Sprinkler Head Leaking: How to Fix It

Having a leaking sprinkler head can be annoying. For one thing, it can cause your lawn to be unevenly watered and affect how the grass grows. Of course, it causes you to waste a large amount of water, which can lead not only to the degradation of Mother Nature but also to impossibly large water bills.

Fortunately, fixing this problem isn’t as difficult as it may seem. You can start looking for the right solution by using this guide.

Determine What Causes The Leak

A leaking sprinkler head can be caused by several things. It may be caused by low head drainage, which isn’t actually a type of leak but is a problem that develops if your sprinkler system is installed in a sloped area. You can tell if you have a low head drainage problem when the lowest sprinklers release water after you’ve turned off the system. This flow always stops when the pipes are fully drained of water.

If the sprinkler leaks 24/7, it most likely is a leak in the sprinkler head and other parts. You can usually tell that it’s a leak (and not low head damage) because the area near the sprinklers have moss or algae growing on it as well as puddles of water that never really dry out.

Fix The Leak

If your sprinkler system has low head drainage, you can easily fix it by installing anti-drain check valves in the sprinkler heads. These valves are specially designed to automatically close when the water supply is turned off and prevent water from draining through the lowest sprinkler heads.

If you’ve confirmed that you do have a leak in your sprinkler head, take off the head to see if it’s damaged or clogged. Most sprinkler systems allow you to easily remove the head by twisting it off from the housing. There most likely is a seal at the bottom of the cap to keep water from leaking off; check this seal to see if it’s intact or if it has been damaged. If it’s the latter, you can replace it with a new seal, which you can usually buy from your local hardware shop.

Don’t forget to check if the sprinkler head. Take out the filter and flush it out with water to dislodge any debris that may have been stuck in it. You should also inspect the sprinkler head itself to see if any debris are lodged in it or if its threads (located at the bottom of the housing) are damaged. If it’s either of the two, you’ll need to replace the sprinkler head with a new one.

Of course, take note that leaks may appear to be in the sprinkler head but may actually originate from the riser or the fitting. If the leak originates from the latter, you’ll need to replace the fitting ASAP. If the leak comes from the riser, turn off the water supply, remove the riser, and check it for any damage. If it’s in good condition, wrap Teflon tape around its threads then reattach it to the fitting, turn the water back on, and see if the leak is still there.

Take these steps now to fix the leak in your sprinkler head!

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