How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Sprinkler System?

National Average Range:
$100 - $400
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Reviewed by Paula Reguero. Written by Fixr.com.

Maintaining your lawn and garden is a challenge, and it takes time and effort to regularly water the grass and plants. Sprinkler systems are a great way to keep your lawn in shape. They take the inconvenience out of watering the lawn with timers and controllers to control the flow automatically. Unfortunately, various problems can arise with sprinkler systems, such as cracks in the pipes, valve issues, and clogged heads.

The national cost average for sprinkler repairs is between $100 and $400, with most homeowners spending around $200 to repair broken piping and 2 sprinkler heads. This project’s low cost is $50 for cleaning or unblocking a single sprinkler head. The high cost is $850 for replacing a backflow preventer.

Sprinkler Repair Cost

Sprinkler System Repair Prices
National average cost$200
Average range$100-$400
Low-end$50
High-end$850

Repair Sprinkler System Cost by Project Range

Low
$50
Cleaning or unblocking 1 sprinkler head
Average Cost
$200
Repairing broken piping and 2 sprinkler heads
High
$850
Replacing a backflow preventer

Sprinkler Repair Prices by Type of System

There are various sprinkler systems 1, including above-ground systems where the sprinkler heads and other components are situated above the ground and in-ground systems with many components buried beneath the earth. Also, drip irrigation systems are becoming more popular due to their efficiency and can be above-ground or underground. Sprinkler repair costs depend on the system type because some types are simpler to work with and more accessible than others. The table below shows the average repair costs for each type.

Cost to repair an above-ground, drip irrigation, and in-ground sprinkler system

Cost to repair an above-ground, drip irrigation, and in-ground sprinkler system

TypeAverage Repair Costs
Above-Ground$50 - $350
Drip Irrigation$50 - $450
In-Ground$50 - $500

Above-Ground Sprinkler System Repair Cost

Repairs for an above-ground sprinkler system cost between $50 and $350. An above-ground system is one where the sprinkler heads and pipes are located at or above ground level rather than being buried underground. Above-ground systems are easier for repair workers to access because the heads and pipes are above the ground, so there is no need to dig and worry about landscaping costs. Some of the most common problems with these systems include damaged heads and cracked pipes because they are exposed to the elements.

Drip Irrigation Repair Price

The average cost of drip irrigation repairs is between $50 and $450. Drip irrigation systems drip water out very slowly in key areas around the yard to minimize water waste. These systems can be located above-ground or buried underground, and it usually costs more to fix a buried system because more effort is needed to dig it up and access the damaged area. Common problems with these systems include damaged heads and cracked pipes.

In-Ground Sprinkler System Repair Cost

Repairs for an in-ground sprinkler system range from $50 to $500. The key difference with an in-ground system is that many parts are underground, so repair workers must dig to access the damaged components. This results in longer repair times and higher bills because more work is needed to reach the damaged areas and fix them. Some common problems with these systems include damaged valves, lines, and manifolds.

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Average Cost of Sprinkler System Repair by Type of Repair

Sprinkler systems can be complex with many parts, including heads, valves, lines, and pipes. The cost of your sprinkler system repair depends on which part is damaged because some parts are simpler and less expensive to repair than others. The table below shows common sprinkler system repairs and the average cost for each.

Cost to repair a sprinkler system by repair: pump, head, pipe, controller, wire, backflow preventer, valve, manifold…

Cost to repair a sprinkler system by repair: pump, head, pipe, controller, wire, backflow preventer, valve, manifold…

Type of RepairAverage Repair Costs
Head$50 - $85
Wiring$50 - $85
Box$50 - $85
Backflow Preventer$50 - $85
Valve$75 - $125
Solenoid$75 - $125
Controller$75 - $175
Manifold$75 - $200
Pump 2$100 - $200
Pipe$150 - $350

Sprinkler Head Repair Cost

Sprinkler head repairs average $50 to $85 per head. Heads are regularly exposed to the elements and dirt, so it is normal for them to wear, but they do not always need to be replaced. Sometimes, heads only need to be cleaned, or pop-up heads might be blocked from dirt or grass, which needs to be cleared away.

Sprinkler System Wire Repair Cost

Repairing wiring for your sprinkler system costs between $50 and $85 for each linear foot of damaged wire. Wires provide energy to the system but can get damaged or fray over time, which could cause the system to shut down or run intermittently due to an interrupted power flow. To fix damaged wires, they may need to be adjusted, reconnected, or have new covers fitted.

Sprinkler Box Repair Cost

Repairing a sprinkler valve 3 box averages $50 to $85 per box. The valve box is a large box, usually made of polypropylene or another plastic, which contains and protects your system’s control valves and provides easy access for adjustments, repairs, or replacements. These boxes can become cracked or damaged over time due to exposure to the elements. A professional can usually patch any light damage.

Backflow Preventer Repair Cost

The average cost of backflow preventer repairs is between $50 and $85 per backflow preventer. The backflow preventer is a key component of the system that stops water from flowing backward, but it can get cracked, or little parts of it may need replacing. To fix this, the water supply needs to be turned off and the backflow preventer removed for cleaning and inspection. New parts like bell covers or bonnets may need to be fitted.

Sprinkler Valve Repair Cost

Sprinkler valve repairs range from $75 to $125 per valve. Several valves throughout the sprinkler system control the flow through the pipes and to the heads. Valves can become loose and leaky over time or may get cracked or damaged. A repairman may tighten a loose valve or use plumber’s tape on minor issues, but more heavily damaged valves need replacement.

Solenoid Sprinkler Repair Cost

Repairing a sprinkler solenoid costs between $75 and $125 per solenoid. The sprinkler solenoid is a wire coil connected to the controller. When activated, it generates a magnetic force that controls a little plunger inside the valve so that the valve opens and plays a key part in controlling the system pressure. It can get blocked with sand, dirt, or even bugs, so a repairman’s first action is usually to inspect and clean the solenoid. They may also need to reposition it to establish the connection if it is loose or misaligned. If this does not work, the solenoid may need replacing.

Sprinkler Controller Repair Price

Repairing a sprinkler system controller or timer averages $75 to $175 per controller. Various issues might arise with your controller. You may notice the sprinklers activate at the wrong times or run too long. A repairman can adjust your controller’s settings and handle other minor repairs like rewiring and installing new batteries.

Sprinkler Manifold Repair Cost

Repairing a sprinkler system manifold costs between $75 and $200 per manifold. The manifold is a pipe with several openings, allowing water to branch into different lines and head to different valves. Like other piping parts, manifolds can crack and become damaged from exposure. They may need patching for minor damage.

Sprinkler Pump Repair Cost

Repairing a sprinkler pump costs between $100 and $200 per pump. Pumps control the pressure in the pipes to control the flow, but several issues may arise with them. Fuses blow, wires disconnect, or the settings of the pump’s motor might not be configured correctly. A repairman can look at the pump and make the necessary adjustments, including fitting new fuses, adjusting the voltage, and reconnecting loose wires.

Sprinkler System Pipe Repair Cost

Repairing sprinkler system pipes ranges from $150 to $350. PVC piping is used in the sprinkler system. This piping is capable of lasting for many years. However, it can crack or burst under pressure or due to water freezing and thawing inside or around the pipes. The repair cost depends on the pipe type and thickness, how easy it is to access, and the extent of the damage. Damaged pipes can be patched as long as the damage is relatively minor. Otherwise, replacement is needed.

Sprinkler System Repair Cost by Type of Replacement

In some cases, the parts of your sprinkler system might be so damaged that simple repairs are impossible or inefficient. In these situations, the parts should be replaced. The cost of replacing sprinkler parts depends on the component and how much work is required to install the new one. The table below provides common examples of sprinkler system replacement costs.

Cost to repair a sprinkler system by replacement: solenoid, valve, nozzle, pump, sprinkler backflow, valve box…

Cost to repair a sprinkler system by replacement: solenoid, valve, nozzle, pump, sprinkler backflow, valve box…

Type of ReplacementAverage Replacement Cost
Head$55 - $115
Nozzle$65 - $100
Valve Box$75 - $125
Filter$75 - $150
Solenoid$85 - $150
Valve$85 - $150
Manifold$100 - $225
Controller$100 - $300
Pump$200 - $500
Backflow Preventer$250 - $850

Sprinkler Head Replacement Cost

Replacing sprinkler heads costs between $55 and $115 per head. This is one of the most common sprinkler repair types because heads get damaged and broken from accidents and gradual wear. There are various head types, from simple bubbler heads to pop-up heads and impact rotors, and some are more expensive and difficult to repair than others. The table below shows various sprinkler heads and the average costs to replace each one. If you need multiple heads replaced, workers usually offer a discount.

Cost to replace a bubbler, misting/micro, pop up, fixed, gear-driven rotor, rotary nozzle, and impact rotor sprinkler head

Cost to replace a bubbler, misting/micro, pop up, fixed, gear-driven rotor, rotary nozzle, and impact rotor sprinkler head

Head TypeCost per Head
Bubbler$55 - $70
Misting / Micro$55 - $75
Pop Up$60 - $80
Fixed$60 - $80
Gear-Driven Rotor$60 - $85
Rotary Nozzle$65 - $100
Impact Rotor$70 - $115

Sprinkler Nozzle Replacement Cost

Replacing a sprinkler nozzle costs $65 to $100 per nozzle. Nozzles are fitted to sprinkler heads to spray the water in set patterns. Like sprinkler heads, they can get damaged and stop working as intended, so you need to replace them. You might also want to have them replaced if you want a new spray pattern for a more even watering of your lawn or yard.

Replace a Sprinkler Valve Box Cost

Replacing the valve box for your sprinkler system ranges from $75 to $125 per box. Sprinkler valve boxes can get cracked and damaged due to general wear and tear. If they are too damaged, water and dirt could get in and damage the valves, so they will need to be replaced. Material costs for new valve boxes are inexpensive, but there may be labor costs to remove the old one and perform the necessary landscaping before fitting the new box.

Sprinkler Filter Replacement Cost

Replacing a filter for your sprinkler system costs $75 to $150 per filter. Irrigation filters in the sprinkler system prevent dirt and debris from entering the system and causing damage and blockages, so they can be very important. Over time, they will eventually become too clogged or might crack, in which case a replacement is needed.

Sprinkler Solenoid Replacement Cost

Replacing a solenoid costs $85 to $150 per solenoid. A solenoid is a special electrically controlled valve that controls the water flow through the system. Solenoids sometimes overheat and burn out, requiring replacement, or they might be damaged beyond repair. In this case, the old solenoid must be removed and a new one fitted.

Sprinkler Valve Replacement Cost

Replacing a sprinkler valve ranges from $85 to $150 per valve. Several valves might need replacing in your sprinkler system, including the sprinkler shut-off valve, check valve, and ball valve. The material costs for most valves are similar, but some valves may be easier to access than others, impacting the duration and labor costs.

Cost to Replace a Sprinkler Manifold

Replacing a manifold in your sprinkler system costs between $100 and $225 per manifold. Manifolds include multiple valves that can break down, and if one or more valves are broken beyond repair, the entire manifold needs replacing. Material costs for manifolds are high because of their unique nature, and labor costs vary depending on your system layout and design. Some manifolds are easier to install than others.

Cost to Replace a Sprinkler Controller

Replacing a sprinkler controller averages $100 to $300 per controller. The controller, or timer, is critical for the system because it controls when the valves open and the sprinkler heads turn on. If it stops working due to a wiring issue or physical damage to the unit, the entire system becomes unreliable or inoperable. In some cases, you might think your controller is broken, but it may only need new batteries for $5 to $10.

Sprinkler Pump Replacement Cost

The cost to replace a sprinkler water pump ranges from $200 to $500 per pump. The water pump is a key component that pushes water through the entire system. If the system is not working correctly or the water flow is very weak, the pump may be broken. A professional can easily remove an old pump and fit a new one, so the labor costs are not too high, but material costs for new pumps can be expensive.

Cost to Replace a Sprinkler Backflow Preventer

Replacing a backflow preventer costs between $250 and $850 per backflow preventer. The backflow preventer is one of the most important parts of the sprinkler system because it prevents dirty and contaminated water from flowing back into the pipes leading to your home. It protects you from dirty backflow water coming out of your kitchen and bathroom faucets. It may stop working if it gets cracked or severely damaged due to a strong physical impact. It needs replacing if it has deep or long cracks or other notable physical damages.

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Cost to Fix a Sprinkler System by Type of Problem

Many issues may arise with your sprinkler system. You might notice the water pressure changing unexpectedly, frozen pipes, or clogged sprinkler heads, with repair costs varying greatly depending on the problem. The table below shows common issues and average repair costs for each.

Cost to fix a sprinkler system by problem: not enough water pressure, water pressure too high, clogged sprinkler head…

Cost to fix a sprinkler system by problem: not enough water pressure, water pressure too high, clogged sprinkler head…

Type of ProblemAverage Repair Costs
Clogged Head$50 - $85
Heads Will Not Retract$50 - $90
Heads Will Not Rotate$50 - $90
High Pressure$50 - $400
Low Pressure$50 - $500
Overspray$50 - $500
Humming Noise in the System$75 - $150
Cracked$75 - $400
Leak$75 - $750
Pipe Burst$150 - $350
Frozen Pipes$150 - $400

Clogged Sprinkler Head

Fixing a clogged sprinkler head costs between $50 and $85. Repairmen usually offer a quantity discount if you have several clogged heads that need cleaning. Heads get clogged with clogged elements before reinstalling it in the system. Some heads may be harder to access or more awkward to work with, which could slightly impact the cost.

Sprinkler Heads Will Not Retract

Fixing sprinkler heads that do not retract costs $50 to $90. Many sprinkler systems feature pop-up or retractable heads that remain in the ground most of the time and pop up when spraying. If the heads stay upright, they may need cleaning from dirt and debris clogging the space they retract to. They may also be damaged and need replacing.

Sprinkler Head Will Not Rotate

Fixing sprinkler heads that do not rotate ranges from $50 to $90 per head. Discounts are typically available if multiple heads need repairing. Heads usually rotate to spray the water around evenly, but some parts might get soaked while others receive none if they stop rotating. Dirt and debris usually cause this issue, so the head must be cleaned or replaced.

Sprinkler System Water Pressure Too High

Fixing a sprinkler system with very high water pressure costs between $50 and $400. There may be several possible causes for this. It might be that the valves are malfunctioning and interfering with the pressure levels, so they may need repairing or replacing. It could also be caused by a blockage in the pipes or issues with the heads.

Not Enough Water Pressure for Sprinklers

Fixing a sprinkler system with low water pressure costs $50 to $500. There are a few causes of this problem. It might be that the backflow preventer valve is not fully open and must be adjusted. It could also be caused by a problem with the tank, dirty or clogged sprinkler heads, or a pump problem. A professional must inspect the system to find the root cause.

Sprinkler Is Overspraying

Fixing sprinklers that overspray ranges from $50 to $500. This is a common issue that many owners deal with, leading to wasted water. Overspray is when the water is spraying out too far, beyond the lawn and onto streets, sidewalks, fences, or driveways. It can be caused by factors like using the wrong nozzles, high pressure in the system, or issues with positioning. You might need new heads fitted or repositioned or have the pump and piping looked at for pressure problems.

Sprinkler System Humming Noise

Fixing a sprinkler that makes a humming noise costs $75 to $150. This sound is often caused by an issue with the solenoid valve. The valve makes a natural humming sound when it operates from the AC current and magnetic field. If the humming is very loud, it could be an issue with the wiring, undervoltage, or loose parts.

Cracked Sprinkler

Repairing a cracked sprinkler costs between $75 and $400. The repair cost depends on the crack location. You may have a cracked sprinkler valve or a cracked sprinkler pipe or line to fix. Cracks usually occur due to excess pressure or exposure to the elements and can cause leaks and pressure problems. To repair a cracked sprinkler line, a professional may need to patch the crack or replace the cracked valve or pipe section entirely, depending on the crack depth and severity.

Irrigation Leak Repair Cost

Fixing a sprinkler system leak ranges from $75 to $750. The reason for this wide price range is that leaks vary in severity. Some are minor and involve basic repairs. Others affect multiple zones and lead to yard damage that requires landscaping work to fix. If you have leaks in multiple zones, you pay a higher price. Leaks can occur all over the sprinkler system in any area where pipes or valves are present. You can spot them by looking for pools of water or areas of the system that seem to have lower pressure or weaker water flow than the rest.

Sprinkler Pipe Burst Repair Cost

The cost to fix a burst sprinkler water pipe ranges from $150 to $350. Pipes usually burst in winter because water left inside the pipes freezes and expands. High pressure from the soil can also cause pipes to burst. This can lead to the entire system leaking a lot of water when it is turned on and huge puddles appearing in the yard. This can be a costly repair because the burst section will need to be dug up, removed, and replaced with fresh piping.

Cost to Repair a Frozen Sprinkler System

Fixing frozen sprinkler pipes costs between $150 and $400. Pipes may freeze in your sprinkler system in very cold and icy temperatures during the winter. A repairman can thaw the pipes and deal with ice blockage in a few ways. Fix frozen pipes quickly because ice can do a lot of damage and lead to cracks and leaks.

Sprinkler Repair Cost per Hour

Sprinkler repair companies, plumbers, and other specialist sprinkler workers often charge a set fee per hour for labor. Most charge between $50 and $100 per hour, and many sprinkler repair jobs can be completed within a couple of hours. For example, the work for a sprinkler head replacement should be done in under an hour. Labor costs are $50 to $100, plus material costs of around $5 to $15 for the new head, for a total of $55 to $115. You may need to pay extra for travel costs for the plumbers or repair workers if you live in a remote location. They may charge you per mile or have a set fee for jobs beyond a certain distance from their location. You may also be charged a call-out fee of around $50 to $60 for a worker to visit your home and inspect a problem, but this fee may be waived if you hire them to repair the problem.

Emergency Sprinkler Repair Cost

You may need to add an extra $100 to $200 to your total repair cost if you need urgent, same-day sprinkler system repairs. You may require an emergency repair in cases where the system is flooded due to a burst pipe or if a key component like the backflow preventer is broken, making the system unusable. When these issues occur, it is important to get repairs right away because water could leak out all over your yard and do damage below ground to the foundation of your home. It is also recommended to turn off the entire system via the shut-off valve as soon as possible if you notice flooding or other major problems.

Automatic sprinkler system watering a lawn

Sprinkler System Maintenance Cost

A good way to reduce the risks of sprinkler issues and repairs is to maintain your system. You can do this yourself or contact a professional for regular checkups and maintenance. Expect to spend around $20 to $50 on cleaning supplies and basic tools to look after your system each year, carrying out tasks like cleaning heads, inspecting the valves, and landscaping or gardening to prevent clogs from occurring around the sprinklers. You can also contact a company to perform checkups, costing around $75 each and should be done at least once a year.

During a professional inspection or checkup of your system, a plumber or sprinkler specialist will inspect the entire system. They look at the heads, valves, controllers, pump, backflow preventer, and other key elements. They will also usually run the system to see if everything is working and look for damage or clogs in the heads. They may carry out minor repairs immediately and let you know about other issues that need fixing.

It is possible to arrange annual maintenance contracts with some sprinkler repair companies. These contracts vary but may involve spring start-up services, where your system will be checked and set up, mid-season maintenance checks to ensure everything is running smoothly, and winterization services to ready your system for the cold winter months. Costs for these contracts range from $150 to $250, but they may be more if you have a very large sprinkler system.

Repair vs Replace a Sprinkler System Cost

In some cases, you may hesitate between having your sprinkler system repaired or replaced. Think about key factors like age and cost to help you make this decision. The average cost of installing a new sprinkler system ranges from $4,000 to $7,000, while the average repair costs between $100 and $400.

On average, replacements are much more expensive than repairs. However, if your system is repeatedly breaking down and you have to pay multiple repair fees, you could be spending a lot of money to maintain your system. It may be a better value to have a new one installed. You might also consider a replacement if your system suffered major damages after a bad winter and your repair costs are estimated to be quite high.

Age is another factor to consider. Sprinkler systems can last for 10 to 20 years without any issues, but as they get older, more problems will occur. Once a system is more than 20 years old, it is time to think about replacement.

Comparison of the cost to repair and replace a sprinkler system

Comparison of the cost to repair and replace a sprinkler system

ProjectAverage Cost
Repair$100 - $400
Replace$4,000 - $7,000

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Cost to Winterize a Sprinkler System

The average cost to winterize a sprinkler system is between $75 and $150. Very low winter temperatures can cause pipes to freeze and damage your sprinkler system, so it is recommended to winterize it in the fall before the cold winter weather arrives. Winterizing involves draining the water from the system to prevent it from freezing inside the pipes and valves. You may have to pay extra for winterization if your system is very large because more work will be required.

Water-Saving Sprinkler

The average cost to install water-saving sprinkler heads in your system ranges between $60 and $100 per head, and the price you pay depends on the system size and number of heads you need. Water-saving heads minimize water waste. They spray out less water than traditional heads and are more efficient. Homeowners who want to reduce their water waste should consider these sprinklers.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • DIY. It is possible to carry out some basic sprinkler repairs and maintenance on your own. Many homeowners can clean the heads and valves. If you have any doubts, it is best to contact a professional.
  • Discounts. Repair companies usually offer a discount if multiple parts need fixing. For example, if you need several sprinkler heads replaced, they typically do not charge a set fee for every head. Instead, they calculate the time required for the work and then present a price.
  • Season. Spring and summer are when you use your sprinkler system the most, so it is wise to have the system repaired early on, either in the late winter or early spring, to ensure it is fully functional for the peak months. Sprinkler repairs are much more in demand during the summer, so prices may rise.
  • Signs. There are various warning signs you can watch for to detect issues with your sprinkler system. You may notice high utility bills, which could signify wasted water in the system. Or, you might see uneven growth of your lawn if certain areas receive more water than others due to uneven heads or broken controllers.
  • License. In several states, people repairing or installing sprinkler systems need an irrigation contracting license. Check the rules in your state before seeking repairs, and always work with an approved licensed professional.
  • Lifespan. On average, expect a sprinkler system to last around 10 to 20 years. However, repairs may be needed within the first few years of installing your system.
  • Removal. The cost of having a sprinkler system removed varies depending on the system type and size, and expect to pay an average fee of $50 to $100 per hour for this service. Some workers do the job in a couple of hours by just removing the heads and surface components, but others spend a full day or longer digging everything up.
  • Landscape cleaning. Repairs to your sprinkler system may involve digging up sections of your yard, so you potentially need to add on the cost of landscaping or new plants after the job is completed.

FAQs

  • Why is one sprinkler zone not working?

There are various possible reasons for this. It might be that the heads are clogged or broken. It could also be an issue with the lines or valves leading to that zone.

  • How do I know if my sprinkler system is leaking?

If you have an above-ground system, it should be simple to spot water coming out of the pipes. With in-ground systems, you may notice changes in water pressure, water pooling or bubbling up around the lawn, or small holes around the yard.

  • How much is a sprinkler valve?

Sprinkler valves usually cost $15 to $50, but you need to pay between $85 and $150 to replace them.

  • What happens when a sprinkler breaks?

An individual broken sprinkler head can stop working or randomly spray water into the air or in random directions.

  • How much does it cost to replace a sprinkler solenoid?

The average cost to replace a sprinkler solenoid is between $85 and $150. This includes the cost of parts and labor.

  • Why would a sprinkler system stop working?

If your system stops working entirely, there is likely a problem with the pump or possibly with the wiring failing to provide power to the system.

  • How much does it cost to replace a sprinkler valve box?

The average cost of replacing a sprinkler valve box is $75 to $125. This price includes the costs of a new box and the labor to fit it.

  • How do you fix a broken sprinkler pipe?

It may be possible to patch the damaged section of the pipe. Otherwise, the damaged part will have to be removed, and a new piece of piping can be fitted in its place.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Sprinkler System 1 Sprinkler systems: Set of equipment used to irrigate lawns
glossary term picture Pump 2 Pump: A device used to move air, liquid, or gas by mechanical means
glossary term picture Sprinkler Valve 3 Sprinkler valve: Device used to deliver pressured water to the sprinkler heads when watering a lawn

Cost to repair sprinkler system varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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