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  • pop up impulse sprinkler problem

    I have this type of sprinker in my backyard. A pop-up impulse sprinkler.


    Its by the back fence and sweeps 90 degrees. The grass has receded somewhat because of the shade of my 20+ year old oak trees and my neighbors trees. I keep mine professionally trimmed but my neighbor has not ever had his trimmed in the 20 years I've been here.

    The problem is that the sprinker is level with the soil and its mostly dirt around the sprinkler. Although the top closes when its off. It apparently is not tight enough to keep out silt that washes over it when it rains heavily as it is wont to do here in Houston. The upshot is that after a period of time (many months) the sprinkler will jam with the cover up and the impulse not turning. Inspection will show that its half full of mud - the silt having built up and the water draining out through the weep holes in the bottom.

    Now the way I fix this is to get a hose with a hand sprayer attachment and a wet-dry vac with a thin nozzle. Stick the nozzle into the sprinkler and shoot the spray full jets on to stir up the mud while the vac sucks it up. takes several repeated blasts of water with the vac running 100%. Eventually the can is clear to the bottom and my shop vac is 1/4 full of muddy water.

    I really hate this because my oldest shop vac is permanently attached to the drill press and band saw. I have to empty it and clean out the fine dust, take off the dust filter (messy) and run a 50 foot extension cord to the head. THen I have to run the hose 50 feet. Suck everything out. THen I have to clean the vac hose. Clean the vac of all the muddy water, dry the vac, rewind the cord, reinstall the filter after teh vac dries, and put away the hose. All in all a real pain.

    any better ideas? I tried once putting a ring around the sprinkler head to make a small dam, it didn't help much. I wish I cuold get the grass to grow thickly again so it wouldn't be a problem but I've resodded several times and it won't take.
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 05-19-2013, 07:56 PM.
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

  • #2
    I'd think that any pop-up sprinkler you might use would have similar problems with silt fouling up the works. I can think of three possible approaches:
    1. Put a riser on the sprinkler you have in place now. The sprinkler assembly would be visible even when retracted, but this could be mitigated with some decorative rocks - or a garden gnome or pink flamingo.
    2. Find grass seed that will thrive in shady areas. This may be easier said than done, but could be worth a try depending on the look you want.
    3. Dig out an area around the sprinkler ~2' in diameter and deeper than the sprinkler pipe by about 6". Fill the bottom with gravel up to the pipe, than line the hole with landscaping fabric and fill it with gravel. This should act as a sort of French drain.
    JR

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    • #3
      Put shade tolerant ground cover there instead of grass.
      DP
      www.wardprobst.com

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      • #4
        Consider replacing the pop up impulse sprinkler to a pop up gear drive rotor type. They do not have a cavity for dirt to get into. Cost is about $10.to $12. each.
        capncarl

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        • #5
          I tried several different types of pop ups, with disappointing results for one reason or another. I reverted back to the standard screw on heads that come in , , and full. Either all metal, or plastic with a brass insert. They are about a buck each.

          .

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          • #6
            I would just dig the head up and put and replace the riser with one that is an inch or so higher so as to keep the dirt from coming in. My system was installed with gear driven pop up rotary sprinklers and I have been replacing them with pop up impulse heads as the original ones give me trouble. I think the impulse heads have better coverage and are much more reliable.
            Jim
            64sedan_at_gmail.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by frumper64 View Post
              I would just dig the head up and put and replace the riser with one that is an inch or so higher so as to keep the dirt from coming in. My system was installed with gear driven pop up rotary sprinklers and I have been replacing them with pop up impulse heads as the original ones give me trouble. I think the impulse heads have better coverage and are much more reliable.
              too bad it uses the side entry port so I can't *easily* raise it an inch.
              Loring in Katy, TX USA
              If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
              BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

              Comment


              • #8


                I use these for such purposes. I replaced all my intermittent on my property with them. The old ones would get leaves, dirt, rocks, inside, broke easy, got messed up directions during winter, etc. These are easy to install, never had to replace now for 5 years, but if I did have to replace, that's easy too. Make sure to adjust the nozzle screw for length.
                Last edited by akronee; 05-21-2013, 08:44 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by akronee View Post


                  I use these for such purposes. I replaced all my intermittent on my property with them. The old ones would get leaves, dirt, rocks, inside, broke easy, got messed up directions during winter, etc. These are easy to install, never had to replace now for 5 years, but if I did have to replace, that's easy too. Make sure to adjust the nozzle screw for length.
                  thanks that's an idea I had once considered but the range it has to cover is about 45 feet. I have two impulse sprinklers on opposite corners of a 45 foot square. THe one you show has a range of 38 feet, but when I looked it up I see that there's a model 52SA that has a range of up to 50 ft! Stainless parts at that and a reasonable $15.
                  So maybe that's what I'll do.
                  Last edited by LCHIEN; 05-21-2013, 10:10 PM.
                  Loring in Katy, TX USA
                  If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                  BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    LCHIEN
                    That photo of a gear drive pop up is the ss version of what I use, (Hunter Pro) with no naturally caused failures. My sprinkler sys uses 90 pop ups on 6 zones and is about maxed out. The required 45 feet you have is possible if you have enough water pressure/volume. The more heads you have operating at the same time may not provide enough water, but if your impulse heads would throw water this far, no doubt this head would, maybe frarther, heck it is only squirting water through a hole. Another line of thought, if you have a well you must be careful to keep enough water flow to the sprinklers to keep the well pump on all the time and prevent it from cycling.
                    capncarl

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                    • #11
                      Just saw this thread and glad to note the geared sprinkler heads have been working great ever since - at least 7 years now.
                      Loring in Katy, TX USA
                      If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                      BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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