If you’re experiencing problems with your sprinkler system, such as a spike in water bills or damage to your garden or hardscaping, it’s likely due to a leak in your underground sprinkler system. Broken sprinkler pipes are a common cause of these leaks. However, detecting the location of the broken pipe can be challenging. To help you find the broken sprinkler pipe and fix the issue before it becomes worse, here are some tips for locating it in your underground sprinkler system. How to find a broken sprinkler pipe underground? Keep reading!
There are several reasons why a sprinkler pipe may break underground. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Freezing temperatures: When water inside the pipes freezes, it expands and puts pressure on the pipe, which can cause it to crack or burst.
- Soil shifting: The ground can shift and settle over time, causing the pipes to bend, crack, or break.
- Tree roots: Tree roots can grow and wrap around the pipes, causing them to crack or break over time.
- Age and wear and tear: Over time, the pipes can become worn and brittle, which can make them more susceptible to cracking or breaking.
- Pressure changes: Sudden changes in water pressure can put stress on the pipes, which can cause them to crack or break.
- Improper installation: If the pipes were not installed correctly, they may be more likely to break due to being exposed to unnecessary stress or pressure.
- Corrosion: Over time, pipes made from metal may become corroded due to exposure to the elements, which can weaken the pipe and make it more likely to break.
Regular maintenance and inspection of your sprinkler system can help you identify potential issues before they become major problems.
You most likely have a broken pipe in your sprinkler system if you notice that certain parts of your lawn are soggy. Some parts of your lawn turning greener and parched than others is another sign.
If you incur a high water bill and you can’t seem to find a good reason for it, this could also signal a broken sprinkler pipe.
However, these signs might only be speculation until you confirm that the sprinkler pipe is indeed broken.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to find broken sprinkler pipe underground and repair it in time to prevent further damage.
A Definitive Guide of How To Find Broken Sprinkler Pipe Underground?
Before you know how to deal with leaks in the underground pipe of your sprinkler system, you must first find out exactly where they originated. But the broken pipe is buried underground, so it may take time to find it.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to find a broken sprinkler pipe underground house:
1. Find your water meter and close the main valve
Most domestic water meters are situated near the road in front of the house. They are usually buried in a box with a cap covering the ground surface or home sidewall.
Many of these water meter boxes, including their caps, are made of concrete, which can be quite heavy to lift. Using a small hook system will help you easily lift the cover.
With the cap lifted off, you can now see the meter that controls water entering your home. Remove any dirt that might have accumulated on the meter to make it visible. Close off the main water supply valve in the meter box.
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2. Inspect your lawn
Next, determine the exact location of your sprinkler system leaking underground. You might be able to tell just by inspecting your lawn for soggy patches that have appeared at random places.
You can also check if some of your sprinkler heads seem to have pressure differences, though this won’t tell exactly where the source is.
Cover all of your heads with caps, then turn on all sprinkler locations and observe where water emerges from the soil.
Mark the muddy and more wet parts on the lawn and give the lawn a few days to dry to make digging easier.
3. Know your Underground System
Familiarize yourself with the underground irrigation system design to easily track down the underground leak.
You’ll have to dig to find out the sprinkler system design; if you don’t have the sprinkler underground pipe plan, you can refer to it.
4. Dig To Reveal The Broken Sprinkler System
After knowing how your underground system is designed, carefully excavate until you locate the part causing the problem.
You may discover that you’re dealing with a simple, where you only need to tighten a clamp or joint to fix the issue. But in case of serious damage, an entire section of the underground pipe may be damaged and need to be replaced.
Dig cautiously around the sprinkler, with the use of a shovel, to prevent further damaging the broken hose. The other alternative method is to use irrigation leak detection equipment.
What Are Some Possible Signs That May Indicate a Splasher Pipe Leak?
Sprinkler systems are an essential part of maintaining a beautiful and healthy lawn. But, like any other system, they are prone to problems, such as leaks. Leaks can cause significant damage to your property, and they can also lead to high water bills. It is important to detect leaks as soon as possible to prevent further damage. In this article, we will discuss some of the possible signs that may indicate a sprinkler pipe leak.
- Wet spots. One of the most obvious signs of a sprinkler pipe leak is the presence of wet spots on your lawn. If you notice an area that is constantly wet, even when it hasn’t rained, there is a good chance that you have a leak in your sprinkler system.
- Low water pressure. If you have noticed a decrease in water pressure in your sprinkler system, this may also be an indicator of a leak. A leak in one section of the system can cause water pressure to drop in other areas.
- Soggy soil. If the soil around your sprinkler heads is constantly wet, it may indicate a leak. A leak can cause water to pool in the surrounding soil, making it soggy and unstable.
- Higher water bills. If your water bill has suddenly increased without any apparent reason, it may be due to a leak in your sprinkler system. Leaks can waste a significant amount of water, leading to higher water bills.
- Uneven distribution of water. If some areas of your lawn are getting more water than others, it may indicate a leak in the system. A leak can cause the water to be diverted to one area, leaving other areas of the lawn dry.
- Visible damage to sprinkler heads. If you notice any visible damage to your sprinkler heads, such as cracks or breaks, it may indicate a leak in the system. Damage to the sprinkler heads can cause water to be directed in the wrong direction or cause a decrease in water pressure.
- Water running down the street or sidewalk. If you notice water running down the street or sidewalk, it may indicate a leak in your sprinkler system. This can occur if the leak is located near the edge of your property, causing water to flow onto the street or sidewalk.
- Strange noises. If you hear strange noises coming from your sprinkler system, such as hissing or gurgling sounds, it may indicate a leak in the system. These sounds can occur as a result of water escaping from the system and can be heard even when the sprinklers are turned off.
Detecting a sprinkler pipe leak early is important to prevent further damage and high water bills. Some of the possible signs of a sprinkler pipe leak include wet spots, low water pressure, soggy soil, higher water bills, uneven distribution of water, visible damage to sprinkler heads, water running down the street or sidewalk, and strange noises. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent further damage. You can hire a professional to inspect and repair your sprinkler system or attempt to fix the issue yourself if you have experience with plumbing and irrigation systems. Remember to always follow safety precautions and the manufacturer’s instructions when attempting to repair a sprinkler system.
How To Fix Broken Sprinkler Pipe
Fixing a broken sprinkler pipe on your own will help you save on irrigation leak repair costs as you’ll spend less compared to hiring a professional to do it for you.
Below are the easy steps on how you fix the sprinkler pipe on your own.
Step 1 –
The first step in repairing any underground sprinkler hose is to locate it. Assuming you already know the location of the broken pipe, all you have to do is dig in the ground to expose it for easy repair.
Step 2 –
Dig an extra five inches underneath the broken pipe space. This will provide you with plenty of room to work on your repairs.
Step 3 –
Using a hacksaw, cut out the broken section. Measure 2″ on both sides of the cracked section and put marks on the pipe for accuracy as you cut.
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Step 4 –
Replace the pipe section you cut out using a new piece of pipe. Before installing the new pipe, ensure that you measure the length of the damaged pipe you removed so you can conveniently determine the length of the new piece you want to install.
It is also critical that your new pipe has the same size as your old pipe, or you will soon be dealing with another sprinkler system leaking underground.
Step 5 –
Finish up the sprinkler system leak repair by testing for leaks of your repaired underground sprinkler pipe. If there’s no leak, refill the dug opening, and you’re done.
Regular maintenance and inspection of your sprinkler system can help you identify potential issues before they become major problems. If you are not comfortable performing the repair yourself, it may be best to hire a professional plumber or sprinkler specialist to do the job.
How to Fix a Sprinkler Line Under Concrete?
Fixing a sprinkler line under concrete can be a challenging task, but it is possible with the right tools and techniques. Here are the steps you can take to fix a sprinkler line under concrete:
- Locate the leak: Use a metal detector to locate the area where the sprinkler line is damaged. You can also look for signs of water pooling in the area.
- Cut the concrete: Using a concrete saw, cut a square or rectangular hole around the damaged area. Be careful not to cut the pipe further.
- Remove the damaged section: Once you have access to the damaged area, remove the damaged section of the sprinkler line using a pipe cutter or saw.
- Install a new section of pipe: Measure the length of the damaged section and cut a new piece of PVC pipe to fit. Connect the new section of pipe to the existing line using PVC connectors.
- Test the system: Turn on the water to test the repaired section of the sprinkler system. Check for leaks and adjust the water pressure if necessary.
- Fill the hole: Once the repaired section of the sprinkler line is tested and confirmed to be working properly, fill the hole with a concrete patching compound. Allow the patch to dry completely before walking or driving on it.
Fixing a sprinkler line under concrete requires some skill and knowledge of plumbing and irrigation systems. If you are not comfortable with these tasks, it is best to hire a professional to ensure the job is done correctly and safely.
Before we call off our post, let’s discuss the answers to some of the commonly asked questions about broken sprinkler underground pipes.
1. What Causes a Cracked Sprinkler System Pipe Underground?
Various factors cause cracked sprinkler pipes, such as wear and tear, weakening and shifting of the terrain or earth, and blockage.
2. When should you find the leak?
When you notice a sprinkler head on the system line begins to spray dirty water, then it’s time to find the leak. You should also start looking for a leak when you spot soggy ground around the sprinkler head.
3. How deep are sprinkler pipes buried?
Sprinkler pipes usually sit 8-12 inches deep below the surface, the measurement from the soil surface to the top of the sprinkler pipe. This means you need to make slightly deeper trenches to accommodate these pipes.
4. What is the minimum clearance required below a sprinkler head?
The minimum clearance between sprinklers and the material below must be at least 18 inches (45.7cm).
That’s it for our step-by-step guide on how to find broken broken sprinkler line and how to repair it.
Soggy patches on your lawn, some parts of the lawn turning greener, and huge water bills are key signs that you may have an underground sprinkler pipe leak in your yard.
It is best to deal with it as soon as possible before the leak grows into a big problem and makes you pay huge sums of money for the irrigation leak repair cost by a professional plumber.
Fixing the leak becomes easy once you discover the position of the underground leak.
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