in-ground sprinkler problems


Old 07-28-07, 06:48 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3
in-ground sprinkler problems

The previous owners of my house installed our sprinkler system and I am having some problems. The first problem is that a couple of sprinkler heads stopped coming up and I'm not sure of their exact locations. How do I locate the heads so I can fix them?

Another problem is heads that pop up but don't rotate. I have been able to adjust some of them but these are not working at all. The manufacturer is Lego. How do I remove the heads so I can fix or replace them?

I appreciate any help that anyone has to offer.
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Old 07-29-07, 06:03 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: MA
Posts: 170
The heads that do not come up, are they all in the same zone? If this is the case, then either the valve, wiring or controller output is the culprit. Fixing this will fix the problem of heads not coming up. Your best bet is to manually turn on each zone at the zone valves. Typically you just turn the solenoid a 1/4 turn and the valve opens up. If a head does not come up within a zone where the rest of the heads pop up, then you either have a break in the supply line (and you should notice something - even the rest of the head not spraying anywhere as far/much as they should). The only way you can find the heads is by turning them on or searching the ground. Searching the ground is difficult. I know where all my heads are and times I still can not find them by visual means.

If the heads do not rotate, chances are that they need to be replaced. They can not be repaired. If the pressure/flow at the non-rotating head is real low, it will not rotate as well. Again, I would not suspect a low presssure issue unless a line is broken and you see water pooling somewhere or a sink hole has developed. To replace the head, remove dirt around the head. Dig so that you expose the bottom of the head, then just rotate the head counter clockwise. It will be threaded with either a 3/4" or 1/2" fitting. The reason you want to dig deep enough to expose the bottom of the head is so that dirt does not fall into the water line. This will only be 4-6" deep
Old 07-30-07, 06:41 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3
Thank you for the response, cgar. Looks like the heads that don't rotate will be fairly easy to take care of. The missing heads will be tough.

There are 2 sections that I am missing heads on. They each border my neighbors' property where there has been recent construction so I am afraid that they may have been either taken out or buried by a bulldozer. Another possibility is that they are like one head that has fixed itself. The turf had grown up around it and it finally pushed its way through after a lot of use.

I can manually water my lawn with my controller but I don't know where to find the solenoid. Are they in the boxes underground or in the control panel?

The utility companies have something like a metal detector that they can find vinyl plumbing underground. Can that be used to find to sprinkler lines? If so, can I rent one?

Thanks again for your help.
Old 07-30-07, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Where the cows roam, CA
Posts: 2,204
I don't mean to intrude here but one way you can find the other heads is to start digging at the head that does work nearby where there should be one and follow the pipe. It'll lead you to where the other heads are.
Old 08-06-07, 06:43 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3
That sounds simple except for all the digging. That may be what I end up doing though. Thanks for the suggestion.
Old 08-14-07, 01:22 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 236
Turn on the zone where you want to find the lost heads, then look where it seems they would be in line with existing. Unless they are interior units watering some specific tree or bush, they should just run in line around sidewalk or house perimeter. Also look for bubbles or water pooling-- sign of a broken line or head.

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