How To Replace A Sprinkler Head Without Digging

Replace Sprinkler Head without DiggingAre you someone who takes your lawn’s health seriously? If so, chances are you use your sprinkler system regularly. If you’re a DIY’er you’ll want to check out this tip for replacing a sprinkler head without digging. Consistent use of your system is necessary for a variety of reasons, which we’ll get into in another post. But in short, sprinkler systems not only keep your lawn healthy but will keep your foundation secure as well. Like anything else regular use means regular maintenance. In time a number of things will go wrong, some will be easy and some will be more difficult. This is one of the easier DIY sprinkler repairs for your sprinkler system.

The easiest way to replace a sprinkler head is to do it without digging. There are a number of other articles out there on the subject. The difference with our blog is it’s written by experienced sprinkler technicians who actively work on sprinkler systems, not by career bloggers.

Materials Needed:

  • Exact model of the sprinkler head you want to replace.
  • Small shovel (Can be done without).
  • Small channel lock pliers (Can be done without).

#1 – Locate the make and model

To locate the make and model of the sprinkler head you are trying to replace follow these simple instructions.

  • Clear grass and dirt from around the top cap of the head.
  • Unscrew the cap to the left, using the pliers if necessary. (See image below)
  • Remove the cap and internals. It will look like a big spring.
  • Make sure the body of the head stays in the ground.
  • Rinse off the cap so you can see the make and model.
  • Try to keep dirt from falling in the body.

If you’re specific head isn’t available for purchase or the threads on the body are damaged you won’t be able to replace a sprinkler head without digging. You’ll have to replace the whole head. For help with that you can read about it here.

Don’t forget!

Remember to check the nozzle for size and GPM info if you can’t or don’t want to use the old one. This way you can get the correct new nozzle for the new head. You can read more about which nozzle to buy here.

#2 – Screw on the new cap

Once you have your replacement head the process is just as simple as the first.

  • Unscrew the cap from the new head
  • Don’t install the nozzle just yet.
  • Screw the new cap onto the old body in the ground hand tight.

#3 – Final steps

You’re probably wondering why the nozzle isn’t on yet. Anytime you change sprinkler heads even without digging or when doing other repairs where dirt can get in the lines you’ll need to flush the system. Sometimes it’ll be necessary more than once. To do this turn on the zone with the new head without the nozzle. Once the water comes on immediately turn it back off once you see water shoot in the air.

Now that head is flushed. Now you can install the new nozzle. It can be adjusted with the zone on or off. You can read more about adjusting nozzles here.