Repairing Irrigation Systems


A home irrigation system makes watering the lawn and garden much easier. No one has to stand around with a hose and water each plant individually. The home irrigation system can be designed to run automatically. By adding sensors to the soil, the system can determine when the ground requires water to keep the lawn or plants properly watered. Other sensors can tell the system when it is raining, so the system will not overwater the landscaping. The one thing all systems have in common is the need for repair. Fortunately, you can handle many repairs yourself.

Step 1

Determine the reason for repair. Wet spots on the surface of the ground for extended periods can suggest a leak in the system. Large patches of brown grass or dead plants suggest control valve issues.

Step 2

Expose the broken/leaking pipe or control valve. This is done by digging a hole to reveal the pipe or valve.

Step 3

Examine the pipe or valve to determine the reason for repair. Leaks are easy to determine; the water will be visibly leaking from the pipe. Valves will show no signs of leaking; a section of the system will not turn on when a valve is bad.

Step 4

Turn off the water supply to the entire system. After the water is turned off, turn the entire system on manually. This will relieve any water pressure in the lines.

Step 5

Cut the leaking pipe or valve out of the line. For valves, the control wires will have to be cut as well. Cut these wires on the side of the connections that goes back to the controller.

Step 6

Install the new pipe or valve in the line. For valves, the new solenoid wires must be connected to the control wires. For this, strip all the wires to reveal 1/2 inch of copper. Twist one wire from the valve together with one controller wire and cap with a wire nut from the direct bury connector. Press the wire nut into the grease tube from the direct bury connector and close the cap. Do this for both wires.

Step 7

Turn the water back on. For leaks, check to ensure the leak has been repaired. For valves, check that all of the heads are operating. Turn the system off.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not attempt to repair or replace sections of pipe or valves with the irrigation water supply still on. Color-coded wires need to be color-matched when connecting.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Saw
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Direct bury connections
  • Pipe
  • Connectors
  • Valve


  • Grounds Magazine: Repair Irrigation System Breaks
Keywords: irrigation repair, irrigation leak, irrigation valve