If your yard's landscaping has a spot that never seems to dry out, then one of your sprinkler system's buried polyvinylchloride (PVC) pipes is broken. Fixing a broken sprinkler pipe is an easy DIY project even if you do not have any experience with this type of home repair.
Use these steps to fix the broken pipe in less than an hour:
Step 1: Turn Off the Sprinkler System's Water Supply
Before you start working on your sprinkler's plumbing, you need to turn off the water supply. There is a flow valve that you can turn off next to the electronic control box for your sprinkler system's timer.
Step 2: Dig Out the Broken Pipe Area
Using a shovel, carefully dig a hole that is about two feet in diameter. Place the middle of the hole over the middle of the moisture area to ensure you are digging over the damaged area of the pipe. Dig carefully to avoid further damage to the pipe. Digging a large hole allows you ample room to fix the pipe.
Step 3: Clean and Cut the Broken Pipe
Wipe down the broken pipe with a damp rag so that you can see the damage. Cut the damaged section of pipe out using a hacksaw, cutting at least one inch past the area of damage on each side of the pipe. This will ensure that the pipe you repair will be free from any cracks or unseen damage.
Step 4: Cut a Section of Replacement Pipe
After carefully measuring the damaged area, cut a section of replacement pipe. The easiest way to cut PVC pipe is to use a hacksaw with a new blade or use a miter saw.
Step 5: Sand and Prime All Parts
Using a piece of sandpaper, rough up each end of the pipe that you will be gluing. Also sand the inside of the couplers you will use to attach the new section of pipe.
Wipe off any PVC dust and apply PVC primer to each rough surface to prepare it for gluing.
Step 6: Glue the New Pipe Section in Place
Place PVC glue on each end of the pipe and the inside of the couplers and push them together. Apply pressure for about a minute while the PVC glue begins to cure.
Step 7: Turn On the Water Supply
Turn the water back on to check for any leaks before you put the dirt back into the hole. This will allow you to fix any issues so that you do not have to dig up the pipe again.
Step 8: Bury the Pipe
Place the dirt back into the hole and replace your landscaping.
If you do not feel comfortable completing this repair, you should contact a licensed emergency plumbing contractor in your local area.