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How to Clean a Sprinkler Head

Posted by Darrell Ross on
Gardening Tools
How to Clean a Sprinkler Head

Sprinkler heads, regardless of the sprinkler head types you have, can become clogged over time due to dirt, debris, and mineral build-up. To ensure your sprinkler head is functioning properly, regular cleaning is essential. Here’s a straightforward guide to help you with the cleaning process, even if you have never done it before.

Tools You Need

Before you start, gather the necessary tools. This will help you perform the task efficiently.

  1. Needle nose pliers: To grab and hold the filter inside the sprinkler head
  2. Adjustable vise-grips: To clamp onto the sprinkler riser
  3. Soft cloth: To clean any dirt that is stuck inside the filter.

Remove the Filter

The filter is often where most of the debris accumulates. Pull up the top of the sprinkler head and pull the sprinkler tip up. Clamp on the vise-grip to hold up the sprinkler. Twist and lift the head counterclockwise. Some sprinkler heads may simply pop off, while others might need to be unscrewed. Inside the sprinkler head, you’ll find the filter in the filter line. It’s usually a small mesh or plastic piece. Gently remove this filter, being careful not to damage it. Take the cloth to remove dirt and other debris. Let it soak it in some warm water if needed.

Purge the Line

Purging the line helps to remove any remaining debris that might be trapped inside the sprinkler system. Turn on the sprinkler system briefly. This will force water through the lines and push out any lingering debris. Allow the water to run for a few seconds, and then turn it off. You should notice dirt and other particles coming out. Discarding this water will ensure that the debris is completely removed from the system.

Reassemble the Sprinkler

Once the filter and the line are clean, it’s time to put the sprinkler head back together. Begin by placing the filter back inside the sprinkler head. Ensure it fits snugly and is positioned correctly. Then, reattach the sprinkler head to its base. Twist it in a clockwise direction until it’s secure. Make sure it’s tightened properly, but avoid over-tightening, as that might damage the threads. Finally, test the sprinkler to make sure it’s working correctly. Turn on the system briefly and check that the water is running smoothly. If everything looks good, you’ve successfully cleaned your sprinkler head!

How Often Should You Be Cleaning Sprinkler Heads?

It is very normal that, over time, a sprinkler head gets clogged. Dirt, grass, and other minerals build up. This affects its performance. To keep the sprinkler head working well, regular cleaning is necessary. The environment and water quality determine cleaning frequency. However, a good rule is to clean the sprinkler head at least once a season. This ensures optimal water flow. It also extends the life of your sprinkler system. Regular maintenance saves water and keeps your green spaces vibrant. By regularly cleaning your sprinkler heads, you can ensure they function efficiently, saving you water and keeping your lawn and garden healthy. It’s a simple maintenance task that can make a big difference in the long run.