Sprinkler systems are a great way to simplify your yard care, but you may occasionally run into the issue of your sprinkler not rotating.

This is normally due to the sprinkler head being dirty or jammed by a small pebble or twig. It’s something you can fix yourself, and won’t usually require the assistance of a professional.

Dirty Rotation Gears

Sprinklers with rotating heads will have a small gear drive in their internal workings. This gear is usually very well protected from the elements, but in some cases it may be open and exposed. For the exposed gears, dirt, small twigs, insects, and other debris can get in the area blocking proper movement.

In closed gear drives, you will rarely have issues with insects or dirt, but can have problems with calcium or mineral build up from hard water. Calcium deposits are extremely common, and can even be found in water from a softened system.

Cleaning these gears is relatively simple and straightforward. Most sprinkler heads will unscrew from the circuit letting you get a closer look at the issue. If dirt and debris is a problem, rinsing the rotation gears is all you need.

For calcium and mineral build up, a vinegar or CLR soak can quickly eliminate the issues and have your gears turning smoothly again.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure can be a huge problem for large systems as well. If your water pressure has dropped lately, or you suspect there may be a leak at some part of the circuit, this can reduce or even limit the rotation of a sprinkler head entirely.

Low water pressure can not only be due to leaks in the system. This can also be caused by a high water demand in your home, or with other watering systems, as well as valves that may be stuck open and allowing water to leak out without creating pressure.

When the system is running but all of the valves are closed, check all of your valves to see if you notice any leaks. This could be as simple as cleaning a valve so it closes and builds up pressure, or you may need to inspect and reallocate your water priority to ensure your irrigation system gets plenty of water pressure during watering times.

Line Damages

Broken or damaged irrigation lines is a common yet major issue to face. Not only can it be difficult to locate where the damaged irrigation line is, but repairing it may require digging up some of your lawn or garden.

Leaks can very quickly reduce water pressure in the rest of the system and prevent the rotating sprinkler heads from properly rotating. If you suspect a damaged irrigation line, walk around your yard and look for areas that may be soggy or have standing water.

Repairing your damaged irrigation line may require professional assistance.