How to Repair a Broken Sprinkler Spray Head

Your in-ground irrigation system is a great asset to your home. Whether you installed it, or the previous homeowner did, chances are it cost quite a bit of money. Repairs can also be costly, but luckily, they’re pretty easy to do yourself. Follow just a few simple steps to save money and repair a broken sprinkler head yourself.

Things You Will Need

For this project, you will need a trenching shovel, and a hand saw from your toolbox. You’ll also need the new sprinkler head, a threaded T-fitting, flag marker, male coupler, and PVC pipe glue.

Find the Broken Part

To make sure the sprinkler spray head is broken and not any of the other parts of the sprinkler (like the nozzle) turn on the clock, timer, or zone by the valve. Put a flag or some other type of marker near the broken spray head so you can find it easier later.

Dig a Trench

Using the shovel, dig up an area around the broken spray head. You don’t need to do the whole lawn or anything significant, just the area closest to the head. While you’re digging around the area, set a section of grass aside to use later when you fill the hole back up.

Cut the Existing Pipe

To remove the broken sprinkler head, use your hand saw or pipe cutters to cut out the existing pipe. You can reuse the parts that aren’t broken and throw away anything that’s inoperable. If the old components look good, keep components like the riser or nozzle instead of replacing them as well.

Install the New Sprinkler Head

The current pipe should have a 1 ½ inch space, leaving enough room for the T-fitting. Connect the T-fitting to the pipe and screw in the male coupler. Then, using the male coupler, connect the new sprinkler spray head to the pipe. Your new sprinkler head should be adjusted to the same height as the old one.

Always replace the old sprinkler parts with a new one of at least the same quality, if not better. Make sure you install the sprinkler head at the correct height and using the right nozzle. Use the PVC pipe glue for the pipe and make sure you apply it to the inside edge of the T-fitting. Hold it briefly allowing the glue to set. Always flush dirt out of the line before replacing the nozzle.

Don’t skimp on the quality of glue. You’ll be glad you didn’t try to save money and not fix it right.

Backfill the Trench

Fill the hole you dug out around the sprinkler head and make sure the dirt is compact. Place the sod you saved on top of the dirt. It will look like you never dug a hole out of your yard, and the grass will take root and grow again.

You may not be a sprinkler expert, but you should be able to do this simple home improvement project yourself without much trouble. With the right tools and parts, you may find that it doesn’t take much time and it saves you a lot of money.