Hot Topics: Broken Sprinkler Head
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Original post: Mower Meets Sprinker Head
One of my sprinkler heads takes a few hours to release into the ground and I ran it over with my mower. I hoped it was the head shielding but it pours out water. I've attached a picture. Is there a DYI replacement?
If the sprinkler body is damaged get a bucket, garden trowel, channel lock pliers, and some old newspaper. Cut out a section of sod around the sprinkler and lay the sod on the newspaper. Then with the trowel dig straight down putting the dirt into the bucket. You want the sod cut out so the sprinkler is close to one edge of the hole. Make the hole long enough for your wrench or pliers to fit down in the hole. Reach down into the hole with the pliers and hold the fitting right below the sprinkler. With your other hand unscrew (counterclockwise) the sprinkler body. Pour a little clean water over the fitting in the ground to rinse it off and screw on your new sprinkler. Then pack the dirt back into the hole and place the sod you cut back on top. Gently step on it to get rid of air pockets and keep it watered well for the next couple weeks until the grassroots are re-established.
sagosto63 MemberThank you. This is very helpful. How much sod do I need to cut to make sure the opening is big enough? Would it be just a bit bigger than the diameter of the sprinkler body? This actually got interesting because I had to cap off two sprinklers to make room for my deck extension and they are different. Perhaps that's a good thing. Can I pick either or hopefully the one I have is a direct replacement? The system is RainBird so I cannot explain why the hunter exists. Perhaps the mowing issue occurred with the original house owners too.
XSleeper Group Moderator
You only need to take out a little bit with that type of sprinkler head, assuming your replacement matches exactly. Pilot Dane described it very well. You will be able to just unscrew the cap (#5 in his illustration) and remove the "guts." Do the same to the new head and just swap the parts.
You are just removing enough sod and dirt so that you can unscrew the head while ensuring that no dirt falls inside the sprinkler head while you have it open.
If your replacement does not match exactly — for instance if you have a shorter body — then you may need to dig a bigger hole, unscrew the entire sprinkler, add a new riser that you have cut to the correct length, then reinstall the sprinkler and new riser.
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