How to Repair Irrigation Sprinklers

Overview

If your water bills are skyrocketing, your ground is soggy or you’ve noticed that one of your sprinkler heads isn't sending out jets of water, your irrigation system may be broken. Home irrigation systems are designed to require minimum maintenance. But when components fail, maintenance and repair are the only way to get an irrigation system into working order again.

Step 1

Inspect the sprinkler system while it is operating to find the damaged location. Common problems that you may find include clogged or leaking sprinklers or valves, obstructed sprinklers, pipe leaks or breaks and missing sprinkler nozzles.

Step 2

Remove obstructions from all sprinkler heads.

Step 3

Shut off the water to your irrigation system.

Step 4

Screw replacement nozzles into sprinklers with broken nozzle heads.

Step 5

Unscrew the top portion of your sprinkler and remove the filter. Rinse the filter and sprinkler head thoroughly to unclog them, then flush the irrigation line. Replace the filer and screw the sprinkler head back onto the sprinkler. Adjust the head so that the water spray reaches the target area.

Step 6

Dig out a sprinkler head with a hand shovel to replace a leaking valve. Clean the area where your replacement sprinkler will attach to the irrigation line with a clean cloth. Unscrew the old sprinkler from the irrigation line. Insert a flexible connection kit into the irrigation line. Flexible connection kits reduce stress on irrigation pipe and prevent future valve leaks. Screw the sprinkler head into the flexible connection kit. Rebury the sprinkler head.

Step 7

Locate visible pools of water or grass that is significantly greener or longer. These signs are indicative of pipe leaks. Dig the soil away from the ground until the leaking pipe is visible. Cut the pipe 4 to 5 inches on either side of the leak with a utility knife. Clean the pipe ends of dirt with a clean cloth. Spread PVC primer over both ends of pipe, two pipe couplers and 8 to 10 inches of new PVC pipe that will replace the section that you’ve removed. Follow this with an application of PVC pipe cement. Insert the couplers into each end of the new pipe section and then into the irrigation line.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean cloth
  • Hand shovel
  • Flexible connection kit
  • Utility knife
  • PVC primer
  • PVC pipe glue

References

  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Basic Repairs and Maintenance for Home Landscape Irrigation Systems
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Irrigation of Lawns and Gardens
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Nitty Gritty on Lawn Sprinklers

Who Can Help

  • Colorado State University Extension: Correcting Turf Irrigation System Problems
Keywords: repairing irrigation systems, fixing sprinklers, irrigation system maintainence

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."