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Sprinkler system leak

I have a break in my sprinkler line. I would expect to see a gush of water coming out from where it is broken but I don't. Does anyone have a good way to determine where the break is?

A. Spruce
Re: Sprinkler system leak

It shouldn't be all that hard to find. The ground will be wetter/softer in the area of the leak. Leave it long enough and it will probably wash itself out of the ground, meaning a sink hole will develop around the leak in question.

If you really want to find it, cap off all the sprinkler heads except for the end point. The additional pressure in the line should make the leak more obvious.

Re: Sprinkler system leak

I lived in Silicon Valley and had a 9 zone system and repaired about 6 leaks in 7 years, and each one was different & difficult to find.

The 1st sign of a leak (really a crack in the PVC) is a puddle of water that you don't expect. My system had overlapping coverage areas so I had many wet areas, so a small crack would go unnoticed for a while. With a big (long) crack, water would bubble out of the ground and wash away the surrounding soil.
You then had the trench the area you suspect, sometimes a foot left and right of the suspected spot, and underneath the PVC. You then had to turn on the system and get you hand on the pipe to feel the water coming out of the crack; sometimes, the crack is at an elbow joint, or on the bottom when you can only see the top. It's dirty business because you on your hands & knees in dirt; then the smell of water with minerals, etc.

After fixing 2 of these and accepting the great outdoors in dirt, you get use it.

When we were selling the house, I had a break in an area where I wife was using a pick to de-weed. I found the pipe where she sliced it, then repaired it (letting the blue glue dry over night), to find a 2nd crack that I missed, and running to OSH for another repair slider, waiting overnight for the glue to dry, and discover a 3rd slice -- 4 days to find 3 cracks -- and my wife asked why it was taking so long !

Re: Sprinkler system leak

Sprinkler leaks are not too difficult to detect. I fix them all the time.

1. Locate the leak area. Shut the water to your sprinkler system.
2. Dig carefully around it and expose the pipe. When digging try not to cause new cracks...
3. Cut out the broken piece, could be a crack in the pipe or a fitting.
4. Make the necessary repair. Always use new parts. Prime all parts., then use pipe cement.
5. Most important: Let the pvc cement dry. Read the label and follow the instructions. Don't turn on the water to the system too soon.

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