Four Signs Of A Sprinkler Leak

Posted on: 27 September 2017


A leak in your sprinkler system can lead to major issues down the road, including over use of water, dead spots in the lawn, and even structural damage to your home if the water compromises the foundation. Knowing the signs of a leak are important so you can catch any sprinkler issues before they become a major problem.

Sign #1: Poor water pressure

A leak can lead to water pressure issues on any sprinkler head downstream of the leak. If a sprinkler head isn't spraying or rotating properly, or if it isn't covering sufficient area, then you need to rule out other causes. First, verify that the head isn't broken – sometimes a low-cost replacement solves the issue. Next, have the pressure regulator on the line checked to make sure it is operating properly. If it is, then chances are a leak somewhere along the line leading directly to the problem sprinkler is the culprit.

Sign #2: Dead spots

If you run your sprinklers at night or when you are at work, the only clue that something is wrong could be the development of a dead or dry spot in the lawn. Your first plan of action is to run the sprinklers and survey the issue. Sometimes the fix is as simple as replacing a faulty head or clearing the sprinkler port of debris so the head can pop up properly. Failing that, a leak may be the cause.

Sign #3: Soggy ground

Wet spots with no outside explanation are often the result of a sprinkler leak. You can verify this by tracing the sprinkler lines – generally a sprinkler line leak will happen at a point directly between two sprinkler heads since this where the line is. Soggy ground in other location could be from another cause, such as a water main leak. You may also notice greener grass in an area with a leak. In some cases, the greening of the grass may form as a straight line over the top of the leaking pipe.

Sign #4: Unexplained usage increases

Increased water bills although your usage and rates are stable is a major sign of a leak. Turn off all water tabs, dish washers, HVAC units, and the sprinklers – there should be no water being used. Then, look at your water meter. If the dial is still moving, you have a leak somewhere. You can check if it is outside by shutting off the water main to the interior of the home but leaving the main valve open that feed the sprinklers. If the dial keeps going, the leak is outside and not inside the home.

For more help, contact a sprinkler repair professional.