What Do I Do When My Sprinklers Are Leaking?

Sprinklers effectively keep a home's lawn green and healthy. However, when something goes wrong, a bad sprinkler can end up increasing your water bill and hurting your landscaping. If your sprinklers are geysering or are leaking, there are a few steps to take to mitigate these problems.

1. Clean Them

If a sprinkler head is geysering or leaking, that likely means that it's blocked with debris. This is especially common for the sprinkler head that's at the very end of the line. As water goes through the system, dirt can accumulate and eventually get stuck in the last sprinkler head in the system. Simply turn the sprinkler head counterclockwise and lift it off of the riser. Some models may require a hex key or a screwdriver to remove them. Pull out the screen underneath the head and clean it out. Then replace the screen and screw the head back on. This should fix geysering issues and external leaks.

A geysering sprinkler may simply need to be cleaned.A geysering sprinkler may simply need to be cleaned.

2. Look for Pooling Water

Sprinkler leaks can also result from underground pipe bursts or cracks. After a watering cycle is complete, look for any areas that are much greener or that have pooling water. These signs indicate a possible underground leak in the water line and should be addressed right away. Use a shovel to dig small amounts of grass and soil in the affected area. You'll want to dig about 2 inches under the cracked water line, but be sure not to hit the broken pipe. Cut out the cracked pipe with a handsaw and install a piece of PVC pipe with a coupler on each end. Once the glue has dried, replace the soil, and your leak should be fixed.

3. Call a Professional

If you are having constant issues with a sprinkler system, consult a professional.

If you are having constant issues with geysering sprinkler heads or believe that a leak may be bigger than you originally anticipated, consult a professional plumber on the best course of action. Plumbers have the tools and knowledge necessary to navigate tricky water lines and ensure that the issues are dealt with correctly. For homeowners who aren't comfortable with replacing a cracked water line themselves, for example, a professional has the expertise to complete the job and minimize possible damage.

When your sprinkler is geysering or there's a leak in your system, you might be able to clean them out or patch up the cracked pipe yourself. However, calling a professional is the best course of action for detecting and addressing a leak appropriately and ensuring that your sprinkler system is performing as expected.

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