How to Patch a Sprinkler Pipe


A fully or semi-automated sprinkler system helps save time and energy and helps to keep lawns green. Sprinkler systems usually require little maintenance but the pipes are mostly made of PVC which may become brittle in time and break or spring a leak. Once the broken area has been located it is not too difficult to repair, and a savvy homeowner may be able to save himself some money by doing it himself. Sprinkler pipe repair kits are inexpensive and easy to apply and usually do the job required of them.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Utility knife
  • Rags
  • Pipe Cement
  • Pipe repair kit
  • Short length of pipe
  • Expose the broken pipe. Keep the water on. Dig out squares of lawn a set them aside. Dig carefully around the pipe to determine where it is leaking. Once you have located the break, turn off the water mains and continue to excavate all around the pipe and underneath it to remove all as much mud as possible.

  • Use a snap on coupler. This is the simplest way to patch a small hole in PVC sprinkler pipes. Kits come with PVC cement and two pieces of PVC that snap together around the pipe. Choose a patch to match your pipe's diameter. Wipe the broken area of pipe with a rag to remove mud and dry it well. Paint the pipe cement onto both surfaces and stick the patch pieces over it and snap them together. Leave to dry for the manufacturer's recommended time.

  • Use a PVC compression fitting. If the break is larger, cut out the broken section of pipe. Unscrew the ends of a PVC compression fitting. Place the rubber washer to cover each end of the break and hand tighten after securing the fitting in the middle. No glue is needed and the rubber will seal the pipe and prevent the water from coming out. Compression fittings may be used on PVC and galvanized pipes.

  • Splice the pipe. If you have a larger area of damage the best option may be to cut out the damaged pipe. Replace it with a new length of pipe of a slightly smaller diameter. Apply pipe cement inside one end of the original pipe and outside one end of the new piece of pipe and push it in. Paint the other end of each piece of pipe and insert the new piece into the existing pipe. Follow the pipe cement manufacturer's directions to allow the glue to dry.

  • Fill the hole, tamp down carefully and replace the grass squares.

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