How to Repair a Sprinkler Head That Won’t Rotate

by Michael on June 12, 2011 · 5 comments

Do you have an irrigation system for your lawn? We do, and it’s been great. Unfortunately, I noticed the other day that one of the sprinkler heads wasn’t rotating. The good news is that I fixed it without spending a dime.

For background, our system consists of a bunch of Hunter PGP rotary sprinkler heads in various zones. While I was adjusting the heads to make sure everything is in tip-top shape for the summer, I noticed that one of them wasn’t moving.

While replacing a sprinkler head isn’t a big deal, I didn’t happen to have a replacement on hand, and I didn’t really want to drop $10-$15 to get new one. Thus, after thinking a bit about the gear-driven design, I decided to give it a few whacks.

Guess what? It worked. I simply struck it a few times with the heel of my palm and voilà – it started rotating. I’m not entirely sure what was wrong but, given the gear-driven design, I think it was one of two things. Either there was some gunk that preventing it from rotating, or the gears had gotten mis-aligned.

Regardless of the cause, this quick fix is definitely worth a shot. For what it’s worth, I suspect that a similar approach might also work for other brands with a similar design, including Rain Bird, K Rain, Toro, and Orbit sprinkler heads.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Ron July 2, 2012 at 5:42 am

Dude! what a way to keep it simple. Saved me a trip to the store. I pushed it up and down a few times while it was charged, rotated it manually then hit it with the back side of screwdriver…it took right off.

thanks, Ron


bob May 19, 2013 at 4:37 pm

i used a hammer….. it worked; thanks


tgrizzle October 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm

When I first read this I thought a hamster must of wrote it. I did not have any faith, let alone a little faith it would actually work. “yea right, just go out, bang it, and it will work”

Well after going outside, messing with the head with 0 results…i figured what the hell…I struck the head while it was running a few times on top and on the side…AND WOULDNT YOU KNOW IT WORKED!!!

Trust me before you go and dig up a head and replace, try it…It probably will work for you too.


Dale April 3, 2015 at 7:10 pm

the first time I smacked mine didn’t do anything. So, I snacked a little harder…..and it broke. Oops.


Ray May 10, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Thanks, worked like a charm. Used a rubber mallet…3 strikes and no digging.


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