These sprinklers are incredibly simple design. The "reverse mechanism" is
just a little metal lever that triggers a lock that keeps the "pendulum"
from doing it's normal thing, and causes the water to squirt out sideways,
reversing the head due to the "jet action".
If yours isn't reversing, check:
1) is the metal clip down and in good shape? You lift this up to get a full
2) Are the reversing cams missing? These are the levers that you use to set
the partial circle.
That's about all I can think of, if the rest of the sprinkler works
properly. These sprinklers are incredibly cheap (a plastic one can be had
for $3, a good quality brass one for under $30) so maybe it's just time to
If the sprinkler is setup properly, and not damaged, the likely problem is
insufficient water pressure/volume. Try it with a shorter or larger diameter
hose (or none at all) or use a faucet closer to the main water entry to your
If the sprinkler is "impulsing" (the little "pendulum" being thrust out by
the water, and the sprinkler making the classic "tsst tsst tsst" sound) then
there should be more than enough water pressure to reverse. Even if there
wasn't, I'd think the sprinkler would simply get stuck at the RHS of the
watering area, but the OP made it sound like it was always just going in a
circle (or maybe I just read too much into the OP).
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