Two Common Causes Of Sprinkler System Water Leak

Sprinklers should only release water from their heads, and only when the system is turned on. Unfortunately, some damaged sprinklers can leak water from their heads even when they are turned off, or even from other places other than the heads. Here are two common causes of this problem, and how you can troubleshoot which problem you are facing:

Low-Head Drainage

In low-head drainage, water continues to flow from some your sprinklers (or one of them) even after turning them off. According to, the flow usually stops after a few minutes or hours. It is annoying because it can result in a permanent wet patch in your yard or regular flow across a walkway.

This problem is caused by water draining from the remaining water lines into the lowest sprinkler head(s) in the zone. It is purely an action of gravity and only stops after water has emptied out of all the lines, or when they achieve an equilibrium state (have comparable levels of water in them). Solving the problem involves installing or adjusting (if they are already installed) the anti-drain check valves, something that you should probably leave to a professional contractor.

Broken Pipe

Apart from low-head drainage, a broken pipe (line break) can also cause your sprinkler irrigation system to leak water. One reason a pipe can break due to over-watering/misuse is if the pressure is too much, which is one reason you should get the right sprinkler size for your garden.  It can also happen due to damage during construction. There are two possible types of line breaks:

  • Lateral line break – this is a breakage that occurs on one of the pipes feeding the various individual sprinkler zones. In this case, water only leaks when the zone is operating. This makes it hard to spot, and you may only know that you have a lateral line break after a long time when the surrounding soil is seriously eroded.
  • Main line break – in this case, the breakage is on the main pipe that connects the backflow prevention valve to the individual zone control valves. It is the main line supplying the whole system with water. Fortunately, it is easier to identify because the water will be continually leaking irrespective of whether you are watering your lawn or not.

In order to achieve efficient water usage, you not only need an appropriate sprinkler system, but it also has to be properly maintained. Things like water leaks can cause even the most efficient systems to waste a lot of water. (For additional questions regarding lawn care and sprinkler repair, contact a company such as MJs Lawn Care & Lawnscape Inc)