How to Fix Leaks in Your Sprinkler System


So...you've found a leak in your sprinkler system. What's next?

A leaking sprinkler system can be the bane of one's existence for homeowners in Cumming, GA, generating high water bills and destroying an area of your lawn. Now that you've found your leak, it's time to repair it!

1. Identify the cause of your leak. Finding the area where your sprinkler system is leaking is one thing. Identifying the exact source is another. The leak could be from a leaking pipe, fitting, or valve. You need to identify exactly what's leaking in order to fix it.

If the leak is in a valve box, you may be able to identify the cause of the leak without digging. Carefully open the valve box cover and inspect. If the leak is a valve inside a valve box, you may be able to repair it easily without digging.

If the leak is not in a valve box, you will need to dig up the spot where the leak is located to determine what is leaking. If you are concerned about damaging utilities like gas lines, cable, fiber optic, and buried power, PLEASE have your utilities located by calling 811. Carefully dig up with area so you do not cause more damage to buried pipe and wire. You may find a leaking pipe, valve, or fitting.

2. Fix the leak. Now that you have identified what is leaking, it's time to make the repair. For constant leaks, turn off the water supply to the sprinkler system before making the repair.

PVC Pipes - If you have determined that the leak is from a broken PVC pipe, you'll need to cut out the damage to repair it. If it's a straight piece of pipe with no fittings, you may be able to get away with using a telescopic slip fix to repair it. If there are one or more fittings, you will need to rebuild it the same way it was put together, as there is no flexibility with PVC. Use the broken section you cut out as a template. We recommend that you always use purple primer and a good solvent (glue) to make your repair. PVC pipe repairs can be very difficult if you have no experience in working with PVC. Allow at least 20 minutes of cure time after you've glued the PVC parts together.

Swing Pipe/Funny Pipe - If you find that a black flexible tube is the cause of the leak, the material may be swing pipe for a sprinkler head. These are simple to repair with a barb fitting. Simply cut the damaged section out and use barb coupler fittings and extra swing pipe to repair the damage.

Sprinkler Head - If you found a sprinkler head was the cause of the leak, you may need to replace the sprinkler head or repair it. If the sprinkler head is constantly leaking while the system has been turned off, replacing the head won't fix the problem. You will need to locate the electric valve for the zone and repair or replace it.

Electric Valve - If water is leaking out of the side of a valve or leaking from one or more sprinkler heads on a zone, the valve needs to be repaired or replaced.