Sprinkler Systems Repair for Common Problems

Repairing Home Sprinkler Systems -- How to Guide

Repairing sprinkler systems can either be incredibly easy or incredibly difficult. Some problems are extremely basic, such as simple clogging. Others are more severe, such as pipe fractures. We'll go over the most common types of problems that happen to home or residential sprinkler systems and how to repair each of those problems. Also, depending on the severity of your problem, you may want to consider the idea of digging up your old sprinkler system and installing a new system. But that's up to you. Here are the most common types of sprinkler problems:

  1. Clogging
  2. Broken Pipes
  3. Old, Thin Wall Pipes
  4. Broken Valve

Sprinkler Systems Repair -- Clogging

One of the most common problems that sprinkler systems encounter is clogging. This occurs when foreign debris gets lodged in the tip of the sprinkler head and restricts water flow. This causes the sprinkler to dribble water instead of spraying a full pattern. Your sprinkler head generally will not rise, or will only partially rise, and the water coming out will be weaker than the other sprinklers. Fortunately, almost all sprinkler heads have built in filters which can be taken out easily and cleaned. Watch the video below to see how simple the process is.

How to Repair Clogged Sprinklers

Sprinkler Systems Repair -- Cracked Pipes

Underground PVC pipes can crack and break for a number of reasons. The most common cause of an underground pipe break is root entanglement. Often, as plants grow, the roots of those plants will spread out into the yard, sometimes coming into contact with PVC pipe. The increased pressure can cause breaks and fractures in your line. If this occurs, depending on the severity of the root encroachment, you may need to dig up several feet of your PVC pipe and move it. I've had to do this many times. If your pipe is cracked from another reason, you'll generally only need to dig around the broken section, and use a pair of PVC pipe snips to cut out the broken section, and install a coupler. But this is a bit tricky, so watch the video below to see exactly how this operation is done.

Repairing Cracked PVC Pipe

A Second Method for Fixing Broken Pipes

Old, Thin Wall Pipes

There's another sprinkler system problem that's beginning to strike many yards, and that's the thin walled PVC pipe. These thin walled pipes were once standard a few decades ago, depending on your region. If you have an older home and you know your sprinkler system was installed more than 15 years or so ago, you might have the old, thin walled PVC pipe in your yard. This type of PVC pipe has a lower shelf life than Schedule 40 PVC pipe and will begin and continue to fail as time goes on. It just doesn't stand up to the pressures and harsh underground conditions. If you watch the video, I give a few tips and ways to check what type of sprinkler pipes you have underground in your yard, and possible solutions for what you can do about it. This is one of the more difficult sprinkler systems repair because it involves digging up all the old pipe and installing new, Schedule 40 pipe in its place.

Identifying and Replacing Old Thin Wall PVC Pipes

Sprinkler Valve Repair

Valves are the devices that are used in automatic watering systems. They're generally above ground, and have two wires and two PVC pipes shooting down into the ground. Because valves sit above ground, they take a lot of damage from sun exposure unless they're placed in the shade. This causes the plastic to become brittle and break over time. They also can begin to leak, especially when the rubber gaskets inside the valves get worn over time. In the video, I'll explain what a valve does, and I'll show you how it's installed, so that if you need to replace your leaky or broken valve, you can buy one of the same type and replace it.

Sprinkler Valve Repair and Installation

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