Clean sprinkler heads ensure better water flow, effective operation, increased efficiency, longevity in general, etc. It is of no use to invest in something and not get the best results. Alongside leaks and damage to the pipes themselves, build up of silt and debris in the sprinkler head is one of the most common causes to failure. Thus, it becomes imperative to keep your sprinkler clean. Here are a few steps that would come in handy for cleaning the sprinkler head.
- Remove the sprinkler head
Take any tool of your choice, a hex key, a screwdriver or a specially designed sprinkler head key and use it to loosen the head (generally works in the clockwise direction). Remove the head to access the nozzle and the screens inside.
- Remove the sprinkler cap
You do not need any tools for this step. Simply hold the body of the nozzle and begin unscrewing the cap from it. Once the cap is unscrewed, remove it to find the nozzle.
- Remove the nozzle
The nozzle can also be removed easily. Grip the nozzle and pull it directly upwards till it is removed. You will be able to see the filter at the lower end. Be careful, if you are cleaning multiple heads simultaneously. Make sure you put the right filter with the right head.
Separate screen from nozzle
For this step, you would require a paper clip. Take the paperclip and make it into a long thin wire. Push the end of the wire under one of the squares in the screen and pull it upwards, removing it from the nozzle.
- Soak the screen
Take a bowl and create a mixture of warm water and dish detergent. Do not add too much detergent to it. Place the screen in the above mixture. The solution starts to act on any grime and dirt particle attached to the screen and loosens it. Soak the screen for two to five minutes. Very gently, with your hand clean the screen and put it back to the solution.
- Brush and rinse
After a few minutes have passed you will start to notice that the water becomes dirty. After this moment, use an old toothbrush to scrub away any dirt particle trapped in the screen. Then, rinse the screen, using a faucet or garden hose. Repeat this process till the screen is completely clean.
- Rinse the nozzle
Once the screens have been cleaned, it is time to do the same for the nozzle. Use the same stream of water to clean the nozzle. You do not need to soak it. Make you remember which nozzle belonged to which sprinkler.
- Clear the lines
Before reattaching the components, you must make sure to check for debris trapped in lines. Turn the water on. At first you would see a stream of dirty water flowing but then after a while the water clears out. This is when you stop.
- Reassemble the sprinkler
This is the most crucial step and many people tend to screw this up. Attach the screen and nozzle and then the sprinkler head to the respective sprinkler. Secure them at each level, using the tools.
This is a relatively easy method to follow, if you have a few sprinklers. If the number increases, it is ideal to take professional help.