How To Adjust A Garden Sprinkler Head (Easy Fix)

The best times to adjust your sprinkler heads are in the spring and fall, when the grass seedlings are young and you don’t have any real need for watering. 

If you’re like me, you might not be able to do all of these things yourself or even know where to start. In that case, hire a professional!

How to Fix Sprinkler Head: Repair, Replace, Adjust Pop Up
Adjusting sprinkler heads is an important part of maintaining a healthy lawn
Regular checks can help you catch issues early and keep your sprinkler system working efficiently
Simple adjustments, such as adjusting the spray pattern and cleaning the heads, can often solve common issues
DIY repairs for sprinkler heads are usually fairly simple and require just a few basic tools
When in doubt, consult a professional to avoid causing further damage to your sprinkler system

Adjust The Spray Pattern

The next step is to adjust the spray pattern. You can do this by changing out the nozzle, which you can do by using a screwdriver. If you’re not able to adjust your sprinkler head’s spray pattern, then it’s time to replace the entire unit.

 If you’re having trouble getting your garden hose sprinkler to work properly, check out our easy fix guide on how to adjust a garden hose sprinkler to find out how to calibrate and fix common issues.

Adjust The Water Pressure

Adjust the water pressure. If the water pressure is too low, you won’t be able to get any spray out of your sprinkler head. This is especially important for newer systems or ones that haven’t been serviced in a while. You can adjust the water pressure by turning a valve near your controller (which should be labeled “pressure”).

Test the system again and make sure it works properly before replacing everything back on top of your lawn!

Adjusting Water Pressure Table

Water Pressure LevelSymptomsSolution
Too LowDry patches, inconsistent wateringCheck for leaks, clean filters, adjust pressure regulator valve
Too HighSpray patterns are inconsistent, water pools on groundCheck for leaking valves or damaged heads, adjust pressure regulator valve, install pressure-reducing valve
FluctuatingSpray patterns and water flow change frequentlyCheck for faulty valves, clean filters, adjust pressure regulator valve

The above table outlines common symptoms that can occur when the water pressure of your sprinkler system is not properly adjusted. It also suggests potential solutions to help fix these issues based on the specific water pressure level.

Adjust The Diameter Of The Water Spray.

To adjust the diameter of your water spray, you will need to turn the large nut on top of the sprinkler head. In order to make sure you are turning it in the correct direction, look at your sprinkler head straight on and then rotate it 180 degrees. 

You should see that when you rotate it by 180 degrees, nothing happens; if something does happen (for example, if an arm moves or a part falls off), stop rotating immediately as this is not what you want to happen.

The diameter of your water spray is determined by how far apart two neighboring sprinklers are spaced in relation to each other (see Figure 1). 

The distance between these two sprinklers determines how many streams there are per square foot; this number may vary depending on how high or low they’re positioned above ground level and whether they’re tilted up or down towards their target area (more about this later). 

For example: if one sprinkler has its spray directed downwards towards a flower bed while its neighbor has its spray directed upwards towards some trees growing above ground level near where both are installed 

Then there would be twice as many streams hitting each square foot within this coverage zone because there would be two separate points being irrigated simultaneously with different angles being used simultaneously too!

A misaligned garden door can cause all sorts of problems, from drafts to sagging hinges. Read our easy way guide on how to adjust garden doors to learn the simple steps you can take to solve this issue.

Clean The Nozzles

The next step is to clean the nozzles. You may need to do this if they’re clogged or if you notice a decrease in water pressure. 

To clean them, unscrew the nozzles from their housing and use a straightened wire hanger or other metal object to scrape out any dirt or debris that may be clogging up your sprinkler head. Be careful not to damage the threads on your nozzle when removing it from its housing.

If this doesn’t work and you still have issues with low water pressure at one of your sprinkler heads, you should remove that particular head from its post so that it doesn’t continue drawing more water than it needs (or none at all). 

If there are multiple heads with low pressure issues, check out how often they operate and see if they can be rotated around so that each gets equal watering time throughout the day (or night).

If none of these steps work for you then unfortunately we’re talking about replacing an entire unit instead of just one part! 

Your best bet is probably contacting someone like [company name] who specializes in repairing outdoor equipment such as sprinkler systems; at least then if something does break down on us again we’ll know where go turn first rather than wasting time trying DIY fixes ourselves!

Cleaning Sprinkler Nozzles Table

Clogged NozzlesReduced water flow, inconsistent spray patternUnscrew nozzle and clean with a fine wire or water
Mineral BuildupWhite or green crust on the outside of nozzleSoak nozzle in vinegar or CLR, then scrub clean
Broken NozzleWater spraying in unexpected directions or not at allReplace nozzle with a new one

The above table provides helpful tips for cleaning sprinkler nozzles. It outlines the common problems that can occur when nozzles are not properly maintained, symptoms that indicate these issues, and simple solutions to fix them.

Replace A Damaged Nozzle

If your sprinkler head is clogged with debris, you may need to remove the nozzle and clean it. To do this:

  • Turn off the water supply.
  • Remove the screw holding in the nozzle by turning it counter-clockwise with a Phillips head screwdriver.
  • Remove the damaged or leaky nozzle by pulling on its base if it’s plastic or brass; unscrewing if it’s stainless steel. Then replace it with an identical new model that matches your existing hole size and thread pattern (look for a “threaded” product). You can also buy adapters from hardware stores when you don’t have any leftovers from previous projects that use standard threads on their nozzles.

Is your lawn sprinkler system not working as efficiently as it should? Check out our expert advice guide on how to adjust lawn sprinkler heads and learn how to properly adjust your sprinkler heads for optimal performance.

Replace A Damaged Body Or Head

Replace a damaged body or head:

  • Turn off the water supply to your sprinkler system and remove it from the main water line.
  • Remove any loose debris in front of the sprinkler, then reach through the hole in its base plate with a screwdriver and unscrew it from its mount (you may need pliers if you can’t get enough leverage).

Replace A Broken Sprinkler Arm

  • Remove the sprinkler head from the wall by unscrewing it.
  • Remove the old sprinkler arm by pulling it out of its holder in the wall, then push a new one through from behind and screw it into place with a wrench or ratchet driver.
  • Mount your new lawn sprinkler back on the wall using screws provided in your kit (if you have one), or simply stick its base to your existing mounting bracket if that’s what came with your system (or if you’ve already replaced your bracket).

Getting the right cutting height for your lawn mower is essential for maintaining a healthy lawn. Head to our expert advice guide on how to adjust lawn mower cutting height to learn how to do it right and keep your grass looking its best.

Replace A Leaking Valve Diaphragm

Replacing a leaking valve diaphragm is easy and can be done in less than 5 minutes. The first step is to identify the location of your sprinkler head’s diaphragm.

  • Take off the sprinkler head cap by loosening it with an adjustable wrench, or by using pliers if your model has a threaded collar instead of a nut on top.
  • Look inside for an O-ring or other small rubber ring that’s used to seal out water from around the valve shafts (see picture). If there is no O-ring, then you don’t need to worry about replacing a diaphragm—just reseal around this area with PVC cement before testing again.

Unclog A Dirty Valve Seat

To clean a dirty valve seat, you’ll need to remove the sprinkler head from its stem and take apart the valve.

Use a razor blade to scrape away any debris that may be clogging up the seat. You may also use a valve seat cleaning tool, which is designed specifically for this purpose.

You can also try blowing out your valve with compressed air if it’s still not working after removing all debris from inside of it and cleaning off any dirt on its outside surface. This is most effective when you have access to an air compressor at home or work, though you could also use a vacuum cleaner if you don’t have any other options available.

Make sure to replace any parts used during this process so that they’re ready next time someone needs them!

 Poor drainage in your garden can cause serious problems, from waterlogged plants to soil erosion. Read our 13 ways guide on how to add garden drainage to discover a range of solutions, from rain gardens to mulch beds, that will help keep your garden healthy and beautiful.

Fix Or Replace A Broken Solenoid

A solenoid is a simple mechanism that uses electricity to open or close a valve.

It is often used in garden sprinkler systems, where the water comes out of the sprinklers in an automated fashion based on a timer and/or the amount of water pressure available. 

When you are adjusting your sprinkler head, you will need to check and make sure that both valves are working properly. If either one is not working, you will need to fix or replace it before continuing.

If your valve is stuck closed (meaning that no water passes through) there could be several reasons for this issue:

  • The solenoid may not be getting enough voltage from your timer unit (it may be broken). You should replace this part first before testing anything else because once it’s fixed then everything else should work fine too!


So, there you have it! All that you need to know about adjusting your sprinkler head. You can now adjust the water pressure and spray pattern to suit your needs and make sure everything is working properly. 

Hopefully this article has helped you out if anything went wrong with your sprinkler system so that you don’t have to call someone in (which would cost money).

Further Reading

Here are some other resources you can check out to learn more about adjusting and repairing lawn sprinkler heads:

How to Adjust and Repair Lawn Sprinkler Heads: This helpful guide from Lawnstarter covers everything you need to know about adjusting and repairing lawn sprinkler heads, from identifying common issues to making repairs.

How to Adjust Sprinkler Heads: WikiHow provides a simple step-by-step guide on how to adjust sprinkler heads, complete with detailed illustrations and useful tips.

How to Replace a Sprinkler Head: If you need to replace a damaged or broken sprinkler head, Bob Vila’s guide has got you covered. Learn how to remove and replace sprinkler heads with ease.


How do I know if my sprinkler heads need adjusting or repairing?

You may need to adjust or repair your sprinkler heads if you notice irregular spray patterns, dry patches in your lawn, or water pressure issues.

What tools do I need to adjust or repair sprinkler heads?

You’ll need a few basic tools, such as a screwdriver, pliers, and channel locks, as well as a sprinkler head removal tool if you need to replace a broken head.

Can I adjust my sprinkler heads myself or do I need to hire a professional?

Adjusting and repairing sprinkler heads is a fairly simple DIY task that most homeowners can handle on their own. However, some more advanced repairs may require professional assistance.

How often should I check my sprinkler heads for proper alignment?

It’s a good idea to check your sprinkler heads at least once a month during the watering season to make sure they are properly aligned and functioning correctly.

How do I adjust sprinkler heads to avoid overspray onto sidewalks or driveways?

To avoid overspray onto non-lawn areas, adjust the angle of the sprinkler head or add a nozzle with adjustable spray patterns. You can also install a drip irrigation system for non-lawn areas.