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It is not always clear whether you should update your old sprinkler system or get an entirely new sprinkler system installation. While there are a lot of factors to consider, including the price differences, fixing a sprinkler failure is not something to delay as it can lead to further damage to your system, your yard, and your wallet. 

To learn more about what to do with your own system, read our detailed insight from the experts at Bednarik Sprinklers of Fort Collins. 

Evaluate Your Current System 

An obvious first step to determine the correct path forward is to evaluate your current system. Even if you only have a small leak in a sprinkler head or you don’t believe you have any issues at all, here are some of the primary things to take into consideration: 


Sprinkler systems at their very best (installed perfectly and properly maintained) can last 20-25 years. However, if your system is 15 years or older, the chances of running into costly issues begin to grow. Not only is there a higher likelihood of failure that can lead to expensive repairs, but older sprinkler system installations don’t benefit from modern technology that is designed to optimize water usage, lowering consumption and overall cost. 

Frequency of Repairs

On average, sprinkler systems only require maintenance once or twice a year. Consider how much you’ve needed to repair your own system since it was first installed. Has the need for repairs increased over the years? Are there parts of the system that routinely need repairs? 


Does your sprinkler system have efficiency measures built in such as a smart controller or rain sensors? Do your sprinkler heads spray heavy droplets and little to no mist? If you answered no to either of these questions, then you certainly need to update your system. Some efficiency methods can be done through an upgrade while some require an entirely new sprinkler system installation. It’s smart to contact a professional sprinkler installation company to conduct an evaluation if you’re not sure. 

Indications of Failure 

There are certain types of sprinkler failure that can easily indicate whether your problems can be solved with an update or by installing a new sprinkler system. The following sections will highlight the most common problems and what they mean. 

Indications You Should Retrofit a Sprinkler System

Retrofitting is the process of updating or modifying your existing sprinkler system with new parts to improve its efficiency and functionality. 

Small, infrequent leaks within sprinkler heads, valves, and nozzles are easily repaired. In this situation, updating your nozzles and spray heads with newer technology should fix the issue for you. 

If you want to save money on your utility bills when they seem to just continue growing in the summer, a retrofit can also help substantially. Installing smart controllers, master valves, flow meters, wireless rain sensors, and new hose faucets are extremely effective at increasing efficiency, and when your sprinkler system is highly efficient, then you’ll save a lot of money too. 

Indications You Should Get A New Sprinkler System

Sometimes problems can be extensive, and an entirely new sprinkler system is the correct course of action. 

Leaks are a common problem in sprinkler systems. You usually find them in older systems, and they normally occur in the mainline. This is the internal/external tubing that carries pressurized water from your water source to your irrigation valves. If you’re experiencing leaks in your mainline, there is a high chance you’ll need to replace the system entirely. If you ignore a mainline leak, it can lead to more damage to the rest of the system and your yard. 

Poor design of a sprinkler system installation is another situation that is likely to lead to you needing an entirely new system. You may notice sudden and ongoing hikes in your water bill – this may not be due to a small problem but a larger underlying, system-wide issue. If you notice this problem for yourself, it could be an indication of needing an entirely new system, but we recommend consulting an expert to confirm this for you. 

Retrofit vs. New Installation 

Beyond the various issues that can be fixed through a retrofit or through a new installation alone, there are other factors to consider when choosing between one or the other. 

Retrofits can target specific issues that you’re facing. If the problem is minimal and isolated, retrofits are the superior decision. Furthermore, retrofits are far less expensive than a new sprinkler system installation and can work just as well at improving the overall efficiency and cost savings of your sprinklers. 

A new sprinkler system installation, on the other hand, is obviously more expensive but this is also sometimes the only way to address system-wide failures. If your sprinkler system is older, retrofits can only help for so long (recall the average lifetime of a system is 20-25 years). In some cases, it may be worthwhile to just invest in a new system with modern efficiency technology already built in. 

A Sprinkler System Installation For Your Needs

If your sprinkler is damaged or you’re looking for better efficiency and cost savings, the best thing you can do is not waste any more time. Choosing between a retrofit or a new sprinkler system installation is not easy, and every yard and situation is unique, but the experts at Bednarik Sprinklers are here to help! Contact our team of professionals right away with any questions or to get started on your own project. 

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