Your lawn is probably one of the areas in your home that experiences high foot traffic and because of that, an underground sprinkler system is always prone to damages. The head of the sprinkler is one of the parts that can get broken easily and if the damage goes undetected for a long time, water may leak through the sprinkler head and you will end up paying more money on your water bills. Fortunately, though, a broken head is easy to spot; look for a cracked plastic casing on the sprinkler head or look for a head that has broken off completely. Water that spreads wildly is also an indication of a broken sprinkler head. To take care of the problem, replace the head with a new one.
Tips for Choosing A Replacement
Of importance to note is that your replacement doesn't have to be be of the same brand as the broken head but it must be of the same type. If your pop-up head uses a gear-driven motor, so should your replacement head even if it is from another brand. Water delivery rate, throwing distance and spray patterns must also be the same. The problem with buying a different type of sprinkler is that it can throw water over a short or long distance, or it may force other heads in your lawn to perform poorly.
You can find all the information you need to purchase a perfect replacement on the broken head; you can find the info on top of the sprinkler head, on the nozzle, or on a label that is usually fixed to the head.
Replacing The Broken Head
Replacing a broken head is as easy as turning a faucet on and off. First, turn off your sprinkler system and dig a hole (2 feet in diameter) around the broken head. Dig lightly until you get to the base of the riser. The riser is a pipe that connects the sprinkler head with the main pipe.
Remove the broken head by turning it in a counterclockwise direction. After spending years in the ground, the head may prove difficult to turn. If so, unscrew it using a wrench; hold the riser in place with slip nose pliers to prevent it from turning with the head and then turn the head with the wrench. After the broken head has come off, place the new head on the riser and turn it in a clockwise direction to tighten.
Whenever the sprinkler is off, always make sure that the heads are on an equal level with the ground. Otherwise, you or other people in your home may trip on the exposed heads. But besides tripping, you may also break the heads. So make regular checks to ensure that the heads are on the required ground height. Regular sprinkler system maintenance can prevent issues in the future.