Ashburn, VA

How Much Does Sprinkler System Repair Cost?

$75 – $250

The average cost to repair your sprinkler system is $75 to $250, with most homeowners paying $212. Most sprinkler repairs involve replacing sprinkler heads at $5 to $20 per head, or replacing valves at $20 to $40 per valve, not including the cost of labor of about $75 an hour by a professional plumber. Get free instant estimates from sprinkler companies near you.

Sprinkler Systems Repair Costs

The average cost to repair your sprinkler system is $75–$250, with the average homeowner paying $212, which includes an hourly labor cost of about $75 by a professional plumber.

Most sprinkler repairs involve replacing sprinkler heads at $5 to $20 per head, or replacing valves at $20 to $40 per valve, not including the cost of labor. More advanced repairs are a damaged backflow preventer at $25–$420, a malfunctioning sprinkler system controller at $60–$225, or broken pipes at $100–$500.

Sprinkler Systems Repair Cost
National Average Cost $212
Minimum Cost $75
Maximum Cost $500
Average Range $75 to $250

This pricing guide covers:

  1. Sprinkler Systems Repair Costs
  2. Sprinkler Repair Cost Per Hour
  3. Irrigation Repair Costs By Type
  4. Lawn Sprinkler System Removal Costs
  5. Care & Repair Prevention Costs
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. DIY vs. Hiring a Sprinkler Repair Pro
  8. Sprinkler System Repair Near Me

Sprinkler Repair Cost Per Hour

To troubleshoot your system, you’ll pay a service call fee and then pay and additional fee for the repair itself.

  • Plumbers will typically charge $60 to $90 per hour to fix your sprinkler system, plus the costs of parts. If you only need a single valve or head replaced, you will typically pay for at least one hour of work, as well as the price of parts. After that, pros bill by the quarter-hour.
  • A tune-up service call for a sprinkler system repair will cost about $75–$120, whereas an emergency service call outside of regular business hours will cost around $240+.
  • Some companies offer a prepaid yearly plan that includes two checkups, a repair discount, and no service call fee at $175 per year.

Upclose Sprinkler Head Repair Testing

Irrigation Repair Costs By Type

Sprinkler system repair professionals will charge for their time and labor, and for the parts needed to fix your irrigation problem. When parts need to be replaced, expect a 30%–100% charge on top of the part cost to cover labor costs. Repairs are usually warrantied for six months to one year, and some parts will carry an additional warranty. Most repairs fall into five categories:

Part Repair Cost Price Installed New
Broken Sprayer Heads $10–$90 $1–$20
Faulty Valves $100–$200 $38–$195
Damaged Backflow Preventer $25–$420 $222–$1,076
Broken or Leaking Pipes $15–$500 $34–$80/linear foot
Timer/Controller $10–$90 $60–123/each
Wiring $1+/per sq. ft. $60-$100

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Most service calls are to replace broken heads and risers, but you might need a head lowered or raised, or you need a new head added to an existing system. Adding a head will cost twice as much as replacing or relocating one, costing $70–$210 compared to the replacement cost of $25–$60.

Sprinkler Head Prices

Head Type Part Cost Repair/Replacement Cost
Pop-Up 2” $3 $11
Pop-Up 4”–6” $2–$5 $11
Pop-Up 8”–12” $10–$12 $21
Fixed $7 $16
Rotating-Impact $15 $30
Rotating-Gear Driven $7 $16
Misting/Micro $5 $15
Bubbler $1 $8

Sprinkler System Repair New Orange Heads

Sprinkler Valve Replacement Cost

The cost to replace a sprinkler valve is around $65–$290 which includes labor. This could be caused by debris in the valve or a broken valve, so the valve will need to be located, possibly excavated, and cleaned out or replaced. Sometimes, valves can be rebuilt instead of replaced. Other times, wiring can get damaged or disconnected which needs to be fixed instead of the valve—ask your technician about this possibility.

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Backflow Preventer Repair Cost

Replacing a backflow prevent costs around $150 to $400 just for the part, plus $50 to $200 for professional labor expenses. A state-certified backflow tester will need to check out the problem and provide a solution.

Backflow preventers exist to stop dirty water flowing back into the main water supply from your sprinkler heads. This has to be avoided so your lawn chemicals and dirt don’t end up in your drinking water. Despite backflow preventer tests being done when the sprinkler system is installed, they can sometimes stop working in the way they should. You can’t just disconnect it because you can be fined for doing so, or your water can be disconnected to your house until it’s fixed.

Fix Sprinkler Zone & Timer Wiring Issues

Installing a new sprinkler system controller and timer will cost $150 to $225 on average, plus labor. However, your technician may only need to reprogram or rewire your unit, at an average cost of $80. If wiring is an issue you can expect to pay $1 per sq. ft. including labor, and sometimes you may need to hire an electrician at $50 to $80 per hour.

You’ll usually see one of the following issues with a controller:

  • Hidden programs - You’ll find that sometimes the controller can be set up thinking it will spray according to a straightforward schedule, only to find that there are secondary programs also scheduled. Before you call a technician, make sure any unwanted secondary programs are deleted.
  • Memory reset - You can remove the battery and leave it to sit for a few hours to let it reset before restarting it, although your controller might have a reset button.
  • Blown fuses - If your controller keeps blowing fuses or showing “short,” there’s a problem with the controller or field wiring, and a technician will need to be called to replace either one.

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Cost To Repair Broken Sprinkler Pipe

The typical cost to replace a leaking sprinkler pipe is $1 to $3 per linear foot of PVC pipe, and $3 to $6 per elbow or connecting piece. Including installation, you prices will likely run $34–$80/linear foot. Repairing a sprinkler system pipe will include digging down to it if, it’s an underground pipe, and replacing the broken part. The variance in cost is due to the width of the pipe to be replaced and the need for a machine to get to it. The total cost for a professional plumber to locate and repair a burst pipe is between $150 and $500.

Lawn Sprinkler System Removal Costs

If you’re redoing the entire yard and want to remove your lawn sprinkler system you can expect to pay a pro $40–$85 per hour. Some pros recommend to cut off the system, remove the heads, and leave the pipes in place if it doesn't interfere with any other landscaping plans.

Many insurance companies offer a discount by having your sprinkler system in working order—because of its ability to slow down the spread of an outdoor fire.

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Sprinkler Care & Repair Prevention Costs

The average service call costs $60 to $120 for regular sprinkler maintenance. The easiest way to care for your sprinkler system is to set a maintenance contract in place with your sprinkler system installers. They’ll come at least twice a year and make sure everything is in good working order and replace and repair anything broken. The average cost for a prepaid yearly plan that includes two checkups, a repair discount, and a service call fee is $175.

Sprinkler System Install & Repair

Sprinkler system maintenance includes:

  • Proper winterization in fall – A professional will charge about $150 for winterization which involves forcing all the water out of the pipes so they won’t burst.
  • Reactivation in spring
  • Regular lawn care
  • Check all heads are popping up to their full height and spraying in the full arc and distance they were set to spray.
  • Cleaning and replacing any cracked or broken heads as needed.
  • Make sure the controller is timing the watering of each zone for the right amount of time and that there is enough water pressure.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I need sprinkler repair or replacement?

Typically a sprinkler system will start to go out around at 20 years old. Consistently be on the lookout for water bubbling around heads, zones that won't turn on, or dry spots in your yard. If you see any of these problems or broken parts, call a pro to evaluate.

  • Repair your irrigation system - Cracked pipes and broken sprinkler heads are quite inexpensive to replace, and what seems to be a big problem might simply be a faulty controller rather than problems with the whole system. In these cases, it makes more sense to repair what’s broken. If you’re repairing parts every few weeks or months, though, your costs could exceed what it would have cost to install a new system. A repair will cost approx. $75–$250.
  • Replace your sprinkler system - If you’re redesigning your yard and need to install something that’s more efficient with water use, it could make more sense to remove the old system and install a newer one. If all your system’s parts are decades old, one with newer technology will be a lot more efficient and cost-effective in the long run. Some homeowners can save up to 40% or their original water usage with the replacement. The replacement cost will be approx. $0.04 per square foot of ground watered plus the cost to remove the old system of $40–$85/hour.
  • Upgrade your irrigation system – You might only need newer pipes and connection points, or an upgraded zoning system, or a new controller. This could still come in at less than the cost of a new system and will cause less of your yard to be dug up. Some homeowners choose to replace a few key parts of the system each year (for $25–$500 per part) so as to spread out the cost of replacing everything. Sprinkler system repair technicians agree that most systems only need about 20% of the parts replaced to function as they should permanently.

How do I fix a sprinkler system cheaply?

The main reasons your sprinkler system will need to be fixed can include a damaged backflow preventer, faulty valves, broken sprayer heads, a malfunctioning sprinkler system controller, and/or broken or leaking pipes. It’s a fairly easy job to locate and replace broken sprinkler heads, and even to reset a controller, but it’s much more difficult to locate broken or leaking pipes and valves. You’ll probably need to call an irrigation service specialist to do that for you for an average cost of $75–$250.

How much does it cost to install a new sprinkler system?

The average cost to install a sprinkler system on a quarter of an acre lot is $1,900 to $3,800, reflecting an installation cost of approx. $0.40 per square foot of ground watered.

Are fire sprinkler system installation costs the same as irrigation installation costs?

The two system are very different as one operates inside a building in response to a fire while the other operates throughout the expanse of a yard 2–3 times a week. A fire sprinkler system costs $2–$7/sq. ft. to install in an existing building.

How much is a sprinkler system inspection?

A service call for a sprinkler system repair during regular business hours will cost about $50–$90, but if you call during non-working hours, you can pay up to $240 for the service call.

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DIY vs. Hiring a Sprinkler Repair Pro

A sprinkler system company will charge $50–$90/hour for labor, so fixing it yourself will save you that part of the repair expense. However, a licensed irrigation repair specialist will likely be more knowledgeable about your sprinkler patterns, backflow prevention, and local plumbing and electrical codes, which can frequently save money in the long run.

Look for contractors who have as many of the following characteristics as possible:

  • Are A/A+ rated with the Better Business Bureau
  • Have been in business for at least three years
  • Are insured and bonded
  • Licensed (if required in your state)
  • Have great reviews on review sites – like HomeGuide and Google
  • Offer warranties on labor and parts
  • Can show examples of similar work they have done in the area
  • Communicates clearly and quickly
  • Give a detailed, easy-to-understand proposal with itemized costs

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