sprinkler-300x199Texas continues to experience ongoing drought, and Abilene has shared in the realities of lack of rainfall in 2014. With summer here, outdoor watering will increase for many homeowners. Sprinkler systems are a great way to ensure efficient water use for lawns. However, if your sprinkler has a leak, the efficiency of water use goes down the drain. It’s important to know how you can save water with sprinkler repair.

We’ve received calls from homeowners who have found wet spots in their yard that were not the result of watering. If you find a wet patch in your yard that is isolated from any other area, especially if you have not had your sprinkler on, this could be an indication of a waterline leak or a problem with a double check valve. Double check valves are used as backflow prevention to keep potable water supplies from contaminating and polluting the waterline system. Backflow occurs when there is a reversal in the flow of any amount of liquid, solid or gas into the main water supply. The purpose of the double check valve is to keep backflow from occurring.

Similar to other problems caused when pipes freeze, if a waterline pipe experiences a pipe freeze or burst, contaminated water from the ground or any other area can be sucked up into the water system. Testing your pipes for potential cracks or leaks following a freeze also applies to your sprinkler system as the danger for backflow and unwanted contaminants can be drawn into the water system should the double check valve (or similar backflow prevention device) be faulty or broken.

Other potential causes of unplanned or uncontrolled wet areas of your lawn (when the sprinkler is not on) could be the result of a valve leak or clog. Leaks are the result of worn out seals on sprinkler heads. Leaks can occur from lawn mowers or vehicles rolling over sprinkler heads. Indications of a potential leak also include low water pressure in areas of the sprinkler system as well as the house. If you experience low water pressure in any of these areas, it’s important that you check for leaks in the water line, especially if you don’t experience signs of leakage inside your home.

While there are several potential causes of waterline leaks that don’t involve sprinkler systems, it is important to check all the bases in the event that the root of the problem can be sourced to your sprinkler. If you have a leak in your yard, contacting a plumber first can save you time and money because the problem can be discovered quickly and solved using the correct tools. Sprinkler heads and valves can be replaced without the need for additional plumbing labor, but locating the cause of the water leak is the most important part of the repair process, and the best way to ensure that unnecessary water use doesn’t ruin your summer. Bottom line, sprinkler repair saves money and more importantly decreases your water bill while saving precious water.