Sprinkler Leak Detection

detect sprinkler leaks early

Nothing is worse than having a leak in your lawn sprinkler system. A leak can be difficult to detect and if you don't know what you are doing, repairs can be a very tricky task to complete. There are clever ways for convenient sprinkler leak detection so that the issue can be repaired as quickly as possible. First of all, you must determine whether the leak is occurring above or below ground.

Above Ground vs Underground Leaks

There are many ways to find a sprinkler leak underground. Some indications of a leaky sprinkler may be overgrown or extremely green areas of lawn, over-saturated areas around pop-up sprinklers, or even pools of water. If you suspect you have a small leak in your yard it may be much more difficult to find. In many cases, you will have to use a low flow leak detector on your water meter to identify if there is any water leaking. A large leak is much easier to catch. A large leak will cause your lawn to be soggy or muddy. It can also damage foundations and other things around the outside of the house, so you want to catch it early. Once you have identified your underground leak you will then need to take the steps necessary to fix it. Use a shovel to dig a small amount of sod and dirt in the area you located. Dig slowly and carefully until you reach your sprinkler line. Once you dig down to the broken line you can fix it following these easy steps:

  1. Cut the cracked water line out with a hand saw or pipe cutters. Be sure to cut 3 inches longer on each side of the crack.
  2. Measure and cut a new piece of PVC pipe with a coupler on each end of it so that you can connect it to the existing lines. Be sure to use primer and glue to connect the PVC pipe to the fittings.
  3. Let the newly installed pipe sit for at least an hour before you test it out and replace the soil.

How to Find a Sprinkler Leak Above Ground

sprinkler leak wasting water

A leak above ground could be a broken sprinkler head, a broken hose in a drip system, a clogged screen, or even cracked nozzles. These can all be identified much easier since the problem is above ground where the eye can see. In many cases, an above-ground leak will be seen when you turn your irrigation on. If it's a broken sprinkler head, identify whether you can get away with replacing the nozzle or not. You may have to replace the entire part. If your sprinkler heads are clogged clean the screen under each head. This will help your water spray the way that it should be. If you have cracked nozzles water will dip into the ground instead of spraying out a distance like they are supposed to. If you think you are having problems with nozzles you can easily replace them. If your sprinkler heads aren't shooting the right direction and causing a puddle you can easily change the direction your sprinkler head is facing. Make sure your sprinkler heads aren't tilted and spraying directly into the ground. More about sprinkler head replacement how-to.

Getting the Problem Fixed

Once you have detected that you have a leak somewhere in your sprinkler line it is so important to fix the problem as quickly as possible. If you let the problem sit for quite some time it will only get worse. This will cause much more damage and become much more expensive to fix. By following the simple tips above you can do your part to detect a leak in your sprinklers right when it happens. Please leave a comment if you have any more questions about sprinkler leak detection. Remember that if you have to replace sprinkler heads or other parts, PlumbersStock offers the best deals online, whether you need Rain Bird sprinklers, Toro, K-Rain, or other trusted brand names.

Related Resources:
Fixing a Broken Sprinkler
Replacing a Sprinkler Valve
Sprinkler Maintenance Checklist
When to Water Your Lawn

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