Sprinkler heads are the real workhorses of your sprinkler system. They are also the parts most exposed to the damaging elements outside. While it isn’t difficult to replace a sprinkler head, it does require digging and special care.

It isn’t expensive to replace a sprinkler head, and it can usually be done for an affordable price (depending on your system). While this is true, wouldn’t it be better to prevent this damage, to begin with? The good news is, there are a few steps you can take prevent this damage.

Make Sure the Sprinkler Heads are Properly Buried

It’s important to ensure your sprinkler heads don’t reach over one-half inch over ground level. If the head is higher than this, it’s very like it will be hit by mower blades and ultimately destroyed. If the sprinkler head is at ground level, or below, it’s going to easily clog with dirt, sand, grass clippings. If you discover sprinkler heads that are too high, make sure to dig around them carefully until the pipeline is exposed. After that, dig below it slightly so it sits deeper in the ground.

Protecting Your Sprinkler Heads During the Winter Months

Be sure to follow the directions provided by the manufacturer of your sprinkler system and drain it completely before the area freezes for the first time each winter. The water lines will likely be under freeze level, but the pipes may be in the freezing range. Any water that remains inside of the sprinkler heads may begin to freeze, which causes them to expand. This results in breaks and cracks that require you to replace the heads.

Automatic Drain Valves

This type of valve goes underneath the sprinkler heads, and in some areas of the pipeline. They let water drain out of the system when it is on. This helps to prevent the system from being full of water and breaking when it freezes. It’s best to add these when the system is installed. If you currently don’t have automatic drain valves, make sure drain the system manually before the first freeze each year.

Use Donuts

A sprinkler head donut is a round object that has a hole in the center. They can be placed over the pop-up sprinkler heads. These are available in several materials, including concrete, mulch, and recycled rubber. The donuts prevent a trimmer or a mower from hitting the sprinkler heads, because they will hit the side of the donut, which is found just over the head. With a donut in place, the likelihood of the sprinkler head being hit and damaged is reduced significantly.

If you want more tips about how to keep your sprinkler heads safe and prevent damage, be sure to reach out to our team at The IDL Company. We are here to help with any sprinkler system issue you may have.