For sprinkler system problems such as broken pipes, valve problems, or blocked sprinkler heads, you may need to hire a professional. Most homeowners spend between $110 and $365 on sprinkler system repairs, with an average cost of $240.
- Average Costs
- Cost Estimator by Hour
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Related Services
- Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost
- Cost by Location
Average Cost to Repair a Sprinkler System in 2023
|National Average Cost||$240|
|Typical Price Range||$110 to $365|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$55|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$650|
Sprinkler system repair costs are determined by the type of sprinkler system and the extent of work needed. Minor repairs can cost as low as $55, while major repairs may run up to $650.
Labor costs for sprinkler repairs generally range from $55 to $105 per hour. The cost for parts varies depending on the component. Sprinkler heads and connectors are the least expensive to replace, averaging $0.75 to $3.35 each, while a backflow preventer can cost between $400 and $1,450.
Cost Estimator by Hour
Labor costs $75 per hour on average. The majority of sprinkler repair companies charge an hourly rate plus parts. If the technicians have to drive outside of their regular service area, you’ll incur a fee to cover the extra travel costs. Emergency calls outside of regular business hours can cost up to $240 per hour; however, the majority of jobs range from $55 to $105 per hour.
|National Average Per Hour||$75|
|Typical Hourly Range||$55 to $105|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$240|
On average, common irrigation repairs take two hours or fewer for a pro to complete.
|Common Repairs Needed||Average Repair Time|
|Replace sprinkler heads||1 hour or less|
|Faulty electrical wiring||1 hour or less (per linear foot)|
|Replace Leaking valves||1 to 2 hours|
|Damaged backflow preventer||1 to 2 hours|
Other Factors That Affect Cost
The type of system you have, the nature of repairs needed, parts, and time of year all affect how much it will ultimately cost to repair your sprinkler system.
Sprinkler System Type
Because the components are easily accessible, above-ground sprinkler systems are often less expensive to fix. In-ground systems typically require digging equipment and more time to repair, which increases the price. Depending on how accessible the system is, you can expect to pay between $50 and $500 for repairs.
|Sprinkler System Type||Average Repair Cost|
|Above-ground system||$50 to $350|
|In-ground system||$55 to $500|
Cost of Parts
The cost of fixing your sprinkler system is influenced by which part is broken. Many homeowners can do quick fixes and easily maintain some parts of the system. Individual parts can range in price from $0.50 to $1,450. The chart below shows the most common sprinkler system parts and average costs.
|Sprinkler System Part||Average Part Cost|
|Backflow preventer||$400 to $1,450|
|Connections||$0.75 to $3.35|
|Manifold||$68 to $130|
|Polyethylene pipe||$0.11 to $0.33 (per linear foot)|
|Pump||$100 – $300|
|PVC pipe||$0.50 to $1.00 (per linear foot)|
|Sprinkler heads||$2.75 to $3.35|
|Timer||$30 to $300|
|Valve||$13.75 to $110|
|Wiring||$0.50 to $1.60 (per linear foot)|
Common System Repairs
Irrigation systems are often large and complex, with several moving parts, such as sprinkler heads, valves, plus electrical wiring. The difficulty of the repair will also affect the price. Replacing a sprinkler head may cost about $55, while replacing a backflow preventer can range from $455 to $1,660.
|Sprinkler System Repair||Low-End Cost||High-End Cost|
|Repair sprinkler head||$55||$95|
|Broken water pipe||$150||$350|
|Water pressure repairs||$50||$450|
|Damaged electrical wiring||$55||$90|
|Replace backflow preventer||$455||$1,660|
Broken heads account for most service calls. Sprinkler heads can be repaired rather than replaced on occasion. Sprinkler head repairs typically range from $50 to $85. On average, sprinkler head replacements cost between $55 and $95. The cost varies depending on the head type, as shown in the chart below.
|Sprinkler Head Type||Average Repair Cost|
|Bubbler||$55 to $70|
|Fixed spray||$58 to $100|
|Gear-driven||$60 to $105|
|Misting||$55 to $75|
|Pop-up||$60 to $95|
|Rotary||$60 to $120|
|Average price range||$55 to $95|
Sprinkler systems are made up of multiple connected pipes that are found both above and below ground. In winter, an inadequately winterized sprinkler system may have water remaining in the pipes. If the water freezes, the pipe may rupture. Fortunately, the cost to winterize a sprinkler system is very affordable, at around $90, and can save you unnecessary costs come spring.
Sometimes, water pipes need repair no matter how well you follow a yearly maintenance schedule. The cost of repairing a broken pipe ranges from $150 to $350, including labor, and will vary based on the type of pipe used.
|Pipe Material||Average Cost (per linear foot)|
|Polyethylene pipes||$0.11 – $0.33|
|PVC pipes||$0.50 – $1|
Water pressure imbalances are a common problem with home sprinkler systems. Restoring proper water pressure can cost between $50 and $450, depending on the cause of the problem.
Low water pressure: Most lawns require one inch of water weekly to thrive during the active growing season. Limited water pressure causes insufficient watering and may result in brown spots in your grass. Maintaining water pressure and resolving any problems are critical to a healthy lawn. Low water pressure is often caused by:
- Leaks in the water line
- Damaged or clogged sprinkler heads
- Improperly adjusted backflow preventer
- System pump not working correctly
- Blocked water supply
High water pressure: The EPA recommends putting pressure sensors between sprinkler zones. You can help the environment and improve the health of your lawn by not over- or under-watering the grass. Common causes of high water pressure:
- Damaged sprinkler heads
- Faulty valves
- Variations in the slope of the landscape
Sprinkler systems are powered by electrical wiring, which can break or fray with time, disrupting the flow of electricity and causing the system to shut down or function erratically. Set aside between $55 and $90 per linear foot for broken wiring. A plumber can usually fix faulty wiring, but an electrician is recommended in some circumstances.
The water flow through the pipes and spray heads are controlled by a set of valves throughout the sprinkler system. As valves become loose, they might leak or break.
Sprinkler valve replacement costs between $69 and $320. The total cost is determined by the time it takes to complete the service plus the cost of the part. Valve replacement typically takes one to two hours, and valves range in price from $13.75 to $110.
A sprinkler’s backflow preventer is attached to its main water line, ensuring water only flows away from your home’s central water system. Your house’s water supply can become contaminated if backflow isn’t prevented.
Replacement of the backflow preventer, which can cost between $455 and $1,660, is frequently the most expensive repair. This includes the price of labor, replacing the backflow preventer, and testing the system.
Maintaining your system is an efficient strategy to minimize the risk of sprinkler issues and repairs. You can perform basic sprinkler maintenance and checkups yourself or hire a pro.
Sprinkler system tune-ups cost between $75 and $120 and should be performed at least once a year. Maintenance service calls run between $50 and $400 and may include the following:
- Winterizing your sprinkler system
- Inspecting the system
- Cleaning sprinkler heads
Time of Year
Because the spring and summer seasons are the busiest for sprinkler repair professionals, they are also the most expensive times to have your system serviced. On the other hand, the cheapest time to repair your sprinkler system is late fall through winter.
- Install a New Sprinkler System
- Drip Irrigation Installation
- Rain Barrels
- Spring Activation
- Lawn Mowing
Install a New Sprinkler System
Your sprinkler system may need to be replaced if it has suffered significant frost damage or is outdated. Sprinkler system installation costs range from $2,400 to $4,200.
|Average price range||$2,400 to $4,200|
Drip Irrigation Installation
Ideal for garden beds, drip irrigation delivers water droplets directly to your plants’ roots. On average, installing a drip irrigation system costs between $295 and $775.
|Average price range||$295 to $775|
A rain barrel can help save money by reducing your water use and monthly water bill. Because of the environmental benefits of rainwater collection, some governments provide incentives to homeowners that do so. Verify your local rainwater collection regulations, as some states do not allow rainwater collection. A rain barrel usually costs around $140.
A technician will usually come out as part of your summer landscaping or winterization package to restart the system in the spring. Experts will inspect and clean critical components, gently increase system pressure, and look for leaks. Sprinkler system activation typically costs between $45 and $150 and is performed in the spring.
Among the many services offered by lawn care companies, lawn mowing is one of the most popular. Mowing your lawn regularly promotes healthy grass growth, nourishes it, and discourages weeds. A professionally mowed lawn ranges in price from $30 to $65.
|Average price range||$30 to $65|
Aerating your lawn prevents the soil from becoming overly compacted and hard while also helping your grass’s roots get the nutrients, water, and airflow they need. Lawn aeration ranges from $75 and $225, depending on the size of your yard.
|Average price range||$75 to $225|
Overseeding is the process of spreading grass seed over an existing lawn. While the national average for seeding a lawn is $1,085, the total cost of your service can range from $195 to $2,960. The cost of a particular project is determined by its size and difficulty.
|Average price range||$680 to $1,815|
Thatch is a coating of dead grass and other organic materials between the grass and the soil’s surface. Thatch can be good in moderation, but excessive amounts inhibit the soil from receiving essential nutrients. The average cost of dethatching a lawn is $190 per hour.
|Average price range||$160 to $225|
DIY vs. Pro Cost
While doing your own sprinkler repairs can save you money on labor, professionals have specialized skills and equipment, and they frequently provide service guarantees. With the chart below, you can compare the costs of replacing a part of your sprinkler system yourself vs. hiring a professional.
|Replacement Part||DIY Cost||Pro Cost|
|Sprinkler heads||$2.75 to $3.35||$55 to $95|
|Valve||$13.75 to $110||$69 to $320|
|Backflow preventer||$400 to $1,450||$455 to $1,660|
Cost of Sprinkler System Repair by Location
Sprinkler system repair costs are affected by your location.
- Parts: Your system’s repair will be less expensive if the parts are readily available locally rather than having to be specially ordered.
- Labor: As the cost of living, demand for services, and provider accessibility vary, so do labor prices.
- Soil: The soil in your yard can affect how long it takes to repair underground systems. As clay is far more challenging to dig into than sandy soil, in-ground repairs in clay may take longer and require specialized equipment, resulting in higher costs.
Water can remain in the heads, pipes, and valves if you don’t winterize your sprinkler system. As temperatures drop below freezing, the water in the pipes freezes and expands, potentially causing structural damage in the sprinkler pipes or inside the fixtures.
Sprinkler tune-ups usually cost $75 to $120. The size, sprinkler type, and the number of zones of your system will influence the pricing. On the other hand, keeping up with regular maintenance will save you money on future repairs.
Cheap sprinkler heads often last two to three years, but high-end ones typically last 10 to 15 years. On average, sprinkler heads are replaced every five years or whenever they become damaged.
Homeowners can perform basic sprinkler repairs and maintenance on their own, such as cleaning the heads and valves. However, a specialist is recommended for more complex repairs, such as wiring or locating and replacing a damaged pipe. If you have any doubts, you can consult with irrigation specialists in your area.
Note: LawnStarter may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.
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