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May 30, 2024
detect outdoor sprinkler leaks

Have you noticed a sudden spike in your water bill? If so, it could be a sign of water leaks in your outdoor irrigation system, especially if you haven’t been using more water than normal. It’s best to detect your outdoor sprinkler leaks to narrow the cause of your higher water bills.

To best test this, you need to turn off the water supply main immediately and check the water meter. If the needle continues registering with the water turned off, there is a leak in the outdoor sprinkler system.

How To Detect Outdoor Sprinkler Leaks 

A leaking irrigation system could result in many issues with your front or backyard which can include the following:

  • The water might pool in the lower areas and create mould or mildew that will eventually kill your lawn.
  • The nozzles on your outdoor sprinkler systems might spray unevenly because of certain debris and fail to provide complete coverage. 

Therefore, your lawn will have dry spots that will most likely turn brown when summer comes around. Here are some DIY leak detection steps to help you detect an external leak in your outdoor sprinkler system:

1. Remove the sprinkler heads in the irrigation system. To do this, you need to turn the sprinkler head counterclockwise to unscrew it then lift it up. Some models need a special sprinkler head key, flat screwdriver or hex key to unlock the head before removing it so you need to be careful about that. 

2. Put a paperclip under the screen that lies underneath the sprinkler head to remove the screen. Rinse the screen under some tap water as well as the nozzle to clean it.

3. Turn the sprinkler system on at the controller then observe it properly at each head. The last sprinkler head should pour the water out in a fountain which is completely normal. It’s a sure way to flush the debris from the last head, where it accumulates in most cases. Now you can turn off the sprinkler system once the debris is completely cleared out.

4. Now you can replace the screen and the last sprinkler head in the system. Turn back the controller and observe all the sprinkler heads. Each one should immediately pop up on the riser and emit water at the same rate. Remove any grass near the sprinklers, especially those that don’t pop up.

5. Clean the screen found under each head that has an odd spray pattern. Note that, if there is any debris that has accumulated on the nozzle, it’s likely to cause clogging, preventing the sprinkler from working altogether.

6. If there are any cracked nozzles, you should replace them immediately. Cracked nozzles allow the water to drip out from underneath rather than spraying it on the distance. Check if there are any nozzles that have fallen out because of maintenance and replace them.

7. Are there any tilted sprinkler heads? You need to straighten them. If not, they will spray water directly into the grass around them causing a huge puddle in the area. Even worse, there will be dry spots in the area where the water doesn’t reach.

8. Once you are done, you can turn on the controller and allow the system to complete at least one irrigation cycle. Check for any issues and repeat the same detection procedure. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, your lawn will most likely suffer if there is a problem with your sprinkler system. The lush green lawn will disappear and you will have a lot of brown dry spots that will reduce the aesthetic appeal of your lawn dramatically. 

With these simple leak detection methods, you should be able to identify and fix any issues immediately to keep your lawn looking green and fresh for a very long time. 

If you are looking for a trustworthy and reliable plumbing service, then look no further than Austest Pipeline Solutions. We have more than 20 years’ experience in domestic, commercial, and industrial plumbing with water leak detection being our speciality.