The sprinkler heads are the genuine workhorses of your sprinkler system. They are also the parts most uncovered to injurious elements from the outer surface. While it is not tricky to replace a sprinkler head, it does necessitate special digging and care.
It is inexpensive to replace a sprinkler head and can usually be done affordably (depending on your system). While this is true, wouldn’t it be better to prevent this damage, to begin with? The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent this damage.
Sprinkled donuts look delicious, but they’re actually a lot less fun than a sprinkled donut. Watering donuts are a quick and inexpensive solution to lawnmower damage. You can choose from durable concrete or plastic donuts; In all cases, they are designed to prevent the sprinklers from breaking. Note that concrete donuts may cost a bit more, but they are stronger than plastic donuts and will not float in heavy rain as plastic donuts do.
Your local landscaper may have installers who can install them for you, but it’s really a home improvement project. Your garden center or home improvement store should have donuts and only common gardening tools are needed.
Whether you do it yourself or hire someone, donuts will save you the headache of replacing those lawn sprinklers.
8 steps to install the sprinkler head guard
Measure the diameter of your sprinkler heads.
Buy watering donuts that are about an inch larger than the diameter of your sprinkler, so you should have about a half-inch on each side.
Place the sprinkler donut on the sprinkler, centering the sprinkler.
With a shovel or trowel, cut about an inch and a half deep around the watering donut.
Remove the dirt and grass plug with a trowel.
Push the donut into the ground with your hands and wrap it up. It should be flush with the grass and there should be no extra space between the donut and the dirt on the outside of the donut. Climb on the donut to wrap it well.
You should be able to mow the sprinklers and donuts when you’re done, without damaging the sprinkler head.
If you are using sprinkler risers to raise the sprinkler heads higher, you will also need to make this adjustment on the sprinkler head donut.
Make sure the sprinkler heads are properly buried
It is important to make sure that the sprinkler heads do not reach more than half an inch above ground level. If the head is higher than that, it looks a lot like the mower blades hitting it and eventually destroying it. In case the sprinkler head is at or below ground level, it will easily become clogged with dirt, sand, or grass clippings. If you find the sprinklers to be too tall, be sure to carefully dig around them until the hose is exposed. After that, dig a little below so that it sinks deeper into the ground.
Sprinkler protection during the winter months
Be sure to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your sprinkler system and drain completely before the area first freezes over each winter. The water lines are likely to be below zero, but the pipes can be in the freezing range. The water that remains in the sprinklers can start to freeze, causing them to expand. This results in breaks and cracks that require the replacement of the heads.
Automatic drain valves
This type of valve passes under the nozzles and in certain areas of the pipeline. They allow water to drain from the system when it is turned on. This is to prevent the system from filling with water and breaking when frozen. Better to add them when the system is installed. If you do not currently have automatic drain valves, be sure to manually drain the system before the first frost of each year.
A watering donut is a round object that has a hole in the center. They can be attached to pop-up sprinklers. They are available in a variety of materials, including concrete, mulch, and recycled rubber. Donuts prevent pruning shears or pruning shears from hitting the sprinkler heads, as they will hit the side of the donut, which is just above the head. With a donut in place, the likelihood of the sprinkler head being knocked over and damaged is greatly reduced.
Use of oscillating joints
Another more widely used and effective method of protecting sprinkler heads is the use of swivel joints.
Swivel joints are the system that allows sprinklers to move around, so if you get hit by a lawnmower, the sprinkler will stray out of your way. The articulated heads are versatile, reliable, and guarantee protection against steps.
Apart from these methods, there are several tips that will give you better performance and better life expectancy if followed.
The first thing to check is that the sprinklers are properly buried and not too high above ground level, as anything can easily hit them. Likewise, if it is placed below ground level, it will be affected by grass and mud, making it impractical. Therefore, it is very important that the sprinkler head is placed in the correct position.
When using any type of sprinkler protector or donuts, make sure it is sunk securely into the ground so that it does not shift when a lawnmower is moved over it.
When you mow the lawn, you can place the flags around the sprinkler head to know where the sprinkler heads are when you are working. This way you will be careful as you go around the sprinkler head, or you can manually cut the grass that passes over the top of the sprinkler head.
You can also use PVC pipe to easily locate sprinklers. Place the PVC tube around the head and make sure it is longer so that it is clearly visible.
It is important to know that you must keep the pipes empty during the winter seasons because if you left water in them, they would freeze and the pipes would crack and burst.
To protect and keep your sprinkler head running, it is essential that you keep it clean. For cleaning, you must first turn off the system, unscrew it with the appropriate tools, remove all dirt and use water to clean if necessary. After cleaning, place the parts accordingly and place the sprayer in the right place.
What to do to winterize sprinklers
Here are a few things to do to prepare for cold and explosive temperatures:
Turn off the water in your sprinkler system.
Turn off the power to the controller
Drain the remaining water in the hoses with a manual hose drain or a squeeze blow, which will remove the water from the sprinkler heads. You may consider hiring a professional for a compressed air flush.
Insulate any pipes or valves that are above the ground.
Pay attention to weather reports. Your local TV meteorologist will almost certainly warn you when a severe frost is approaching, with a warning to protect your “pets, pipes and plants”!
A good sprinkler system is an important and practical part of lawn care, but it also has many parts that are vulnerable to damage. This damage can be avoided if the right measures are taken. A few watering donuts and good drainage in the fall will help keep your sprinklers in good working order during the growing season.