Clean A Sprinkler Head To Remove Clogs And Surface Stains

If it has been a while since your sprinkler installation and you have discovered that the stream of water that is coming out of the sprinkler head is weak, a clog may be present. Unclog the head and clean its surface by completing the steps below. After finishing, turn on the sprinkler system and the stream of water coming out of it should be strong and consistent once again.

Materials To Use

  1. screwdriver
  2. wire brush
  3. mild detergent
  4. water
  5. bucket
  6. white vinegar
  7. rubbing alcohol
  8. lint-free cloth
  9. replacement filter
  10. water hose

Disconnect The Sprinkler Head And Unclog The Holes

Turn off the sprinkler system. Disconnect the sprinkler head by loosening and removing any hardware that is holding it in place with a screwdriver. Twist the sprinkler head counter-clockwise several times and pull it upwards. Inspect the head. On the top of it there will be several small holes where water is emitted. Move a wire brush back and forth over the holes to dislodge any materials that are stuck in them.

Clean The Filter And Other Parts Of The Sprinkler Head

Remove the filter from the bottom of the sprinkler head. This part needs to either be slid or gently pulled out of the spot that it is located in. Place the filter and sprinkler head in a bucket that is filled with soapy water. Move the parts around rapidly in the water to help remove any debris that is stuck on them.

If severe staining is on the sprinkler head's surface, pour a small amount of white vinegar or rubbing alcohol onto a lint-free cloth and move it firmly over each spot. If the filter won't come clean, a replacement one will be needed. Once both parts are clean, rinse them off with a water hose. 

Reattach The Parts And Turn On The Sprinkler

Slide or push the filter back into the appropriate section of the sprinkler head. Line up the sprinkler head over the casing and insert it so that the side with the holes is facing upwards. Turn the head clockwise until it is tight. Replace the hardware pieces and tighten them with a screwdriver. Turn on the sprinkler system; a steady, strong stream of water will be emitted from the holes if you have successfully unclogged it.

Clean the sprinkler head on occasion -- especially after using the sprinkler system several times -- to prevent the holes on the head from becoming clogged and to eliminate severe staining.