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Toro Sprinkler Head Doesn’t Rotate – Why And How To Fix?

Lawn sprinklers help to evenly water your lawn to keep it looking green and lush. It also keeps your vegetation growing healthy. But when your Toro sprinkler head does not rotate, what could be wrong? We researched on your behalf to help you solve this problem.

To fix your sprinkler head, you need to know what is causing it not to rotate, and the most common reasons are:

  • Damaged sprinkler head
  • Low water pressure
  • Clogged filter
  • Damaged irrigation lines

Continue reading to understand the common reasons your sprinkler head is not turning and how to fix it. Included are tips on how to prevent the sprinkler heads from breaking. With that said, let's dive in!

automatic sprinkler system watering the lawn. - Toro Sprinkler Head Doesn't Rotate - Why And How To Fix?

Reasons The Head On Your Sprinkler Is Not Turning

You have a schedule of when to water your lawn, but when you turn on the sprinkler, the head does not move. This should not worry you because you can troubleshoot to find out the reasons causing it not to rotate.

The most common include:

Sprinkler Head Is Damaged

Sprinkler heads get damaged all the time. You can accidentally hit them with a lawnmower, your car, or even when hauling equipment. Due to wear and tear over time, they may crack and eventually break.

In such a case, the only solution is to replace the damaged head. It’s easy to replace the head, meaning you can do it yourself.

Automatic sprinklers watering lawn

First, ensure you know the type of sprinkler head you need. This will prevent you from buying a rotor-driven head when yours is gear driven. Next, check the delivery rate of the head you are purchasing to match it with the current one.

After you have the right head, it’s time to start the job. Follow the steps below:

Dig Out The Soil Around The Sprinkler

Irriagation sprinkler stand pipe recently installed on the edge of a wheat field. Soil from the excavation of the supply piping heaped around the steel pipe and cap.

To remove the head, use a trowel to dig a hole six inches deep and one foot in diameter.

Take extra caution not to damage the water lines. If, in the process, you notice a water leak, call a plumber to fix the issue. After digging, place the soil you have dug out into a container.

Unfasten The Sprinkler Head

Have a look at this sprinkler head wrench on Amazon.

There’s a riser generally located between the head and the water pipe. First, you will need to unscrew the head from the riser. Take a sprinkler head wrench or a riser removal T-tool like the ones shown above.

Use it to turn the head counterclockwise.

After removing the head, you will also need to inspect the riser. Remove the sealant or thread seal tape and check the threads. If they are cracked or have any other damage, replace the riser.

Purchase a new riser, apply a sealant or seal tape to each end, and then screw it to the water pipe. If the riser is not damaged, it does not need to be replaced.

Connect The New Sprinkler Head

See these Toro pop-up sprinkler heads on Amazon.

Turn the water on to flush out any dirt inside the water pipe. Afterward, screw the new head to the riser, turning it clockwise.

Test The Sprinkler

To ensure the new head is working, you’ll need to test it. Turn on the water. If you notice any leaks around the riser and sprinkler head, apply more thread seal tape so that it fits snugly.

Replace The Soil Around The Sprinkler

After ensuring your sprinkler head is working, fill in the soil you had removed back into the hole you had dug. Tamp the soil around the sprinkler using your hand, foot, or trowel.

Low Water Pressure

If the water pressure in the water pipes is low, your sprinkler head may not rotate. To know why this is happening, check for closed water valves.

Also, check if there is water leaking from a pipe or if there is a high demand for your sprinkler system.

Open Closed Water Valves

Check these garden hose shut-off valves on Amazon.

Check the valve that is connected to your sprinkler. Open it to allow adequate water flow if it is partially or fully closed.

Use Sprinklers When The Demand Is Low

Digging Up a Sprinkler Head in a Lawn

To avoid a high demand for your sprinkler system, carry out activities that use the same water at different times.

For example, if you wash your laundry and water your lawn simultaneously, the water pressure may go down. Therefore, carrying out these activities at different times may be a good idea.

Repair Leaks In The Pipes

If you suspect the pipes are leaking or the leaks are visible, it’s best to call a plumber to fix this issue.

Clogged Filter

Sprinklers that use a gear drive to rotate have a filter that stops dirt from reaching the gears.

But, with time, the garden or lawn dirt accumulates under the filter head, preventing the sprinkler head from turning.

The steps to cleaning your filter are as follows:

  1. Unscrew the head.
  2. With a pair of needle-nose pliers, remove the filter.
  3. Rinse it under running water until all the debris and dirt are out.
  4. Place the filter back, reassemble the sprinkler, and test it.

The video below explains how to clean a filter in gear driven sprinkler, which you can also apply on a Toro sprinkler:

Damaged Irrigation Sprinkler Lines

Check these PVC couplings on Amazon.

If your sprinkler lines are damaged, it can prevent your sprinkler head from rotating. You may have to call a technician if you are not up to the task.

All the same, the following are the basic steps to help you fix your broken line:

  1. With a pair of plastic pipe cutters, cut the pipe at the point where it is broken.
  2. Slip in the pipe clumps. It’s best to do this before you begin your job, as it will be impossible after completing the job.
  3. Push a new PVC pipe coupler into one end of the cut pipe. If you can’t, heat this cut end with a propane torch to make it easier to push the PVC pipe coupler into this end of the pipe.
  4. Heat the other end and connect it to the pipe that’s now fitted with the PVC pipe coupler.
  5. Secure the clumps and pinch them until they are tight enough to hold the PVC pipe coupler in place.

Have a look at this propane torch on Amazon.

Check out this YouTube video below that explains the above steps in detail:

How To Prevent Your Sprinkler Head From Breaking

Even though it is easy to replace the sprinkler head, it can be a good idea to take good care of it. You can reduce your repair costs no matter how little.

The following are tips to achieve this goal:

Bury The Sprinkler Heads At The Proper Level

Your sprinkler heads should be no more than half an inch above ground level. If it is higher, mower blades will most likely destroy them.

On the other hand, they should not be lower than the recommended height, or they will clog with dirt and debris.

Drain Water From The Sprinkler Heads Before Winter

It’s essential to drain the water from the sprinkler heads before winter begins. If water is left inside, the cold weather will cause the sprinkler heads to expand. As a result, they may crack or break.

Install Sprinkler Head Donuts

Check this sprinkler head donut on Amazon.

You can install a sprinkler head donut like the one shown above. It prevents the sprinkler head from being damaged by a mower or trimmer.

They are available in different materials, such as rubber and concrete.

How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Sprinkler Head?

Lawn watering with automatic irrigation system with a sprinkler.

Generally, plumbers will charge you between $60 and $90 per hour to repair any part of your sprinkler system. To replace a head, you will pay between $25 and $60.

To add a new sprinkler head to your sprinkler system, you will pay anywhere from $70 to $210. The price range of installing a new valve is from $60 to $290, including parts and labor.

Handling the repairs yourself will save you money. However, paying more for a high-quality job that you could have otherwise not done well will save you expenses in the long haul.

But, if you have the skills and are confident, you can carry on with the repairs.

In Closing

Automatic sprinklers watering lawn

Several reasons can prevent your sprinkler head from rotating. You can find out the problem by troubleshooting one issue at a time. Whereas it is easy to replace the sprinkler head, it is beneficial if you follow a few tips provided here.

Want to read more? Check out these related posts:

How Far Apart Should Sprinkler Heads Be

Mark Sprinkler Heads And Lines