Help! Need to replace broken sprinkler head

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DAVELAWN, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. DAVELAWN

    DAVELAWN LawnSite Member
    from MASS
    Posts: 73

    Hi,

    2-3 times a year we will cut a lawn and a head will be hit. Usually we call the local irrigation tech, but i am tired of paying for this, if its something I can do. How do you replace a head? Any tools involved?
    thanks
    Dave
     
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    Dig up the broken head carefully and observe how it is connected to the sprinkler line.

    Carefully unscrew the broken head, and replace it with an EXACT replacement. You do not need to use teflon or pipe dope. Pull up another head in the same zone that sprays roughly the same arc trajectory and observe what size nozzle it has.

    Put that nozzle in the new head.

    Turn on the sprinklers, adjust the new head and your done.

    I can't tell you how many times a lawn cutting company will replace a head they hit without thinking about putting a nozzle in it or adjusting it.
     
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    You may want to invest in a risor removal tool that will take out a broken off risor from the PVC tee it is screwed into see pic.And buy some cut off risors to keep in your trucks too.
     
  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    Sheshovel: I think the proper term is "broken nipple extractor", and its handy to have a set of every common size.

    Just out of curosity, does everyone in your area use cut off risers, or just you? Over here, anyone who installs one of those is either a homeowner or a Home Depot Scrub.

    I prefer to retrofit hard piped/cut off riser heads into swing joints.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    Exactly. I cant tell you how pissed I get when I run over a head and break it due to those crappy risers. Who ever made those should be put in the corner with a dunce cap. swing pipe is the only way to go. I have seen semis run over them and not break. Other than pulling the head back up there is no parts needed.
    I feel sorry for those customers that an irrgation company still uses plastic risers.
     
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,017

    Cutoff risers predate modern landscaping practices, and were just fine when the yard was mowed by a kid pushing a 21-inch Toro. As soon as junior went off to college, and the powered wheels of a 36 started grabbing at the heads, it was a different story. Mist heads were especially susceptible.
     
  7. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    Yes as this is true I do not know how many new 3 and less year turf irrgation has these darn risers. Yes, most are home owner installed but there are still a couple of commercial irrgation guys still using these. I have talked to one guy and almost had him convinced to change but I guess once you are set in your ways you will never change.
     
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    I do alot of repairs on homeowner installed systems and see these all the time,I use them in repairs because the customers don't want to pay me to replace with swing pipe fittings,they just want a quick fix and so that's what I do.
    I don't use them in installation work.
     
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    The reasion you only see those in repairs is because you don't have to repair swing pipe :)
     
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,017

    Swing pipe without a marlex elbow under the head is still a service call waiting to happen. I kind of wish they hadn't modified the marlex elbows, to make them thinner-walled. I prefer the older heavyweight style.

    I remember thinking a poly riser was better than PVC, because you could pry out the broken ones with just a screwdriver. Actually you can do the same with a broken PVC nipple, with a bit of careful blowtorching (hopefully the homeowner isn't watching)

    I saw some home improvement show deal with a sprinkler system, and they used cutoff risers. I smiled at that, silently thanking them for making the real thing stand above the homeowner junk.

    I remember repairing some old systems of brass sprayheads (no pop-up) on brass nipples, requiring me to carry an assortment of 1/2" brass nipples. All brass and copper piping, and pitched to slope back to the house, to drain in the basement. Operation by manual globe valves, with a long key. No backflow, of course. (I wonder if they ever installed an RPZ in the basement plumbing, to achieve code compliance, and maintian the ability to drain it by hand, come winter)
     

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