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How to Find Broken Sprinkler Pipes Underground

How to Find Broken Sprinkler Pipes Underground | Landscape Improvements

Sprinkler systems are a necessary convenience today. They ensure that your garden and landscape will receive the watering that it needs at specific times of the day — without you having to do it. This automation makes our lives a lot more convenient, especially when we already have a handful of things on our plate.

However, the convenience a sprinkler system offers can quickly become a source of headache and frustration. Aside from the usual wear and tear, the culprit is usually a leak in your underground sprinkler. Immediately fixing the leaks in your underground sprinkler system is essential since it will save you a whole lot of trouble, like enormous water bills, damage in your landscape, and cracks in hardscapes or walls near the leak. More often than not, the leaks are caused by broken sprinkler pipes.

Detecting a leak underground is more challenging compared to finding a leak inside your home. That’s why we’ve come up with some pointers to help you in finding broken sprinkler pipes in your underground sprinkler system. So you can have it fixed sooner before it becomes a full-blown problem.

Finding the Leak

Since the sprinkler system is underground, finding a broken pipe isn’t that easy. To find the broken pipe, you first have to look for signs of water leaking from the system. Digging up your entire garden or landscaped area and destroying it in the process just to locate a pipe is not a wise idea.

Where there’s a leak, there’s a broken pipe somewhere nearby. If you have a leak in your irrigation system, the first thing you may notice is a huge water bill. If you know there aren’t any changes in your household, particularly in your water usage, yet your current water bill is higher in comparison to your usual bill, then there’s a big chance that you have a pipe leak.

One way to confirm if you have a leaky pipe is to turn off your water shut-off valve. Wait for around twenty minutes for the water inside the system to stop flowing entirely. Then, look at your water meter to check if it’s running. If it’s still running, then a leak is present.

Finding the Broken Pipe

Leaks that are above ground, like leaks in your roof or sink, are easy to find. They drip down and often create puddles, or they leave watermarks in your ceiling. It’s not the same with underground leaks. They can be tricky to find since the site where you see the water coming out may not necessarily be the leak’s location.

A tell-tale sign that a broken pipe causes your leak is a decrease in your water pressure, or sometimes there’s no water coming out from two interconnected sprinkler heads. Finding a broken sprinkler pipe underground may require you to dig around a leaking spot so you can determine which of the pipes are broken.

Here are a few easy steps to confirm if you have a broken sprinkler pipe:

  1. Turn off the water shut-off valve for the area where the suspected leak is in
  2. Allow the ground in that area to dry up completely
  3. Make sure that the soil is dry and turn on the valve
  4. Look for signs of wetness that might form along the irrigation lines

Equipment to Find Leaks

If you’re having a hard time finding the leaks that will eventually lead to broken pipes, you can always opt for equipment to make things easier for you. The devices won’t let you see underground, though. Instead, they rely on sound to help you find a leak. Some of this equipment are:

  • Water-leak microphone
  • Electro-acoustic testing kit
  • Leak-noise logger
  • Headphones

Ready to use the sprinkler? You may want to know some tips on Watering Your Lawn The Right Way. 

Closing Thoughts

Sprinklers are a source of convenience, and they should remain that way. That’s why it’s a must that you address leaks in your sprinkler system immediately to prevent the damage from escalating. The usual culprit for leaks in a sprinkler system is a broken pipe. Though it’s not easy to find a broken pipe underground, it is doable as long as you know where to look.

Do you need help in finding a leak or a broken pipe in your sprinkler system? Landscape Improvements has been in the business of landscaping and everything that goes with it since 1992. Call us now at 407.426.9798, so we can offer you our solutions.

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