How to Repair a Rainbird Irrigation System


Most irrigation companies charge at least $60 an hour for repair work. For just a couple hours of their time (and a few new sprinkler heads) you can end up with a pretty hefty bill. Troubleshooting your own Rainbird irrigation system, and making repairs yourself, can save you hundreds of dollars. Rainbird has designed user-friendly sprinklers, making the job easier than you may expect. Whether you're repairing pop-up heads, rotor heads or both, do the job yourself and save money.

Step 1

Turn your sprinkler system on, and examine each head. Place a flag by every head that is not spraying, is leaking, fails to rotate, or is otherwise functioning improperly. When all heads have been flagged, turn your sprinkler system off.

Step 2

Unscrew the top of any pop-up that is leaking or not spraying. Remove the spray nozzle by unscrewing it, and then remove the filter right beneath it. Clean the filter with water, and replace it.

Step 3

Blow through the nozzle and if air does not pass freely through it, replace it with the same type of nozzle. Screw the top of the sprinkler back on.

Step 4

Remove any rotor sprinklers that were flagged by unscrewing the entire assembly from the riser (the threaded piece of plastic that joins the sprinkler to the PVC pipe). Discard the sprinkler. Replace each broken rotor with a new one. Rotors that fail to rotate cannot be repaired.

Step 5

Turn your sprinkler system back on, and recheck each sprinkler that was repaired or replaced. Turn the sprinkler system off.

Step 6

Remove any pop-ups that still fail to function properly by unscrewing them from the riser. Replace them with the same type of pop-up.

Step 7

Recheck the entire irrigation system again, and then remove all the flags.

Things You'll Need

  • Assorted pop-up sprinklers
  • Rotor sprinklers
  • Assorted spray nozzles
  • Marker flags


  • Irrigation tutorials
  • Irrigation repair
Keywords: rainbird irrigation system, rotor sprinklers, pop-up sprinklers

About this Author

Lisa Larsen has been a professional writer for 18 years. She has written radio advertisement copy, research papers, SEO articles, magazine articles for "BIKE," "USA Today" and "Dirt Rag," newspaper articles for "Florida Today," and short stories published in Glimmer Train and Lullwater Review, among others. She has a master's degree in education, and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.