locating a leak in underground sprinkler


Old 05-25-07, 09:05 PM
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Question locating a leak in underground sprinkler

I've a 20+ year old rainbird sprinkler system that has a leak underground some where? I've conducted all the trouble shooting,and have narrowed it down to station #4 (of 8), due to low water pressure emitting from the heads. There are 7 heads spread out over a 40' x 20' section of yard.

I'm looking for suggestions in locating the leak w/o digging up the whole system.

Some trouble shooting methods utilized are;
1. checked water meter, the little arrow is spinning
2. ran the test portion of sprinkler system (4 minutes);
2a. station #4 has low pressure
2b, no obvious water puddling, or running from any of the heads
3. verified what & how each station was performing
4. checked that all water sources were shut down, arrow continued to spin
5. shut off the main valve to the sprinkler system, arrow stopped turning

Any suggestions would be appreciated, thank you in advance

Old 05-25-07, 10:17 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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since you think you know what zone it is , I would cap all but one sprinkler head in the zone, then turn on the zone and see if the head works, do this until you locate the one that doesn't operate correctly when the zone is on and you'll find the leak. All that water going to only one head should show somehow, I would think.
Old 05-26-07, 08:37 PM
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no results

Stumped1, thanks for the feedback, I tried your suggestion today, but blocked off all the heads, as there is water coming out from all 8 of them, just real low pressure. Unfortunately no luck in identifying where the leak is. I dug up 2 of the heads that had the weakest pressure, still no luck in identifying the leak location.

Any other ideas? I'm at a loss right now
Old 05-30-07, 02:29 PM
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I find leaks in the fall when I have my sprinkler system blown out by a lawn service's 200 CFM air compressor. The leaks are usually very obvious (air + water gurgling or blowing out of the ground above the leak). I carry a hand full of wire flags when I have this done, and mark the leak locations for later repair.

You might try this. Costs me $50 to have 9 stations blown out, but you might be able to negotiate a lower price, since they are only dealing with one station.

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