Irrigation is what keeps the course green and people coming to play. If an irrigation system is leaking or damaged it can be costly and cause miss-watering and later damage. But how can you tell if the irrigation system is damaged before it causes too much harm?

Sprinkler systems should water the grass or turf in a uniformed manner. If hand watering or hose watering is needed in spots, you know something is wrong. Some easily identified signs that your irrigation system may be corrupted are wet spots, dying lawn, dripping valves, water flow and a higher water bill.

Saturated or Not

Spots in the grass that appear to be wet or bogged down indicates a problem with the irrigation system or drainage. Grass blades will wilt and dead patches may occur. These are indicators that some parts are getting too much or not enough water. Excessive, constant moisture around plant roots kills root tissue. This leaves the grass unable to take up nutrients and water. Unable to exchange gasses, the grass becomes vulnerable to fungal invasions.

Yellowing or dry grass also indicates the inconsistency of the sprinkler’s water distribution. Dry, brown areas of grass may be declining because they’re not getting enough water as a result of reduced water pressure in that section of the irrigation system. These issues can be caused by anything from incorrect zone settings to faulty sprinkler heads.

Dripping Valves

Properly working valves should not leak or drip. Dirt and grass clippings accumulate in equipment causing leaks. Damp areas around pressure regulators and filters are signs of failures in the lines. Clean out equipment when able to avoid this malfunction.

Water Flow

Irregular water flow may be caused by a leak or clog. Turn on the irrigation system and watch how the water disperses. It is most likelyPipe Failure there is a leak or clog if the water pressure is lower in some areas or the sprinkler coverage does not overlap. There is a leak in the irrigation system if bubbling or gurgling occurs. Use a flag, stake or rock to mark the damaged area to come back to for repairs.

Inspecting parts when a leak is suspected is important. Any pipes or sprinkler heads that are exposed, are more prone to damage. Areas where cars and golf carts drive should be inspected first. Make sure the nozzles are not clogged or buried. By doing so, you can rule out any quick and cheap repairs that may be the cause. If no damage is seen, sections of the irrigation system may need to be dug up.5000_AdjustRotor2

The pressure of the water can determine the flow of the sprinkler. Too little pressure doesn’t deliver enough water to the area, too much pressure prematurely wears out the equipment. With wear the system the sprinkler may work ineffectively. Check for wear on the pipes.

Higher Cost

A higher monthly water bill may indicate a problem in the irrigation system. An increase in usage can indicate a leak letting water escape from the pipes. A bad pressure regulator forcing too much water through the system or an unbalanced control valve could also be the culprit.

The Identification

There are many indicators that a irrigation system is malfunctioning. Keeping a watchful eye you can catch the error before it causes damage to the course. If you catch a problem early, you are more likely to have a smaller repair than if the damage continued.


  1. It’s great to know more about irrigation systems. I’m thinking we may need ours prepared because there are some saturated spots in our backyard. I’ll be sure to hire a professional to come take a look of this.

  2. I like that you mentioned maintaining a proper balance of water pressure for your irrigation system. This can make all the difference in the success in your crop yield. As someone who relies on my farm, this is key to making a good living.

  3. It’s frustrating when an irrigation system is not working properly, but looking out for these signs is a great way to keep up with it and save money.

  4. Need someone to ck out the system. It brand new and the installer had words with the next door neighbor and he will not complete the system. Just need a professional to get it going so we can use it.

  5. I noticed that my sprinkler system hasn’t been putting out as much water as it should be, and I’m not sure why. The article mentions that a clog or a leak are most likely the culprits as to why my pressure is so low. I don’t know much about sprinklers, so what tests would a sprinkler repair service employ to determine the true cause for my pressure loss?

  6. One thing I love is my lawn to be watered and being green. Unfortunately I have experienced a couple of the signs you mentioned and have to call for irrigation repair. Although it did cost money for the repairs, as you mentioned, it could have been worse had I waited to have it repaired. I’m glad that there are professions that not only install them but can also help repair the system and parts when problems arise.

  7. I appreciate that you point out that if the water pressure is stronger is some areas compared to others then there could be a leak or clog somewhere. I have noticed that there is one sprinkler head that doesn’t shoot as far as the other ones. It doesn’t really affect the end result because they end up overlapping anyway. I’ll have to keep an eye on the other ones and call someone if it happens to others.

  8. It’s interesting that spots in the grass could be a sign that some parts are getting too much water while others aren’t getting enough. It makes sense that this could be problematic as I don’t want to flood or dry out any parts of the lawn. I’ll have to get a professional out to take a look to see if it needs to be fixed or replaced, etc.

  9. I appreciate your advice on how a higher water bill may be a sign that your sprinkler system needs repair. I would imagine that if you are paying more you would want to get that fixed as soon as possible. My water bill has been pretty high for no apparent reason recently so maybe I should look into hiring someone to come look at my sprinkler system.

  10. Last week we got our water bill, and I notices that it had gone up quite a bit. I couldn’t figure out why, but I didn’t think to check our sprinklers. I’ll see if I notice any of the other signs you mention and get someone out here to look at things. I don’t want to be paying for water that isn’t actually watering our lawn!

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