I just bought a house, and for the outside, it has irrigation water. There
are several large Rainbird sprinklers, about the size of a coffee can set
into the ground.. They pop up, spray one direction, then go splut, splut,
splut, and go the other way. They seem not to be tripping when they get to
the end of their range, and not returning.
Are these things rebuildable? Are they worth it to rebuild? I have others
that just sends up a popup that is about two inches in diameter, and eight
inches tall, and the whole things makes circles, or parts of circles,
depending on how they're set. They are for the most part, working okay, but
a couple seem to need attention. Are these like other sprinklers where you
just take them off, take them apart, and watch for little rocks and crud
that are making them not work?
Maybe, and maybe. If you can do it without hand-excavating.
It's a constant chore in a big lawn. If they're old, I replace them with
something better. Digging these things up is to much work to put in
anything but the best.
All of the units I'm familiar with will unscrew in such a way
to leave only the exterior housing in the ground.
Once out, you'll want to go over the mechanicals with a toothbrush
and some partially diluted CLR or similar rust/scale remover,
clean strainers and output ports, and check for wear. Check
the springs on impact sprinklers, and make sure that the pivot
points are clean/moving freely.
Another thing to check is water pressure. Inground systems
(especially impact sprinklers) won't work right unless the
pressure is high enough. On a well, best results sometimes
require you to tweak the set point on the pump pressure switch
up a bit.
[I carefully designed mine to work with heads spec'd at lower
pressures. Still, it took raising the set point to 45PSI
before it worked to my satisfaction.]
Check also for leaks.
If, after cleaning and ensuring your water pressure is high
enough, and they still don't work well (or you determine the
old one is worn out), go buy one identical sprinkler, and swap
the guts into the existing housing and see if it works any
If it doesn't, you should step back and double check the design
of the system in terms of flow rates and pressures. Or consider
Rainbird is well regarded in the trade. Orbit seems so too (besides,
Orbit bought out HD's non-Orbit stuff, so HD only carries Orbit. At
least in Canada...) Orbit's gear drive (eg: Voyager II line) are
nice and do seem to live a long time, and Orbit's service department
is _very_ good. I'm having less luck with impact heads.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
Those Rainbirds are pretty good units....I had a house using the Maxi-
PAW ones (which I believe you have)
Sometimes they would fail to trip to "return", usaually dirt or grass
growing in the can or hard water deposits.
There is a removeable "lock pin" in the cover that allows access.
Take it out to remove cover & shop vac out any crap in the "can".
The sprinklers can be tested without the cover on. I would fool
around with them.......cleaning them & about 50% of the time they
would work again. If I couldn't get them to operate reliably I'd
replace them with the same type unit.
They're not cheap but they last pretty good so I was happy. I was in
the house 14 years & never replaced any more than once.....I did keep
track of which ones had been cleaned or replaced so if cleaned ones
acted up again they got replaced.
The internal spring is replaceable but I never tried that
Here's a short installation manual for them
Trouble shooting manula
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