How Much Does Sprinkler Repair Cost in 2023?

The national average sprinkler system repair cost is $240, with most homeowners paying $110 to $365 to have their sprinklers repaired.

The national average sprinkler system repair cost is $240, with most homeowners paying $110 to $365 to have their sprinklers repaired. However, prices vary depending on the type of sprinkler system you have and the type of repair it needs. High-end repairs can cost $650 or more and small repairs can cost as little as $55.

The total cost of a sprinkler repair includes the cost of labor, typically $55 – $105 an hour, and the cost of parts. Sprinkler heads and connectors are the least expensive parts ($0.75 – $3.35 each), and a backflow preventer is the most expensive ($400 – $1,450). 

In this cost guide:

Average sprinkler repair costs in 2023

National average cost$240
Typical price range$110 – $365
Extreme low-end cost$55
Extreme high-end cost$650

If you’re looking to save money on sprinkler repairs, and the repair isn’t urgent, you should wait until late fall to get the repair done. Also, above-ground system repairs are sometimes easy to do yourself, saving you the cost of labor fees. 

Sprinkler repair cost estimator by hour

The average hourly labor cost for sprinkler repair is $75. Most sprinkler repair specialists charge an hourly rate for labor plus the cost of parts. If the repairman has to travel far (or you’re outside his regular service area), you may also have to pay a travel fee. Please see the typical pricing per hour in the table below. 

Average hourly rate$75
Typical range$55 – $105
Extreme high-end rate$240

Although most jobs cost $55 – $105 per hour, emergency calls outside regular business hours can cost as much as $240 per hour.  

Most sprinkler repairs take less than 2 hours to complete. Please see the typical time it takes to complete common sprinkler repairs in the table below.

RepairTypical time to complete
Sprinkler head replacement< 1 hour
Wire repairs< 1 hour per linear foot
Valve replacement1 – 2 hours
Backflow preventer repair1 – 2  hours

Other factors that affect cost

The cost of sprinkler system repairs depends on the following factors:

Type of irrigation system

Above-ground sprinkler systems are typically the least expensive to repair because the parts are easy to access. In contrast, in-ground systems usually take more time and equipment to repair, so they carry a higher price tag.

System typeTypical repair cost
In-ground sprinklers$55 – $500
Above-ground sprinklers$50 – $350

Sprinkler parts

The cost of parts impacts the cost of repairing residential sprinkler systems. The table below shows the typical prices of sprinkler parts. 

Sprinkler partTypical cost
Backflow preventer$400 – $1,450
Connections$0.75 – $3.35
Sprinkler heads$2.75 – $3.35
Manifold$68 – $130
Polyethylene pipe $0.11 – $0.33 / linear foot
Pump$100 – $300
PVC pipe$0.50 – $1.00  / linear foot
Timer$30 – $300
Valve$13.75 – $110
Wiring$0.50 – $1.60 / linear foot

Type of repair

The cost of sprinkler repairs depends on the type of repair. See typical prices and learn more about each type of repair below. 

Sprinkler head replacement

Sprinkler head replacement is the most common repair needed by homeowners. The table below shows the typical cost of replacing broken sprinkler heads by head type.

Type of sprinkler headTypical cost to replace
Pop-up$60 – $95
Bubbler$55 – $70
Misting$55 – $75
Fixed spray$58 – $100
Gear-driven$60 – $105
Rotary$60 -$120
Average Cost$55 – $95

Sometimes, sprinkler heads can be repaired instead of replaced. The typical cost to repair a sprinkler head is $50 – $85

Broken sprinkler pipe 

The average cost of repairing broken pipes is $150 – $350, where the actual price depends on the type of pipe, the cost of labor, and how long it takes to complete the repair:

  • PVC pipes typically cost $0.50 – $1 per linear foot
  • Polyethylene pipes usually cost $0.11 – $0.33 per linear foot
  • Labor costs $55 – $105 per hour

Water pressure issues

Many homeowners experience issues with their irrigation system’s water pressure. The typical cost of repairing water pressure is $50 – $450.

High water pressure may be due to:

  • Damaged valves
  • Broken sprinkler heads
  • Changes in landscape elevation

According to the EPA, high water pressure can cause uneven or over-watering. Therefore, they suggest installing pressure monitors between watering zones. Doing so will help the environment and improve the health of your lawn. 

Low water pressure may be due to:

  • Clogged sprinkler heads
  • Waterline leaks
  • Faulty pump
  • Backflow preventer value maladjustment 
  • Water supply issues

Oklahoma State University warns that low water pressure leads to inefficient irrigation and brown spots in your lawn. Therefore, monitoring water pressure and fixing any issues are essential for proper lawn care. 

Faulty wiring

Expect to pay about $55 – $90 per linear foot of damaged wire. Faulty wires are usually fixable by a plumber, but some issues may require an electrician. 

Sprinkler valve replacement

Sprinkler valve replacement costs $69 – $320. The repair job’s price depends on the cost of the valve ($13.75 – $110) and the time it takes to complete the job. Valve replacements typically take 1 – 2 hours.

Backflow preventer replacement

Replacing a backflow preventer is typically the most expensive repair, costing $455 – $1,660. This includes testing the system, purchasing a new backflow preventer, and the cost of labor.

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.

Sprinkler maintenance

The best way to avoid costly sprinkler repairs is to keep up with sprinkler maintenance. You can stay on top of your sprinkler maintenance checklist at home and call a repair pro when needed.  Maintenance service calls cost $50 – $400 and may  include:

  • Cleaning sprinkler heads 
  • Sprinkler inspections
  • Winterizing the sprinklers

Season

Spring and summer are the busiest seasons for sprinkler maintenance specialists, thus also the most expensive time to get your system repaired. Conversely, late fall through winter is the most affordable time to get your sprinkler system repaired.

Related services

Ever wonder, “Why is my neighbor’s yard greener than mine?” The number one reason is that your neighbor properly waters their lawn. Here are some related services to help you keep your lawn hydrated and healthy:

Sprinkler installation

Is it time to install a new sprinkler system? The average lifespan of a lawn sprinkler system is 20 years, and the average cost to install a new sprinkler system is $2,400 – $4,200. In addition, if an existing system needs to be removed, expect to pay $55 – $105 per hour for the labor. 

National average cost$3,150
Typical price range$2,400 – $4,200
Extreme low-end cost$825
Extreme high-end cost$8,300

Sprinkler winterization

It is essential to winterize your sprinkler system if you live in a climate with freezing weather. Expect to pay $60 – $120 for a professional, or you can learn how to winterize your sprinkler system. The cost of winterizing a sprinkler system is well worth it, compared to the costly repairs and replacements you’ll need if you don’t.

National average cost$90
Typical price range$60 – $120
Extreme low-end cost$45
Extreme high-end cost$275

Drip irrigation

Residential drip irrigation systems typically cost $295 – $775 to install and are great for hydrating home gardens. With drip irrigation, more water goes to the plant’s roots, and less water hits the leaves and fruit. The slow and steady water distribution reduces the mold risk and conserves water. There are many other benefits to having drip irrigation.

National average cost$335
Typical price range$295 – $775
Extreme low-end cost$50
Extreme high-end cost$3,000

Rain barrel

Collecting rainwater in barrels to use in your irrigation system is a great way to conserve water, reducing your water bill expenditure. A typical rain barrel costs $120 – $160 and can hold up to 60 gallons of water. 

National average cost$140
Typical price range$120 – $160
Extreme low-end cost$120
Extreme high-end cost$5,000

Pro cost vs. DIY cost

Repairing your own sprinklers will save labor costs ($55 – $105 per hour), but a licensed and insured specialist can properly identify and fix the issue. Pros have professional experience and equipment and often guarantee their work. The table below shows typical pro vs. DIY costs of replacing sprinkler parts.

Replacement partDIY CostPro Cost
Backflow preventer$400 – $1,450$455 – $1,660
Sprinkler heads$2.75 – $3.35$55 – $95
Valve$13.75 – $110$69 – $320

In-ground sprinkler repairs usually require a plumber specializing in sprinkler systems, but above-ground sprinkler repairs are a more doable DIY project.

Cost of sprinkler repair by location

Your geographic location affects the cost of sprinkler repairs for the following reasons:

  • Labor costs vary depending on the local cost of living, the availability of irrigation repair specialists, and the local labor demand. 
  • Soil type can affect the amount of time needed to repair in-ground systems. For example, sandy soil is much easier to break through than clay, so inground repairs in clay will take longer and may require special equipment. 
  • Parts availability varies by location. If the parts needed to repair your system are locally available, the repair will cost less than if parts are specially ordered. 

FAQ

What is the average life of a sprinkler head?

High-end sprinkler heads normally last 10 – 15 years, but cheap sprinkler heads only last about 2 – 3 years. The heads of a fire sprinkler system should be replaced every 5 years.

How do you know if your sprinkler head is bad?

Signs of clogged or damaged sprinkler heads include:

• Low water pressure
• Excess spraying
• Popup head doesn’t pop up
• Visible physical damage

How often should a sprinkler system be serviced?

You should have a professional inspect your sprinklers at least once a year. Sprinkler inspections typically cost $200 – $400

Final thoughts

A properly functioning irrigation system is essential to the health of your lawn, and system malfunctions can significantly increase your water bill. Although some above-ground system repairs are manageable on your own, you should always call a professional for in-ground system repairs. Contact irrigation pros near you to compare rates. 

Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.

Main Photo by: Ricardo Bernardo – Flickr – CC BY-ND 2.0

Michelle Selzer

Michelle Selzer is a web developer, technical writer, and Linux enthusiast from the hills of Tennessee. Her hobbies include collecting toys, hiking to waterfalls, and writing short fan-fiction stories.