How much does it cost to repair sprinkler system?
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Repair Sprinkler System Cost Guide
Updated: January 17, 2024
How much does it cost to repair your sprinklers?
Proper lawn care starts with a functional sprinkler system. If your sprinkler heads deliver low water pressure or spray erratically, they will leave your grass, flowers, and other landscaping foliage withered and wilted. On top of this, a leaky and inefficient sprinkler system can increase your water bills.
This makes it essential to repair your sprinklers as soon as you notice issues. Unfortunately, irrigation repair isn’t cheap. The national average cost to repair a sprinkler system is $210, though you should expect to pay anywhere between $151 and $274 to hire repair professionals. And if your sprinkler system has an especially serious issue, you could pay much more.
Keep reading, and we’ll discuss the various factors affecting sprinkler repair and replacement costs. We’ll also help you determine what level of sprinkler repairs will work best for your lawn and your budget.
Factors that can affect sprinkler repair costs
Sprinkler systems are made up of several interconnected parts and components, each of which may break independently. Since replacement parts don’t all cost the same price, which repairs your system needs will significantly impact your total costs. Below, we’ve broken down the average repair costs for different sprinkler system components.
Average repair costs of parts in sprinkler systems
Common repair costs
Sprinkler valve box
Wiring (per linear foot)
Keep in mind that the hourly rates your repair specialists charge can also have a big influence on your repair costs. Typical hourly rates for sprinkler repairs range from $81 to $149, so you could very well pay a price different from what we’ve listed above if your crew charges an hourly rate on the higher end of this range.
Additionally, not all components of the same type are created equally. PVC pipes are often more expensive than polyethylene pipes, for example. Similarly, there’s a wide variety of different sprinkler head types, each with different functions—such as pop-up designs to avoid lawnmowers—that come at different rates.
The bottom line is that if you hire an expensive company and opt for high-end components, you could very well pay more than what we estimated in the table above for comparable repairs.
There are three main types of sprinkler systems: in-ground, above-ground, and drip irrigation. Each one looks and works a little differently from the other two, and they all have different average repair prices.
In-ground sprinkler systems tend to be the most expensive to repair because they feature buried sprinkler lines that need to be dug up before they can be repaired. This can add significant time—i.e. labor costs—to in-ground sprinkler repair projects.
On the flip side, above-ground sprinkler systems tend to be the cheapest to repair. None of the lines in an above-ground system are buried, making them easy and quick to access for repairs.
A drip irrigation system—the final system type—typically doesn’t feature spraying heads, so you don’t need to pay for sprinkler head repairs for this type of system. Instead, drip systems feature long loops of perforated pipe that run across a lawn, usually under the soil. These types of systems are incredibly water efficient, but they tend to cost a lot to repair because, like in-ground systems, their water supply lines are often buried.
That said, some drip irrigation systems feature above-ground designs, and these will be more affordable to repair.
Average repair prices by type of sprinkler system
Sprinkler system type
Average repair costs
Drip irrigation system
The larger your property, the larger your sprinkler system will have to be for proper irrigation. And, unfortunately, larger systems have more components that can malfunction and rupture at the same time. This means that if you have a larger sprinkler system, it will probably cost more to repair.
Most people don’t run their sprinklers in winter or fall, so they don’t notice damage to their systems until they turn them on in spring and summer. The result is a huge influx of sprinkler repair customers during warm months. Sprinkler companies tend to charge higher rates when they’re busier, so you’ll likely pay more to get your sprinklers fixed in summer and spring than you would in winter and fall.
Sprinkler repair pricing tiers
The budget option
To save money on your sprinkler repairs, opt for low-end replacement components and only fix urgent and easily noticeable problems. This might mean that your system runs inefficiently and needs repairs again sooner rather than later, but it will keep your upfront costs low now.
Additionally, if your repairs aren’t pressing, you should also wait until fall to hire a sprinkler repair technician. That way, you’ll avoid paying peak seasonality rates.
And while handy amateurs can take care of small sprinkler repairs themselves, it’s always better to hire pros to do it for you even though they cost more than DIY repairs. Incorrectly installing a sprinkler head or poorly replacing a broken pipe can result in continued leakage and flooding. The consequences of poorly doing more complex jobs like sprinkler solenoid repair or valve replacement are much worse, so these tasks should always be left to the pros.
The mid-range option
If you can afford to fix more than just the most noticeable problems, we recommend it. Doing more than the bare minimum for your sprinkler system will help it run efficiently for much longer. If you’re hiring pros to replace a broken sprinkler head or ruptured pipe, have them conduct a check-up on your entire system while they’re at it.
This check-up might not turn up anything interesting, but it could bring serious issues to light and even help you understand what caused the first problem you noticed. Repairing every leak and faulty component in your sprinkler system might cost you hundreds of dollars more than the simplest fix, but it’s the best way to keep your sprinklers running at peak efficiency.
Additionally, if you can afford to shell out for deluxe components, they’re usually worth your money. High-end sprinkler controllers, valves, and heads can help you conserve water, sufficiently water every sprinkler zone, and save money on your monthly bills.
The high-end option
If your sprinkler system is especially old and it consistently gives you problems every year, it might be time to replace it. As you can probably imagine, irrigation installation is much more expensive than making repairs. On average, most homeowners spend between $4,649 and $8,459 to get a new sprinkler system installed.
On top of the new sprinkler system’s installation costs, you’ll also pay an hourly rate to tear out and dispose of the old sprinkler components.
However, even these high prices might be more affordable and budget-friendly in the long run than spending hundreds of dollars on repairs every single year. If your system is consistently a significant drain on your finances, it might be better to just start from scratch.
That said, wholesale replacement like this isn’t always necessary. Lawn sprinkler systems usually last around 20 years if they’re properly maintained. If your system is relatively young and it doesn’t have any serious issues, making small repairs instead of getting it replaced will probably do the trick.
How to pay for your sprinkler repairs
Compared to bigger home improvement projects, sprinkler repair is relatively affordable. This means that, even if you don’t have the necessary cash on hand, you can usually find an easy way to cover the costs.
Your landscaping company’s financing is usually the best option if you need to go into debt for this project. Depending on which company you hire, the terms and conditions of installer financing can be very competitive in terms of interest rates and payback periods.
If your installer doesn’t offer financing or you don’t like the terms, you can also pay for this project with a credit card. Credit cards usually have steep interest rates, so they aren’t ideal for big home improvement expenses. However, if your repair costs total less than $300 and you can pay the credit off quickly, this might be a good option for you.
If you have to completely replace your sprinkler system and your costs exceed $2,000, you may want to consider taking out a loan or opening a home equity line of credit for this project.
Other factors to consider
Sprinkler system maintenance
Routine sprinkler maintenance should be part of any homeowner’s springtime landscaping plan. Annual maintenance tasks include jobs like cleaning debris off the sprinkler heads, removing clogs from the lines, and inspecting the backflow preventer for malfunctions.
While you can handle many of these jobs yourself, it’s really best to get a pro to come out and look at your sprinkler system once every year or two. A professionally trained sprinkler technician will notice things you may not, so getting your system professionally maintained can prevent costly issues down the road.
On average, a routine sprinkler maintenance call costs between $133 and $242, depending on system size and type. However, if the inspection reveals anything that needs to be repaired, you’ll pay extra.
Winterizing your system
Winterization is the process of removing water from your sprinkler system before the first winter chill rolls in. Water freezes as it expands, so if your sprinkler lines have water inside them once the ground begins to freeze, they can rupture. This makes winterization one of the most important maintenance tasks for the health of your sprinkler system.
While many homeowners winterize their systems themselves, leaving this job to professionals will ensure no harmful moisture is left inside your water lines. Professional winterization costs an average of $94 and $170.
Repairing your sprinklers
While it isn’t cheap, keeping your sprinklers in tip-top shape with quick repairs and regular maintenance can save you money on your water bills and prevent the need to prematurely replace your system. If you’ve noticed that any part of your sprinkler system is in need of repair, don’t wait. Schedule a consultation with a professional repair company as soon as possible.