How Do You Fix a Sprinkler Head That Won’t Pop Up?

 How Do You Fix a Sprinkler Head That Won't Pop Up?

A sprinkler system is great for keeping your lawn beautiful and green during the summer, but there’s nothing more aggravating than when a sprinkler head doesn’t pop up when you fire up the system. This common problem can cause dry spots in your garden and uneven lawn growth. The good news is that it’s an easy fix. Here are a few practical steps to get your sprinkler system working correctly again.

How Do You Fix a Sprinkler Head That Won’t Pop Up?

Identify The Core Problem

Before digging up sprinkler heads, it’s important to assess the potential problem. Here are the most likely causes of a sprinkler head not popping up.

Soil and Debris Blockages

Dirt, sand, or lawn clippings can clog the sprinkler head and prevent it from rising. The dirt gets into the tiny holes in the head, blocking the water flow.

Worn or Damaged Parts

Sprinkler heads can become damaged or worn out. This happens when a lawnmower runs them over, or they get walked on in high-traffic lawn areas.

Bad wiper seals may cause excess water to leak and cause heads to not rise.

Water Pressure Issues

Low water pressure can cause the sprinkler head to fail to rise properly. This issue can occur from a leak in the system, a root restriction, or too many heads in one zone. Either way, it’s the most challenging issue to assess and fix.

Step-By-Step Repair Of Sprinkler Heads That Won’t Pop-Up

Step #1 – Clean the Sprinkler Head

If the head in question is a spray head, remove the nozzle and filter and look for debris. You can run some clean water through the nozzle and filter to try to clear debris. If rinsing does not clear the debris, the best practice is to just replace it with a new nozzle and filter of the same type.

If the spray head is stuck in the up position after cleaning, you can dig the head up and try to flush debris from the body. After cleaning thoroughly the head is still stuck up, it will need to be replaced.

Step #2 – Damage Inspection

Once cleaned, inspect the head for visible damage such as cracks or broken components. A damaged sprinkler head should be replaced. Basic sprinkler heads are inexpensive and can be found at local hardware stores and garden centers. For a higher quality, more water-efficient sprinkler head you’ll want to seek out a sprinkler supply house or contractor. 

Water Pressure Testing

If that doesn’t solve the issue, check the water pressure. A leak in the water system or too many heads running off the same supply can cause the problem. You might need to adjust the pressure regulator settings or find and fix the leaks.

Sometimes, it helps with pressure problems by reducing the number of heads per watering zone. The more heads in a single zone, the lower the pressure, causing problems with the heads rising when you turn on the system. Alternatively, you can increase the pressure by reducing the flow with a change of nozzle. This can be accomplished by changing the size or spray pattern of the nozzles.

If All Else Fails – Replace the Sprinkler Head

If the above fixes don’t resolve the problem, purchase a new head. Ensure you buy the correct model to fit your system. Fix the new head onto the riser and tighten it. With the sprinkler head functioning properly, you’re ready to adjust the system to optimize its function.

Activate the sprinklers and observe each head as it rises and falls. If necessary, fine-tune the spray pattern to ensure no structures are being hit and streets & driveways aren’t being watered. It’s also an opportune time to assess new or supplemental elements you want to add to the system design.

Sprinkler System Maintenance is Key

Fixing a head that doesn’t pop up when you turn your sprinklers is easy. However, the best way to avoid this issue is to regularly maintain your sprinkler system. It’s good practice to frequently check and clean your sprinkler heads, especially before the summer starts.

Keep in mind that a well-maintained sprinkler system not only supports a healthy lawn but also conserves water and reduces your water bills.

Nature’s Helper – Lawn Sprinklers Omaha

With so much drought in recent years, it’s an essential step to install a sprinkler system designed for maximum water efficiency that still delivers a lush, healthy lawn. For more than 25 years, Nature’s Helper has been helping Omaha residents turn their lawns from ordinary into extraordinary. Through designing and installing residential and commercial underground sprinkler systems, we’re committed to providing innovative solutions and outstanding customer service every single time.

Are you noticing brown spots even with a drought-resistant lawn and a water-efficient sprinkler system? Periods of drought can reveal a poorly designed sprinkler system. At Nature’s Helper, we don’t just get water on the lawn, we focus on hydraulics, spacing, and nozzling to put down 1/3” of water on the lawn as evenly as possible every time your system runs. If you find yourself pulling hoses even with an irrigation system, call Nature’s Helper – we can help you!

To request service or schedule a free installation estimate, contact us online or call us at (402) 334-2625.