If you have a sprinkler installed in your lawn, you're free to leave it pretty much to itself. As with any time-saving device, however, sprinkler systems are far from indestructible, so you would have to account for the likelihood that it will need to be repaired eventually. Here are some of the most common problems that sprinkler systems encounter, and how to deal with them:
- If the sprinkler head is broken. First, turn off the sprinkler line and then get ready to do some digging. Go to the broken sprinkler head, and using a shovel, cut a circle around the sprinkler head (six inches away from the sprinkler head, all the way around). Do be sure not to dig too deep, or you might end up puncturing the water line. Set aside the dirt as you would put it back in the hole later. You will find the vertical pipe that supplies water to the sprinkler head; this is the riser. Once you see the riser, stop digging and unscrew the sprinkler head from the riser. Once the sprinkler head is removed, do be careful that dirt doesn't go inside the riser's opening; you should plug its opening with cloth. Once you have the sprinkler head detached, bring it with you to your local hardware store so you could buy the exact same size and model as replacement. If you aren't able to buy the same brand, just make sure that the length and the diameter (where the sprinkler head connects with the riser) are the same. Go back to your lawn. Turn on the sprinkler line to let water out of the riser; this would let it blow out the dirt that collected on its opening. Turn off the sprinkler line again and get ready to attach the new sprinkler head. Pull up the riser, and then secure the sprinkler head to it. Replace the soil that you dug up, and then turn on the sprinklers to make sure that your new sprinkler head is working properly.
- If the sprinkler line is broken. Find out which part of the sprinkler line is not working properly; one telltale sign is the appearance of puddles or leaking. Dig out the ground where you suspect the problem to be, and then inspect the sprinkler line that you uncover. If it has leaks, then your task is to replace the leaking part of the line with a new pipe. Cut off the broken part of the line with a pipe cutter. Make sure that you cut straight, to make it easier to put in the replacement pipe. Prepare the replacement pipe; make sure that its length exactly corresponds to the length that you cut out. Use PVC glue to the ends of the pipe that will be connected, then attach the new pipe to the old one. Allow at the very least 10 minutes for the glue to harden. Turn on the sprinkler line and see if there aren't any more leaks. Cover the ground again.
- If the riser is broken. Turn off the sprinkler system, and dig out the ground until you see the riser. Use pliers to twist off the riser, and then bring it to the hardware store to get an exact replacement. Screw the new riser in place, and return the soil to the hole.
There you have it! These are three of the main troubleshooting solutions for common sprinkler system problems. Good luck, and hope this helped!