Smart Earth Sprinklers Logo

Do You Need a Sprinkler Head Replacement?

Do You Need A Sprinkler Head Replacement

Given the semi-arid conditions in Texas, well-functioning sprinkler or irrigation systems in Austin are essential to ensuring that your landscape remains lush and healthy. However, even with dependable and inground sprinkler systems, damage or wear and tear can occur, requiring periodic intervention to keep the system in good shape.

Sprinkler heads are particularly prone to damage and wear since they are the most exposed. They can be damaged by lawnmowers, weed eaters, pets, vehicles or even falling branches, as well as becoming clogged. Thankfully, detecting faulty sprinkler heads is fairly straightforward.

Ensuring functional sprinkler heads is a vital part of irrigation system maintenance, so let us take a look at some of the signs that you might need to replace your sprinkler heads.

Low or Uneven Pressure

When you start noticing a water pressure problem in your irrigation system, the first thing you should check is your sprinkler heads. While water pressure problems could have a range of causes, blocked or damaged sprinkler heads could be to blame and are one of the easiest causes to detect.

The most telling sign is when sprinkler heads in sequence start spraying at different pressures. Where one or two sprinklers are dribbling, leaking and exhibiting a weak spray while other sprinkler heads in the same sequence are spraying just fine, then the likely cause is a damaged sprinkler head.

Another way to spot this problem is to identify “dead spots” on the lawn or in the garden beds, which is often a clear indicator that some of the sprinkler heads are not functioning as they should be.

A healthy sprinkler system will evenly distribute water, so any signs of uneven distribution are indicative of a problem.

Frequent and Persistent Leaks

When your sprinkler system exhibits frequent and ongoing leaks around the heads, you might want to employ an irrigation specialist to inspect your system to determine why this is occurring.

In some cases, repairs to and replacements of sections of the irrigation system could resolve the issue. However, if the leaks are persistent and keep returning, it might be necessary to carry out a complete overhaul and upgrade all of the sprinkler heads.

As irrigation systems age, their components perish and become less efficient. This is in part due to the fact that plastic or rubber components tend to crack and become brittle over time, while limescale buildup and other accumulated materials can clog up the system.

While cleaning out the system is an option, it can be tricky. In many cases, where blockages are far-reaching across a large and aging system, it is simpler and more cost-effective simply to replace components and implement a system upgrade.

If your system is more than 10 years old, then you should certainly explore an upgrade of all the heads.


It is important that your irrigation system be uniform in order to get the most out of it. If your sprinkler heads are mismatched after replacing them one by one over the years with different makes or types, you will end up with an inefficient system. It might be best to replace all of the sprinkler heads so that they are uniform, making it easier to detect problems and implement repairs.

Another common inefficiency that occurs is when sprinkler heads don’t pop up or retract as they are supposed to. When this happens, the water won’t be able to spray out as intended.

Often, this is a result of the spring inside the riser stem getting clogged with dirt. In cases like this, it can be cleaned out and restored to working condition. Sometimes, however, the spring has become rusted to the point of breaking, or the riser and seal become so scratched up by dirt ingress that it cannot move up and down at all. These are sure signs that the head is old and needs to be replaced.

Additionally, over time, sprinkler heads sink into the soil as it compacts, and can also become tilted, preventing the water from spraying out over the ground as it should. In many cases, this can be adjusted with a bit of digging and repositioning. However, in some cases, the problem causes flooding and failures in the system, requiring a replacement to ensure that it operates correctly.

Sprinkler systems can be very sensitive. Often, when a problem is identified, if it is not addressed soon, it can lead to the need for replacements. The key to avoiding head replacements is to stay on top of regular maintenance, which requires frequent checking of the system.

For irrigation and sprinkler system repair, maintenance and replacement in Austin, contact Smart Earth Sprinklers today. We at Smart Earth Sprinklers can ensure that you are back up and running in no time. Contact us online or call (512) 694-1147 today.

More Blogs


Smart Earth Sprinklers

Austin’s Most Reliable, Experienced Sprinkler Irrigation Repair Specialist