4 Ways To Repair a Broken Underground Pipe
If your sprinkler heads stop working and you notice new, damp spots of grass or dirt along your sprinkler lines, you most likely have a leak. It’s critical to protect the lines of your irrigation system by excavating carefully and keeping dirt out of the pipes while attempting to fix it yourself. If you don’t have the necessary tools to do so, you can have it done by a reliable, trusted, and affordable irrigation company in Brunswick GA. With experts, you can prevent the worst scenarios.
Here’s how you can repair the pipe before the leak wreaks havoc on your home.
- Find the Leak
The first thing to do is to figure out where your pipe is leaking. You might be able to tell by looking at where your grass has developed damp patches. Once you’ve located the leak, it’s no good to leave it like that. You have to take care of it quickly. If some of your sprinkler heads seem to have low pressure but you can’t tell where the problem is, place caps on all your heads to restrict water flow and turn on all sprinkler zones. Then, wait to see where water emerges through the soil. If the leakage is excessive it may cause underground cavities and sinkholes.
- Dig Down to the Line
Before you dig, shut off the sprinkler controller so no water can flow through the pipe while you are working. If you are growing a lawn over the area, cut large square patches with a shovel and remove them with several inches of dirt clinging to roots so you can replace the sod later. Dig carefully down around the sprinkler, using a trowel if necessary, to avoid breaking the line further. Clean off the pipe and use clean tools when repairing.
Tip: Cut out the lawn on the parts you want to repair into small square patches making sure not to disturb the roots. Ensure to carefully lift the grass patches with the soil and roots intact.
Once you’re done, you can simply replace the patch of grass, and it will grow right back as if nothing happened.
- Remove the Broken Pipe
Once you’ve located the source of the leak, you have two options: cut the line or unscrew it. You can unscrew and remove a shorter piece from the line if it is a shorter piece. If the pipe is a longer length, which is more likely, you’ll need to cut out the broken section with a hacksaw. Remove a part of pipe at least 4 inches long and up to 10 inches long surrounding the leak, depending on the size of the break or hole.
- Repair the Line
Once you remove the broken piece, it is important to ensure you don’t allow dirt or debris into the line, as it can clog sprinkler pipes and heads, so work carefully. Insert a new length of pipe into the break. Many hardware stores offer extendable pieces of pipe so you can insert them, then lengthen to fit once in place. If this isn’t an option, use a new length of PVC pipe and attach it using couplers on either side. Use pipe cement and PVC primer to keep the joint in place.