Do I Need a Sprinkler System Repair or Replacement

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Man digging trench to replace sewer line pipes and lawn sprinkler system

Having an irrigation system is key for keeping a beautiful, healthy lawn. But if any piece of your sprinkler system is out of whack, it could cause major issues from flooding to underwatering. This could ruin your landscape that you worked so hard to grow!

But how do you know if you need just a sprinkler system repair or a replacement?

A sprinkler system is made up of numerous parts, including:

  • Timer
  • Controller system
  • Pipes and tubing
  • Valves
  • Sprinkler head
  • Backflow preventers

If any of these parts are broken or damaged, it could cause the entire system to fail. Just because your sprinkler system is not working correctly does not automatically mean that you need to fully remove and replace it.

Here are some signs that can help you determine whether a sprinkler system repair is needed – or if it is time for an upgraded replacement.

Common Sprinkler System Repair Issues

First, let’s go over the most common sprinkler system repair problems that customers run into. Over time, parts of the system may wear down or stop working correctly. More often than not, these are a simple fix – as long as you know how to spot the issue.

Sunken Head

One of the most common sprinkler system problems is a low or sunken head. The sprinkler head may start to sink into the soft ground or can get tilted from being stepped on or hit by a lawnmower. This will cause the sprinkler to spray water at odd angles or become blocked.

Control Valves

Another common sprinkler system repair issue is leaky control valves. This could cause water to leak out from the sprinkler heads constantly, even when the system is supposed to be turned off. It may also decrease the water pressure of the entire irrigation system.


If you notice any water pressure changes or changes in the spray pattern of your irrigation system, this could be caused by a clogged sprinkler head or blockage within the pipes. Sometimes, mud or grass clumps block the water flow, causing the entire sprinkler system to act up. Thankfully, this is usually a quick and easy fix.

Common Problems That Require Sprinkler System Replacement

Image of a hunter sprinkler system

There are several warning signs that could point to issues requiring a full irrigation system replacement.

Utility Spike

First, if there are any unexpected increases in your water bill, it may be caused by efficiency issues with your system. The average sprinkler system uses about 12,000 gallons of water per month if it runs 3 times a week. If this usage suddenly increases, this is a warning sign that something is wrong with the irrigation system.

Recurring Issues

Second, if you are requiring frequent repairs to your sprinklers beyond just routine maintenance or part repairs, then it may be time to replace your system. The piping may not be installed correctly or changes to your landscape could have affected the layout. For instance, tree roots could grow and block or shift underground pipes, causing problems with the sprinkler system.

Poor Coverage

Finally, uneven coverage to your lawn can be a sign you may need a sprinkler system upgrade. If you notice that some spots are dry while others are getting ample water, the layout of your system needs to be re-evaluated.

How Old Is Your Sprinkler System?

Generally, a sprinkler system should last for 10 to 15 years if it is properly maintained. Top-quality irrigation systems can even last for 20 years without needing replacements.

So, if your sprinkler system was installed just a few years ago, it likely just needs repairs. Contact the installer if you are running into any major problems or repeated issues. In some cases, these parts may be covered under the warranty.

Worker repairing sprinkler system

If your system is nearing 15 or 20 years old, it could be time for a replacement and an upgrade. Newer sprinkler systems are designed to optimize water usage to lower consumption and costs. Additionally, newer sprinkler systems come with some pretty useful features, such as timers and even smart irrigation system controls.

Have You Kept up With Routine Maintenance for Your Sprinkler System?

Keeping up with routine maintenance requirements can extend the life of your sprinkler system considerably. It is highly recommended that you hire a service to winterize your irrigation system every year to protect sprinkler heads and pipes from freezing and bursting.

You should also have a routine cleaning and inspection every few years from a professional service. They will check for any damaged or worn-out parts. It is best to schedule this type of inspection before the spring or summer begins. This is to ensure that your sprinkler system is ready to go.

If you have not had your irrigation system routinely inspected, cleaned, or winterized, schedule this right away. This can help to catch any small issues with your sprinklers before they become major ones – and it could help you avoid a full sprinkler system replacement.

Hire the Right Sprinkler System Repair and Replacement Company

Whether you need just a small part replacement or a full system upgrade, you should hire a professional service to do it. It is not recommended to attempt any repairs on your own. It’s easy to break sprinkler parts or even burst pipes if you do not have the proper training.

Sprinkler heads in a garden in the backyard of a house

Instead, go with a sprinkler system repair company you can trust to handle any maintenance, patch-ups, or replacements as needed. It is best to only work with businesses that offer warranties on any work they do, from a small repair to a full system upgrade.

You should also ask if they provide free consultations or estimates so you know what to expect.

Lastly, ask the repair company about the brands and suppliers they use for parts. Cheap parts will wear down fast and lead to ongoing repairs and replacements. It’s much better to install top-quality parts from trusted suppliers like:

  • Rain Bird
  • Orbit
  • Toro
  • Hydro Rain
  • Woodford
  • Hunter
  • JAIN
  • Weathermatic

In Conclusion

Dealing with sprinkler system repair issues or replacements doesn’t need to be a frustrating experience. The key to keeping your sprinkler system running is by fixing issues as soon as they arise and staying on top of routine maintenance in-between.

If you have any further questions about irrigation system installment, repairs, or upgraded replacements, please contact us at Environmental Designers Irrigation.

Our team of professionals will assist you over the phone and schedule a free sprinkler system estimate based on your situation. Get a quick quote today!

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Guy Virone

Guy Virone leads a team of top-rated irrigations experts specializing in water management services, water-saving technologies, revamping antiquated systems, auditing, maintenance service, and installation.