One common plague of the suburban homeowner is the broken sprinkler head. It can seem as though as soon as one is replaced, another one is broken off. There are many causes for this problem from losing battles with lawn mower blades to a new puppy that just wants to chew. The following tips can help you protect your sprinklers so you don't have to replace them as often.
Tip #1: Start the inspection habit
By far, most sprinkler head damage is likely the result of the lawn mower. Usually a sprinkler head pops back down after it is done running, but occasionally one will stay above ground where it is then exposed to the lawnmower. You can avoid this simply by walking around your yard before you mow and making sure each sprinkler head is down. Tapping it with your toe will send it back underground.
Tip #2: Lower the head
Occasionally the sprinkler head may not sit completely below ground level. This is caused by one of two problems – either the pipe has become elevated and elevated the head or something is in the sprinkler head well that blocks it from going down all the way. You can dig out the well to check for and remove blockages. If the well and pipe simply sit too high, remove some soil from beneath the well so it drops a bit lower.
Tip #3: Install a donut
Donuts are made of sturdy PVC and they fit down around the sprinkler head. They serve a dual purpose. First and foremost, they are slightly raised so that they protect the sprinkler head in the center. This allows lawnmowers and other vehicles to pass over them without damage. They also make it easier to find your sprinkler heads so you don't accidentally damage them.
Tip #4: Use swing joints
A swing joint is attached to the underground sprinkle pipe. It allows a sprinkler to swing slightly to the side without the pipe or head breaking. These are most commonly used on fixed sprinkler heads that can't drop down, usually near driveways or other areas where they are often hit.
Tip #5: Switch to stealth mode
Sometimes, the culprit in sprinkler destruction is human or animal in nature. For example, your dog may attack the sprinklers or a young child may be curious about how they work. Fortunately, both will have trouble finding the sprinklers when they are off and underground, so this problem can be solved by simply not running the system when pets or children are present.
For more help in repairing a head when it breaks, contact a sprinkler contractor like Sergio's Lawn Service in your area.
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