If you own a sprinkler system, you know it’s important to stay vigilant for leaks, as they not only may damage your lawn, but also the foundation of your home. Read on to see how you can identify a problem before it becomes a disaster.

David Clark

David Clark

David Clark, a Contractor, Home Improvement Expert, and CEO at Basement Guides.

Low Pressure, Reduced Spray Area

The signs of a broken sprinkler line are as follows:

  • A significant change in the pressure of water.
  • Dribbling of water over the curb.
  • The spray distance of the sprinkler has been reduced or is spraying muddy water.

Sprinkler damage is closely related to water leakage above and beneath the surface. If the water damage is underground, it can leak into the foundation and the basement of your house. It could eventually cause flooding in your basement, putting you in serious financial trouble.

Dying Landscape First Sign of Trouble

If your lawn or yard seems like it hasn’t been watered in a while, this is a clear indication that something is wrong with your sprinkler system and should be addressed immediately. Warning indications include an increased water bill, pooling water around the sprinkler head, poor water pressure, and obvious damage to the landscape.

If a burst pipe is not discovered in time, water may leak into window wells, basements, crawlspaces, garages, and other areas, causing structural damage. Every sprinkler station should be checked to ensure that portions of the yard are not getting moist—this is particularly important near the basement.

Imani Francies

Imani Francies

Imani Francies is a home maintenance expert with Clearsurance.com.
Bryan McKenzie

Bryan McKenzie

Bryan McKenzie, Co-founder at Bumper Crop Times.

Main Valve Leak Can Lead to Basement Flooding

There are several common signs of a broken sprinkler line that should not be ignored. First of all, if there’s a leak somewhere in the system, you will notice a rise in the utility bill. The lawn drainage may function well enough to deal with the leak, so the meter readings can be the only sign of a leak.

If the leak is large and there’s a drainage issue, you will notice soggy spots on the lawn. Mark them with flags or stones, disable the system, and inspect the piping and sprinklers to find the leaking spot.

If you don’t notice the leak early, you will also see that patches of grass start dying from overwatering.

If the problem is with the main valve, you will immediately notice the water running down and paddling under the valve. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, you need to check out the valves at least once a week to spot leaks before it’s too late. A leaking main valve can easily lead to basement flooding, which is a costly issue, so to say.

High Water Bills

The sign you can notice is that your water bill is getting higher than usual. If you are aware that you didn’t upgrade any system that can cause your bill to get high, then you should check your sprinkler system because there is a chance that it is leaking.

Moreover, sudden wet concrete is one of the signs that your sprinkler is leaking. If it doesn’t rain the past few days you can notice that wet concrete is still appearing, then you can consult a repair expert or a plumber to fix it immediately.

Alice Hayward

Alice Hayward

Alice Hayward, Editor & Content Ambassador at Our Daily Homestead.
Kristen Bolig

Kristen Bolig

Kristen Bolig, CEO, Security Nerd.

Dry and Soggy Parts of the Yard

If your yard is starting to look dry, yet your water bill is way up, that’s a pretty good sign that there is a leak in your sprinkler system. Sprinkler heads might be leaking water constantly as well, so look for water pooling or bubbling around them. Your yard will start to look dry in some places and wet and muddy in others.

Size and Location of the Leak Determines Urgency

The first sign that you have a broken sprinkler line is going to be reduced water pressure. You may also find that your sprinkler heads are getting clogged with dirt that is infiltrating the system through the leak. If you notice these signs, take the necessary steps to check other parts of the system as well as your plumbing in general. If you can’t identify any other issues, you’re probably dealing with a broken line.

Deciding what to do at this point means considering how big of a leak you’re dealing with and how close it is to your house. If the leak is minor and far from any foundation, your best bet may be to simply let it be for the time being. If you’re losing serious water pressure, it’s time to start digging to identify the leak.

Leonard Ang

Leonard Ang, CEO, iPropertyManagement Leasing.

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