How to Fix a Broken Drip Irrigation Sprinkler: A Step-by-Step Guide

Drip irrigation systems are a fantastic way to conserve water and ensure your plants receive the precise amount of moisture they need. However, like any irrigation system, drip irrigation sprinklers can sometimes break or become clogged, leading to inefficiencies and potential damage to your plants. Fortunately, fixing a broken drip irrigation sprinkler is a straightforward task that you can easily handle yourself. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you through the process.

Signs of a Broken Drip Irrigation Sprinkler

Identifying the signs of a broken or clogged drip irrigation sprinkler is crucial for timely repair:

  • Water Pooling: Excessive water accumulation around a particular area.
  • Dry Spots: Plants or areas that are not receiving any water.
  • Leaking Water: Water spraying or leaking from connections.
  • Reduced Water Flow: Noticeable decrease in water output from the emitters.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Replacement drip irrigation sprinkler or emitter
  • Scissors or garden shears
  • Barbed connectors (if necessary)
  • Punch tool (for new emitters)
  • Hose repair coupling (if necessary)
  • Bucket or container

Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing a Broken Drip Irrigation Sprinkler

1. Turn Off the Water Supply

Before starting any repairs, ensure the water supply to your drip irrigation system is turned off. This prevents water from spilling out and allows you to work safely and efficiently. Contact us if you need to schedule a repair service.

2. Locate the Problematic Sprinkler

Identify the broken or clogged sprinkler. Run the system briefly to pinpoint the issue, then turn it off again. Look for areas with pooling water, dry spots, or visible damage.

3. Inspect the Sprinkler and Tubing

Carefully examine the problematic sprinkler and the surrounding tubing for visible damage or clogs. Sometimes, the issue may be due to debris blocking the emitter or a small puncture in the tubing.

4. Remove the Broken Sprinkler

Gently remove the broken or clogged sprinkler from the tubing. Depending on your system, you may need to unscrew it or simply pull it out. Be careful not to damage the tubing while doing this. Contact us if you need to schedule a repair service.

5. Clean or Replace the Sprinkler

  • Cleaning: If the sprinkler is clogged but not damaged, try cleaning it. Soak the emitter in a solution of water and vinegar to dissolve any mineral deposits. Rinse thoroughly with clean water before reattaching.
  • Replacing: If the sprinkler is damaged, replace it with a new one. Ensure the new sprinkler matches the specifications of your system.

Contact us if you need to schedule a repair service.

6. Repairing the Tubing (if necessary)

If the tubing is damaged, you will need to cut out the damaged section. Use scissors or garden shears to make clean cuts on either side of the damaged area. Connect the cut ends using a barbed connector or hose repair coupling. Make sure the connections are secure and watertight. Contact us if you need to schedule a repair service.

7. Install the New Sprinkler

Using a punch tool, create a small hole in the tubing where you want to place the new sprinkler. Insert the barbed end of the new sprinkler into the hole, ensuring it fits snugly. If you’re replacing an emitter, simply push the new emitter into the tubing where the old one was removed. Contact us if you need to schedule a repair service.

8. Test the System

Turn the water supply back on and run the drip irrigation system to test the new sprinkler. Check for proper operation, ensuring water is flowing correctly and there are no leaks. Contact us if you need to schedule a repair service.

9. Make Final Adjustments

Adjust the positioning of the new sprinkler if necessary to ensure even water distribution. Check surrounding emitters to ensure they’re working properly, as the system may have been affected by the initial problem.

Tips for Preventing Future Issues

  • Regular Maintenance: Regularly inspect your drip irrigation system for clogs and damage.
  • Filter Installation: Install a filter at the water source to prevent debris from entering the system.
  • Seasonal Care: Flush the system at the start of each season to clear out any accumulated debris.
  • Monitor Water Pressure: Ensure the water pressure is appropriate for your system to prevent blowouts and leaks.

Contact us if you need to schedule your irrigation maintenance service.


Fixing a broken drip irrigation sprinkler is a simple and effective way to maintain the efficiency of your irrigation system and ensure your plants receive the water they need. By following this step-by-step guide, you can easily handle the repair yourself, keeping your garden in top shape. Regular maintenance and attentive care can prevent future issues and prolong the life of your drip irrigation system.

Winterizing Irrigation Systems

Winterizing irrigation systems is an important step to protect them from damage caused by freezing temperatures. There are three basic methods for draining leftover water from your sprinkler or irrigation system: manual drain, automatic drain, and blow-out. The method you use depends on the type of irrigation you have in place. If you’re not sure, or don’t feel comfortable winterizing yourself, contact us for help.

Here are the general steps for each method:

Manual Drain Method:

Some irrigation systems are equipped with manual drainage. These systems allow you to empty excess water from the system by simply opening a valve. If you have manual drain irrigation, follow these steps:

  • Shut off the water supply to the system.
  • Look for the manual valves at the ends and low points of the piping.
  • Open all the valves and drain the water from the system.
  • Make sure you also drain the backflow device.
  • Some sprinklers are equipped with check valves. These devices allow water to only flow one way. If you’ve got check valves on your system, try raising the sprinkler heads. This should let water drain out of those mechanisms.
  • Once you’ve drained the entire system, close all the valves.

Automatic Drain Method

An automatic drain system has valves that automatically drain water from the pipes. This happens only when the water pressure falls below a certain number of pounds per square inch. To activate an automatic drain function, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the water supply.
  • Briefly run one of the sprinkler heads to relieve the water pressure in the system.
  • Automatic draining should begin, clearing the pipes of excess water.
  • You may still need to drain the water between the shut-off valve and the backflow device.
  • If the sprinkler heads are equipped with check valves, empty them separately.

Blow-Out Method

The final way of draining an irrigation system is known as the blow-out method. To drain the pipes, you force compressed air through the irrigation system. This discharges excess water through the sprinkler heads. It works if you have the proper irrigation system to handle the pressure. The blow-out method is potentially hazardous.

Malfunctioning Irrigation Timers

Irrigation timers can malfunction due to power outages, faulty wiring, or simply old age.

Some other common causes of malfunctioning irrigation timers can be:

Damaged solenoid: The solenoid is the electrical component that activates the valve to turn on the water. If the solenoid is damaged, it will not be able to turn on the valve, even if the timer is set correctly.
Loose or corroded wiring: The wiring that connects the timer to the valve can become loose or corroded over time. This can cause a short circuit or prevent the timer from sending a signal to the valve.
– Dirty contacts: The contacts on the timer can become dirty or corroded over time. This can prevent the timer from making a good connection and sending a signal to the valve.
– Settings: If the timer settings are not correct, the sprinklers may not turn on or off at the desired times.

If you think your irrigation timer is malfunctioning, you can try the following troubleshooting steps:

1. Check the power supply to the timer. Make sure that the timer is plugged into an outlet that is working properly.

2. Check the wiring between the timer and the valve. Make sure that the wires are not loose or corroded.

3. Clean the contacts on the timer. Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean the contacts.

4. Check the timer settings. Make sure that the settings are correct for the time of day and the watering schedule.

If you have tried these troubleshooting steps and the timer is still malfunctioning, call us: 702.370.2828.

Regular irrigation system maintenance can help prevent your irrigation timer from malfunctioning. Some preventive services we recommend:

– Install a surge protector on the outlet that the timer is plugged into. This will help to protect the timer from power surges.

– Inspect the timer and wiring regularly for damage.

– Clean the contacts on the timer every few years.

– Replace the timer every 10-15 years.

By following these tips, you can help to keep your irrigation timer in good working order and prevent it from malfunctioning.


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Irrigation Repair Services in Las Vegas

We provide professional irrigation repair services, such as maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting of your irrigation systems. These services are essential for ensuring the proper functioning and efficiency of irrigation systems for your lawns, gardens, and other green spaces.

Irrigation System Failure in Dry Weather Conditions

Yes, irrigation systems can experience issues and break even during dry weather. Here are a few reasons why irrigation systems might break or malfunction during dry conditions:

Irrigation Repair Las Vegas

Increased Irrigation System Usage:

During dry weather in Las Vegas, the demand for irrigation systems typically rises as plants and lawns require more water. Increased usage can put additional strain on the system, leading to issues such as clogged nozzles, broken pipes, or malfunctioning valves.

Irrigation System Overloading:

In an effort to compensate for the dry conditions, some users may run their irrigation systems for longer durations or more frequently. Continuous operation or excessive watering can overload the system and cause components to fail.

Soil Shifting and Ground Movement:

Prolonged dry spells can cause soil to shrink, shift, or crack. These changes in the ground can put stress on pipes and fittings, leading to leaks or breaks in the irrigation system.

Water Pressure Fluctuations:

In dry weather, water sources may experience fluctuations in pressure. High water pressure can damage sprinkler heads or cause pipes to burst, while low pressure can result in inefficient water distribution or system failure.

Irrigation repair Las Vegas

Lack of Maintenance:

Neglecting routine maintenance can increase the likelihood of system failures. Over time, debris, dirt, and mineral deposits can accumulate in the system, obstructing water flow and affecting the performance of valves, nozzles, and other components.

Our Irrigation Repair And Maintenance Services

System Inspection and Evaluation: Our technicians will assess the overall condition of the irrigation system, including sprinklers, pipes, valves, and controllers. They will identify any issues or areas that require repair.

Leak Detection and Repair: If there are leaks in the system, our irrigation repair technician will locate and repair them. Leaks can waste water and cause damage to the landscape if not addressed promptly.

Sprinkler Repair and Adjustment: Broken or malfunctioning sprinkler heads, nozzles, or valves will be repaired or replaced as needed. Our technician will also ensure that the sprinkler heads are properly adjusted to provide adequate water coverage.

Controller and Timer Troubleshooting: If the irrigation controller or timer is not functioning correctly, the repair service will diagnose and fix the issue. We may have to reprogram the controller or replace faulty components.

Pipe and Valve Repair: Damaged or broken pipes and valves will be repaired or replaced to restore proper water flow and prevent water waste.

System Upgrades and Retrofitting: Our irrigation repair services include upgrades and retrofitting options to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the irrigation system. This could include installing water-saving devices, such as rain sensors or drip irrigation systems.

Seasonal Maintenance: Regular maintenance visits may be scheduled to prepare the irrigation system for different seasons. This may involve adjusting watering schedules, clearing clogged nozzles, and checking system performance.


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