Raising Sprinkler Heads

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by snmhanson, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. snmhanson

    snmhanson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    I wanted to post this under the Irrigation section of the forum but since I'm only a homeowner I put it here. I installed a sprinkler system for our ~25,000 sf yard last year and it has been working well. The only problem is that over the year some of the heads have sunken into the ground (or maybe dirt settled in around them) and now the grass immediately around them is affecting the spray and coverage because they are not popping up high enough. I want to pull them up higher but can't seem to figure out a good way to do it other than dig the whole head up and re-set it in the ground. Is this the only way to do it or is there an easier way to do it? I am hesitant to just yank up on it since they are just plastic. There are also a few that need to be straightened out as well. Any advice or tricks of the trade on making adjustments after the heads are set and the grass is established? Thanks.

  2. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Kind of depends on what type of sprinkler they are and how they were installed. Without going into too much detail because of space you should be able to unscrew the entire sprinkler from the riser under it. Now depending on what type it is you can buy a cut off riser or threaded adapter of proper length for each and bring it up to level. Two common types are rotor heads quite large canister types and fixed pattern pop-ups. The cut off risers are common for the smaller fixed patern type. You can even find those at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware etc. As to the tilting it may be on a swing joint or maybe settled that way after install. not easy to tell on that with out digging. Here are some links:http://www.irrigationtutorials.com/sprinkler12.htm
    swing joints view http://www.hunterindustries.com/Products/Miscellaneous/sjintro.html
    Here's a pic of a cut off riser
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Out4Now: I seriously hope you don't install heads on those.

    snmHanson: Did you use swing pipe on each of your heads when you installed them? If you did, then just dig up the head and reset it.

    If you didn't, and hard piped it like Out4Now apparently does, then perhaps its a good time to switch to the correct way.
  4. snmhanson

    snmhanson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    Thanks for the replies. I did use swing pipe on each (Hunter I-20) head when I did the install. I am guessing that the heads settled after install at least partly from being run over by the tractor but also from run-off as our yard has a slight slope in it. Right now the lower ones are slightly below grade when they are not running. They still funtion properly (other than the spray being a little low and hitting the surrounding grass) but I don't want to wait until I have problems. I think I will start by dealing with the worst of them and go from there. I was just hoping that there was a good way to raise them without digging them up since I will need to do this on quite a few. I may try to find spacers that can go between the end of the swing joint and the sprinkler head but I only need to raise them ~1/2" so I don't know if I will find something that will work. Otherwise I'll get out the shovel and start digging. Thanks again.

  5. Lost Pine

    Lost Pine LawnSite Member
    Posts: 196

    That sounds good in Theory, " Did you use swing pipe on each of your heads when you installed them? If you did, then just dig up the head and reset it." But sometimes if the system has been in place a long time or there is a lot a clay, those swing pipes are a ***** to dig up and reset. Somewhere here, someone talked about using a cutoff extentsion riser which I hyperlinked below and it sounds like a GREAT idea to me.

    cuttoff riser extentsion

  6. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    I've used cut off before and I never said I hard piped them. They can be a PITA in the longrun though because what can happen if a bunch of weight is applied is that it can snap them at the elbow (provided no swing joint was used) but that is not the way I installed them. I did use swing joints. The orignal poster didn't want to do a lot of digging and it's easier to remove the sprinkler and install a riser than dig the entire thing up and its easy to carry one size of riser than a bunch of boxes of various sized ones. I guess you could have read it differently, my fault.
  7. sarasota lawn care

    sarasota lawn care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    DOnt raise your heads to where they will be cut off or damaged but just flush with the base of the grass. If they still dont rise over the grass to spray out use a longer pop up. the length of the sprinkler head is measured by how high it comes up. (5" will come up 5")
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Another thing to consider (and I hope this doesn't sound TOO simplistic), is just how much does the grass around the head interfere? If you can edge aroung the head just a little bit, enough to clean the path of trajectory out, that would be a simple resolve, too. Just don't cut out enough that you have a 3" radius ring around the head, or anything.

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