A note on Sprinkler System Repair

Are the spray heads or rotor heads on your lawn sprinkler system constantly sticking up when they should be retracting back down? Don’t worry, this is a common problem and is most likely caused by one of a couple factors. First of all, what is the age of your sprinkler heads? Over time (anywhere from 3 years and beyond) the wear and tear on the risers will cause rough edges which will cause the head to stick up. Checkout Sprinkler System Repair Near Me.

The more sandy the soil is, the quicker the risers will wear. The only way to fix this after the head is this damaged is to replace the head. However, there is another option available to prevent this from happening again. That would be to get sprinkler heads with stainless steel risers. They are a little more expensive, but will last much longer.

If you have a system that is pretty new and you are constantly having problems with the heads sticking, you could have dirt in your pipe. The dirt could have entered your system when you were repairing a break, when the pipe was being installed, or it could just be sediment from your well.

Sometimes, the heads can be easily cleaned by stepping down on the riser while the water is on and the head is running. Let it pop back up, then step on it again. Do this a few times, then turn off the system and see if the head is still sticking. What you are doing here is cleaning out the debris from around the wiper seal of the sprinkler head.

Your system’s water source has a lot to do with how often your heads get clogged. Irrigation systems on city water do not need to be flushed or cleaned nearly as much as sprinklers tied to well water. Some wells produce fairly clean water, while others have high iron content and other debris which causes the heads to stick and nozzles to clog fairly frequently.

If you have several heads that are always sticking or nozzles getting clogged, then you may want to flush out your whole system. This can be done by removing the nozzles and screens on the spray heads and installing flush caps, then running water through the system. Flush caps come with the spray heads when you first buy them. If you don’t have any, this can also be done by removing the head completely and pulling up the swing joint and then flushing. Please note, this is not the same as draining or blowing out your system.

The rotors will have to be flushed in that manner anyway. If your system is older and your heads are not installed on swing joints, then just make sure to dig around the hard PVC riser that the head was attached to, making sure that no dirt can flow back in the pipe while you are flushing.

You may also want to take the sprinkler heads to a water faucet and clean them out. Unscrew the inside of the head from the casing and rinse out both pieces. After you are done flushing the system and cleaning the heads, re-install the heads and run your system for about 10 minutes.

Then turn off the system and make sure all the heads went down. If some are still stuck, they may be beyond fixing and you’ll just need to replace them. If you are in sandy soil, I would recommend rotors with stainless steel risers. Stainless steel rotors cost anywhere from 3 to 5 times the cost of normal rotor heads, but may be worth the expense. Spray heads are a lot less expensive and it is more economical to just replace them, rather than purchasing expensive steel risers.

Just as with an automobile, your sprinkler system is going to require routine maintenance to keep it running in good condition. The more that you neglect your irrigation, the more damage will be done and will end up costing you more work and money in the long run. An average system will require about $350 per year on maintenance. So if you neglect your system for 3 years, expect to pay around $1,050 in maintenance costs when finally having it serviced.