TaskEasy Tips

Sprinkler Repair 101

Having sprinkler issues? Yes? Okay, let’s first just take a moment and realize that the world is not ending... really it’s not. But you do need to take action. Leaving your sprinkler repairs for the proverbial “tomorrow” can cause some major issues such as a dried up lawn or soggy wet spots which can cause disease and long term lawn care problems. So because TaskEasy loves to make your life easy we’ve put together a little sprinkler repair 101.

Sprinkler Heads: Spray vs Rotor

Before we get into the fixing of your sprinkler lets make sure we know the difference between the two main types of sprinklers which are spray and rotor. Here is a little breakdown of their difference.

Spray:

  • Shoots a continual “throw” of water on a specific area
  • Good for watering small to medium sized areas
  • Disperses a lot of water in a short time
  • Heads come in different spray patterns
  • Better for even surfaces

Rotor:

  • Disperses less water than spray but more evenly across plants and grass
  • Great for larger/ and or sloping landscapes
  • Interchangeable nozzles for different “throw” patterns depending on your needs
  • Good for watering medium to large areas

So now that we’ve got that figured out lets take a look at the problems we have with sprinklers and how to repair them.

Clogged Sprinkler

Over time, dirt and debris get trapped in the filter or nozzle of your sprinkler head, this can cause your sprinkler to have lower water pressure, misdirected spray or no spray at all.

Here’s the fix (spray heads):

  • Raise and secure the pop-up part (riser) of the sprinkler being careful not to use too much force and damage the sprinkler
  • Unscrew the top part of the spray head (turning counter clockwise), (don’t forget to make sure the water is turned off) and remove the filter from the inside of the sprinkler body
  • Flush water through filter and the spray nozzle to clean it
  • While the spray is dismantled, the irrigation line should be flushed to clean out any lingering debris
  • Replace the filter and the nozzle and you should be good to go!

Here’s the fix (rotor heads):

  • Remove the internals of the rotor head to get at the small basket-shaped filter at the bottom of the rotor body by unscrewing the top portion of the rotor from the body using counter clockwise turns
  • Remove the filter
  • Flush filter with water
  • While the spray is dismantled, the irrigation line should be flushed to clean out any lingering debris
  • Replace the filter and the nozzle and you are done!

p.s. make sure the sprinkler head is pointed in the right direction, you don’t want to be watering the sidewalk!

Leaky Sprinkler

Sprinkler leaks happen all too often because of a careless lawn mower or driver that runs over the sprinkler head and breaks it. It’s important to make sure that whoever is doing your lawn care (or pulling into your driveway) is aware of the sprinklers and being careful. At other times though you might have a leaky sprinkler because the seal in the head has just worn out through time.

In either case the location of the leak should tell you what’s wrong. If the sprinkler is leaking near the top, first make sure the cap is screwed on tight. If it is and it’s still leaking then the problem might be a clog or an old seal.

To check the seal unscrew the cap and take a peek inside. If the seal looks worn, replace it. If the leak is coming from the body of the sprinkler, you’ll most likely need to replace the entire sprinkler which is a pretty easy fix, just take off the sprinkler and get a replacement at any hardware store that carries sprinkler supplies.

Note: local hardware stores have most types of sprinklers but you should be careful to ensure that replacement sprinklers have the same operating characteristics (pressure, throw diameter, arc, etc.) as the damaged sprinkler.

Overspray

Water that’s landing outside the lawn zone is wasteful and in some places can get you a hefty fine. Overspray is usually caused by incorrectly positioned sprinklers.

Here’s the fix (below ground):

  • Remove the soil from around the sprinkler
  • Straighten the sprinkler to point in the desired location
  • Test to check that the problem has been fixed
  • Replace the soil
  • Replace the filter and the nozzle and you should be good to go!

Here’s the fix (above ground):

  • Straighten the sprinkler to point in the desired location
  • Test to check that the problem has been fixed

Blocked Sprinkler

This happens all the time something gets in the way of the sprinkler head and prevents it from spraying the correct area. It’s a super easy fix but you need to be vigilant on noticing it. The last thing you want is some forgotten basketball blocking your sprinkler and causing a puddle in your lawn.

Here’s the fix:

  • Check the area around each sprinkler to make sure nothing is blocking the flow of water
  • Maintain the area around sprinkler heads by cutting back turf grass and pulling up sprinklers that have been pushed down from mowers and vehicles

Okay some of those fixes were ridiculously easy and other not so much but remember if you ever just need a professional to come take a look and solve your lawn care problems TaskEasy is here for you!


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