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Sprinkler Valve Leaking: Signs and What To Do

a home's yard

A reliable sprinkler system is a vital part of lawn care; luckily, sprinkler systems can work on autopilot when functioning correctly. However, sprinkler system leaks can throw a wrench in your dream of having a beautiful, lush lawn.

Sprinkler systems can leak from multiple places, including valves, underground equipment and heads.

Leaks in your sprinkler system can lead to property damage, such as soil erosion, fungal diseases, root rot and more. It can also cause unnecessary water waste and a spike in your water bill.

The best thing you can do when you notice a sprinkler system leak is to contact a licensed irrigation specialist. They can identify the leak, find the underlying cause and repair the system and any damage done.

Sprinkler Valve Leaking: Signs and What To Do

A leaking sprinkler valve can result in water waste, a more costly water bill and a damaged lawn. Luckily, there are several signs that homeowners can look out for so that they can fix the leak before it becomes a major headache.

For example, unusually wet grass is one of the most obvious signs of a leaking sprinkler valve. If your grass is soggy or you notice puddles of standing water in random spots on your lawn, it’s likely due to a leak in your sprinkler valve. Even when the sprinkler system is turned off, a leaky valve can still cause water to collect on your lawn.

A soggy lawn can lead to many unpleasant issues, such as fungal disease, brown spots and root rot. If you notice unusually wet spots on your lawn, check your sprinkler valve and call a licensed irrigator to fix the leak.

The second sign of a leaking sprinkler valve is a water-soaked driveway. It can also impact the walkways around your property. This is especially common if you have sprinkler heads near these surfaces. When the sprinkler valve leaks, it quickly flows onto the driveway or walkways, even when the system is turned off.

A water-soaked driveway can cause soil erosion and structural damage to your property. It can also create slippery surfaces that are dangerous to walk or run on.

Next, you may notice your water bill increases when you have a leaking sprinkler valve. This is due to the water waste that the leak causes. If your water bill has a sudden spike, but you haven’t intentionally used more water than usual, check your sprinkler valve.

Lastly, decreased water pressure is another sign that you may have a leaky sprinkler valve. If your sprinkler heads are not getting the job done like they used to, a leaky valve is probably the culprit. Low water pressure can cause a ripple effect with your irrigation system and lawn drying out, thanks to inadequate water coverage.

How to Troubleshoot

It’s important to fix a leaky sprinkler valve as soon as you notice the problem. Homeowners can attempt to troubleshoot it on their own by inspecting the entire sprinkler system to find the leak. Make sure you check the sprinkler heads, valves and connections.

The next way to solve the problem is to turn off your water supply to the sprinkler system. This is only a temporary solution, but it can limit water waste and further damage.

As soon as you suspect a leak in your sprinkler system, call a licensed irrigator to check it out. They can do a thorough inspection and solve the issue before more damage takes place. They can also give you tips on how to conserve water in the future.

the front yard of a home

Sprinkler System Leaking Underground: Signs and What to Do

Sometimes sprinkler systems leak underground, presenting some of the same problems as a sprinkler valve leak. For example, it can also lead to a spike in your water bill. However, an underground sprinkler system leak is harder to find on your own.

One way to identify an underground leak in your sprinkler system is by the sound it makes. If you hear water flowing but cannot see it, it’s most likely due to an underground leak. You may also notice gurgling or hissing sounds near your sprinkler system.

Another sign of an underground leak is uneven watering when your sprinkler system is running. Some patches of grass may be oversaturated with water, while others do not get enough. If you notice random patches of soggy or drying grass, an underground sprinkler system leak could be the cause.

An underground leak will cause an insufficient amount of water to flow through your sprinkler system, so you may also notice lower water pressure. You may even experience low water pressure in your faucet and shower. This happens when water is diverted because of an underground leak.

What To Do

If you notice any of these signs, try to identify your underground sprinkler system leak as soon as possible. Turning off the water to your sprinkler system is a helpful temporary fix.

However, do not attempt to repair the underground leak yourself. Underground leaks can be expensive and lead to damage, so the best thing you can do is contact professional help to deal with the problem.

A licensed irrigation specialist can quickly fix the leak and repair your sprinkler system. They can also repair or treat any damage that the leak caused to your property, such as soil erosion, dry grass, fungal damage and more.

grass on a lawn

Sprinkler Head Leaking at Top: Signs and What to Do

Another place where your sprinkler system could spring a leak is in the sprinkler head. They usually leak from the top, which causes water to pool around the sprinkler head. There are several reasons why this type of leak occurs, including low sprinkler head drainage.

Without proper drainage, water remains in the sprinkler head after the system is turned off. It will eventually overflow and leak through the top of the sprinkler head.

Older sprinkler heads may start to leak from the top if their seals are worn out. Damage or cracks to the sprinkler head are other common causes of a top leak. Finally, malfunctioning sprinkler valves can cause the head to leak from the top.

It’s important to identify the root of the sprinkler head leak as soon as possible to repair it. A leak that persists for too long can cause costly damage to your lawn, and it’s important to remember that sprinkler heads can leak even when the system is turned off.

There are several common signs of a sprinkler head leaking from the top, such as water pooling around the head, which can lead to that area of your lawn looking more lush and overgrown than other areas.

A sprinkler head leak can also oversaturate the grass and create soggy and muddy areas on your lawn. If your sprinkler head leaks continuously from the top, it can cause moss or algae growth.

What To Do if You Notice Your Sprinkler Head Leaking

It’s important to act quickly when you notice your sprinkler head leaking from the top. Start by turning off the water to your sprinkler system to avoid more water waste and damage. Next, inspect your sprinkler head for any noticeable cracks, loose parts or wear and tear.

Sometimes grass clippings and other debris can clog the sprinkler head and cause it to leak. Clear out anything that is preventing the sprinkler head from functioning properly. You can try cleaning the nozzle with an old toothbrush to ensure it’s completely unclogged.

If your sprinkler system is old or damaged, you may need to replace some of its parts to fix the leak. Consult a licensed irrigation specialist before doing this to make sure you replace the correct parts and purchase what you need. A specialist can also install the parts for you and ensure your system runs smoothly again.

A sprinkler head leak can be a major headache for homeowners. The last thing you want to do is try to solve the problem yourself and cause more damage. The best thing you can do is get professional help because it’s crucial that the problem is properly diagnosed and the underlying cause is addressed.

Call In Expert Sprinkler Assistance Today

A leak in your sprinkler valve, underground equipment or head can throw off your lawn’s watering routine and cause significant damage. These leaks should be dealt with right away to avoid more issues down the line.

An expert licensed irrigation specialist can repair your sprinkler without you having to lift a finger. Calling in the experts is the best way to ensure that your sprinkler leak is fixed correctly to get your lawn back to its best.

ABC Can Make Sure Your Lawn Stays Green and Healthy

Take the guessing game out of taking care of your lawn and contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our licensed irrigators can create and implement the best lawn care schedule for your particular situation.

Amberlee Warner

Amberlee Warner is the Lawn Division Director and is responsible for Lawn, Landscaping, Holiday Lighting, and Irrigation Services for ABC Dallas, Fort Worth, and Tyler branches. Amberlee is a licensed irrigator and has over 25 years of experience in the lawn industry. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture from Texas A&M University. In her spare time, she likes to garden, snow/water ski, and spend time with her daughters.

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