Updated on September 27, 2020
Capping a sprinkler head refers to the act of removing it to protect the sprinkler from any damages that extreme cold weather may bring. This is a common practice for homeowners who reside in places that freezes and requires winterization in their irrigation system. Winterizing is a process of draining or blowing water out of the sprinkler system using compressed air to avoid freeze damage. During the cold season, capping is a necessary precautionary measure to ensure and maintain the functionality of your sprinkler system.
Aside from cold weather, another reason to cap your sprinkler head is when you have two or more of them installed in the same zone that is too close together. If this is the case, it may cause overwatering to your lawn. Take off the sprinkler cap and replace it with a flat cap. This will block the water from spraying or flowing from the sealed head. You can do this if you have several sprinkler heads installed in one zone. Just keep one functional sprinkler head and seal off the rest. You can go for this option of blocking excess sprinkler head, or you can completely remove the sprinkler head and cap it with a PVC pipe cap.
Placing A Flat Sprinkler Cap
- Buy a sprinkler cap that matches your system. Your existing sprinkler system comes with flat plastic caps or plugs that match your sprinkler head. If you can still find it, you can use it instead of buying a new one. This cap blocks the water from being blown out on your lawn.
- Switch off the water connected to the sprinkler system. Find the valve that connects your sprinkler system to the water supply. Rotate it clockwise to turn it off. It is important to prevent the water from running while you’re doing the capping.
- Clear the dirt surrounding your sprinkler head. You may use a gardening shovel to dig about 1 to 2 inches hole around the sprinkler head. Place the soil or dirt on the side where you can easily access it later to fill back in. It is important to clear the dirt from the top of the sprinkler head to prevent it from entering the sprinkler when you remove the head.
- Take off the cap of the sprinkler head. Rotate it in a clockwise direction to loosen and eventually detach it. If you find it hard to remove the cap using your bare hands, you may use a pair of pliers to loosen the grip.
- Place the new cap into the sprinkler head. Whether you’re using the original plastic cap that comes with your existing sprinkler system or a newly purchased cap, it doesn’t matter as long as it is properly placed at the top of your sprinkler head. Just make sure that it is attached tightly.
- Put back the dirt or soil you set aside, refilling the hole as it is. Then turn on the sprinkler system. Firstly, turn the water supply valve in a counterclockwise direction and switch on your sprinkler system. Observe the sprinkler head you capped. Water shouldn’t be flowing or spraying from the capped sprinkler.
Capping With PVC Pipe
- Turn off the sprinkler system’s water source. Look for a blue valve that connects your water supply and your sprinkler system. Turn it on a counterclockwise direction to turn it off. Forgetting this step will cause the water to spray while you’re removing the sprinkler head.
- Dig a deep hole around the sprinkler head. Using a gardening shovel, dig a 5 to 6 inches hole and place the dirt on the side so that you can refill it later.
- Detach the sprinkler head. Your hole must be deep enough to show the base of the sprinkler head. Grip the long stem of the sprinkler head and rotate it counterclockwise to loosen and eventually remove it.
- Screw a PVC pipe cap directly into the sprinkler system. Make sure that your PVC pipe cap matches the pipe in your sprinkler system. Put the cap on the threads and rotate it counterclockwise to fix it into the sprinkler.
- Refill the hole with dirt. Turn on the water source and the sprinkler system. Check the capped sprinkler system. Water shouldn’t be coming out from it.