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View Full Version : How do i find a buried sprinkler head?


JDiepstra
09-16-2011, 11:34 AM
Hi guys. Is there an easy way to find a head thats not popping up? My parents have a place with irrigation and my dad said he recalls there being a head in a general area but cant remember where. It does make sense that there would be one there. Do i just get a shovel and start digging or are there any trick or tips you can offer? Thank you.

AI Inc
09-16-2011, 11:39 AM
turn it on and search for a flood.

Kiril
09-16-2011, 11:42 AM
turn it on and search for a flood.

.... and if that fails, use a soil moisture probe (like the Lincoln) to find the wettest area.

Wet_Boots
09-16-2011, 11:47 AM
Waterboard the other sprinklers until they give up their co-conspirator. :mad:

DanaMac
09-16-2011, 12:03 PM
Shovel. Lots of spare time.

Mike Leary
09-16-2011, 12:05 PM
If you can cap the other heds in the zone it should show itself.

DanaMac
09-16-2011, 12:06 PM
If you can cap the other heds in the zone it should show itself.

Not if someone has capped it off at some point in time.

JDiepstra
09-16-2011, 12:18 PM
Thanks for the responses. Ive been running the sprinklers for at least 30 minutes and there is no flood. This is a system with one zone for the entire lawn. It has 8 heads that all spray pretty far. Its pump fed from a lake. System was like this when they bought the place. I think im going to go with the shovel rather than having to get parts to cap off the other 7 heads. Thanks again guys.

AI Inc
09-16-2011, 01:19 PM
Or just add another head. Chances are , when you do , you will find the old one.

Sprinkus
09-16-2011, 09:16 PM
I had one repair the other day where the impact "maxi" style rotor was full of mud all the way into the pipe several inches. It was so plugged up I couldn't even tell if the rotor was abandoned or if it was a piping problem until I dug it up.
In your case, if the sprinklers were spaced in any symmetrical fashion, you should be able to measure out the probable location of the sprinkler head and then try to locate it.
The suggestion of capping the other heads is the usual way of finding missing heads.
In addition, if that doesn't work, I would then try to "witch" the piping to find where it tees off to the missing head and "pothole" the pipe until I found the head.

GreenI.A.
09-16-2011, 11:47 PM
with the amount of digging required to "pothole" the head it would be cheaper and quicker to just find the main line near the closest head, tee it off and run a new line. But capping and running the zone should give you an idea. I had one job I was brought in on, a client had his lawn regraded and the landscaper was suposed to raise the head. The head was never raised and was buried under under 9-12" of loam and sod. We capped the heads and ran it for about 45 minutes before we were confident on what section of sod to tear up, we narrowed it down to a 4-4' section and ripped out the grass. After that we were able to track down right were the head was.

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-17-2011, 12:52 AM
Or just add another head. Chances are , when you do , you will find the old one.

Best answer awRd
Posted via Mobile Device

Gilmore.Landscaping
09-17-2011, 01:59 AM
Use the witching rods (two bent coat hangers) walk back and forth over the lawn and when the wires cross you should be over a water/electrical line, Do this marking each time with a flag and before you know it you will have a vague line across the lawn, then just search along that line and see if anything turns up.

http://paranormaldailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Dowsing-rods-closed-X-150x150.jpg

JDiepstra
09-17-2011, 11:29 AM
Thanks very much everyone. Im going to find it Monday after work. Ill post back what happened for anyone who needs a laugh.

The above post is very interesting. Has me wondering if its a joke lol

DanaMac
09-17-2011, 11:45 AM
The above post is very interesting. Has me wondering if its a joke lol

Don't think it is. I have one employee who is very good with the rods. I myself cannot find anything with them. But he has found pipes 4-5 times now for me.

JDiepstra
09-17-2011, 12:24 PM
That is very interesting and just the sort of trick i was looking for. Ill have to google that later for more details. Thanks again guys.

Darryl G
09-17-2011, 02:18 PM
Thanks very much everyone. Im going to find it Monday after work. Ill post back what happened for anyone who needs a laugh.

The above post is very interesting. Has me wondering if its a joke lol

Not a joke at all. I do it all the time. I have a pair of professionally made ones. I used to just use a bent welding rod in a piece of PVC pipe but the ones I have now work much better. They don't work for some people though. And they don't work in windy conditions.

Mine are similar to these. http://www.sprinklerwarehouse.com/Armada-Technologies-Pipe-Finder-p/pro-1000.htm

Note that they have a thin ridge for the rod to ride out which reduces friction and makes them more repsonsive. You can get by with one of them, but 2 is preferred.

1idejim
09-17-2011, 02:56 PM
cap the known heads, run zone enough to saturate the soil, induce air, look for bubbles. works well, i use this method or variations of it often.

jvanvliet
09-17-2011, 08:26 PM
Before I'd start digging, I'd take Mike Leary's suggestion of capping the other heads (at least some of them if not all) let it run a good while and then Sprinkuses suggestion of guess-timating the location based on the symetry of the design. you should find the wet spot, it'd beat hours of digging, it'd be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Gilmore.Landscaping
09-17-2011, 10:00 PM
The above post is very interesting. Has me wondering if its a joke lol

Yea when my boss first told me a couple years back i thought it was a joke, but when we were within like 6" when we dug the line up a was shocked.

Don't waste your money on fancy rods....the two coat hangers weren't a joke either, that's all I have ever used and they have always been accurate enough.

JDiepstra
09-17-2011, 10:05 PM
Yea when my boss first told me a couple years back i thought it was a joke, but when we were within like 6" when we dug the line up a was shocked.

Don't waste your money on fancy rods....the two coat hangers weren't a joke either, that's all I have ever used and they have always been accurate enough.

What did you use to hold the coat hangars?

AI Inc
09-18-2011, 08:12 AM
What did you use to hold the coat hangars?

his hands.....

jvanvliet
09-18-2011, 09:36 AM
SNIFF- SNIFF Smells like a bull with loose bowels...

Don't waste your time "witching", get a psychic instead if you are going to waste time and money.

JDiepstra
09-18-2011, 11:38 AM
his hands.....

Haha i had a feeling it was that simple but i wondered if there would be too much friction between hand and hangar for it to move.

Darryl G
09-18-2011, 12:38 PM
Haha i had a feeling it was that simple but i wondered if there would be too much friction between hand and hangar for it to move.

You can hold them loosely in your hand or drill out a 1 inch dowel and put the short end in there. Make sure there's no coating on the hanger, you want bare wire. Where I used to work our shop guy used welding rods with a PVC pipe handle but I don't recall exactly how the rod was mounted in the handle. I think he bend the bottom into a loop like an eye to keep it in the handle. We used them for locating underground storage tanks and piping and buried utilities.

Wet_Boots
09-18-2011, 12:50 PM
I use a OuiJa board....

1idejim
09-18-2011, 01:03 PM
You can hold them loosely in your hand or drill out a 1 inch dowel and put the short end in there. Make sure there's no coating on the hanger, you want bare wire. Where I used to work our shop guy used welding rods with a PVC pipe handle but I don't recall exactly how the rod was mounted in the handle. I think he bend the bottom into a loop like an eye to keep it in the handle. We used them for locating underground storage tanks and piping and buried utilities.

darryl, dowsing rods can be made from anything, even pvc pipe.

one of my buddies calls them my voo-doo sticks.

i have one of the pollardwater sticks and keep a pair of brass rods in the trencher trailer, a pair on the excavator and a pair in the truck. these get a lot of use.

in a pinch i have used a couple of scrap 3/4 or 1 inch pvc 90's to dowse with, they'll work.

here is some interesting reading;

http://www.uiowa.edu/~osa/burials/Dowsing.pdf

http://www.turningthesolomonkey.com/?s=dowsing

jvanvliet
09-18-2011, 04:02 PM
I keep my dowsing rods on the shelf right next to my perpetual motion machine, my cold fusion reactor and my guide on How To Make Money Out of Nothing by Keyenes, and other stuff that doesn't work.

1idejim
09-18-2011, 04:16 PM
I keep my dowsing rods on the shelf right next to my perpetual motion machine, my cold fusion reactor and my guide on How To Make Money Out of Nothing by Keyenes, and other stuff that doesn't work.

just ask buck_wheat to show you how to use them, you silly.

Darryl G
09-18-2011, 04:40 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGiTb7ubKug

I disagree with him though, the object you're locating doesn't need to have movement.

AI Inc
09-18-2011, 04:43 PM
Does work better thou. My sisters boss runs a pool company and will ask to flush the toilet when locating a septic pipe.

1idejim
09-18-2011, 05:03 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGiTb7ubKug

I disagree with him though, the object you're locating doesn't need to have movement.

there are transient 50/60 hertz signals being brodcast around the earth at all times, these signals couple to buried objects and create EMF's. it's the EMF that we locate, so there is always movement of sorts.

electromagnetic fields can be detected by dowsing, passive, direct connection or induction.

dowsing does work but, it may not work for everyone.

jvanvliet
09-19-2011, 07:59 PM
just ask buck_wheat to show you how to use them, you silly.

buck_wheat forgot his password, he's been using dowsing rods to find it but he doesn't have enough FAITH.

1idejim
09-19-2011, 08:15 PM
buck_wheat forgot his password, he's been using dowsing rods to find it but he doesn't have enough FAITH.

too bad, he has a colorful personality...

Darryl G
09-19-2011, 10:31 PM
I actually made a set of rods yesterday out of a coat hanger. They worked but not as well as the maunfactured ones I have. Now if they could only help me find my neighbor's cat that I'm supposed to be watching...........

jvanvliet
09-20-2011, 06:46 AM
too bad, he has a colorful personality...

That comment wasn't racist was it?:laugh:

1idejim
09-20-2011, 09:26 AM
That comment wasn't racist was it?:laugh:

no........................:)

Wet_Boots
09-20-2011, 12:26 PM
Otay :rolleyes:

JDiepstra
09-20-2011, 12:42 PM
Quick follow up post for anyone who cares..... I wont have time to do this til wednesday after work. Thanks for all the help everyone.

txgrassguy
09-20-2011, 02:33 PM
I seem to never have that problem since my ground maintenance crew can find and maul a sprinkler head under concrete.

I have, though, upon occasion simply shoved a fish tape down a lateral, hooked up the 521, and traced to the end painting a series of dots along the way. Then backed up and probed for the head. Tried turning the section valve on first but the head was buried too deep.

jvanvliet
09-20-2011, 06:30 PM
I seem to never have that problem since my ground maintenance crew can find and maul a sprinkler head under concrete.

I have, though, upon occasion simply shoved a fish tape down a lateral, hooked up the 521, and traced to the end painting a series of dots along the way. Then backed up and probed for the head. Tried turning the section valve on first but the head was buried too deep.

That's an awesome solution :drinkup: I'm writting that one down for those pesky hard to find spray heads. :clapping: