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What’s Wrong With My Sprinkler Head?

Sep 8, 2016

It may already be September, but that only means that there are still two months left of hot weather on the horizon. Throughout the heart of the summer, you’ve probably relied on your outdoor sprinkler system to keep your lawn lush and beautiful all while avoiding wasting water. However, months of use can put stress on any system, no matter how well it was installed. Some of the most common issues sprinkler systems face are:

Broken Sprinkler Heads

Most outdoor sprinkler systems are supposed to pop up when in use, and retreat back underground when they’re done serving their purpose. Unfortunately, they can become damaged by a variety of hazards, including while mowing the lawn, while using edging tools, and even by an accidental kick. Fixing it should be as simple as unscrewing the old head, taking it into the store to make sure you get the correct replacement, and screwing the new head back on.

Clogged Sprinkler Heads

A summer of rainstorms, playing outside, and mowing the lawn can leave a lot of debris laying around, which can eventually clog your sprinkler head if enough of it builds up. It’s pretty easy to figure out which sprinkler is clogged – the spray will be uneven, interrupted, completely nonexistent, or even just leak out and create a puddle around the sprinkler head. If it’s only a small clog, you may be able to clear it out with a paper clip, but if it’s a hefty clog you’ll want to take the sprinkler head off, soak it in water, and clear out what you can with a paper clip and running water.

Improperly Positioned Sprinkler Heads

You could face a lot of problems if the sprinkler heads were installed in a way that they still poke above the surface when not in use. You may need to replace broken sprinkler heads, if this problem went unnoticed for a while, but the fix should only require a bit of digging. Remove the top layer of soil and grass, or whatever material is around the sprinkler head, with a shovel, and take a hand trowel to dig out the soil closer to the fixture. Take extra care to avoid slicing through the water pipe, and keep digging down until about a half inch of sprinkler head is above ground level. Once you’re satisfied, tightly pack the removed dirt around the pipe and sprinkler head before replacing the topsoil.

Stuck Valves

If your sprinklers won’t stop running after they’re supposed to be off, then you’re dealing with a stuck valve. Both ends of your system should have a valve, and it’s likely that a piece of debris like a small rock is in the way. Make sure to check both valves by unscrewing the solenoid, running water though it, and screwing it back on. If the problem persists, turn off the water completely and take something like a screwdriver to pop off the top of the valve and scrape at the blockage manually.

Sometimes the fix won’t be quite so simple; in these cases, your best bet is to call in the professionals to lend a hand. At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, our team of plumbers is ready and waiting to figure out exactly what the problem is. Our knowledgeable and professional service experts are available any time of the day and any day of the year to come by, so find your nearest bluefrog location by entering your location here, or by calling us at 888-794-0341.

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