Tips To Keep Your Sprinkler Heads From Breaking

Broken sprinkler heads can be a frustratingly common problem of summer. Whether it's hitting them with mowers or lawn equipment, driving over them with a vehicle, or a pet or child chewing or playing on them, sprinkler heads have a tendency to break. Fortunately there are some things you can do to help prevent this problem.

Tip #1: Monitor the system

One of the simplest ways to prevent sprinkler damage is to make sure they drop back into the ground properly after they run. If you have a small yard, you can probably quickly inspect it every morning. For larger lawns, make sure to check for any heads that remain up before mowing or working in the lawn. It's also a good idea to check the sprinkler head sites at least once a week to make sure no turf or dirt has dropped into the hole, where it can block a sprinkler head from retracting properly.

Tip #2: Get a guard donut

These are typically made of thick plastic or concrete, although metal varieties are available. They sit on top of the ground, surrounding the sprinkler head. This protects the head even when it doesn't retract all the way from wheels and lawn equipment. You can also create your own guard by positioning decorative rocks or bricks around a head that is prone to damage or doesn't fully retract. There are also sprinkler wells, which are like reverse donuts in that they sit in the ground to create a turf-free hole for the head to retract into. Just keep in mind these can be a tripping hazard if you use your backyard for play.

Tip #3: Upgrade to metal

Metal sprinkler heads cost a bit more but they are less likely to suffer damage from pets or vehicles. These are especially helpful if you have a dog that likes to chew on your sprinkler heads, since metal is less likely to entice them or at least to suffer damage. Metal heads are also a good option for those positioned near a driveway or curb, since they are less likely to suffer damage if you accidentally drive over them. You can spread out the cost by only replacing those most likely to suffer damage with the longer lasting metal heads, and using the less expensive plastic everywhere else.

For more help with your sprinkler systems, contact a sprinkler system and irrigation contractor in your area.