How to Repair Sprinkler Heads


Sprinkler heads often get damaged by lawn mowers, weed eaters or rocks. To repair a sprinkler head you should replace it. This allows you to choose a different type of sprinkler head--for example, a new head containing a wider spray pattern or water output. Replacing your sprinkler head does not require you to possess extensive gardening skills or tools. You may purchase sprinkler heads at a home improvement center, landscape store or nursery.

Step 1

Turn off the sprinkler's timer and close the shut-off valve. The shut-off valve to your sprinkler is located in an underground box with a green lid on top of it. Open the lid and turn the valve clockwise.

Step 2

Cut the sod around the sprinkler head with your shovel by stabbing the sod with it. Preserve your sod for later usage by setting it aside on a tarp. Shovel out the dirt from around the sprinkler head carefully to avoid damaging the connection and fitting pipe.

Step 3

Lift out the sprinkler head with your hands and remove it from the nipple connector. Twist the sprinkler head counter-clockwise to remove it. Remove the sprinkler head completely. Remove any pipe tape from the threads of the nipple connector and replace it with new pipe tape.

Step 4

Turn on the water to blow out any debris from the pipe. This prevents sprinkler heads from clogging. Turn the water off again.

Step 5

Twist on the new sprinkler head, turning it clockwise; do not over-tighten the sprinkler head. Over-tightening the new sprinkler head may strip the threads of the nipple connector.

Step 6

Position the new sprinkler head so the top of the sprinkler head is level with the ground. Put the dirt back into the hole you dug in Step 2. Tamp the soil down with your shovel or hand.

Step 7

Replace the sod in the same position as you removed it. This ensures your sod continues to thrive and grow.

Step 8

Turn your water back to activate the sprinkler head. Notice where the water is spraying and adjust the sprinkler nozzle by turning it in your desired direction of water spray. Repeat all steps for each sprinkler head.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade shovel
  • Pipe tape
  • New sprinkler head
  • Tarp
  • Small hand shovel


  • Reader’s Digest: 1001 Do-It-Yourself Hints and Tips: Replacing an Automatic Sprinkler Head
Keywords: repair sprinkler heads, replace sprinkler heads, irrigation repairs, install sprinkler head, install irrigation sprinklers

About this Author

Stephanie Nolan has been a freelance writer for since 2005. Her articles appear on Web sites including eHow, where she specializes in home improvement, parenting and interior design topics. Nolan studies business management at the University of Phoenix.