Lawn Sprinkler System Repairs

Whilst keeping a large lawn well watered with a lawn sprinkler system makes sense, it will inevitably lead to the need for doing some lawn sprinkler system repairs at some point in the future. The components likely to need repairing in a lawn sprinkler system will include: the pipes, sprinkler heads, filters and quite possibly a pump.

Whilst routine maintenance should be carried out on the lawn sprinkler system, the fact that an urgent repair to it is required can often be identified by particularly wet or dry patches on the lawn, caused by a leak or blockage somewhere in the lawn sprinkler system.

Water Pipe Repairs

A puncture in the water pipe/tube is the most common cause of water puddles suddenly appearing on a lawn. After identifying the pipe that’s responsible for the leak - turn off the sprinkler system! You then need to excavate the earth from around and underneath the breakage.

Most lawn sprinklers will use a Polyethene or PVC based piping system so repairing the broken tube is quite straightforward. Throughout this task try and not let any earth/dirt get into the pipes/tubing. Cut away a section of the piping either side of the damaged part and you then use compression joints to ‘splice’ in a replacement section.

You can also apply an appropriate ‘quick drying’ plastics glue to the joints, to help strengthen the repair. After about 10 minutes turn on the sprinkler system to check that the repaired section isn’t leaking from the joints you’ve just created, then you can re-bury the piping.

Lawn Sprinkler Head Repairs

The most common cause of the sudden appearance of dry patches on your lawn will be a damaged or blocked sprinkler head. With the lawn sprinkler system turned off dig around and underneath the sprinkler head so that you can easily access it. (Caution - be careful not to dig through the water pipes/tubing leading to the sprinkler head. Also, avoid letting any earth/dirt fall into the pipe work.)

There are probably two repairs likely to be needed. The easiest repair is needing to replace the sprinkler nozzle itself, which should just unscrew/screw into place. The riser on which it sits may need holding down firmly when replacing the nozzle.

If the riser itself has failed it’s easily replaced. The bottom of the riser will have a ‘quick coupling’ adaptor which fixes it to a ‘quick coupling’ saddle on the water pipe/tube. This should pull apart quite easily allowing you to replace the riser.

When buying a replacement riser make sure it matches the ones in the rest of your system. The height of a riser can vary from 3 or 4 feet to over 12. If the riser will not release from the saddle then you’ll have to buy a complete replacement unit.

Other Potential Problems

If the whole of you lawn sprinkler system fails or its overall performance suddenly falls off the problem is most likely with the filters or pump. Problems with filters are invariably fixed simply by regularly cleaning them. If your lawn sprinkler system has a reservoir from which the pump operates any split or cracking in the reservoir lining will inevitably lead to a drop in the performance of the sprinkler system. Dependant on the material lining the reservoir; effect a repair the same as you would to any garden pool or pond.

Problems with the pump itself need to be treated with a little more caution. Being an electrical device pumping water, you’re best leaving any electrical problems to someone properly qualified. However, before sending the pump away for repair you can check that the problem isn’t simply a leaking gland on a shut-off valve or a leaking seal/gasket in the pump itself.