It’s that time of year when everybody seems to be acutely aware of any problems they may be having with their sprinkler system. The summer heat quickly exposes any areas that are receiving, less than optimal coverage. One thing a lot of folks forget about is, sprinkler systems need maintenance.

Today, I’d like to discuss cleaning your screens. These screens can be found inside the sprinklers- on rotors, they are typically found at the base, on pop ups and shrub risers, they are found near the nozzle. The screens prevent dirt and sediment from clogging the nozzles and also from sediment washing into the sprinkler lines from outside. Over time, these screens become clogged with sediment thus, reducing the effectiveness of the sprinkler. The screen featured in the pic above is actually not anywhere near being the worst I’ve seen. Clogged screens can lead to blown seals, and therefore, a new sprinkler head will be required.

Pop up screens are fairly easy to clean, just pull the pop up out, unscrew the nozzle, and clean or replace the screen. Screens on rotors are more difficult to get to because it will require digging the head up. I would only do this if there is an obvious problem with the rotor and if so, I usually recommend replacing it. If the existing rotor just needs some cleaning, then it can be cleaned and placed in the shed and used later as an emergency back up.

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