How to Find Leaks in a Sprinkler System – Underground Leaks & More

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When you install a sprinkler system to keep your grounds looking lush and green, you naturally want water to issue forth. However, it’s best if the flow of water is controlled, so that it hits swaths of lawn and landscaping according to plan and does so as scheduled.

What you don’t want is a sprinkler system leak causing muddy messes and jacking up your water costs.

If you pay attention, you’ll know when you have a leak due to the visible state of your landscaping, or alternately, fluctuating water costs. The question is, how do you locate the source of the leak (or leaks) in your system?

There are a few things you can check on your own, and if you’re unable to find the leak, you can always call in the pros to diagnose and repair leaks. Here are just a few ways to pinpoint leaks in your sprinkler system and return it to full function.

How to Find a Leak in Your Sprinkler System

sprinkler valve leaking when off

The first thing you need to understand is that not all leaks are visible. While it’s not uncommon for sprinkler heads to become clogged or damaged, you could also experience underground leaks in hidden irrigation components, or your problems could be related to irrigation controls. How can you figure out the cause of faulty irrigation?

– Spotting External Leaks

If you notice pooling water or dry spots in your landscaping, the first thing you’ll want to do is examine sprinkler heads to see if there’s any visible damage. If not, you may need some help to check the system.


One person can man the controls while another inspects sprinklers in action to see if there’s no water coming out of certain sprinkler heads, or alternately, if one or more heads has a geyser exploding out of it.

If you can’t see immediate issues, check to see if water is spraying from the base of sprinkler heads, if there is pooling water around the sprinkler head, or if the sprinkler system is leaking when off. You might even see water seeping up or fountaining between sprinkler heads, indicating an underground leak.

– How to Find a Leak in Underground Sprinkler System

As noted, you may see areas where water is seeping or spraying up between sprinkler head, and this is a clear indication of an underground leak. Other signs of hidden leaks could include swampy areas in your yard, mold or fungus in certain areas, or dirty water spraying out of sprinklers.

– Checking Irrigation Controllers

Not all leaks are due to faulty sprinkler heads or a sprinkler leaking underground. If your landscape has turned into a swamp overnight, or alternately, everything seems to be on the verge of drying up, the problem could originate with irrigation controllers that tell your sprinklers when to spray.

how to find a sprinkler leak

How to Repair a Sprinkler System Leak

Irrigation leak repair isn’t something most businesses or homeowners want to tackle on their own, but you can try simple repairs on your own if you want to spare expense. What can you do?

– Clean or Repair Sprinkler Heads

Sometimes a faulty spray pattern simply indicates a clogged nozzle, and cleaning will sort it out. Or you might just need to straighten a tilted sprinkler head to correct directional spray. If nozzles are cracked, you can swap them out for new ones, and if water is spraying out at the base, replacing the seal might solve the problem.

– Repair Underground Sprinkler Line

The problem with a sprinkler system leaking underground is that you have to dig to find problem areas, tearing up your lawn in the process. However, some underground leaks can easily be repaired by simply tightening a clamp or joint or replacing a seal.

– Practice Proper Maintenance

The best way to fix leaks is to prevent them in the first place with regular maintenance to find and treat minor issues before they become major leaks.

Trust Zodega TIS’s Irrigation Experts with Your Sprinkler Repairs

Once you’ve figured out how to find a sprinkler leak and you’ve gone through all the sprinkler leak repair strategies you can easily complete on your own, it’s time to turn your issue over to professionals.

The experts at Zodega TIS are adept at sprinkler system leak detection. We know how to find sprinkler lines underground with a sprinkler system audit while causing minimal damage to your landscaping. Once identified, our Houston sprinkler repair team can restore your system to ensure optimal coverage and reduced utility costs.

From there we can set you up with ongoing residential lawn care services to keep everything looking beautiful year-round, or even improve your property with our customized lawn and landscape services in Houston, Texas.

Contact the talented professionals at Zodega TIS today at 713-480-2372 or contact us online to learn more and get a quote.