Sprinklers not popping up

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by Ginnyginny, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. Ginnyginny

    Ginnyginny New Member

    Messages:
    7
    I have Rainbird sprinklers. Several of the heads aren't popping up. I cut the grass away from the heads, no change. I believe I need to change the entire heads. I read that I have to go down several inches and cut away the soil that is surrounding it. Sounds like a bit of work. I had a sprinkler repair guy out recently and I don't think he did that. I think he just unscrewed the old ones, put in the new ones. Can I go that easier way?


    Thanks!

    Ginny
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,048
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    heads

    Sure you can. If you can keep dirt from falling into the pipe while you do it, or take the head apart afterwards to flush it out. If not you may have the same situation you do now.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Failure to pop up is not usually related to the sprinkler itself. Even if the nozzle is clogged with dirt and wont spray, the pressure will push it up.

    Now, if the bushing is completely shot, and water gushes from around it, that would affect popping up. You should see this condition readily.

    Failure to pop up is related to pressure, and can be due either to the control valve, or to leaks somewhere in the line, often a broken riser, etc.

    If you need JUST the head, these can be unscrewed by just clearing sod from around the upper inch or so of the body. If you have a broken riser , then of course you need to dig a large access hole.
  4. Ginnyginny

    Ginnyginny New Member

    Messages:
    7
    It sounds like you are saying the reason to cut away soil down to where I'll be removing the body, is to keep soil from falling into the pvc pipe at the bottom?

    Are you also suggesting flushing the system after removing the old body but before putting on the new one to flush out any dirt?

    Thanks so much for your speedy reply and help!

    Ginny
  5. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Like Jimbo said - this is likely to be a lack of water pressure rather than a couple of bad heads.

    You may well have a leak somewhere in the line that runs those heads, or the control valve for that zone is not opening completely.

    A simple thing you can do is to run that zone for 15-20 minutes and walk around the yard looking for a soggy spot. That would indicate a leak that needs to be fixed.
  6. Ginnyginny

    Ginnyginny New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Jimbo I will try your idea of looking for leaks at other sources.

    I just read some notes I made after talking with Rainbird about a leaking head years ago. They recommended removing the "body" and flushing it with water and putting back on the same body. It worked in 2005. I may try that as well.

    Thanks.
    Ginny
  7. Ginnyginny

    Ginnyginny New Member

    Messages:
    7
    I was wrong in my original message saying that the heads are not popping up. They pop up but only half way.

    Sorry I wasn't more exact to begin with.

    Ginny
  8. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Heads that pop up part way can and often are a sign of low water pressure. I've had that happen on my system several times. Now time for some detective work to find the source of the low pressure (leak or malfunctioning control valve).
  9. brizzx32

    brizzx32 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    91505
    Hey Jimbo, what do you do when there is too much crud around the cylinder? I finally had to change out all my sprinklers because they weren't poping up any more they were getting stuck and now it seems that they are slowly starting to do the same thing? Please help
  10. American Irrigation

    American Irrigation Irrigation Installation and Repair Contractor

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Poor quality heads commonly stick down or only pop up partially. Toro, and Hardie spray heads are two of the most common that have this problem. Generally if the stem of the head will move freely by hand then the head is not sticking, you have a pressure problem. If the pressure issue is recent, look for a broken line, or a control valve not opening. Typically the control valve will be hissing if it isnt opening fully. Many times you can open the manual bleen or remove the solenoid on the control valve and that will allow the valve to fully open. If doing that causes the valve to fully open, then the problem is that the valve will need to rebuilt or replaced.

    Good Luck!
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