Repairing a PVC Pipe Break in a Sprinkler Line


You can repair a PVC pipe break in a sprinkler line instead of calling a landscaper to do it for you. Two of the most common reasons a PVC pipe will break are improper drainage before winter and hitting a pipe while digging.

If you notice a drop in water pressure to your sprinkler heads or dead spots of lawn, you may have a broken pipe. There are 5 simple steps to help you fix your broken pipe and save some money.

Tools You'll Need

  • PVC cutter
  • PVC glue
  • PVC couplers**
  • PVC pipe**
  • Shovel
  • Gloves

**Make sure the PVC couplers and the PVC pipe are the same size as the existing sprinkler line.

Step 1: Locate the Brake

Find out where the break is. You may have to dig around a little bit to find it, but once you do, turn off the water going to that area.

Step 2: Dig it Out

Dig an area approximately 6 inches around the break and 2 to 3 inches below it. If the hole fills up with water, scoop it out with a cup until it is low enough you can work.

Step 3: Cut the Pipe

Use your PVC cutter and cut the pipe 4 to 6 inches away from the break on each side. Be sure to clean the ends well so they are free of mud and other debris. If you don't clean the ends, the glue will not stick.

Step 4: Cut Out the Old

Cut your PVC pipe to replace the broken piece. Take a tape measure and measure from the middle of one coupler to the middle of the other coupler to get the correct length. Slide the pipe into the couplers to be sure it fits before you glue it. Make any adjustments, if necessary.

Step 5: Fix the Break

Prime one end of the replacement PVC and wait for 5 to 10 seconds. Put a light coat of glue on one end and slide it into one coupler. Twist the pipe until it stops. Repeat the process for the other end of the pipe. PVC pipe can bend quite a bit without breaking, so don't worry about flexing the pipe in order to get it into the other coupler.

Wait 5 minutes to be sure the glue is dry before testing your replacement pipe. Turn the valve back on, and watch for any leaks. You may want to wait 24 hours before putting full pressure on the sprinkler system.

Once you are satisfied that the leak has been fixed, cover the hole back up and do a full check of your sprinkler system to make sure there are no other leaks anywhere else. If you do find another leak, repeat these steps again.