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6 Early Warning Signs That Your Denver Sprinkler System Has a Leak


February 5, 2020

When you think of your sprinkler system, you think of a simple way to keep your lawn and yard watered throughout the year. It works automatically and all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your lush grass between those weekend mowing sessions. Though they’re durable and built to last, sprinkler systems can occasionally develop issues that put your yard at risk. The worst, hands-down, is an underground leak in the waterlines. Since it’s not visible to the naked eye, you may not always know when it’s time to call your Denver sprinkler repair team to fix the problem. Watch for these tell-tale signs that your sprinkler has a leak somewhere in the system.

Higher Than Normal Water Bills
Sprinkler systems are designed to reduce the amount of water you need to water your lawn and landscaping. It spreads water evenly and over a large area so the roots can make the most of every drop. This means your water bills will typically be lower during the growing season with a sprinkler system in place than they would be if you hand-water the entire yard. 

If you notice your water bills going up without reason and haven’t changed the way you use your sprinkler system, you likely have a leak underground. Even a small leak can waste hundreds of gallons of water—water you have to pay for every month. Compare your water bills against the ones from last year and see if they’re consistent or significantly higher. If they’re higher, you may have a leak. Once you get the leak fixed, whether it’s in the water supply line or through the pipes leading to the sprinkler heads, you’ll see your water bill go down. 

Wet Walkways
Grass can only use so much water before the roots and soil become overly wet and can’t absorb any more. When this happens, that water has to go somewhere, so it spreads out over the ground. When it hits the boundary of your walkway or driveway, it soaks the pavement or concrete. 

Take a look at your walkways, stepping stones, and driveway. If it’s dry, you’re in good shape. But if you see that the pavement is consistently wet, you need to get that sprinkler leak fixed quickly. When pavement gets wet and stays wet, it starts to deteriorate. Over time, you could end up needing to repave or add new concrete to keep those walkways in good and usable condition.

Soggy or Muddy Grass
Remember how we mentioned that grass can only use so much water? Well, excess water has to collect somewhere before it starts to spread out towards the walkways on your property. This often results in puddles throughout your lawn, but you might not know they’re there unless you’re walking on the grass.

Take a look at your lawn. Does it look relatively dry? Walk across it and see how the turf feels. If your footfalls make squelching noises or you pick your foot up only to discover that it’s covered in mud, you probably have a leak in your sprinkler system. The sooner you get it fixed, the better off your lawn will be.

Brown or Dying Spots in the Lawn
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much water for your lawn. When the grass is overly hydrated, it can develop root rot, fungus, and find it difficult to get the nutrients it needs to grow properly. Unfortunately, it takes time for these symptoms to develop. But if you see brown spots, dead-growth areas, or notice discoloration in your grass, you could have a leak.

The best thing you can do is get your sprinkler system inspected to see if there’s too much water flooding the roots. Keep in mind that discoloration of your lawn can also be indicative of over-fertilization, pest and rodent damage, and other issues. The only way to identify the exact cause is to perform a full inspection of your grass and your irrigation system.

Tons of Mushrooms Popping Up
Mushrooms can pop up almost anywhere with very little moisture. It’s normal and not necessarily bad for your grass when they pop up in small quantities. However, if you notice tons of mushrooms growing in different parts of your yard, even when it hasn’t rained recently, start checking for sprinkler system leaks.

Mushrooms need moisture to feed the spores that let them crop up in your landscaping. If you have a sprinkler system leak, those spores will get fed frequently. The longer this goes on, the more mushrooms will pop up. Even though they’re not harmful, they’re a great early warning sign of leaks and water issues on your property. Be mindful, look for them between rainstorms, and call your sprinkler repair team if they just keep coming back.

Low Water Pressure 
Every sprinkler system relies on water pressure to spray the water where it needs to go. When it’s high enough, your lawn gets watered properly. You won’t see any dead zones or have to waste time by hand-watering portions of the turf. Unfortunately, even minor leaks can interrupt that water pressure, causing it to drop significantly. 

Pay attention to the way the sprinkler heads are spraying. If the spray pattern looks low or you’re struggling with low water pressure throughout the system, you likely have a leak. Fixing the leak should restore proper water pressure for your sprinkler system in a matter of minutes, so you’ll be able to rely on that spray to water your yard throughout the growing season.

Watch for These Signs
These are the most common signs of leaks in your sprinkler system. If you notice even one or are just worried about the way your system is performing, don’t wait. Schedule an estimate and get your system inspected for any possible damage. Leaving even minor leaks unrepaired can cost you hundreds over the course of the year. At Water Solutions Sprinkler Service, we’ll help you keep your system in good shape whether you need a tune-up or have several leaks beneath the ground.