• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to repair a leaky sprinkler system.


    1 Shut off the water to the sprinkler system.
    2 Remove lid from valve box and clean out mud from inside of box with hand trowel.
    3 Pack valve box with dry rags to absorb water.
    4 Twist out the low-voltage solenoid valve, then wait for excess water to drain out.
    5 Unscrew the bonnet from the top of the valve using a Phillips screwdriver.
    6 Remove the spring and diaphragm gasket from under the bonnet.
    7 Install a new valve diaphragm onto the valve.
    8 Set spring on diaphragm, place bonnet on top.
    9 Put steel ring on top of bonnet, then screw down the bonnet, alternately tightening the screws.
    10 Replace the solenoid, and make the wire connections with waterproof wire connectors.
    11 Pull rags from valve box and fill box with clean stone.
    12 Turn on the water to the sprinkler system and check for leaks.
    • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
      The difficult part is making sure to put everything back together again in the proper sequence.
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • hand trowel
        Hand trowel,
        used to dig mud from inside of valve box
      • Phillips screwdriver
        Phillips screwdriver

      Shopping List

      1. Replacement valve diaphragm

      2. Bucket

      used to hold mud dug from valve box

      3. Rags

      for stuffing into valve box to absorb excess water

      4. Waterproof wire connectors

      for making wire connections to solenoid valve

      5. Stone

      used to fill valve box