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What is the Proper Method of Lawn Sprinkler Repair?

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  • Written By: Paul Woods
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
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Proper lawn sprinkler repair is a three-step process of identifying the problem, which typically will fall in one of four areas: preparing for the repair by assembling the needed tools and preparing the work area; and executing the repair. Repairs usually begin by shutting the lawn sprinkler system down if water is leaking. After the lawn sprinkler repair is completed, returning water and power to the system allows for a test of the effectiveness of the work.

A lawn sprinkler system in need of repair is usually evident from water flow, either uncontrolled or insufficient, or noticing patches of the lawn where the grass appears to by drying up. The four common lawn sprinkler repair jobs include replacing a broken sprinkler head, repairing a broken water pipe, evening out water dispersion and restoring power. Each of these problems typically is easily diagnosed.

If a sprinkler head is broken, there will often be a small geyser of water at the break. A broken pipe results both in seepage creating a pool of water on the lawn and reduced flow to sprinkler heads beyond the break. Uneven water dispersion will result in brown patches of grass that are not receiving enough water. Power loss results in the system not turning on or off at preset intervals or not watering in predetermined patterns.

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For lawn sprinkler repair involving a broken pipe or sprinkler head, first turn water off to the system. Required tools usually include a small shovel, hacksaw and adjustable wrench, plus any materials that must be replaced such as pipe or a replacement sprinkler head. Carefully dig around the broken part, clearing an area large enough to work. Remove the broken sprinkler head by unscrewing it from its threaded base and screw in the replacement head. Broken pipe can sometimes by sealed with a waterproof adhesive but usually should be cut away and a new piece spliced in using replacement pipe, a small collar on each end to join it to the good pipe and adhesive.

Repairs involving uneven dispersion begin with identifying which areas of the lawn are not receiving enough water. Next, check sprinkler heads designed to water the areas for functionality, often the head is merely clogged or blocked by encroaching grass and can be repaired by removing debris or digging around it. If the problem persists, check for soft, wet areas that might indicate a leaking or broken pipe.

Power issues must be approached carefully because of the interplay of water and electricity and may require professional help. Begin by ensuring the sprinkler system control panel is plugged in and turned on. Unplug it and plug it back in to see if the system will restart itself. Failing that, check the circuit breaker for the electrical outlet of the control panel. Consult the sprinkler system’s manual to determine if there are fuses in the system control panel that can be replaced. Beyond these steps, consider calling a sprinkler repair professional or an electrician for power issues.

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