What To Do If You Break A Sprinkler Head

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  • Post last modified:July 6, 2023
  • Reading time:18 mins read

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where the unexpected happens, and suddenly you find yourself confronted with a broken sprinkler head?

It can be a frustrating and overwhelming experience, but fear not! In this article, we will guide you through the necessary steps to handle this unfortunate mishap with ease and confidence.

From turning off the water supply to safely removing and replacing the broken sprinkler head, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll also provide tips on preventing future breakages and suggest considering professional help if needed.

Additionally, reviewing your homeowner’s insurance policy can offer peace of mind during these unforeseen incidents.

So take a deep breath, gather your tools, and let us show you how to tackle this challenge head-on while learning from the experience along the way.

Turn off the Water Supply

To stop the water flow, you should turn off the water supply immediately. This is crucial in preventing further damage and minimizing any potential flooding.

Start by locating the main valve, usually found near the water meter or where the pipe enters your home. Turn it clockwise until it’s fully closed.

Now that you’ve stopped the water flow, assess the damage to determine what needs to be done next. Check if there are any broken sprinkler heads or pipes that need replacing.

If you’re not comfortable with DIY repairs, it’s advisable to contact a plumber who can assist you in finding replacement parts and fixing any issues that may have arisen from the broken sprinkler head.

Assess the Damage

After the unfortunate incident, it’s like a tiny water fountain decided to sprout from the ground. The first step in dealing with a broken sprinkler head is to assess the damage.

Take a moment to evaluate the cause of the break and determine how severe it is. This will help you understand what steps need to be taken next. Assessing the cost of repairs is also important, as it’ll give you an idea of what you’re up against financially.

If the damage is minimal and can be easily fixed, you may consider doing it yourself. However, if the problem seems more complex or if there’s significant damage, it’s best to call a professional for assistance.

Once you have assessed the damage and evaluated the cause, it’s time to clear the area and prepare for repairs without delay.

Clear the Area

First, make sure the area around the broken sprinkler is clear of any obstacles or debris. This step is crucial to ensure your safety and prevent further damage.

Relocate any plants or objects that may obstruct your access to the broken sprinkler head. Take care not to disturb any other nearby sprinkler heads or irrigation lines.

Once the area is clear, you can proceed with temporary watering solutions while waiting for a replacement sprinkler head. You can use a hose or watering can to manually water the affected area until the new sprinkler head is installed. Remember to monitor the water supply closely and adjust accordingly to avoid overwatering or underwatering your plants.

Now that you have cleared the area, it’s time to safely remove the broken sprinkler head without causing additional harm.

Safely Remove the Broken Sprinkler Head

Now, it’s time for you to safely remove that broken sprinkler head without causing any additional harm. To begin, locate the shut-off valve for the specific zone where the broken sprinkler head is located and turn it off. This will prevent water from spraying everywhere when you remove the head.

Next, use a pair of pliers or a wrench to loosen and unscrew the broken sprinkler head from its housing. Be careful not to damage any surrounding pipes or fittings during this process.

Once the broken head is removed, inspect the threads on both the sprinkler head and housing for any signs of damage. If everything looks good, clean any debris from the housing before moving on to replacing the sprinkler head.

With the broken sprinkler head safely removed, you can now proceed to replace it with a new one.

Replace the Sprinkler Head

To successfully replace the broken sprinkler head, take a moment to assess the area and gather the necessary tools.

Start by turning off the water supply to prevent any leaks or accidents.

Next, dig around the broken sprinkler head using a shovel or trowel, being careful not to damage any other parts of the system.

Once you have exposed the pipe, unscrew the old sprinkler head from its fitting using a wrench or pliers.

Make sure to clean any debris or dirt from the threads before installing the new sprinkler head.

Apply some Teflon tape on the threads to ensure a tight seal and screw on the new sprinkler head until it’s securely in place.

Finally, turn on the water supply and test the system for proper functioning.

Test the System

After replacing the broken sprinkler head, it’s time to put the system to the test and see if it works properly. Begin by testing the pressure of the water flow. Turn on the control valve slowly and observe if there are any sudden changes in pressure.

If everything seems normal, move on to inspecting the surrounding area for any signs of water leakage or excessive spraying. Walk around each sprinkler head and check for any visible leaks or misaligned heads. Additionally, make sure that all areas of your lawn are being adequately covered by adjusting any heads that may not be reaching their intended target areas.

Once you have completed these steps, you can transition into checking for leaks by conducting a thorough examination of each connection point along the system.

Check for Leaks

Let’s start by investigating any potential leaks in the system. To properly repair a broken sprinkler head, it’s important to identify the cause of the leak. Here are some possible reasons and repair options to consider:

  1. Faulty connection: Inspect the connection between the sprinkler head and pipe for any loose or damaged parts. Tighten or replace as necessary.
  2. Cracked sprinkler head: Check for cracks or fractures on the sprinkler head itself. If damaged, replace it with a new one.
  3. Damaged pipe: Examine the surrounding area for signs of water pooling or wet soil, which may indicate a cracked pipe. Repair or replace the affected section.
  4. High water pressure: Excessive pressure can lead to leaks and damage to the sprinkler system components. Install a pressure regulator if needed.

Now that you’ve checked for leaks, let’s move on to adjusting the sprinkler head without causing further damage.

Adjust the Sprinkler Head

Now that you’ve checked for leaks, it’s time to move on to the next step: adjusting the sprinkler head. Adjusting the sprinkler head is crucial in ensuring proper water distribution and preventing any further damage.

Start by turning off the water supply to avoid any mishaps. Use a wrench or pliers to loosen the collar nut located at the base of the sprinkler head. Once it’s loose, adjust the arc and distance settings according to your needs. Make sure to align it properly with your lawn or garden area.

Tighten the collar nut securely once you’re satisfied with the adjustments. If you notice any other issues during this process, such as damaged threads or cracks, it may be necessary to replace the entire sprinkler head.

By properly adjusting your sprinkler head, you can prevent future breakages and maintain a well-functioning irrigation system.

Prevent Future Breakages

To avoid future damage, make sure to take proper precautions and adjustments when maintaining your irrigation system. One important step in preventing future breakages is to prevent rust from forming on the sprinkler head. Rust can weaken the structure of the head and make it more prone to breaking. To do this, choose sprinkler heads made from durable materials such as stainless steel or brass, which are less likely to rust.

Additionally, regularly inspect your sprinkler system for any signs of corrosion or wear and tear. Replace any damaged or rusted parts promptly to prevent further damage. By choosing durable materials and preventing rust, you can significantly reduce the chances of breaking a sprinkler head in the future.

When considering professional help for your irrigation system, there are a few things to keep in mind…

Consider Professional Help

Hiring a professional for your irrigation system is like having a skilled conductor leading the symphony of water in your garden. Seeking professional assistance when you break a sprinkler head can save you time, money, and future headaches.

Here are five reasons why you should consider professional help:

  • Expertise: Professionals have extensive knowledge and experience in handling sprinkler repairs.
  • Efficiency: They can quickly diagnose the issue and efficiently fix it, saving you valuable time.
  • Quality workmanship: Professionals ensure that the repair is done correctly to prevent further damage.
  • Access to tools and parts: They have access to specialized tools and high-quality replacement parts.
  • Warranty protection: Many professionals offer warranties on their work, giving you peace of mind.

By hiring a professional, you can avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your irrigation system is back up and running smoothly.

Now let’s transition into reviewing your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Review Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

Before diving into the world of homeowner’s insurance, take a moment to review your policy and ensure that you have proper coverage for potential irrigation system mishaps. Reviewing your coverage is essential in understanding what expenses will be covered if you accidentally break a sprinkler head. Familiarize yourself with the claim process as well, so you know exactly what steps to take in case of damage. To help you grasp the importance of homeowner’s insurance, consider this emotional response-evoking table:

Broken Sprinkler HeadCovered
Flooded BasementCovered
Fire DamageCovered
Stolen ValuablesCovered

Having adequate coverage brings peace of mind and financial security when unexpected accidents occur. Once you have reviewed your policy and understood its terms, you can move forward confidently knowing that you are protected. Learn from this experience and continue reading to discover important steps to take after breaking a sprinkler head.

Learn from the Experience

Now that you’ve unintentionally unleashed a watery chaos, it’s time to reflect on the valuable lesson this sprinkler head mishap has taught you. Breaking a sprinkler head can be frustrating and inconvenient, but it also presents an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and avoid future accidents.

Take some time to assess what went wrong and how you can prevent similar incidents in the future. Perhaps you weren’t aware of the location of the sprinkler heads or failed to exercise caution while performing activities near them. Make sure to educate yourself about the layout of your sprinkler system and create awareness among other household members as well.

Additionally, consider implementing safety measures like marking the locations of sprinkler heads or installing protective covers to minimize the risk of accidental damage. Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to preventing future mishaps with sprinkler heads.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to replace a sprinkler head?

The cost of replacing a sprinkler head can vary depending on various factors. Cost considerations include the type of sprinkler head, its quality, and any additional parts needed for installation.

DIY replacement can be cheaper if you have the necessary skills and tools. However, professional replacement ensures proper installation and reduces the risk of further damage. It’s recommended to consult with a professional to assess the specific requirements and costs involved in replacing a sprinkler head.

Can I repair a broken sprinkler head instead of replacing it?

You can repair a broken sprinkler head instead of replacing it, but there are pros and cons to consider.

Repairing a sprinkler head can be cost-effective and time-saving, especially if the damage is minor. However, it may not always provide a long-term solution, as repaired heads are more prone to future issues.

Additionally, repairing requires technical skills and knowledge of the specific sprinkler system.

Assess the extent of damage before deciding whether to repair or replace the sprinkler head.

How long does it take to replace a broken sprinkler head?

To properly remove a broken sprinkler head, start by turning off the water supply to prevent any further damage. Use a wrench to unscrew the broken head from its fitting. Be careful not to damage the surrounding pipes.

Once removed, inspect the area for any debris or dirt that may have caused the break. Clean it thoroughly before installing a new sprinkler head.

To prevent future breakage, ensure proper maintenance by regularly checking for leaks and adjusting water pressure as needed.

Are there any specific tools required to replace a sprinkler head?

To replace a sprinkler head, you’ll need a few specific tools. The most important tool is a pipe wrench or pliers to unscrew the broken sprinkler head from the riser. You may also need Teflon tape to wrap around the threads of the new sprinkler head for a tight seal.

Avoid common mistakes like not turning off the water supply or overtightening the sprinkler head, which can cause leaks or damage.

Can I still use my sprinkler system while waiting to replace the broken head?

While waiting to replace the broken sprinkler head, it’s like trying to water your lawn with a leaky bucket. You can still use your sprinkler system, but be cautious of the potential damage caused by using a broken head. Instead, consider using alternative watering methods such as hand watering or soaker hoses.

This will help prevent further harm to your system and ensure that your plants receive adequate hydration.


In conclusion, breaking a sprinkler head can be a frustrating experience, but with the right knowledge and steps, you can handle it like a pro.

By turning off the water supply, assessing the damage, clearing the area, safely removing and replacing the broken sprinkler head, and taking preventative measures for the future, you can overcome this challenge.

Remember to consider professional help if needed and review your homeowner’s insurance policy. Treat this situation as an opportunity to learn and grow like a gardener nurturing their precious plants in a flourishing garden.