How To Troubleshoot Leaking Sprinklers

Sprinklers are a type of garden irrigation system that provide a steady stream of water over a large area, but like all exterior installations are subjected to a great deal of wear and tear due to general weather exposure. Over time, this can cause your sprinklers to malfunction and begin leaking water, which can cause flooding, erosion, and other types of water damage to your yard. If your sprinklers have begun to leak, you can do a few things to try and identify the problem so that it can be fixed before it causes serious damage.

Clean the Sprinkler Heads

Sprinklers can become clogged with dirt or other contaminants over time, which can cause water to spray improperly out of the head. This can cause flooding or the appearance of a leak around certain sprinkler heads. If you have hard water (which refers to a high concentration of calcium in your water supply), this problem is much more likely to develop. In order to ensure that your sprinkler heads are working as intended, you should unscrew them from their casing (turning counterclockwise by hand) and wipe them down to remove any dirt that may be stuck on. If there is a chalky white buildup from exposure to hard water, you should leave your sprinkler heads to soak in a mixture of half vinegar and half warm water for at least two hours before reinstalling them.

Lowest Point Pooling

Another common reason for a sprinkler head to leak water is if it is installed at a lower geographical point than the rest of the system. This causes water to flow to that specific sprinkler head once the water supply has been turned off, eventually building up pressure until the water leaks out and pools around that sprinkler head. A small amount of this occurring shouldn't damage your yard, but if you notice that a specific sprinkler head is constantly flooding with water, you'll have to contact a contractor, such as Peoples Plumbing LLC, to have the sprinkler head and the water line moved to prevent future leaks.

Broken Pipes

Finally, the worst reason why your sprinklers may be leaking is because of a broken pipe. This can happen during the winter as water in the lines freezes, causing the pipes to burst, or because of simple physical damage. A broken pipe will leak out water constantly as long as the water supply is turned on, creating a swampy area. Further, a broken pipe will cause the sprinklers down from the break to either spray less water or to not operate at all: if you notice a patch of water in your yard, coupled with reduced performance from some of your sprinklers, you will have to contact a professional to have the yard dug up and the pipe replaced. In order to prevent this from happening in the future, make sure to properly drain your sprinkler system of water in the fall, before the first freeze sets in, and mark all sprinkler lines while doing any sort of landscaping work.