inground sprinkler system- mowed a sprinkler head

JMarch

Well-known member
Jan 25, 2010
66
we've got one 9 inch sprinkler head in the front yard that gets eaten by the mower at least once a year. Yesterday I cut the grass on a higher level and thought I'd have "clearance", but no- mowed the top off. Going to Lowes later for ANOTHER replacement- hoping to find maybe a 7 or 8 inch one that'll be more recessed.
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
Sometimes (here in Texas where it never freezes the ground) the heads are actually set on "funny pipe" which is a short bit of flexible pipe that is then attached to the PVC pipe. If you dig up the entire head, you might find it attached to this softer black pipe, not white or grey hard PVC. If so, you can dig a bit deeper and reset the entire head a bit lower, or even a bit left or right if that will help protect it from the mower. The sprinkler heads I've seen are either the old fashioned 4" rotary heads that throw a long way, like 20'-30' or the smaller spray heads. In both cases there are concrete rings that can be bought from irrigation supply stores that will allow you to protect the heads from mowers.

That said, I have still managed to cut the head off of one and I insist that it was an accident, not anything deliberate done just to underscore that I'd requested that this head be lowered and my husband insisted that it was not necessary.

With the St Augustine grass that we have, if you don't weedwack around each head every week, after about 3 or 4 weeks the head can be totally lost. Once it is covered over, the head will try to pop up but it can't and so the O-ring gets cut out. Eventually the whole thing fails and water gushes or oozes there while the rest of the zone suffers low pressure. Dry grass is easy to spot but dry shrubs may die before you notice them. If you have the collar on it, you can eventually find it by hunting with a long screwdriver in the general vicinity where the head ought to be based on regular spacing. But hitting the head or the collar is still a hassle.
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
anonapersona said:
Sometimes (here in Texas where it never freezes the ground) the heads are actually set on "funny pipe" which is a short bit of flexible pipe that is then attached to the PVC pipe..
FWIW, Most irrigation up here in new england is plumbed entirely with funny pipe. PVC for irrigation is a waste of money :wink:

Yea, dig the head out set it lower, flush with the ground.
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
The new system put in at my daughter's house was all funny pipe but they seem to have disregarded the massive pressure loss going from the front yard to the back yard from using only small pipes. I was amazed to see them bring 6 1" lines all the way around the house, then of course each zone had to be rather small due to lost pressure. Older systems used a large main line that reached most of the distance required to preserve that pressure. I guess the cost trade off was the wire needed to connect the valves to the controller. Still, the larger 2" PVC has to be cheaper than 6 1" lines of the same length. I didn't challenge the installer, but I have to wonder if he really had a license. Due to the long runs, the lost pressure means that they don't get proper coverage, the heads don't preform as expected due to low pressure.
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
Some guys dont know how to install it. Usually, you run 2-3 larger lines that are feeder lines that stay pressurized all the time to the valves. From there,smaller pipe feeds the zones. For rotary heads, no more than 4 heads per zone. For pop up spray heads, you can do 5-6.

Where are you that you need a license for irrigation install? Here a plumber has to tie into the water line and install the backflow preventer, after that anybody can run the irrigation.
 

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