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Steps to Properly Change Out a Broken Spray Head

March 3, 2023by Peter Hudson

Spring looks to be winning the battle with winter presently. The warm weather is approaching quickly.   I started up and tested my sprinkler system for the first time. It looks like I will need to change out a broken spray head or two.

Here is what I found:

I noticed a few heads that are too high above the ground which could be damaged from the lawn mower. There were also a few heads leaking that need attention. There a some steps we use to properly change out a broken spray head.

The most frustrating moments as a homeowner is when something is broken. Does your sprinkler head look something like this?

If you need to change out a spray head, here are the steps we use.
  • Make sure the spray head is leaking. You may have a leaky valve or a leak in the connection from the pipe to the head or a leak in the pipe itself.
  • Use a quality spray head and parts. We use commercial grade Rain Bird heads and the best parts available. You do not want to fix again. Learn more about Rain Bird’s R-Van Nozzle.Water Saving Tips For Houston
  • Look at your yard and your surroundings. What could be underneath the ground that you could damage? Are you close to a phone line or cable line? Heads on the side of your home or close to back fence near cable boxes can be problem areas.
  • Using a sharp shooter shovel dig a circular hole a couple of inches out from the head. Take the grass out and put to the side and then dig the dirt out making a separate pile. You need to dig down to the connection level down to the pipe.
  • Replace the nipple, some call this part the extension. This is the connection between the pipe and the head. The nipple plastic will breakdown and get brittle over time. Put all new parts.
  • You may have 1/2″ flex pipe connection with a male barbed fitting which has a longer life than an extension. This swing pipe as some call it is the best connection you can have to the pipe. It allows the head flexibility to adjust and position height better now and in the future. It also can prevent damage from cars along the driveway. This is a standard on all of our new sprinkler installations.
  • Test your head before you cover up. Make sure the problem is fixed and you did not get any dirt in the line, clogging the head.
  • Cover up filling the hole with the dirt. Make sure the top of the head is level with the top of the dirt. Clean up any excess dirt. Put down your grass and damper down. Rake up any excess dirt as necessary.

Have you noticed any leaky, clogged, or crooked spray heads in your yard? Furthermore, if you would like to have a licensed professional come out to check and replace broken spray heads or properly change out a broken spray head, click here to request an appointment or call 281-494-3700.

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