Sprinkler Repair

Wednesday March 23 2016

Springtime. One of the annual spring jobs is to check out the sprinkler system. This year I found two heads that need replacing, two leaking sprinkers, and one that pops up but doesn’t go back down when the water is off. I’ll attack one of the leaky units, first.

It can’t be something simple. This is the bottom of a two foot hole. The failure had to be where a long swing assembly at the bottom end of a longer pop-up attached to the water line. An elbows unit cracked leaving the threads and not much else screwed into the water line at a T. I added a wooden plug to keep dirt out of the water line – I dug this hole Sunday. It rained Sunday evening and Monday.

I tried several things to remove the broken elbow threads from the water line. What finally worked was wittling a tight fitting plug out of hard wood. The plug acted as an anvil. I clamped the slight bit of elbow that was sticking out of the feed line against the plug with a pair of plyers and used small turns to unscrew the broken piece. To make needed room to twist the plug and elbow threads I dismantling part of a rock retaining wall. Success.

I tested the repaired sprinkler before and after rebuilding the retaining wall and filling the hole. All working now. I hope the other leaking sprinkler isn’t as much trouble. One thing in my favor is that is is only a 6" pop-up.

Tuesday, June 7 2016

I just finished fixing the 6th or 7th broken sprinkler. The 6" broken sprinker mentioned above was fine… the swivel was broken and replaced. The pop-up that didn’t retract was a 12" unit crushed by tree roots. Thick tree roots. I used more sawzall than shovel to get to that one. I replaced a 12" that cracked in front of the house with a 6". Today I removed the last sprinkler – again a 12" – in the line that ran to the corner of the property. Instead of replacing the sprinkler body I plugged the feed line. There is nothing in that corner that needs watering.

I’ve two 6" spares on hand and 3 12" spares on order. They should be here this week.


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