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How To Adjust And Fix Sprinkler Heads

Jul 14, 2022


As temperatures rise, our lawns can take a hit. Our luscious green grass starts to look dull and brown, lowering curb appeal. A sprinkler is a sure way to keep your yard looking its best. But what do you do if your sprinkler isn’t working properly?


The good news is that sprinklers are not that difficult to repair or even completely replace. If you have been wanting to learn more about how to adjust rotating sprinkler heads, how to fix sprinkler head, or how to raise sprinkler head, we’ve got you covered.

How does a sprinkler system actually work?                                                                                                                

Before we jump into how to cap a sprinkler head or how to change a sprinkler head, let’s give a little background. A sprinkler system can definitely be a little complicated. However, once you can identify each part of the system, it all comes together rather easily. Irrigation systems are the part of the sprinkler that helps power what we know as sprinklers.


They usually include:

  • A pipe for the main water supply center
  • A valve box divided to correspond with different irrigation zones in your yard
  • Numerous zone valves that control those different irrigation zones in your yard
  • A controller to set the time and duration of watering

Outside of the irrigation system, you have the other parts that you are probably more familiar with, like the sprinkler nozzle, body, and head. These are the pieces of the system we actually see and use when we tend to our yards and flowerbeds. All of these pieces work together to transfer water through the numerous underground irrigation zones so that you can have water right where you need it most.

Types of sprinkler heads

If you find that your sprinkler head is still working fine, but you just want to upgrade to a new one, that’s an easy fix, too! There are several options that have different features that could better suit your needs.


Main sprinkler head types include:

  • Pop-up
  • Pulsating
  • Rotor
  • Stationary

Pop-up sprinkler heads are one of the most common. They have a sleek flat top circle design that “pops up” when it is spraying. This kind of head is often used for large-scale irrigation projects but can be a great option for both commercial and residential landscapes. It is a great way to camouflage a sprinkler system thanks to its low profile.


For pulsating sprinkler heads, the appeal is that they take the water from the irrigation system and pulse it through into the air for a different angle of watering. These can be great for taller plants or just for more of an aerial approach to watering. They come in numerous heights and pressures.


Another popular option is a rotor sprinkler head. The term rotor lends itself to more than just one type of sprinkler though. It is often used as an all-encompassing way to describe any sprinkler that rotates in any manner. There are tons of choices when it comes to rotors like speed, distance, style, etc. 


Lastly, stationary sprinkler heads are a great option for anyone looking for a sprinkler that stays in one specific location. It is a very common style that can help you to grow new grass or give your plants a running start. This sprinkler head is designed to focus on one area at a time and comes in several different styles and designs.

Is my sprinkler head broken?

You might wonder if your sprinkler head needs a tune-up after the cold season. If you want to confirm if your sprinkler head is broken, all you need to do is turn on the water and look for any spots where the water is coming out in an odd manner. 


This could include less than average water being distributed, more than average being distributed, or no water coming out at all. If you notice one or more of these in any area of your sprinkler, it means it’s time to look into repairing it.

How to fix sprinkler head

There are multiple issues that could be causing a sprinkler head to stop functioning properly. Before you spend too much time scouring the internet for “how to fix sprinkler head”,  the first step is identifying what issue is occurring. Some issues can be fixed easily and others require assistance from professionals.


Damage to the sprinkler itself is usually the top reason a sprinkler head isn’t working. Look for any broken pieces or parts around the sprinkler to help identify what may have been damaged. Depending on which part of the device is damaged, you may be able to simply buy an affordable replacement and install it yourself.


If your sprinkler head isn’t working properly due to an irrigation system problem, it’s best to let the pros handle it. Irrigation systems require a lot of time and equipment. The repair process is complex and safer in the hands of a professional.

How to replace sprinkler head

How to replace sprinkler heads will depend on which head you have. Each of the different heads will need to be changed in a slightly different manner depending on the model you opt for, but overall it’s pretty universal. To replace a sprinkler head specifically, you will need a replacement head that matches the make and model of your sprinkler. Replacement heads typically range from $2-$20 depending on the style of sprinkler you have.


Once you have the replacement, it’s time to get it in the ground! Start by digging a hole near the sprinkler, but make sure not to come in contact with the water line. Once you have the hole, remove any debris from the sprinkler head and unscrew the old head so that it comes apart. After you’ve done that, all there is to do is to screw the new sprinkler head on and fill the hole back up.

How to adjust sprinkler heads

How to adjust sprinkler heads, will depend on what type of sprinkler head you opt for. Each kind has unique settings that can slightly change the adjustment process.


Pop-up sprinkler heads must be adjusted while the sprinkler is running. Grab your flathead screwdriver and use it to adjust the screw that’s at the top of the sprinkler head nozzle. To decrease the water spray, turn the screw to the right, make the water spray larger, and turn the screw to the left.


For pulsating sprinkler heads, you will need to simply push the notches on the nozzle itself to your desired level. Once you’ve done that, be sure to turn it on and make sure all sections of the sprinkler are working properly. After, you can then adjust the distance for the water spray to accommodate any areas you may not want to get wet, like a sidewalk.


How to adjust rotating sprinkler heads is a pretty common question. This kind of head works a little differently compared to the others we’ve mentioned. For one, there are two settings that may need to be adjusted instead of just one like the other heads. The two settings are the radius and spray arc. Both of these are held by a set screw. Since there are so many kinds of rotor heads, referring to the instructions that come with the product will be the best indicator for how to adjust this properly.


Finally, stationary heads are probably the easiest to adjust. All you need to do is utilize the adjustment screw at the top of the sprinkler head. Simply turn it so that it points where you want to water. That’s it!

Enjoy your beautiful lawn

Handling your sprinkler repairs will pay off when you have a lush green lawn to look out at. No matter what kind of sprinkler you have, you can get your dream yard. If you still need more help getting your sprinkler system up and running, let us help!

CroppMetcalfe is here for you for all your home needs. Call our five-star technicians at 1-877-740-6657 or schedule an appointment online today.



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