An irrigation system is more than necessary for home gardeners to maintain their plants and veggies in healthy condition. The irrigation system helps in watering the garden and lawn. However, water will start wasting when it leaks as it seeps out of your leaking irrigation system.
You can thankfully stop the water wastage as you know how to fix a leaking irrigation system. You will need to turn off the irrigation system, identify the reasons for leakage, and work accordingly. So, let’s get into it.
How To Fix Leaking Irrigation System
When the irrigation or sprinkler system starts leaking, you must turn off the water supply first. Then, you can observe the piping and plumbing to know what is causing the leak. Your observation must be thorough and close because the leaks may be above or beneath the ground in the sprinkler. If you need professional plumbing service, visit this website.
Identify the leak in the system
The leaks can occur in various components such as pipes, valves, or sprinkler heads. So, you need to inspect all the irrigation system parts to find the actual reasons. You should look for signs of water pooling or soggy areas around your lawn or garden beds. These are clear indications that there is a leak nearby.
Next, check the sprinkler head for damage or leakage. Sometimes, a damaged seal or cracked casing can cause water to spray in unexpected directions.
You should also check for damp spots around the pipe and listen for hissing sounds. It will indicate escaping water. Alternatively, you can usea moisture meter. It is specifically designed for detecting underground leaks.
With the moisture meter, you can measure soil moisture levels. Thus, you can find the underground leak with pinpoint accuracy.
Repair or replace the damaged component
Once you have found the exact reason for a leaking irrigation system, it’s time you fix it. For this, you will need the following materials:
- Pipe cutter or hacksaw
- Pipe reamer or sandpaper
- PVC cement and primer (if using PVC pipes)
- Pipe fittings and connectors (if replacement is necessary)
- Teflon tape (for threaded connections)
- Pipe sealant (for threaded connections)
- Adjustable wrench or pliers
- Leak repair clamps (for small leaks)
Determine the Leak:
When you identify the area with a leak, determine whether it’s a small drip, a crack, or a significant burst. As you determine the leakage severity, you can easily plan to do it. Also, for underground leaks, you need to dig it.
You can use a shovel to dig around the area to expose the pipes. You should be careful not to damage the pipes further, or it will become a costlier replacement. Next, you must release any pressure from the pipes. You need to open the nearby valves to help the excess water to drain out. It is crucial to work on the pipes safely. Read more.
Repairing smaller leaks:
You can use leak repair clamps or epoxy putty to seal the leak for small leaks. You can apply the epoxy putty on the crack and wait a few hours for the adhesive to dry. It will seal the leaks temporarily so you can irrigate the garden and lawn for emergencies.
Also, you can apply metal clamps on the leak with screws for a better fix. You must bend the clamp with a screwdriver and attach it with nuts and bolts.
For larger leaks or damaged pipes:
Sometimes, the leaks may be too large, so you can’t fix them with epoxy putty or clamps. So, you need to apply different fixing methods for them.
- You may need to cut the damaged section for larger leaks. Cut out the damaged section if the leak is near a joint or fitting. You can cut the pipe using a pipe cutter or hacksaw. Also, the cut should be clean and straight.
- Next, you must prepare both ends of the pipe you cut to fix the leak. Use a pipe reamer or sandpaper to smooth the cut ends of the pipes. It is essential to ensure a clean and secure connection.
- After cutting and preparing the damaged section, replace it with a new piece of pipe. Use appropriate connectors and fittings to ensure a proper fit. PVC pipes require PVC cement and primer for a secure bond.
Does a damaged threaded connection cause the leak? If so, wrap Teflon tape around the male threads and apply pipe sealant. Afterwards, tighten the connections with an adjustable wrench or pliers, but avoid over-tightening.
It will secure the threaded connection and stop the leaks.
Testing the Repair:
After you have fixed the threaded connection or damaged pipe section, you need to test it. Also, if you dug the soil, carefully backfill the area around the pipes. During this process, ensure the pipes have proper protection and support so they don’t get damaged again.
After a few days, recheck the repaired area. It is crucial to ensure that you have fixed the leaks correctly. If the leaks persist, you may call a professional to take over the fixing work.
A leaky irrigation system will save a lot of water. Also, your garden plants and lawns won’t receive enough water. So, when you identify leaks in irrigation or sprinkler systems, you should fix them ASAP. The fixing method will depend on the damaged component.
Thus, the key is to identify the reason for the leaks and work on it accordingly. You can use Teflon tape, clamp or new pipe cutting to stop the leakage.