Pull WeedsA lot of the time, weeds will pop up around your lawn like little devils. While they are pesky and ugly, you can use them as an indicator of a leaky pipe or broken sprinkler valve. In some of the hotter climates, many people deal with Bermuda grass creeping up in and around their lawn. Bermuda grass has roots that go deep into the ground. This is mostly a bad and annoying attribute but can be good for one reason: because the roots go down so far, if you pull it up carefully, the roots will tell you whether or not you have a puddle of water beneath the surface. Other plants can also serve this same purpose. So take advantage of such plants if you have them.
How to tell if it's a leaky pipe or bad valveSo let's say you come across an area of your lawn that is really wet; either deep under the surface or right at the top. It could be wet because of the sprinklers, or it could be a leak. Which is it? And how do you tell? Here are some things to keep in mind.
- Is the wet spot in a shaded area? If it were from properly functioning sprinklers, should it be dried by now, or no?
- Is there a sprinkler head nearby? A bad valve can cause a section of sprinkler heads to dribble water for hours after the station should be shut off. If you determine your problem is a malfunctioning valve, check out Orbit valves and a video on how to replace sprinkler valves
- Is the wet spot so wet that the ground is squishy and soft?
Broken sprinkler head
So, if you find yourself with a water leak problem, check the heads first because they are the quickest and easiest fix.
Leaks in your Drip Irrigation SystemAnother common location for water leaks is within your drip irrigation system. The small rubber hoses are very susceptible to cracks especially when exposed to sharp rocks, edges, and the sun. Some ways you can tell if you've got a leaky drip line:
- A trail of water seems to come from nowhere
- Leak occurs near driveway or around plants
- Wet area will not be extensive, in comparison to a leaky sprinkler pipe.