Irrigation Repair

How do I find my sprinkler lines without digging?

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How do I find my sprinkler lines without digging?

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There are a few ways to locate your sprinkler system’s lines without digging. One way, which is an expensive way, would be to use a ground penetrating radar (GPR) which can accurately map PVC pipes. After some conclusive research that it’s out of your budget, we recommend other options below.

I guess there’s “water witching,” “doodle-bugging,” or “dowsing,” which uses dowsers (diviners) or dowsing rods to try and locate the whereabouts of a water source, more specifically, your sprinkler system lines. Now, whether you have “the gift” or even believe in the pseudoscience is another story.

If you’re looking for a less skeptical way with accurate results, it’s going to involve a little bit of digging. Call the sprinkler experts at CS Sprinklers. We’ll handle the digging and clean up, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Sprinkler lines are typically buried at a shallow depth (10″ to 18″ deep, just out of reach of a shovel), making them easier to find and follow. Whether you’re testing your “gift,” probing for a buried sprinkler line should be something achievable and proof for all your nay-sayers.

The first step is to locate all the sprinkler heads in your yard or garden. These provide visual clues without digging into the mapping of your sprinkler system. The next step is very precarious, as you do NOT want to damage the sprinkler pipes in your yard. Carefully dig around the sprinkler head, just deep enough to see the direction of the PVC pipe. Utilizing logical deduction, you can use the other sprinkler heads as possible routes the lines may travel to help you determine the direction of the next sprinkler in line.

Depending on the hardness and rockiness of your soil, you might be able to use a slender steel rod (rebar) to probe around your sprinkler head, eliminating the need for digging. Again, use extreme caution, as you do NOT want to damage the sprinkler lines. Estimate the direction you believe the sprinkler line runs and push the steel rod into the ground until you feel some resistance. Then move along that direction, hopefully following it to the next sprinkler head. You may hit an occasional false positive as rocks or other objects may be inline too.

If all of this sounds too cumbersome, call the sprinkler professionals at CS Sprinklers. Whatever problem you have with your sprinkler system, we’re here to fix it. Read about the Benefits Of Hiring A Sprinkler Company, then give us a call today at (303) 627-4190 or email us at

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Joey Chavez

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Grace H.

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