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How To Replace A Pop Up Sprinkler Head

How To Replace A Pop Up Sprinkler Head

Your lawn demands daily watering, and your sprinkler system is most likely to do this task. But over time, your sprinkler may show some signs of damage or disfigurement. Like any other device, a sprinkler system does not last forever. They can easily be damaged by some heavy pressures like your lawnmower, or it may simply wear out over time. You will know if you need to replace some parts of your sprinkler once you see any of these signs – constant leaks, low or non-existent spray, and low water pressure. 

In this article, we will discuss the two ways of replacing a pop-up sprinkler head. It can be done even by inexperienced homeowners, and there’s no need to call for a professional service. 

Two Ways To Replace A Pop Up Sprinkler Head 

  • Replace the whole pop up head – This means that you will replace the spray with a totally different spray model, brand, or size. Just detach the entire damaged unity and replace it with a new one. 

If you mistakenly replace your pop up sprinkler head with a brand, model, or size that is different from your current one, you may encounter some problems like the difference in height between the replacement and the existing spray. This will take effect in the way the water sprays from the sprinkler head into the lawn. The spray distance will not be the same as before, or you might have a sprinkler head that is not uniform with the performance of others. For example, if the new spray is shorter than the old spray, it will sit too low in the ground, affecting the radius or the distance that it covers when it distributes the water. This, in turn, will affect certain parts of your lawn area. If some parts are underwatered because the short spray cannot reach those spots, your lawn will be unbalanced as some parts of it grow while the other wither.  

But if you replace the spray with the same size, this could also result in some issues if the model or manufacturer is different. Even though the indicated size is the same, it could still have a slight height variation that will cause some problems with the spray’s position and distance on the lawn. Getting the same model, size and brand is a must to avoid any future problems. 

However, if the swing joint connects the pipe to the spray, you shouldn’t worry much as the swing joint is flexible enough to change the height of the spray. But if the spray body is directly connected to the pipe fitting, and the replacement unit is placed inaccurately, you may insert a swing joint to adjust any height discrepancy. Additionally, aside from adding a swing joint, you can also attach a cut off-nipple as an alternative. 

So, what is a cut off nipple? 

A cut off nipple refers to a threaded fitting that bridges the pipe fitting and the spray. Parts of it can be mitigated with a pipe cutter to let you achieve the correct height for your spray. But between the cut off nipple and the swing joint, the swing joint is more preferred due to the flexibility and durability it offers. In case you accidentally run over the sprinkler head with a lawnmower or tire, and you have used a swing joint, you will have a lower tendency to damage your unit because the swing joint is very flexible. 

  •  Replace the guts of your old sprinkler head – To replace the spray guts of your existing spray head, unscrew the top of the damaged part and attach the new spray guts into the old spray casing. Since you won’t be replacing the entire spray, you have to use the same spray brand and model to perfectly fit with the existing case. 

This type of replacement is a quick fix as long as the casing is not faulty, and the replacement unit perfectly fits the old casing. Just detach the top of the spray head, and place the replacement spray guts into the existing sprinkler body. Just replacing the guts of the spray won’t require you to dig the entire spray completely out of the ground. But you simply have to dig partially to reach for the spray head. Just remember to use the same model and brand of the replacement part to make sure that it will function properly. 

Steps In Replacing The Sprinkler Head 

  1. Identify the sprinkler head that needs to be replaced. You can tell by the amount of water it is spraying in comparison with other sprinkler heads. Once you determine the sprinkler head, you can purchase the same model and brand in your home improvement store. 
  1. Dig around your sprinkler head to expose the entire unit. It still depends if you are replacing the entire spray head or just a part of it. Normally,y 6 inches deep is enough to access the entire sprinkler head. 
  1. Remove the top of your sprinkler head to access the rest of its parts. 
  1. Take the broken head out of the housing. If it’s missing, you have to know which type of sprinkler head it is. 
  1. Attach the new sprinkler head by placing it on the component housing and screwing the top covering back on. Replace back the spray nozzle and the filter. Usually, pray nozzles are sold separately. That’s why when you replace the spray, it is also advisable to purchase a new spray nozzle as it is inexpensive, and buying a new one will ensure that will fit your new spray head. Just select a nozzle that covers the same spray pattern and distance that suits your criteria. 
  1. Switch on your sprinkler system to check if the new head sprays correctly. Put the dirt and soil back into place.