switch off your Rain Bird sprinkler system:

You can turn it off at the point of connection, at the controller, and the ball valve shut-off, or the water meter. 

Turning the sprinkler system off at the controller 

To turn off your Rain Bird sprinkler system at the controller, first, you have to locate the controller of your sprinkler. It is usually installed within your garage area and mounted to an exterior wall. Grip the know or the dial on the controller and turn it towards the off position. Most of the sprinkler system’s controllers have a user manual that can be searched online. Do you due diligence and check from your manufacturer’s website how to properly switch it off. 

Your sprinkler system has to be switched off at the controller for the following reasons:

Freezing temperatures or rain

Luckily, for most of the new sprinkler systems, they are equipped with a sensor system that can detect rain or freezing temperatures. These types of sprinklers can sense precipitation occurrences, and automatically switches off as a response to its sensor. Once it turns off, it also stops blowing water. However, if your sprinkler system does not have this kind of sensor, you may need to watch the weather to determine if you need to turn your sprinkler off. Keep in mind that some cities in our country issue fines for watering your yard during rain or freezing temperatures.  

Winter season

In some parts of the country, you can skip watering the lawn and other landscaping during the winter season. This is because most vegetation goes to its dormant stage. Switching off your sprinkler system during this time of the year can significantly save you money and water. 

You are on vacation

If you are planning to go on vacation for a specific period of time, you can turn off your sprinkler system to avoid overwatering your lawn that could create a pool of water that eventually destroys your plants. Doing this can also prevent a situation wherein the sprinkler will not turn off on its own once it starts spraying water. Both of these situations can cost you to expend a lot of water and money on the utilities. Additionally, overwatering is harmful to most plants and foliage in your garden. It’s better to turn it off than to risk running puddles in your yard. 

Turning the sprinkler system off at the ball valve shut- off 

New sprinkler systems are equipped with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) ball valves that can be used as a reliable shut-off. If your sprinkler system possesses this kind of shut-off valve, you can usually find it in the parkway in front of the house, between the street and sidewalk. It is located on the sprinkler system side and not on the water meter side. This PVC ball is quite easy to use. Simply turn the level 90 degrees to shut off the valve and prevent the water flow to your sprinkler system. 

 Turning the sprinkler system off at the point of connection 

If there is a leakage in your controller or it is simply broken, you can turn the sprinkler system off at the point of connection instead. In this way, you can still stop the flow of water in your sprinkler head. You can locate this point of connection near the water meter. There are two levers inside the point of connection. One lever shuts-off the valves that block the water flowing into the box from the water meter, and the other one manages the water that flows out of the box from the water meter. It doesn’t really matter which valve you turn off. Either valve will prevent water from spraying from your sprinkler. 

To turn off the valve, rotate the lever 90 degrees. If you rotate it to 180 degrees, the valve will close and open again. If you notice that the valve is damaged or rusty, refrain from turning it. This is one of the scenarios that you need to call a pro.

 Turning the sprinkler system off at the water meter 

This is the last resort. If every attempt above fails, you can shut down the water meter. But keep in mind that turning off the water meter will also prevent the water flowing to your house. To turn off the water meter, turn its handle at full 180 degrees. In some cases, you may need a special key to access the water meter box.