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How to fix a stuck pulsating sprinkler

Sprinkler repairWe really depend on our pulsating sprinklers to turn dirty creek water into a well-hydrated garden.  So when one starts acting up, we rush to fix it.

The easiest problems are when the sprinklers clog (often from algae growing in the hoses), but this issue has been much less frequent since Mark removed the filters.  More often (now that the sprinklers are aging), we have to deal with sprinklers that get stuck.  Water keeps flowing out, but the pulsating action isn't enough to push the sprinkler head around in its little circle.  Sometimes, greasing the sprinkler helps, but this week, two rounds of grease failed to have any impact on the sprinkler shown above.

Wire sprinkler fixAs I growled and moaned at my sick sprinkler, I realized that if I placed my thumb where the moving piece at the back of the sprinkler hits the solid piece, the sprinkler would run normally.  Perhaps the sprinkler had just come slightly out of true (or had worn down the metal that the moving piece is supposed to hit on)?  Twisting a piece of wire around that stationary piece to emulate where my thumb had been sitting was enough to get the sprinkler running normally again.  My pride at doing Mark-style troubleshooting knew no bounds!

Of course, the wire isn't a long-term fix, since the action of the sprinkler tends to bend it out of true.  We can upgrade to a heavier piece of wire, but perhaps those of you familiar with this type of sprinkler can tell me what's really wrong based on the description above.  Is there something I can adjust to bring back our sprinkler's charmed youth?

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You may want to contact their customer service to see if they can replace it for free.

From their website: "Lifetime Replacement Policy A GilmourĀ® product will provide complete satisfaction for the life of the product or it will be replaced free of charge (Industrial and Commercial uses are excluded.) Look for the seal on most Gilmour products."

Comment by Brian Wed Aug 6 09:52:40 2014
Interesting! When I started researching on their site, though, I ran across this line: "All claims against the replacement policy require valid proof of purchase and may be subject to a five dollar shipping and handling charge." Since we only paid $10 per sprinkler, it wouldn't be worth mailing it back to them and then paying them $5 to mail us a new one....
Comment by anna Wed Aug 6 12:39:20 2014

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime