How to repair a lawn sprinkler system with a leaking sprinkler pipe:
The first step to repairing your leaking sprinkler system
The first thing your going to have to do is find the leak. Sometimes this is easier said then done, sometimes a leak may show itself as a geyser, or gushing water, but other times it may be deep under ground, and only show as a strange puddle of water in your yard during the summer months.
Inspection of your lawn sprinkler system pipes
If you can’t see any obvious signs of the leak, you will need to get a hearing aid. I know that sounds funny, but the best way to locate a leak is with a hearing amplifier. Simply walk around your yard with the receiver near the ground, and listen for the sound of gushing water.
Shutting off your lawn sprinkler systems water
There should be a shut off valve located near your house, but occasionally in a box in the ground. You may have to trace your water lines back to find the shut off valve, but once you find it, you simply need to turn it clockwise to shut it off.
Digging up your lawn sprinkler system pipe
Once you have found the leak, you need to dig the pipe up it will be at least 8″ deep if it’s up to code. However, construction code doesn’t specify a maximum depth, so you may have to dig deeper, and depending on your ground, it may be easy digging, or hard digging in rock and clay.
Repairing your lawn sprinkler system pipe
Once you have gotten to the pipe, you should easily be able to spot the leak, and the type of leak. Whatever segment of pipe is leaking will need to be cut off using a hack saw. If it’s a steel pipe you will need to thread the ends of the pipe, and you will need a coupling slightly longer then the pipe segment you cut out. For steel piping you will need a pipe threader, and bigger pipe threaders will need bigger holes, so make sure the hole is big enough before renting one.
Getting a coupling on your lawn sprinkler system pipe
In order to get your new coupling in the hole, you will need to dig out a wide enough area to raise both pipe ends up, and thread the coupling onto one pipe completely. Once you have it threaded completely on one of the pipe ends, shove the pipe down again, and begin threading the coupling onto the other pipe. Getting a proper sized coupling is key. Once you have finished threading the coupling on test it, and bury the hole. Every other method or type of pipe will follow the same rules.
Other types of pipe
If your pipe is PVC, you need a proper PVC coupling and PVC glue, If your pipe is copper you will need to soldier the pipe. Soldiering requires a small torch capable of producing a lot of heat, and flux soldier. To soldier your pipe ends simply heat the pipe with your torch. Once it reaches a high enough temperature, you can push the soldier wire into the pipe and it will melt. Push into the gap in the coupling to ensure a proper bond inside. Using PVC glue is very simple as well, just put a lot of PVC glue on the inside of your coupling. Glob it on there, enough is never enough. Now wipe of the end of the pipe and push the coupling onto it, turn it a couple times to ensure a satisfactory bond and let sit.
How to repair a lawn sprinkler system with a leaking sprinkler head:
The easy fix
This is considerably easier then repairing a leaking pipe, the sprinkler head is sticking out of the ground exposed for visuals. If the leak is coming from the sprinkler head directly. Go buy a new sprinkler head from, Home depot, Ace hardware, or some other local hardware store. Unthread the current sprinkler head, and thread the new one on.
Rethreading the pipe
If the pipe is leaking or the threading is stripped, you only need to dig down 6 to 12 inches to have enough area to cut the pipe segment, and place a new coupling on it. Follow the leaking pipe section in this guide. You can find a product list of sprinkler heads on Google’s shopping page to get an idea which one you want to buy.
If you have completed this guide, and your lawn sprinkler system is fixed. Congratulations, give yourself a pat on the back, and cover those holes in your yard. If you have followed this guide and you still haven’t been able to fix your problem, then here is another guide that you may find useful How to repair sprinkler systems.