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Three Signs That You May Need To Repair A Sprinkler System Leak

by Dan Mckinney

An automatic sprinkler system is a great way to keep your grass green without having to water by hand, but a malfunction can result in a dead lawn if you don't catch it quickly. Leaks are especially common early in the season when you are first turning on the sprinklers in the early summer, simply because they are often caused by winter freezing combined with water left in the lines. Knowing the following signs of a leak can help you catch it early, before it becomes a major issue.

Sign #1: Poor water flow

Water pressure is what not only sprays water from a sprinkler head, but causes it to pop up and operate in the first place. A leak in the underground line stops the entire process. Depending on the severity of the leak, it may result in weak flow from the head or failure for the head to work at all. If only one head is affected, then the leak is probably isolated to just the head that supplies that line. If multiple heads are affected, then the leak may be along a main line.

Sign#2: Uneven greening

Slow leaks don't always affect sprinkler function, but they still waste water. In this case, uneven greening or even grass browning can indicate the problem. Often, the grass is greener or lusher, or it grows faster, in the area getting the extra irrigation right over the leak. The area around the affected sprinkler heads, on the other hand, may be browning slightly since it is getting less water than what is ideal. If your sprinklers run at night or when you aren't home to witness any poor function at a spirnkler head, then this can be the first indication of a leak.

Sign #3: Swampy areas

Extreme leaks, especially in lower lying areas of the yard, can result in marshy or swampy areas. This is especially common in areas with heavy clay or hard packed subsoils, since water leaking from your sprinkler lines has nowhere to go. Walk your lawn occasionally, right after the sprinklers have finished running, and look for areas that seem particularly wet in comparison to the rest of the lawn. Sometimes this is simply the result of water collecting in a low-lying area, but it can also indicate a leak.

For more help in dealing with leaks or making repairs to your automatic sprinkler system, contact a sprinkler contractor, like one from Boehm Landscape Inc, in your area.