Off with the Sprinkler Heads!

Adolph Garcia

Capping unnecessary sprinkler heads will save a tremendous amount of water (and money) over time.

Irrigation systems are often viewed by homeowners as cumbersome and complex. But with a few simple tools and a spare hour, you can simplify your system by capping unnecessary sprinkler heads. And you’ll save buckets of water in the process!

There are a number of reasons to cap a sprinkler head. Maybe you’re building a deck or converting to drought-tolerant plants. Or, perhaps you’re going to participate in the WaterSaver Landscape Coupon program and you opt to disable sprinkler heads in your planting zone to adhere to program guidelines.

Before getting started, gather your tools — flags or sticks, a shovel, pliers and 1/2-inch threaded PVC caps (available at most home improvement stores).

The process is simple:

  • Turn on the zone in question and mark each head with a flag or stick.
  • Turn off the zone.
  • Dig around each head to expose it.
  • Unscrew the exposed head. (Some damage to the head is normal).
  • Install the PVC cap.
  • Cover the now-capped head with dirt.
  • Turn on the zone to verify everything is working properly.

Irrigation systems use a lot of water. Capping unnecessary heads will save a tremendous amount of water (and money) over time. You could be eligible for a Residential Irrigation Design Rebate when you make changes to your system. Pre-application meetings with SAWS staff are required for this rebate.

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