how to repair a broken sprinkler line

How To Repair A Broken Sprinkler Line?

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    The process of fixing a broken sprinkler line may look complicated and expensive, but it's actually quite easy. Start by tracing the water loss to its source by locating dripping water pipes or sprinkler heads with insufficient water pressure. The broken pipe will need to be dug up and exposed before it can be removed. Finally, a slip coupling is used to attach the new pipe section in place of the old, damaged one. After that, just backfill the area around it.

    At some point, every homeowner will have to deal with the hassle of fixing a broken sprinkler line. It's not a simple problem to solve, and you'll need to be cautious to make sure it doesn't come up again. There are a variety of possible causes for a sprinkler line to burst, but luckily there are also a number of simple maintenance tasks you can do to make sure it never happens. Read this article on our site to learn about fixing a broken sprinkler line and performing other preventative maintenance checks to extend the life of your irrigation system.

    What is more rewarding than knowing you can count on the systems in your home to always work as intended? See if they're still experiencing any hiccups after that! When reading this article, you will gain all the knowledge necessary to fix a damaged sprinkler line.

    How To Find A Leaking Underground Sprinkler System?

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    A leak anywhere in your home, from the roof to the pipes to the basement, can be detected by the sound of water dripping. Your underground sprinkler system won't be affected by this because the water will be absorbed by the soil. It is impossible to visually inspect for sprinkler leaks unless the soil is bone dry. Finding the source of a sprinkler leak can be challenging, but it's not impossible. But before anything else, you need to know the typical signs that it has set in.

    • Leaks can cause obvious wet spots, even though the weather has been sunny and the ground has been dry all day, save for one spot. Perhaps the leak is not the source if the soil is dry in all other areas. Determine if the affected region will dry out after a set period of time has passed. There must be a leak if there is no other explanation for the persistent dampness.
    • Have you ever noticed how cushy the ground becomes when it's been wet? Currently, Earth has a soft, squishy sensation. If you see this when walking over certain areas of the ground on a hot day, it may be a sign of a leak and warrants more investigation.
    • Uneven ground: Overwatering can cause soil collapse or sinking, creating a lower level in your lawn compared to areas that receive the appropriate amount of water. A leak is likely the culprit if you have comparable symptoms.
    • Light levels typically prevent mushroom and other fungus growth on grass, making them a rare sight. Alternatively, fungi are spreading rapidly in some areas. On the other hand, if a portion of your lawn is always wet, fungi, which thrive in damp environments, will spread unchecked no matter how much sun is shining on it.
    • There is no obvious reason for your sidewalk or concrete patio to be damp all the time unless it is raining continuously or someone is constantly pouring water on it. You shouldn't water the concrete that's close to your grass. Water will evaporate rather rapidly from such surfaces; if it doesn't, you may have a leak in your sprinkler system.
    • After adjusting the sprinkler system's water pressure, the water should now flow uniformly and overlap itself. If they don't, or the flow is significantly lower than usual, the water pressure is likely being affected by a leak.
    • If you think there may be a leak in your underground sprinkler system and you hear sounds like bubbling, gurgling, or hissing keeping an ear to the ground can help you figure it out. In-ground sprinkler systems may make noise if there are any leaks. Paying attention to the sounds in your garden is just as important as paying attention to the sounds coming from your water heater if you want to head off any problems that could arise.
    • An unexpected jump in your water bill — If you're sure that neither the number of people living in your home nor the number of people using water have changed significantly, but you're still getting a much higher bill than usual, it could be due to a leak in the pipes beneath your property.
    • Water is essential for plant growth, and sprinklers help guarantee that your landscaping gets the amount and frequency of water it needs. You have some green, healthy plants, but then you have some that are brown and dying. The opposite is true if only certain areas show signs of wilting or drying out; in this case, it's possible that the water pressure isn't high enough to reach those places and supply them with the water they need.
    • No matter how much water we dump onto the planet, it will all be absorbed in due time. Water is collecting in pools. It's possible that a leak is to blame if water is pooling on the ground but there are no signs of absorption.
    • If your sprinkler system has leaks, not only will water be distributed to less-than-ideal areas, but dirt will also be allowed into the pipes and mixed in with the water that the sprinkler heads distribute, making the water unusable.

    Any of these should be addressed immediately if they are present. When your sprinkler system springs a leak, it can ruin your garden and your wallet, and it can even be hazardous to your health.

    An Underground Leak Pose Serious Threats

    Many people don't think it's a big deal if the sprinklers in their home leak occasionally. The ground will eventually soak up the water that has been leaking because of the leak. You'll be able to provide extra water to your plants, which is great, right? Any leak, including those in your underground sprinkler system, will inevitably lead to more headaches than they're worth. In addition, everyone knows that drowning a plant in a bathtub is the quickest way to kill it.

    In addition to overwatering, lawn destruction, and skyrocketing water bills, you should know that a leaking sprinkler system can cause a variety of other problems. Subsurface leaks can be extremely hazardous, which is probably news to you. To be clearer, the following may occur if a leak in the ground is not corrected as soon as it is discovered:

    • Cavities in the ground, such as sinkholes, can lead to serious harm or even death if they aren't repaired quickly.
    • Flooding that affects not only your home, but also those of your neighbours
    • Constructional flaws in your house. The foundations of your house may soak up some of the water, weakening it.
    • Patios, decks, and sidewalks that have developed cracks may no longer be safe to use as a result of being less resilient to the effects of weathering and foot traffic.
    • A house or other building with uneven floors is more likely to collapse.
    • Compromised power line conduits
    • Dangerous microbial growth, such as mould and fungi.
    • All of the nearby wooden structures will deteriorate as a result of the leaking spot.
    • If the leak is close enough, it could weaken the structure of your house and lead to structural damage. A possible result of this scenario is water damage to your house.

    One good reason to repair your underground sprinkler system is to prevent water damage, but you should prioritise addressing these issues.

    Locating The Break

    Start The Sprinklers.

    The sprinkler system's leak or break can only be found by running water through it. Next, you need to turn on the sprinkler system so that water can begin to flow.

    • Before checking the pipes, let the water run for around two minutes.

    If your sprinkler system is zoned, try turning on each zone individually to find the damaged part or leak more quickly.

    Hear Water Running.

    As soon as the sprinklers have been set off, you should check the area they are protecting. In order to track down the source of the water in your sprinkler system, you should walk in the direction that the water is coming from and then listen for the leak.

    • It's possible that listening to the surrounding area can assist you limit down the possible locations of the leak.

    See If The Line Is Leaking.

    A broken or leaking pipe will cause water to spray out of the pipe rather than the sprinkler head. Mark the area once you've located the leak so you may return there even if the water has been turned off.

    • Inspect the sprinkler line for a visible crack and mark the location of the leak if the line is exposed enough to allow you to see water gushing out of a break or crack. If the sprinkler line isn't visibly exposed, you won't be able to see the water gushing out of the hole.

    Check For Groundwater.

    There is a leak in the underground sprinkler line if you find a puddle or water gushing out of the ground. Make a note of the general vicinity of the water leak or break so that it can be found after the water has been turned off.

    • Put something heavy, such a boulder or a shovel, on the ground close to the leak's origin.

    Find Broken Sprinkler Heads.

    Check the sprinkler heads if you can't figure out where the water is coming from that's soaking into the ground. It's likely that the line has been damaged if you find that one or more rows of sprinkler heads aren't dispensing water at all or are dispensing much less water than the rest of the sprinkler heads.

    • Between the last sprinkler head working and the first one not working is probably where the water line broke or started leaking.

    After Finding The Leak, Turn Off The Sprinklers.

    Once you've found the source of the leak or broken section of pipe, you may switch off the water and go to work mending the line. To turn off the water supply, use the control panel's shut-off valve.

    • You should give the water a minute or two to make sure it gets everywhere.
    • As soon as you're done with your repairs, turn off the water supply and fully close the valve.

    To Begin Excavating The Line

    Trowel Above Sprinkler Line.

    If you want to really mess up your sprinkler system, grab a shovel. Instead, use a smaller hand trowel to dig around the broken section of the line and make repairs.

    • If the problem is more severe, it may be expensive to fix.

    If The Break Is Buried, Cut A Square Patch.

    Cut a large square of grass above the faulty or damaged section of line using a hand trowel. If you need to adjust the line, make sure your cuts are consistent so you can reapply the patch without delay.

    • It will be easier to put back together if you make the cut in the shape of a square or rectangle.

    Remove 2–3 Inches Of Dirt From The Patch's Roots.

    If you have carved a square pattern into the grass, you should dig down to remove the roots while leaving enough soil on top to keep the pattern intact. When the area is repaired, new grass will grow from the underlying roots. Then, grab the grass firmly with both hands and pull the patch of lawn up and away from the floor.

    • You can use a hand trowel to trim any roots that are stuck in the soil, but be sure to leave some so the plant can continue to thrive.

    It's recommended that someone else help you cut the longer roots as you pull the grass from the ground.

    To Expose The Sprinkler Line, Dig Carefully Around It.

    After cutting away the damaged area of grass, a square of bare soil will cover the break in the sprinkler line. To find it, dig down and all around the line. Some time may pass before this is completed.

    • Drill a hole that's big enough to show the pipe for about six inches (15 cm) on either side.
    • Make its removal simpler by excavating a space around 3 inches (7.6 cm) below the line.
    • Gather the dirt you've dug up into a mound next to the hole so it may be used to backfill after you're done.

    Wet-Wipe The Exposed Pipe.

    In order to keep the sprinkler system clean, it is important to wipe off any exposed pipework before beginning repairs. Then, use a clean cloth and some water to wipe away the dirt and filth.

    Repairing A Damaged Connection

    Cut 4 In (10 Cm) Of Pipe At The Leak.

    For the slip coupling to be installed, a sizeable section of the pipe must be cut away. Once the damaged section of pipe has been located, it can be removed using a hacksaw. The pipe can be cut with even edges by using smooth, consistent sawing motions.

    • After the pipe has been cut, the damaged section can be removed.

    Band Clamp-On Each Pipe End.

    A band clamp, sometimes called a strap clamp or strap fastener, is a piece of metal with a strap-like shape that forms a loop that may be closed. After cutting out the ruined part of the pipe, use the same method to band clamp both ends together. Before squeezing the clamps shut, make room for the slip coupling to enter the gap.

    • You may get a hold of a band clamp at any hardware store, big-box retailer, or even on the web.

    Connect The Pipe With The Slip Coupling.

    When you need to adjust the length of your pipe but don't want to cut it, use a slip coupling. It's also known as a slide joint. First, insert the coupling end into the open end of the pipe. The coupler must then be lengthened so it can be inserted into the pipe's opposite end.

    • In order to purchase a slip coupling with a diameter that will fit into the broken section of pipe, you will need to bring the broken section of pipe with you to the hardware store.
    • Use a coupling with a 1 inch slip length.
    • Getting a slip coupling is as simple as visiting a hardware store or placing an order over the internet.
    • Push the plug as far into the pipe as it will go without coming out.

    Secure The Line By Tightening Both Clamps.

    To prevent the slip coupling from coming loose, tighten the band clamps using the mechanism provided. The clamps must be tightened so that there are no leaks.

    • Tighten the band clamps with a screwdriver.

    Check For A Leak In The Sprinkler System.

    You need to test it after making the necessary repairs and before you can re-cover the line. The following step is to activate the system and check the newly installed slip coupling for leaks before proceeding.

    • If you want to make sure the clamps and couplings are secure, you should give the system five minutes to run.

    Replace The Grass With Dirt.

    Once you have fixed the broken sprinkler line, you can put the dirt back where it was using the hand trowel. Then, reposition the patch and water it to encourage new root development.

    • The dirt piled on top of the pipe can eventually bend or break it, so it's important to fill in the space beneath the pipe after it's been fixed.

    How Can A Broken Underground Pipe Be Repaired?

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    As soon as the pipe is discovered, it should not be left in its current state. Immediately get to work fixing it. Underground leaks provide not just the obvious problem of rising water bills, but also the problem of significant additional water damage to your home. Think about this:

    • Damage to your home's foundation, as well as any patios, decks or other structures close by, could result from water seepage.
    • Utility lines are vulnerable to destruction in the event of a persistent leak.
    • Large amounts of seepage can result in craters and voids in the landscape.

    Before the damage to your property becomes permanent, you can take the following steps to fix the pipe:

    • Carefully excavate a hole that is at least one foot wide and deep to expose the pipe. It will prevent soil from getting into the water supply.
    • Measure the length of the damaged pipe and then cut a new section of pipe to that length.
    • Cut a 4-to-10-inch length of the broken pipe from the irrigation system, depending on how much water is leaking through the crack.
    • Replace the damaged PVC pipe with a new one and secure it using couplers on both ends.
    • The connection can be locked in place with pipe cement or PVC primer.
    • If you want it to dry completely, let it air out for a day.
    • The next step is to activate the water supply, but at a low pressure at first. The water pressure can be raised slowly to see if the joint fails. Unless there is evidence of a leak, you should seal the crack.

    There will be no more water damage or waste due to the broken pipe.

    Tip: Square off the damaged areas of your lawn without severing their roots by cutting the grass. Carefully lift the patches of grass without uprooting the surrounding soil or grass. After you're done, simply replace the cut piece of grass and new grass will sprout there as though nothing had happened.

    A Well-Maintained Sprinkler System

    The sprinkler system in your home is a costly investment that needs to be safeguarded. Fixing the leak and the leaking pipe gives you a great opportunity to check for other problems and to replace any worn parts.

    You should check to see if any of the sprinkler heads are leaking. Putting a sprinkler head cover on each fixture and turning on the sprinkler stations is one option. There is also the option of using a watering can. The cover will keep water inside the sprinkler if the sprinkler heads are functioning properly.

    Changing or repairing the sprinkler head may be necessary if you find water leaking from it. It is also important to ensure the sprinkler valve system is operational. We then open the valve box and turn off the main water supply to the irrigation system. If the valves are leaking, water can still escape even when they are shut. You need to replace the valves immediately. 


    The process of fixing a broken sprinkler line may look complicated and expensive, but it's actually quite easy. There are a number of simple maintenance tasks you can do to extend the life of your irrigation system. Read this article on our site to learn about repairing a damaged sprinkler lines and other preventative maintenance checks. A leak anywhere in your home can be detected by the sound of water dripping. It is impossible to visually inspect for sprinkler leaks unless the soil is bone dry. Overwatering can cause soil collapse or sinking, creating a lower level in your lawn compared to areas that receive the appropriate amount of water.

    Content Summary

    1. Repairing a damaged sprinkler line is not as difficult or expensive as you might think.
    2. Find the leaky pipes or sprinkler heads with low pressure that are responsible for the water loss.
    3. Every homeowner will inevitably face the inconvenient task of mending a burst sprinkler line.
    4. It's not an easy problem to fix, and you'll have to exercise caution to prevent it from happening again.
    5. A sprinkler line can burst for many reasons, but fortunately there are also many easy maintenance procedures you can perform to prevent this from happening.
    6. To learn how to repair a broken sprinkler line and conduct other maintenance checks that will help your irrigation system last longer, read the article we have provided on our site.
    7. You will learn everything you need to know to repair a broken sprinkler line by reading this article.
    8. Dripping water is an easy way to locate a leak in your home, whether it's in the ceiling, the pipes, or the foundation.
    9. The water will be absorbed by the soil and won't have any effect on your underground sprinkler system.
    10. Soil must be completely dry before a visual inspection for sprinkler leaks can be performed.
    11. It may be difficult, but not impossible, to track down the source of a sprinkler system leak.
    12. But first things first: learn the telltale symptoms.
    13. If the soil is dry everywhere except where the leak is, it's possible that this is not where the problem originated.
    14. Check to see if the affected area will dry up after a certain amount of time has passed.
    15. If you experience similar symptoms, a leak is probably to blame.
    16. On the other hand, fungal growth is exploding in some regions.
    17. Do not water the concrete that is in close proximity to your grass.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Sprinkler Line

    If the sprinkler system is pressurised when the break occurs, then a large wet area will form quickly in the soil in the vicinity of the leak. As a result, the spray volume will be reduced or non-existent, and a wet area will slowly form in the soil at the leak's location.

    Sprinkler system repairs tend to cost between $70 and $85, with a national average of $75. Low-end sprinkler repair can cost as little as $45 to $65, while high-end repairs can range from $91 to $300.

    What Causes the Problem: A broken line occurs when pressure is continuously applied by compacting soil. In addition, digging or burrowing animals can cause a line to break.

    If the system really should be off, you leak into your hands. There are two main reasons a sprinkler system can leak when it's off: improper grading and a leaking valve.

    You should shut off your irrigation system just before temperatures in your region begin to dip below freezing at night. However, don't shut off your irrigation system too early. Often homeowners shut their systems down as soon as the fall season arrives because they believe their lawn requires less water.

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