View Full Version : I have a broken Hunter head...Help

06-20-2007, 01:18 PM
Hi all!!

New to this forum and new to sprinkler systems, we bought this house almost two years ago and this is the second season here.

I read somewhere that it's easy to take out a sprinkler head and to take it to Home Depot to get a matching one. I don't know where to start to take the head out. If I have the system running the head would pop up and maybe I could grasp it. Is it a basic thing like unscrewing it?

Also, I am afraid that since this head is at the bottom of a slope it is draining the water pressure needed for the rotating head in the middle of the lawn. I'm getting some serious brown patches.

Any help would be appreciated, where I live it costs almost $100 to have the guys come winterize or open for Spring. Last year the guy replaced a head and charged $25 just for the one. Water is also a good $50+ per month....I was paying that per quarter at my other town.


Gary Swart
06-20-2007, 03:12 PM
Do not try to remove the head under pressure. It is possible that some water may be in the line and come out when you remove the head, but it is not under pressure. Dig around the head, carefully so as not to break the PVC pipe, and when you get the dirt cleared away, you will see the head just screws into a fitting. Most likely this will be on the end of a "funny pipe" which is just a somewhat flexible plastic pipe that transitions between the main PVC line and the head that allows the head to be set to the proper level easily and to prevent breaking the head or fittings is it is stepped on. The head could be screwed directly into the PVC line, but no matter how the head is connected, it is just screwed on. You may need a pair of channel lock pliers or a small pipe wrench to unscrew the head, but try if with just your hand first. These do not have to be torqued down, hand tight is really adequate. Also, no pipe compound, Teflon tape or other sealer should be used when reinstalling the head. If you need some more reassurance, just go to the irrigation supply store and look at the head. It's really very simple.

06-20-2007, 09:25 PM
I thought that my only problem was the broken rotor head, but I just went around turning on all the stations and found that at least two other ones have water sprouting from the bottom of the pipe. I am beginning to wonder if the guy that came to open it all up for Spring did some damage. I don't recall from last season hearing the water noises from inside the house while the system was running. For a while I'd hear this thump, thump, thump, thump....drove myself crazy thinking there was a noise in my house I did not know the source of. It sounds like a hammer!!

I asked him about the leak in the corner of the driveway and he said that it was normal for it to leak from the base. Now that I have found other leaks I am doubting his knowledge. Our town has a severe limitation to drilling wells on account of a Fen that is protected by law...hence the very high water prices. Furthermore, if I go over a certain water usage bracket, the rate increase becomes retroactive to all of the water usage. There is one other bracket on top of that. Besides, I am paying for very expensive water to go down the storm drain. Not great for conservation. I am thinking on having my own heads on hand for the time when they need to be replaced..no sense spending $75 to do this on top of the $100 they will charge for coming to my house.

I very much appreciate the advice on unscrewing the head...I tried it and I guess I'm not very strong:( It did not budge.

06-20-2007, 10:06 PM
Use a large channel locks to unscrew a a large sprinkler head and a smaller channel locks for smaller heads. It may be that just the nipples or fittings are cracked. Just replace what is broken and re-use what is not.

Gary Swart
06-20-2007, 11:00 PM
It sounds like perhaps the system was not drained for the winter and you have some broken pipes.