Some of the usual problems that go with a broken sprinkler are loss of pressure, surges, dry spots and overly saturated areas. If you want to save a little money on getting your sprinkler system fixed then grab your tools and have a go at it.
1. You will first need to find out where the leak is. This may take a bit of cautious shovel work because some times the spot where the water seems to be coming out of the ground is not the location of the leak. Once the leak has been located, turn off the water to that part of the system, if you can, of the entire system if required. Make sure you hae got the right diameter repair pipe and coupler units. The PVC pipes used in in-ground sprinkler systems have information about size and test-strength printed up and down the sides.
2. Carefully excavate some work space around and under the break. You will be needing some clearance movement in the PVC pipe in order to achieve a tight fit with the repair. Clean out as much water, mud and dirt as possible. Measure approximately 4 to 6 inches from the crack on each side of the pipe and cut with a PVC cutter, cutting the ends square rather than at an angle.
3. Using PVC primer, brush primer on both of the clean sprinkler pipe ends approximately 1″ below from lip of pipe end, and the inner areas of two straight couplers. Apply PVC cement to one end of the pipe and half of a straight coupler, following the manufacturers instructions. Thread coupler onto the pipe, and let the pipe end butt up against the “stop” in the center of the coupler. Repeat the same for the other pipe end.
4. Cut a piece of repair pipe to fit the cut made in the sprinkler line, including the 1/2″ or more of each straight coupler. Use a tape measure to achieve correct length from the middle of each straight coupler. If a tape measure is not available then lay a piece of pipe down into the trench and mark with a pen or pencil for the cut.
5. Fit the cut piece into the dry couplers to be sure that the fit is correct and that the resulting pipe line is not distorted from the replacement piece being too long.
6. Make necessary adjustments, disassembling and reassembling, until you get a perfect fit. Apply the primer to both ends of the cut piece and apply a light layer of cement to one end of the replacement piece and inside one of the straight couplers. Twist pipe into coupler until it stops. Allow it to dry and then apply glue to the remaining pipe-end and coupler. Allow all fittings and joints to dry completely before turning on water in that line.
That should fix any leakage due to cracked pipe. Test out the fix after allowing the cement to cure, making sure there are no leaks. Carefully replace the dirt around your work area and put the sod back in place.