What causes the sprinkler heads to not pop up? We have tested the pressure it's at 58.
When adding one sprinkler head to the line (the other 4 are capped) the gauge goes does to 20.

1 Answer 1


Sounds like a broken line under ground between the point you are checking the pressure and the Heads, with the pressure at 20 there is probably not enough to push the head up but it should be flowing even though not extended.

When I have this problem I will usually leave the water on for a while and go find the wet spot. Dig down and fix the break. If the pipes were full and you had a cold winter there may be several broken lines.

Also running the water to find the wet spot always gets some dirt and possibly gravel in the line so I will remove the heads and flow all the dirt out , or cleaning the heads then flowing the stuff out then putting the heads back on. Best to pull them first.

  • Compressed air can also be a useful fluid for finding breaks in sprinkler pipes. One fall while winterizing my own system I discovered a sprinkler head I didn't even know existed: it was jammed and couldn't pop up, but I heard the hiss of air coming out! With a broken pipe air is helpful because it doesn't turn the work site into mud. A deep break could be hard to hear, though, and in any case this does require a substantial air compressor.
    – Greg Hill
    Jul 30, 2019 at 22:04
  • I have used air to blow my lines out for winter but never thought of trying air, yes it makes a mess but the digging is easy.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 30, 2019 at 22:26

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