It's easy to figure out when your sprinkler system has a significant leak: there's flooding. But what if you suspect that there's a slow leak? This can occur if you've noticed that your water usage is slowly creeping up but you're not really certain why. Apart from slowly inspecting every single aspect of your sprinkler system, there are a few indicators that can help.
Determining Whether Your Sprinkler is the Culprit
First, you want to make sure that your sprinkler really is causing the leak. Sometimes there can be a leak inside your home that you just haven't noticed. Luckily, there is a simple way to find out. Just turn off the water supply within your home for a day -- preferably while you're out of the house -- and check your meter. If your meter has still moved, there's a leak outside of your home. If the meter hasn't moved, the problem may be with your interior plumbing.
Look for Areas of High Grass
Next, forego mowing for at least a week and look at the height of your grass. Even with a slow leak, you should see a measurable difference. Areas of high grass are likely to have a leak. If an area of high grass corresponds with a specific sprinkler head, you can probably look at the head to see whether it's leaking. Often, this is because the head has sustained some damage -- such as during weed whacking or mowing.
Turn the Sprinkler On
Most people have their sprinklers set to start at night, when they can't really see them. Turn your sprinkler on during the day and look at the flow. A leaking sprinkler head is likely to function erratically. Part of it may spray much longer (if the head is broken) or shorter (if the pipe is broken) than it should. This is a much faster solution than going through each sprinkler head one by one. When your sprinkler was first installed, it was set so that it would cover all of your grass without any overlap. So any area that isn't getting hit by water or any area that is getting too much water should be indicative of some problem.
You shouldn't try to actually fix your sprinkler installation on your own unless you're absolutely certain you know what you're doing. A mistake could lead to your entire yard getting flooded. Instead, you can call your local sprinkler installation company like Steeplechase for more information. They will usually be able to fix most problems within a matter of hours or even minutes.