Irrigation

Drip Irrigation:

Traditional sprinklers certainly make yards grow green and look vibrant and healthy. And though they do their job well, they also waste a lot of unnecessary water. Since they spray the moisture through the air, a lot of water gets lots in the atmosphere before it even reaches its target. And if you live in particularly arid regions of the country, the water may evaporate or be diverted by the wind instead of getting to the thirsty vegetation. This is why a more environmentally-sound solution has been gaining in popularity.

Drip irrigation systems are installed directly above or below each plant and steadily provides water by literally dripping onto the vegetation. Typically set at a low-flow rate, they help conserve water in areas where it is most scarce and often restricted. By helping to avoid over-watering and giving only what each plant needs to thrive, these "sprinklers" preserve the natural world while still allowing your backyard to flourish.

Passive Preservation:

Drip irrigations systems allow complete control of your water, which ultimately makes them more efficient and effective through their slow trickle-down method.

Increased Savings: Since you're using less water overtime, the best advantage gained by the homeowner is increased savings on water bills. You can even set them on a timer that controls their function and flow rate (this will vary depending on the vegetation and region). However, less water (and less money) doesn't mean less productivity.

Accurate Aim: Due to their low-flow rate, water directly penetrates the soil, which helps to increase your yield and overall growth. However, since it's so gentle, there is no soil erosion and no risk of run-off which can often take away vital nutrients and fertilizer.

No More Waste: Traditional sprinklers tend to water everything in sight: the driveway (which can cause moisture damage), the sides of your house (which can create mold build-up on your siding), and your privacy fences (which can cause slow deterioration). Since drip irrigation systems are so accurate, they'll never hit these valuable areas.

Total Control: Traditional sprinklers tend to over-saturate an area, which can damage plants, cause fungal disease, and produce pesky weeds. With these systems, since water is dribbled only over the plant at a very slow rate, they eliminate unwanted side effects.

Easy Installation:
Drip irrigation systems can be adapted anywhere, no matter the region. And since they simply hang above or below the plant, they're perfect for uneven or narrow terrain.

Above Ground: The more popular method, in which tubing is hung above the plant and water drips from emitters into the soil. It's easier to install, clogs less, and though it's unsightly (and creates tripping risk), it can often be hidden with a thin layer of mulch.

Below Ground: Bury the tubing and emitters under the soil so that it directly penetrates the root structure. It's more efficient and out of the way, however they're still not safe from those burrowing vermin that may indulge in a midnight snack.

Parts and Installation: It's always best to hire a professional landscape architect to get you started. There are lots of parts (valves, filters, tubing, pressure regulators, emitters, etc.) and they have to be precisely installed, otherwise they won't work to their full potential. Plus, these professionals can give you advice about vegetation, soil types, atmosphere conditions, and how these elements relate to your newly installed system.

Simple Maintenance:
Though they require less care, drip irrigation systems still need occasional maintenance. Like any sprinkler, clogs can still occur so inspect the emitters and tubing to make sure they're free and clear (you may need to flush the lines every once in awhile). Also, in colder climates, you'll want to prepare them for winter: drain the lines, cover the ends of the tube, and store the more expensive items (filters and regulators) inside.

Invest in the Land:
There is an initial cost for parts and installation (a couple hundred dollars, depending on the land's size and the intricacy of the design). And some more inexpensive items (like tubing) may need eventual replacement. But you're making a unique investment in the care of your land that will not only yield results and preserve the environment; it'll also help you conserve lot of money in the long run.

DIY Sprinkler Repair:

French Drains:

If your neighbor’s land stands at a higher elevation than yours, you may be experiencing problems with excessive moisture on your property. Water from your neighbor’s property may be running down the slope and spilling onto your property. You need better yard drainage. One option in such cases is installing French drains.

When some people speak of a “French drain,” they refer to a trench in which a drain pipe is laid, but the traditional French drain is basically a trench filled with gravel.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Depends on extent of water flow and ground to traverse.

Here's How:

  1. Determine a spot on your property where the excess water coming off the slope could be re-routed. Determining such a location may end up being a matter of choosing “the lesser of two evils.” If water is currently spilling out at your house foundation and excessive moisture threatens to damage it, obviously almost any other spot would be preferable. The ideal French drain leach field would be an out-of-the-way area with sandy soil, through which the water could percolate harmlessly....
  2. But be sure your attempt at yard drainage will not adversely impact anyone else’s land. Otherwise, installing a French drain could land you a lawsuit! Check your city codes before digging. Another preliminary step that could save you headaches later is checking with your local utilities concerning the whereabouts of underground cables and the like, so that you'll know where not to excavate for a French drain. There's a quick way to check: just dial the Dig Safe phone number.
  3. Locate the best area for a French drain. Find an area along the slope on your side of the boundary where excavation would be easiest for your French drain (i.e., free of obstructions). Trench lines should be plotted out before you begin digging French drains. You need to create your own mini-slope to carry the water down to its destination. A grade of 1% (i.e., a drop of 1 foot for every 100 feet in length) is often recommended for French drains; others advise a drop of 6" for every 100'. Getting the water to go where you wish is essential for improving yard drainage; the grade will facilitate your efforts.
  4. So how do you measure the grading for a French drain? Pound 2 stakes into the ground to mark the beginning and end of the trench. Tie a string tightly to one of the stakes, then run it over to the other stake and tie it off there, too, but loosely (for now). Attach a string level to the string, adjusting the string to get it level. Once it’s level, tighten the string at the second stake. Make sure the string is taut. Now begin digging the trench. As you dig, you’ll be able to measure down from the string to make sure you are achieving the desired grade for your French drain.
  5. Check yourself as you go. For instance, if the trench for the French drain is to be 100’ long and the grade 1%, then by the time your trench is 50’ long, it should be 6" deeper than where you began excavating.
  6. You'll be digging a horizontal trench across the length of the slope. The digging is the most labor-intensive part of installing French drains. The trench will slope down toward the area where you’ve determined the water will be re-routed (if it doesn’t quite reach that spot, you’ll have to dig a connecting ditch down to it). Trench width will depend on the magnitude of your moisture problem. Bigger moisture problems call for wider trenches. Small trenches are often dug to a width of 5”-6”.
  7. Before applying gravel, line the trench with landscape fabric. The landscape fabric will keep dirt out of the gravel. You want to preserve the porosity of the gravel, which promotes percolation of water through it -- one of the underlying principles that make covered French drains work. Shovel a coarse gravel onto the landscape fabric. Wrap the ends of the landscape fabric over the top of the gravel layer.
  8. You now essentially have a tube of landscape fabric filled with gravel. To fill in the rest of the trench, shovel in a layer of coarse sand, cover it with more landscape fabric, add 4" of topsoil and lay sod on top. Your French drain is complete!

Drought Proof Garden: 

Preventative maintenance is the secret to a healthy lawn and garden during a drought. Here are some tips to help you produce a beautiful lawn and garden this summer, whatever the weather. For more help Determining a Problem on Your Lawn, check out our project.

Rain barrel:
It’s a smart idea to have an extra supply of water on hand when there’s a drought. A rain barrel lets you collect rainwater and store it for later use. The Home Depot carries a variety of rain barrels.

Mulch more:
Make sure plants have 3–5 inches of mulch over their roots; it will help hold moisture in the soil and prevent evaporation. Fine-textured mulches, such as pine straw, mini-nuggets and shredded hardwood, conserve moisture better than coarse-textured types. Try Scotts Nature Scapes variety of mulches, made from 100 percent natural forest products.

Rake back:
Another way to conserve moisture is to use a leaf rake to gently pull back existing mulch. Then, amend the soil using Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix or Scotts Moisture Advantage Garden Soil, available in-store (try not to disturb the surface roots of plants). Once the soil is refreshed restore the layer of mulch.

Prune selectively:
Avoid routine pruning during a drought. Some selective pruning may be necessary when a plant wilts and shows signs of leaf-scorch and dying branches. In this case, pruning helps reduce the plant’s foliar demand on the roots for water. For a look at choosing the right pruners for the job, check out our pruner buying guide.

Practice directional watering:
Use a hand-held hose to water only plants that are wilting. Look for hoses that are all-season or industrial quality from brands such as Colorite, available at The Home Depot.

Annuals and perennials generally have a higher demand for water than woody ornamentals. Some perennials, such as sedum, gaura, daylilies (Hemerocallis) and ornamental grasses, are extremely drought tolerant and can survive long periods without rain or irrigation. For ideas on how to find the perfect sprinkler for your lawn, check out our sprinkler buying guide online.

Lawns, plants and shrubs need no more than 1 inch of water every 7–10 days to remain healthy. When it hasn’t rained in a longer period, a deep soaking every week will provide your plants with adequate moisture.

Fertilize less:
If you fertilize your lawn less frequently than you normally would, it will grow more slowly and need less water. Try applying Scotts Turf Builder with SummerGuard in late summer, which is designed to improve lawn’s ability to absorb water and nutrients and stay healthy for the rest of the season. For eco-friendly fertilizer options, try Miracle-Gro Organic Choice, available at The Home Depot. Reduce your water usage by clipping your lawn less often; leave clippings on the ground to help shade the soil. For a more eco-friendly approach to a healthy lawn, check out our 5 Easy Eco Secrets for a “Greener” Lawn story.

Aerate your lawn:
Aerating your lawn also helps fight drought by improving the movement of water and nutrients into the soil, decreasing runoff and encouraging the grass roots to grow deeply and become more drought tolerant.

Sprinkler System:

Shift to an as-needed approach to watering. So, if Mother Nature helps and it rains all week, you don’t need to pick up the hose; if the weather’s been dry, then turn on the tap. You need to water if you see:

  • wilted, curled or folded blades of grass
  • a color change from vibrant green to dull bluish
  • less “bounce” (when you walk on the lawn in the morning, do your footprints remain for more than a few moments?)

When to do it:

Spring and summer are high-demand times on water systems everywhere and it’s costly to waste this valuable resource. Here’s how to be water wise:

  • Both evening and early morning can be good times to water because, with the sun low in the sky, less water is lost to evaporation.
  • Water in the early morning, particularly if your lawn is subject to fungi. Moisture stays on blades of grass for less time than if the lawn is watered in the evening.
  • Start a watering schedule in time for the growing season (in the South, as early as March and in the North, usually by mid- to late-April), after soil has partially dried.
  • Water daily on newly seeded or over-seeded areas until they are established.

The right equipment:

The right tools make any job easier, and a proactive approach to water saves time, effort and money by preventing problems such as shallow roots, thatch, yellowing and bare patches. The Home Depot has easy-to-install watering systems from top brands like Toro and Orbit, including:

Sprinkler systems: Above-ground sprinklers cover large lawns effectively. Be sure to make adjustments so that water falls only on your lawn or garden and is not wasted on sidewalks, roads or buildings. Adjust the pressure so water can slowly penetrate the soil without puddling or running off.

Also try to avoid watering plants such as roses, raspberries and beans that are susceptible to diseases from too much water on their greenery. Pop-up sprinklers from Toro, designed to fight wind and work at lower pressures (as low as 30 PSI), are a good choice. For more tips, check out our sprinkler buying guide.

Soaker hoses: Soaker hoses let water seep slowly into garden beds. Toro hoses have 3 layers of tubing: 2 “strength” layers and one inner “flexible” core giving long-term value; they come in various lengths from 50 – 500 feet to accommodate yards of all sizes.

Ultra water-conserving drip-irrigation kits: Also called trickle-irrigation kits, these are ideal in arid climates, around shrubs, trees and in gardens. They use half the water of a conventional sprinkler irrigation system and apply water slowly and directly to the root system. For more tips, check out our drip irrigation buying guide.

Cover irrigation lines with mulch or bury them just under the soil surface. Our step-by-step guide on installing an irrigation system has many useful tips. To help you get started, Toro has a drip-irrigation starter kit that easily installs to a standard faucet, available in-store.

Measure your time and water:

In both the North and South, lawns generally need about one inch of water once a week. This deep watering encourages roots to go further into the ground, making them more resilient in a dry spell.

  • Use a rain gauge to help you keep track of rainfall so you know how much water your lawn needs. Check The Home Depot for affordable options.
  • After 30 – 60 minutes of watering, check the depth of penetration in the soil at different places in the irrigation pattern. Move or adjust the sprinklers to achieve uniform coverage.

Downspout Drain Lines:

Rainwater that drains onto soil near your home is generally not a problem if you have sandy or very well drained soil. However, a large portion of the USA does not have well drained soil. Many of us (including myself) live in regions that have clay rich soils. Clay soils don't always drain that well. Basements and crawlspaces can become indoor swimming pools in periods of heavy rainfall or sustained wet spells.

Drain tiles can stop soil erosion under downspouts:

Many people do not realize just how much rain falls from the sky in a moderate rainfall. For sake of discussion, let's consider a normal ranch house that has an attached two car garage. If the structure measures 30 feet by 66 feet and has a 2 foot roof overhang, there is 2,380 square feet of roof ready and waiting to catch rain drops.

A moderate 1 inch rainfall will generate 1,483 gallons of water on this roof. This water will hit your splash blocks and enter the soil about 30 inches away from your foundation. If your region receives 40 inches of rainfall a year, you will inject about 59,320 gallons of water into your wife's gardens. That might be a little overkill, don't you think?

If your foundation is currently leak proof, your sump probably accepts a good portion of this water. If the sump pump discharge pipe merely dumps the water along side your house, you end up recirculating this same water time and time again. This wastes electricity and leads to premature pump failure.

I feel that your storm water and sump water should be piped away from your house. Some urban areas allow this water to be connected to public storm sewers and water retention basins. If this is not available, pipe the water to the lowest portion of your lot where it would have drained naturally before your house was built.

Consider using SDR 35 or Schedule 40 PVC plumbing drainage pipe for this job. Install 4 inch diameter pipes in all locations. Use 90 degree elbows only at the base of down spouts. Use 45 degree fittings to change direction in all underground work. Before you bury the pipes, take photos of their locations.

Winterizing your Irrigation System:

The Blow Out Method:

Although we will be outlining how a sprinkler system blow out works, it is best to have a professional perform this kind of work for you. In fact, hiring a professional to conduct winterization work is the best way to go, if possible.

  • Get The Right Equipment - To conduct a sprinkler system blow out, you will need a very large air compressor. At minimum, you should use a 50 cubic feet per minute compressor to get the job done right. Anything smaller will make the job inefficient - and may even make it impossible. Make sure the compressor has a pressure regulator valve with an accurate gauge. If possible, try renting different sizes and kinds of air compressors until finding one that works the best - then purchase it so you don't have to rent it again every time you winterize.
  • Remove The Backflow Preventer - Most likely (and preferably) your backflow preventer will be located just after the irrigation shut off valve for your lawn sprinkler system. If you have an anti-siphon valve, remove the whole valve.
  • Connect The Air Compressor - On the downstream side of the system, connect the air compressor to the backflow preventer riser.
  • Turn On The Valves - Always turn on your valves one by one, using the automatic controller, when you blow out sprinkler system. Begin with the last valve - or the one at the highest elevation. Open manual valves by hand. If you've removed the anti-siphon valves, you will need to connect the compressor hose to the downstream part of the valve risers.
  • Turn On The Air Compressor - With this step, taking your time is key! Gradually increase the pressure without letting it exceed 50 psi. If the air coming out of the air compressor becomes dangerously hot, you may need to install a length of hose between it and sprinkler system connection, so be prepared.
  • Blow The Water Out - Keeping a close eye on the air pressure and temperature, allow the water to blow out. The first valve will generally take the longest; after that, things should proceed rather quickly. Don't allow air to blow out any longer than necessary - i.e., as soon as the water has been effectively blown out, turn off the air compressor.
  • Move On To The Next Valve - Turn off the valve that you just worked on, and proceed to the next one following the same steps. Repeat the same sprinkler system blow out as outlined above on each of valve circuits; with anti-siphon valves, remember to move the air compressor on to the next valve riser.
  • Repeat The Entire Process - For optimal results, perform the exact same blow out sprinkler system process again. Warning: do not turn off all the valves when the compressor is running - it could blow up your lawn sprinkler system.
  • Blow Out Main Line Section - If your irrigation system has a mainline section that is upstream from the backflow preventer, hook up your air compressor to the blow out fitting near the sprinkler system shut off valve; blow out the water through the backflow preventer riser.
  • Tie Up Loose Ends - When the sprinkler system blow out is complete, set the automatic controller to "rain mode" or disconnect power from it. Place threaded caps over the anti-siphon valve fittings, backflow preventer risers - over anything that might allow pests or garbage to get in.

Automatic Drain Valve Method:

Step One: Turn Off The Water:

First things first: when the time to winterize your irrigation system rolls around, you'll need to shut off the water at the main valve before doing anything else. By necessity, the shut off valve for your sprinkler system needs to be located in a place where it can't freeze up; this should have been done when the system was originally installed.

Step Two: Shut Down The Controller:

Here's where things get a little less cut-and-dry. Automatic irrigation systems have a controller - or timer - that regulates when they turn on and off. Depending on what kind of controller you have, you may either choose to set it to "rain mode" or disconnect the power from it altogether.

Please note that you can always buy a more up-to-date, efficient controller or timer to save yourself a lot of time and money in the long run. www.SprinklerWarehouse.com offers the best selection and most competitive prices for lawn sprinkler system controllers on the market today.

Solid State Controllers:

A solid state controller usually have digital time displays and generally use up a lot less electricity and power than their mechanical counterparts. Disconnecting the power from your sprinkler system controller means having to reset all of its associated settings when spring returns - not necessarily the simplest task in the world.

Solid state controllers tend to use very little electricity, though, so leaving them on - but in "rain mode" - will not cause a major spike in your electric bill. Therefore, if you have a solid state digital controller, use the "rain mode" setting and save yourself a lot of frustration down the line."Rain mode" means that your controller stays on, maintaining its settings, programming and keeping the time - but the valves simply don't come on. They can save you a great deal of time when it comes to winterization.

Mechanical Controllers:

Mechanical sprinkler system controllers can be identified quite easily; they typically have a dial on them similar to one found on an analog clock. These machines do use up a lot of electricity when compared to solid state controllers. Most people find the cost of keeping mechanical controllers on throughout the winter overly prohibitive.

Instead of using "rain mode," then, it makes sense to turn off the power to a mechanical controller for optimal winterization performance. One more thing: if you have a pump wired to your mechanical controller, disconnect it. This can help eliminate the risk of the controller inadvertently kicking in and damaging the pump.

Step Three: Remove The Backflow Preventer And Take Care Of Risers:

Next, you will need to remove the backflow preventer from your lawn sprinkler system. Once it's removed, drain all the water from it and store it someplace safe. Although you can always reinstall it once it's drained, that's usually a task best kept for the springtime.

While there's a chance that you'll be able to siphon water out of your irrigation system's risers, chances are that you'll have to pump it out. If so, a wet/dry shop vacuum is your best option; use duct tape to make the hose narrow enough to work properly.

Valves that are installed above ground should be drained of water and stored somewhere safe. Some people choose to use pipe heating cables on their backflow preventers and above ground valves. Keep in mind, though, that even when used properly such arrangements can fall victim to power outages and serious damages to your irrigation system can occur.

Removing A Backflow Preventer:

As noted previously, removing your irrigation system's backflow preventer and storing it for the season is a smart move when you're completing the other steps involved in winterization. How do you remove a backflow preventer, though? With any luck, the one that you have is held in place with union connections. In this case, you'll just need to uncouple them on either end of the backflow preventer, just before the bends in the piping. Once it's removed, storing it will be simple. You can use insulation on the exposed ends of the pipe to keep them safe from harm - and to keep critters and debris from inadvertently getting in.

If you don't have union connections in place, though, you're in for a little bit more work. The people who have the biggest trouble removing their backflow preventers are the ones whose system doesn't use union connections. In this case, you'll have to cut the backflow preventer out manually. It's definitely more work, but the good news is that once that's done, it's done. When spring rolls back around, you can reinstall the backflow preventer for your irrigation system using union connections; the next time you need to winterize your lawn sprinkler system, it will be considerably easier.

Step Four: Removing Water From The Pipes And Sprinklers:

Now comes the most important step of the winterization process: removing all of the water from the system's pipes and sprinklers using the drain valve method.

The Drain Valve Method:

In order to explain the process more clearly, we will highlight the pertinent facts and steps involved in using the drain valve method to drain the water from your lawn sprinkler system in small, easy to grasp sections below.

  • Location - It's critical to have properly placed drain valves. Basically, you will need a drain valve at every low point in your piping system. Additionally, a drain valve is needed at every high point that doesn't have a sprinkler so that air can escape; otherwise, the water won't drain.
  • Organization - If you're using manual drain valves, do yourself a favor and clearly mark down where each valve can be found on an easy-to-read chart. Keep the valves in a box and store it somewhere where it will be easy to find when it's needed.
  • Strategy - When your lawn sprinkler system was installed, optimally the remote controllers were placed just above the lowest point in a circuit. That way, you can install the drain valves at the same place as the controllers, making it much easier to winterize properly. About 1/4" of slope is needed per foot to drain the pipes effectively; in the best case scenario, you'll only need one drain valve per lateral.
  • Automatic Drain Valves - You can streamline your winterization process by using automatic drain valves. Assuming they are on the ends and the low points of your sprinkler system, automatic drain valves work to drain excess water when the pressure gets below 10 psi. Activate a station to release the pressure and to get the automatic drain valves going. You'll find that they save you a great deal of time and frustration when the time to winterize your irrigation system rolls around.
  • Water In The Valves - Since water won't drain all the way out of the valves, it will be necessary to remove them. Although it's possible to take them apart and dry them manually, it is not a practice recommended for the average, everyday DIYer. Choose valves with unions to make removal easier. After removing the valves, cap the ends to keep garbage and pests out.
  • Water In The Sprinkler Heads - Sprinkler heads with built-in check valves don't drain completely; neither do side inlet sprinklers. If you're unsure what kind you have, remove a sprinkler's cap to see if there's water down in the sprinkler body. If so, you'll need to remove it and shake it out thoroughly. Otherwise, you could try using a wet/dry shop vacuum to suck the moisture out.

Digging & Running Pipes for Drainage:

Usually, your yard will contain a few items other than the lawn grass you are trying to keep lush and green. These might include driveways and sidewalks, which at first glance might appear impossible to overcome. Since pipe must go under these obstacles, you will need to find a way to dig a trench without removing the hard surface. The most efficient and cost effective way to bore under an obstacle is to create a hole using the power of water. Simply attach a jet nozzle to one end of a piece of PVC pipe and a garden hose to the other end with the necessary fittings. The force of the water will create a hole the same exact size as your pvc pipe-through to the

First dig your trenches on either side of the walk to the depth of the rest of your sprinkler system (usually about 6-12 inches minimum). Now using a PVC pipe cutter, cut the piece of schedule 40 PVC pipe about two to four feet longer than the width of your sidewalk or driveway. Following the directions on the can of PVC glue and glue the male adapters on opposite ends of the pvc pipe. Next, attach the brass 3/4" female hose to 3/4" female pipe swivel to one of the pvc male adapters. Then attach the brass 3/4" male hose to 3/4" pipe fitting to the other pvc male adapter on the opposite side. Connect your garden hose to female pipe swivel adapter. Connect the male hose/female pipe adapter to your 2 inch sweeper nozzle. Your boring tool is now assembled and ready to go.

Turn on the water. Grab hold of the pipe (fitting the pipe into the trench may intitially require some flexing). Keep the pipe level with the bottom of the trench and jab the boring tool into the soil. The dirt will appear to plug the end of the nozzle, just leave the nozzle in place for 15 to 30 seconds to allow the water to loosen the soil. Pull back the pipe 6 inches to a foot and thrust it into the soil again. Keep repeating this pattern until you have completely bored under your driveway/walkway.

Once the pipe has made it through to the other side you can shut off the water and cut the hose end fittings from both ends of the pipe. Your pvc pipe tool now becomes your irrigation pipe. Attach your fittings to the pipe and continue to assemble your irrigation pipe. Some people prefer a variation of this method and use a larger pvc pie to bore the hole once they have bored through to the other side, they push the actual pipe being used into and through the boring pipe to the other side of the path or driveway. The boring tool then acts like a sleeve. Then the larger "boring" pipe also can be used to hold irrigation or lighting wire. This method allows you to bore just one hole for multiple purposes.

DIY Replacing a Pop up Head:   

  1. Determine which sprinkler head is at fault. Sometimes it's in an obscure place, and the only symptom is low water pressure for other sprinkler heads. Once you've identified the culprit, purchase the correct replacement head.
  2. Dig out a small section of grass and dirt around the sprinkler head to expose the entire piece. You need to dig only about 6 inches or so. Anything deeper than that will expose the sprinkler lines.
  3. Twist the top off the sprinkler head, which allows you to see the rest of the sprinkler head's components. You may have to gently pull on the head or, if the entire component housing is broken, unscrew the component housing and lift it up out of the ground.
  4. Pull the broken head out of the component housing, unless it's missing, in which case you need to have previously identified what type of spray head you need for the specific area.
  5. Install the new sprinkler head by dropping it into the component housing and screwing the top back on. Don't forget to add a new spray nozzle and filter. Typically spray nozzles are sold seperately. They are inexpensive so purchasing a brand new nozzle makes sense when replacing a spray. You can purchase the same exact nozzle as the one which was on the faulty spray. The goal is to choose a nozzle that covers the pattern and distance which suits the placement of the spray in the yard.
  6. Turn on the sprinkler system to make sure the head sprays properly. If everything is working properly, shovel the dirt and sod back into place.

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