Replacing Broken Sprinkler Heads
It’s easy to run over a sprinkler head with a lawn mower or set sprinkler water pressure too high, which makes broken sprinkler heads a common source of irrigation frustration. If your sprinkler heads have broken casings, won’t pop up all the way, and/or have inconsistent or nonexistent spray patterns, you may need to replace them.
When looking for replacement sprinkler heads, it is important to match the brand of the sprinkler system you have installed. For instance, Dr. Sprinkler Repair works exclusively with Rain Bird products for installations, so any replacement parts our expert sprinkler technicians purchase will be Rain Bird products as well. Purchasing the same brand as the original parts allows for a seamless transition to a working lawn irrigation system.
Prior to replacing a sprinkler head, be sure to shut off the water sprinkler system. Next, dig a hole (approximately two feet in diameter) around the broken sprinkler head. Make sure to save the dirt in order to fill in the hole later! Be careful not to damage the irrigation sprinkler pipes, as that will require a much bigger fix. Dig down 8 to 12 inches to the base of the sprinkler’s vertical pipe, also known as the “riser,” in order to expose all of the pieces that will be replaced.
Carefully twist the old sprinkler head in a counterclockwise fashion to remove it from the vertical pipe, so that you don’t get soil in the pipe (this could cause a blockage in the water line and potentially damage the new sprinkler head). If the years of use have caused the sprinkler head to become stuck in place, a wrench may be needed to loosen it. Hold the riser in place while using a wrench to avoid tearing the rest of the irrigation pipes out of place.
Install the new sprinkler head by twisting it into place with a clockwise motion (no need for a wrench – hand-tight will be just fine). Set the spray pattern according to the directions that accompanied the purchase of the new sprinkler head, then replace the sod that you removed from the hole previously.
Repairing a Defective Sprinkler Zone
Lawn irrigation systems are organized into several zones – this acts as a failsafe of sorts for your system. If one zone becomes defective, the whole system is not necessarily compromised, which can save you a lot of time and money. Each zone has its own electrical valves for the sprinkler heads in that area, so if an individual zone is not working, that is a good place to start looking for the source of the problem.
Check all wiring in the zone for stable and secure connections. Next, check to see that the transformer is plugged in and working. Then look at the circuit breaker to be sure that the main panel is on and working. If none of those appear to be malfunctioning, it may be best to test the voltage to the sprinkler zone using a multimeter, a device available at most local hardware stores and home centers.
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