A leak in your sprinkler system is frustrating, but repairs are usually possible so you won't need to replace the entire system. Catching leaks early and knowing the common causes is important knowledge for any homeowner.
Symptoms of Leaks
The most obvious sign of a sprinkler leak is a malfunctioning sprinkler emitter. Often when a leak occurs, the water pressure drops so that the emitter either fails to spray completely or the spray becomes week. Every sprinkler emitter downstream from the leak may be affected, depending on the type of leak.
Another common symptom of a leak in the sprinkler lines is standing water. There may be wet or boggy spots in your yard near a line leak, or there could be standing water in the sprinkler valve box if the leak is in this area. You may also notice greener or quicker growing grass near a leaky area, and dead brown grass in other areas that are no longer getting sufficient water.
Common Leak Locations
Leaks tend to occur at one of several locations. Sometimes the leak is at the emitter or sprinkler head, either due to a poor connection or a broken emitter. Line leaks are also common. A crack or a hole in the sprinkler lines that carry water to the emitter can occur due to aging, digging in the yard, or frost heave on the ground. Lines may also separate at the connection point.
You may also end up with a leak in your valve box. Failed valve connectors, worn washers, and broken pressure regulators are the likely culprits if your valve box is filling with water.
Fortunately, nearly all leaks are repairable so you won't have to replace the system. Broken heads and emitters are relatively low-cost and simple to switch out. Line leaks can be a bit more invasive. Your sprinkler service must locate the leak and then dig up the line to repair or replace it. They will cut away turf and replace it afterward to reduce landscaping damage.
Issues in the valve box may require some troubleshooting by your sprinkler service contractor. If the valves are broken, they will need to be replaced. Often, though, the issue is simply a worn-out washer or gasket. The pressure regulator could also be damaged, which will require a replacement so that pressure issues don't cause further leaks or line damage.
For more information, contact a company like Giant Landscaping LLC.