The best thing about fully or semi-automated sprinkler systems is that they require very little maintenance. The one downside is that the pipes feeding these systems are typically made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which can become brittle and leak or break as they age. Fortunately — and even if you’re not a DIYer — these kinds of problems are neither difficult nor expensive to fix.
Expose broken pipe
Determine the approximate area where you think the break or leak is located and dig around the pipe. Once you’ve pinpointed where the water is coming from, turn off the water main. Then excavate more thoroughly around and under the pipe to remove as much dirt and mud as possible around the damaged area.
For small holes: Use a snap-on coupler
For small holes, you can buy PVC repair kits at the hardware store. Choose a patch that matches the diameter of the leaking pipe. If the kit doesn’t already come with PVC cement, you’ll need to buy that as well.
Wipe the damaged area with a rage to remove mud and dry it. Paint the pipe cement onto both surfaces, put the patch pieces over it and snap them together. Let dry for the time recommended by kit manufacturer.
For medium-sized holes/breaks: Use a PVC compression fitting
If the break is larger, cut out the broken section of the pipe and use a PVC compression fitting (which works with both PVC and galvanized pipes). Place the rubber washer to cover each end of the break and hand-tighten after securing the fitting in the middle. The rubber will seal the pipe and prevent the water from coming out.
For large holes/breaks: Splice pipe
Large breaks will necessitate that you cut out the damaged pipe section. Once you’ve done that, replace it with a new length of pipe that is slightly smaller in diameter than the original pipe. Apply PVC pipe cement inside one end of the original pipe and outside one end of the new piece of pipe and push it in; do the same for the opposite end. Allow the repair to dry for the time recommended by the pipe cement manufacturer.
South Austin Irrigation provides expert repair services for all types of lawn and garden watering systems. We also help clients come up with irrigation solutions best suited to their needs. For the five-star quality customer care that more Austinites trust, think South Austin Irrigation!