A Guide to Fixing Underground Sprinkler Heads
At one time or another, all sprinkler systems will be in need of maintenance. The following are some helpful tips on fixing and maintaining your underground sprinkler heads and also some general maintenance on how to keep your system running smoothly.
One common problem is when the sprinkler system will stop turning on. Your first step in this scenario would be to check your rain sensor if you have one. If the sensor is on and is being obstructed, it may keep your sprinklers from functioning. From there, you need to make sure your controller has power. Something as simple as resetting the power, or checking for a loose wire, might quickly fix the problem.
Sprinkler heads that pop up from the ground can face a lot of issues and will probably be the part of your sprinkler system you fix most often. All heads will need to be fixed and replaced at some point. They can get stuck in the up position or in the down position. They can crack during the winter months, or get run over by a lawn mower. To check or replace underground sprinkler heads, you need to start by digging about five inches all the way around the head with a shovel. Remember not to puncture the surrounding water lines! If you dig too deep, you may end up causing more damage and leave more things in need of repair.
The next step in fixing underground sprinkler heads is to remove the nonworking head by unscrewing it from the connecting pipe. Do your best not to get dirt into the pipe as you don't want further trouble in the form of clogs. You can cover the hole with a clean cloth in the mean time if you prefer. From there, you head to the store to buy a new same size sprinkler head. With the sprinkler head in hand, you head back to your pipe (remembering to remove the cloth if you used one) and screw the new head on tight. Make sure you adjust the new sprinkler head so that it is spraying onto your lawn and not watering your sidewalk. You add the dirt you removed earlier back into the hole, packing it tightly around the head. You then flip the switch, stand back, and watch the water fly. Tada! You just fixed the underground sprinkler heads all by yourself, you handyman (or handywoman) you!
What are you suppose to do if one section of your sprinklers will not shut off? Start by turning off the water at the source. You don't want to have a river flowing through your lawn! You will then check for any loose wires or anything that appears to be broken on your system. Check the sprinkler solenoid, which is the top of the valve by unscrewing it to look for debris. Check to be sure the plunger does not need to be readjusted. Clean all parts including the diaphragm. It is often something as small as a clog.
From underground sprinkler heads to clogged rain sensors, keeping your sprinkler system maintained is not as difficult as it seems.