How To Shut Off A Sprinkler Head Manually?

How to Turn Off a Sprinkler Head

A garden sprinkler system is a pressurized irrigation method that uses mechanical and hydraulic devices to simulate natural rainfall to water your yards, gardens and lawns. Sprinklers can help you keep your yard healthy and green, avoid water wastage, and save on utility bills, among other things.


Sprinkler systems are pretty versatile, thus making it easier for gardeners to find something that suits their specific requirements as well as fits the budget. A few common types of sprinklers are fixed spray head sprinkler, rotor head sprinkler, micro-sprinkler, multiple stream sprinkler, smart sprinkler, and more.


Before you decide to invest in a sprinkler system, you must know how useful it can be and the issues you may have to face while using one. One problem with which people struggle the most is knowing the correct way how to turn off a sprinkler head.


Well, whether you are new to sprinkler systems and want to know if you should invest it or not or simply searching for how to turn off a single sprinkler head, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to find out more.


In This Article:


Advantages of Using A Sprinkler System


Here are some of the reasons why you should invest in a sprinkler.


1. Water waste reduction

Unlike popular belief, using a sprinkler system for your garden or yard can actually support efficient water use. Smart sprinklers give your lawn the right amount of water, reducing instances of runoffs and over-watering.


Moreover, features like automatic timers and rains sensors further enhance its efficiency. Thus, sprinklers can help you lower your household water waste.


2. Convenience

Watering your lawn manually can be a relaxing exercise, but then there are those days when you are just not in the mood! Or maybe you have always wished for a lush yard but have no time to maintain one.


A sprinkler system can be a lifesaver if you can relate to any of these issues! No need to make time in your schedule for watering your plants. Your sprinkler system has got you covered.


If you are away from your home a lot and have no one to look after your plants, investing in a smart sprinkler system is a great idea.


3. Saves time and money

Hand-watering your yard can be time-consuming. This may seem like an unnecessary burden when you are already running short of time to do other, more important tasks.


A sprinkler system can help you make sure your lawn or yard gets the right amount of water at the right time and frequency without any hassle.


Although the installation cost of a sprinkler system may seem high, it can help you save money on your utility bill in the long run. Sprinklers will only use as much water as needed, something that you cannot be too sure of when watering your garden manually.


Plus, the sprinklers will make sure none of your plants (that you have invested in) dies due to dry conditions.


4. Key to a healthy garden

Lush and healthy yards and gardens can add to the appeal of not only your house but the entire neighborhood. A sprinkler system will make sure that no plant in your lawn dies due to lack of water. These devices are a boon for areas that do not receive much rainfall.


Disadvantages of Using A Sprinkler System

Disadvantages of Using A Sprinkler System

Before we tell you how to shut off a sprinkler head, here are some of the downsides to it you should know about.


1. Repair and maintenance

All sprinkler systems, smart or not, require some amount of maintenance to keep them working efficiently. Your sprinkler system may require seasonal maintenance every spring and fall to keep away damage from water leakage and freezing.


Clogged nozzles, head damage and system component malfunction are other issues you need to be on the lookout for.


2. Pests

Underground pests may also prove to be a nuisance for your sprinkler irrigation system. These can cause damage to water lines or sprinkler components.


3. Weather

Windy weather can affect the efficiency of your sprinkler system by blowing the water in an unintended direction.


4. Cost

Purchasing and installing a sprinkler irrigation system may prove to be expensive. Also, sprinkler systems need continuous water and power supply to run.


How to Turn Off a Sprinkler Head?

How to Turn Off a Sprinkler Head

Even the best-laid irrigation systems may need some repair from time to time. A leaky sprinkler head not only leads to water waste but also ends up damaging your plants through overwatering. To avoid such outcomes, you must know how to shut off a sprinkler head.


Knowing how to turn off individual sprinkler heads may also come in handy if you think the sprinklers are placed too close to each other or when you want to reduce the water supply to a specific area in your garden.


Here is how you can turn if off:


But before you begin, make sure that the main water supply to the sprinklers is off. If you have a smart sprinkler system, check if you need to reset the timing to ensure that they don’t go off while working.


Step 1: Locating the malfunctioning sprinkler head

Sometimes, it can be hard to figure out which sprinkler head is leaking since it can be hidden under lawns or vegetation. Carefully examine the region where you think the faulty sprinkler head lies. Once you have located the sprinkler, clean away all the soil and debris on top of it.


Step 2: Tighten the screw in the center

Once you have cleaned away the soil, you should be able to see a tiny screw in the center of the sprinkler head. Now, use a screwdriver turn the screw counter-clockwise until it feels tight enough.


Step 3: Check to see it works properly

Run your sprinkler system to ensure that the head has been turned off properly.

This 3-step process is the easiest solution to how to turn off a sprinkler head.


Additional Tips:

Once you have figured out how to turn off a single sprinkler head, here are a few other things you must know before you get down to work.

  • Make sure not to turn the screw too tight as this may end up damaging the sprinkler head.
  • Rotating the screw to one-quarter to one-half turn is enough to do the job in most cases.
  • Make sure to wear your garden gloves while removing the debris to reach the faulty sprinkler head.
  • If you want a more permanent solution, simply unscrew the sprinkler head and close the head stub with a screw-on cap. Make sure to tighten the cap firmly.


Related: Best Watering Cans for Your Garden, Indoor Water Plants


FAQs To Clear Your Doubts

Q. Why won’t my sprinklers turn off?

A. This may happen due to a fault in the main water supply valve. The valve can be partially open, broken, or debris and dirt might be stuck inside it.


Another reason can be an issue with the control system of the sprinklers. Or maybe there are problems with other control panel parts, like the sprinkler presets or the controller transformer.


Trapped air can also cause the valve diaphragm to malfunction and get stuck in an open position.


If you have a smart sprinklers system, make sure to check the settings, especially the timer box. If that’s not what is causing the problem, this may be happening due to mechanical failure.


Another reason sprinklers may not turn off is because the internal screw and levers around the main water valve are stuck.


Q. Is it OK to cap off a sprinkler head?

A. If the sprinkler heads are too close together, you may want to close a head or two to prevent overwatering the area. This solution also comes in handy when you feel a specific area in the lawn does not need too much watering.


It is believed that capping can damage the pipe if you are in a freezing climate. If a pipe is capped when you are blowing out the system in the fall, that section may fill with water, which in turn will freeze and crack the PVC.


Hence, you may have to uncap the head before the blow-out. However, this may not be entirely true. With the right way how to shut off a sprinkler head & capping it off the head is unlikely to cause any damage, whether it is located at the end of the line or not.


In case the head is at the end of the line, the air will blow a sufficient amount of water out of the lines so that it does not harm the pipe even if it freezes.


On the other hand, if the sprinkler head is not at the end of the line, it doesn’t matter because the water will blow right past it.


Q. How to turn off rain bird sprinkler head?

A. If you use a rain bird sprinkler, here’s how to turn off a sprinkler head. First, start by changing or adjusting the nozzle if you want to reduce the force of the water. To completely shut off the water, remove the head and cap the pipe. You may also use a low-flow washer.


Q. How to turn off hunter sprinkler head?

A. Unlike I-20, PGJ rotors do not come with built-in Flo-Stop control. To shut off an individual PGJ, use a half-inch plug/cap to cap the sprinkler head. In order to turn off an I-20 rotor, shut off the water flow at the rotor via the Flo-Stop control.


Q. How to turn off a pop-up sprinkler head?

A. Several pop-up sprinklers come with an adjustment screw that can help turn off the sprinkler head completely. Refer to instruction manual for the right settings for your model.