Rotor heads are too low

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by blown, May 18, 2010.

  1. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    I have a few heads that seem to be getting lower every year, and I'm finally going to do something about it. The spray hits the grass around it, even after mowing.

    Most of them really only need an inch or so, but I can't seem to find any extensions in 3/4" NPT that short. I have found "cut off nipples" in 1/2", but all the 3/4" ones are 6" or longer and are male on both ends (I need male/female).

    What's the correct way to go about this? I'd rather not dig up half a dozen heads just to raise them an inch.

    Also, I'm using Hunter PGP heads. I noticed that the trajectory keeps the water very close to the ground, maybe 3' at most. All my neighbors shoot up into the air, some of them maybe 5-6'. Any idea why mine is so different?
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,386
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    The right way to attach sprinkler to the supply line is with swing joints made with "funny pipe" and elbows. The makes the very adjustable, they will give is stepped on or run over, and you don't have to get exact pipe or nipple lengths. To install them now would be a bit of a chore, it would require digging up all the heads. You might want to do it piecemeal, doing just the ones that are really low. Not familiar with the Hunter heads but the trajectory may be a matter of adjustment. Do you get the spread you should? If so, don't worry about it.
  3. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    The heads are currently made with swing joints as you described, but it seems that I still have to dig up the head and put more dirt underneath it to raise it up. I was hoping I could get a short extention that I could cut to the appropriate length, unscrew the head (perhaps a tiny bit of digging is required to get hold of the head), and install the extension between the elbow and the head.

    I do get the spread I need. I was just looking at some of them thinking that if they shot up more then perhaps I wouldn't need to raise them. But if they shot up more it would probably affect the range.

    I found instructions on Hunter's website that show how to change the flow and range by adjusting or changing out the nozzles. Nothing about the trajectory though, so I'm assuming that's just the way those heads are designed to operate.
  4. Fireguy97

    Fireguy97 Irrigation Contractor

    What is the exact height difference from the top of the soil to the top of the head? You will have to get a fitting to match each height for each head.

    or...

    If the heads have swing joints the you have to dig to expose the joint, then lift the head to the proper height. The top of the head should be at ground level. When re-filling the hole, pack soil firmly around the head and joint. Another feature of the swing joint is that it's adjustable to the conditions, and can be moved.

    This will only take two or five minutes per head with he proper tools. I do lots of these a day during my spring tune-ups.


    Mick
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
  5. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    Several are about 1-1.5" lower than the top of the soil. My dilemna is that I can't find a fitting in 3/4" NPT that short. Found it in 1/2", but I looked at Lowes, Home Depot, hardware stores, even searched online and the shortest in 3/4" I could find is about 2.5". Perhaps I'm not using the right keywords?

    Maybe I'm just slow or not doing it right, but I can't imagine digging up the head and resetting the height in 5min, especially if I'm trying to preserve the turf around it. I'll see if there's maybe a youtube video, "Adjusting sprinkler head height for dummies." :eek:
  6. Fireguy97

    Fireguy97 Irrigation Contractor

    What I was getting at was that there isin't a fitting that will do it. The only was to do it properly is to dig it up. From the sounds of it, the time that you have taken looking for the 'proper' fitting, you could have most, if not all the heads already adjusted.

    Insert a flat shovel into the sod about 8"-10" from the head. Cut a little more than a semi-circle of sod around the head. Peel back the sod. Dig the earth out from around the head. Place the soil in a bucket or place the soil on a tarp so that it doesn't cover the turf. Dig down to expose the head and swing joint. When the head and swing joint are exposed and clear of soil move the head to the proper height. Hold the head at the height that you want and refill the hole. Pack the hole firmly while making sure that the head stays at the pre-determined height and verticle. Fold the sod back in place. You may have to re-adjust the hole for the pop-up.

    Mick
  7. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    Thanks for the tips. I haven't raised any yet, but I relocated (and raised) 4 heads and it was much easier than I expected. Put those off WAY too long thinking it was a bigger job.

    I'll dig into the ones that just need raised ASAP. I think it will definitely take more than 5 minutes per head though. Double that to 10 b/c I'm a layperson, then double that to 20b/c I'm slow, then throw on another 10 b/c I'm clumsy and indecisive. lol
  8. Fireguy97

    Fireguy97 Irrigation Contractor

    You might as well bring a beer with you while you work and add in another 20, and if it takes you another 20, then you'll need another beer.... And by then, who will really care how long it'll take! lol

    You're right. It's not a difficult job. Just do one or two every couple of days, and every couple'a beers.

    It normally only takes me five or so minutes per head, because, I do this for a living, and I have to get on to the next job..... And most clients kind of frown on be filling up with beer while I'm doing this. Have to get home for the beer, so it goes a lot faster on the jobsite.

    Mick
  9. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    Now I'm in trouble b/c the ones I moved are *perfect* and the other 32 heads aren't. So I will probably be driven to adjust every single one of them.

    I should probably just get a keg. :D
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,048
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Home Depot should have 3/4" riser extensions which are the exact size you need, and you can use multiple ones to get the exact measurement.
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