Broken sprinkler heads are one of the most common problems associated with automatic lawn irrigation systems. When your irrigation system is on, broken sprinkler heads can be spotted either by the lack of spray, erratic spray or the head fails to pop up out of the ground altogether. Sprinkler heads can get broken off when hit by a lawn mower or vehicle. Sometimes the casing on the heads simply become cracked or chipped. Replacing a sprinkler head is actually one of the easiest fixes to do yourself on the irrigation system.
Replacement heads can be found at any home supply center and most hardware stores; just be sure to purchase the same type of head that you are replacing (maybe take the old one with you, just in case). Once you’ve identified the exact location of the broken sprinkler head, turn off the irrigation system and dig a hole around the broken head.
Dig until you see the vertical pipe that comes up from the main line and is attached to the sprinkler head. Simply unscrew the broken sprinkler head, or what is left of it, and replace it with the new sprinkler head. Take care not to spill any dirt into the pipe during the process. Be sure to set the desired sprinkler pattern on the new head before filling in the hole. Turn the irrigation system back on and test it to ensure that the new sprinkler head is working properly.
It is always a good idea to have your irrigation system checked by a landscaping professional every spring and fall to ensure it remains in good working order. Making any necessary repairs in the fall, will assure a system that is ready to go to work at the first blush of spring.