Why is there a puddle around my sprinkler head?

Got a puddle around your sprinkler system?


Call Sprinkler Master in Lakewood at (720) 577-5542


Or learn how to do it here!

First off, you attempt repairs at your own risk. Sprinkler Master is not responsible for damage you do to your yard. We always recommend having a professional who is licensed and insured fix your sprinkler system for you.

What's the cause?

The cause of puddling can be a number of different things, ranging in severity and complexity to fix. Some of the most common include:

  • Low sprinkler head draining
  • Clogged sprinkler nozzle
  • Loose connection
  • Broken sprinkler head
  • Broken sprinkler pipe
  Sprinkler tech digging up valve box  

What do you mean, "Low sprinkler head draining?"

When a sprinkler system stops running, there is still water in the pipes. If one end of the system or zone is higher than the other end, then there will be water pressure on the lower elevation part of the system. This pressure can often be enough to push a low, gentle flow of water out of the sprinkler heads for a few minutes. This can cause puddling around sprinkler heads, especially the lowest elevation sprinkler head in the system. You can always check for leaks to make sure, but if the puddle you're having is around the lowest part of your yard, it could likely just be the sprinkler zone draining out, and isn't cause for much concern.

Clogged Sprinkler Nozzle

If the puddle isn't obviously due to draining of a sprinkler zone, it could be due to a clogged sprinkler nozzle. The nozzle is where water comes out of a sprinkler head. Dirt, debris, even snail shells can block the sprinkler nozzle. Instead of shooting out far away from the sprinkler head, all the water is blocked and rests on the ground around the sprinkler heads.

To check for a clogged nozzle, just watch the sprinkler head when teh sprinkler zone is on. If water is spraying and bubbling out of the nozzle, there's a good chance that the nozzle needs to be cleared or replaced!

Loose Connection

A loose connection can leak water, allowing water to puddle from below the sprinkler head, and in some cases working its way to the surface. There are almost always connections between the lateral line and the funny pipe, and the funny pipe and the sprinkler head. You can check the connection between the sprinkler head and the funny pipe by twisting the sprinkler zone clockwise. If that doesn't fix it, dig it up and check the barbed fitting end of the fitting. If it's not pushed on all the way, push it the rest of the way. It should fit very tight.

The fitting between the lateral line and the funny pipe should be checked the same way. Tighten the fitting on the lateral line side, and push the spiral barb into the funny pipe if it isn't already.

Broken Sprinkler Head

While you're digging up the sprinkler head, it's worth inspecting the housing of the sprinkler head. If you notice any cracks or anything amiss, it will need to be replaced. If when the sprinkler zone is on you notice water coming from anywhere else, the sprinkler head should be replaced.

Broken Sprinkler Pipe

If a pipe is broken, it can have the same result as a loose fitting. The soil can become saturated with water around the sprinkler pipe, and that water can eventually rise up through the soil, to the surface. If you have section of lawn that has no sprinkler head, but is very wet ground, it could be a sprinkler pipe. Try digging carefully down from there until you reach the pipe. Inspect the pipe to see if you can find any break, crack, or anything unusual with the pipe.


Still want help? Call Sprinkler Master at (720) 577-5542

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