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What to Do When Your Sprinkler Head Won't Go Down

Your sprinkler system is essential to keeping your yard looking its best. But, the consistent use, coupled with constant exposure to the elements, can wreak havoc on your plastic sprinkler heads.

So, finding a stuck sprinkler head now and then shouldn't be all that surprising. Fortunately, dealing with a sprinkler head that won't go down isn't all that difficult or time-consuming.

Not sure what's causing your stuck sprinkler or how to fix it? We're here to help.

Here's everything you need to know about how to fix a sprinkler head that won't go back down.

What Causes a Stuck Sprinkler Head

Before you start trying to repair your sprinkler heads, you need to figure out why they are stuck.

Plastic sprinkler heads have two things working against them: small mechanical parts and constant exposure to the elements. Direct sunlight, continuous exposure to water, and ever-present dirt and debris don't mix well with small mechanical systems that are plastic.

Here are the most common causes of a stuck sprinkler head.


The most common cause of a stuck sprinkler head is dirt and debris.

If dirt, rocks, leaves, or grass gets caught between a sprinkler body and the sprinkler riser, it can clog up the works and stop the riser from sliding back into the body. Resulting in a sprinkler head that won't go down.

Fortunately, this common problem is exceedingly easy to fix. Once you remove the dirt or debris from around the sprinkler, the head should be able to slide back into place.


Unfortunately, a stuck sprinkler head isn't always so easy to fix. Damage to the sprinkler head can also prevent it from going back down.

If the sprinkler's seal or riser is slightly warped, cracked, or damaged in some other way, that can prevent the sprinkler head from sliding back down into place. If the spring is exposed or loose, that can also prevent the sprinkler from lowering.

While damage can occur naturally thanks to everyday wear and tear, damage can also happen with foot traffic or lawn mower or other lawn maintenance equipment.

Wear and Tear

Finally, as we mentioned before, consistent use and exposure to the outdoors will take a toll on your sprinkler system after a while.

If several of your sprinkler heads are stuck, that could be a sign that your sprinkler system is in need of a tune up/overhaul.

How to Fix a Sprinkler Head That Won't Go Down

When it comes to fixing your sprinkler system, the first thing you need to do is identify what is stopping it from going down.

If your stuck sprinkler head is due to built-up debris, all you need to do is gently brush away the extra dirt and yard waste. If you find any damage upon your inspection, the repair can be a little more complicated, depending on the system you own.

Consult your sprinkler's user manual for more information on replacing broken parts, or consider contacting a sprinkler repair specialist to come to take care of the job for you.

Repairing and Maintaining Your Sprinkler Heads

Dealing with a stuck sprinkler head doesn't have to be all that complicated. Sprinkler heads aren't all that complex, there's a very limited number of things that can cause them to get stuck.

Now that you know what you can do about a sprinkler head that won't go back down, it's time to get to work getting your sprinkler system back up and running again.

Need a little help getting your yard looking it's best? We've got you covered.

Contact us for more information about our services or to schedule a consultation today!

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