Asked on Jul 12, 2013

Sprinkler heads above ground?? Is this ok?

Teresa D
by Teresa D
I finally had my front yard re-sodded about 4 weeks ago and I had to replace 5 sprinkler heads. The landscaper who sodded my yard repaired the sprinklers too. While he replaced the heads with some cool looking, water-saving, multi-stream spray heads, most of the heads are sticking up out of the ground. These are mainly the ones on risers (I think that's the correct term). They are all located in beds so I am not worried about hitting them with the lawn mower, but I am concerned about neighborhood kids running through my yard tripping over them and damaging them or them freezing this winter.
When I asked if it was ok for them to be sticking up like that, he said he did it for the reach (one used to be impaired by a cable box in my yard and another, by the mailbox post) and that the way the pipes run underground, the water would drain from the heads to the lowest point and would not freeze. I am trying to trust him as the professional, but I have horrible luck with contractors and here it is, 4 weeks later and it is still bugging me.
What say you hometalkers? Is it ok to have these heads sticking up out of the ground like this?
This one isn't bad. It might be one of the old heads
This one is sticking up pretty far
This one is near the curb between my property and my neighbor. This is probably the one most likely to be damaged by kids. It has to reach over a cable box though, to spray the yard. The head before would hit the cable box.
  13 answers
  • Patricia W Patricia W on Jul 13, 2013
    If the reach is not correct, he did not nozzle them correctly he should have used a taller pop up. A taller pop up would be the right choice, those come as tall as 12 or 16". If these are rotors, he should have upped the nozzle size. Water WILL stay in the shrub body ( which is the part sticking up, or the body of the sprinkler) If you are in a place where freezing is a concern, have your system blown out. I would have him back and tell him to change them. Sprinklers are meant to be flush with the grade. And if the contractor says Im wrong, then hes nuts! What I think, and its obvious, his trench was not deep enough. Hubby has been doing installs forever as a landscape construction contractor. He says that you need to get them back out there.
  • Valerie Valerie on Jul 13, 2013
    I would agree with what Patricia W has to say.
  • Teresa D Teresa D on Jul 13, 2013
    *sigh .. .that's what I was afraid of. I am afraid to have him back out because, if he feels what he did was the right thing, how can I trust him to do it right when I have him come out and do it over? I almost feel safer paying someone to correct it. *frustrated
  • Lori J Lori J on Jul 13, 2013
    I would certainly give him the chance to fix it. Then be vocal and outspoken if he does not do so. We had an electrician bid a job at $600 and bill at nearly $1200. I came all kinds of unglued on him. He offered to split the difference and I told him that if we paid that much, I was going to be all kinds of bad advertising for him. We paid $600.
  • Barbara Barbara on Jul 14, 2013
    All I can say is I was at a friend's house for a get together. They have a sprinkler head that sticks up in a corner of lawn next to the driveway. In the dark, I tripped on that sprinkler head and fell against the car. Unfortunately, I had a large glass bowl in my arms and it was pushed out as I hit the car and it broke all over the street. I guess I was lucky I hit the car instead of falling on the pavement into the glass.
  • LandlightS LandlightS on Jul 14, 2013
    I have to admit that I do not know that much about sprinkler heads......BUT......what happens when you cut the grass and not hit the sprinkler heads that are above ground. I have only seen the above ground heads when next to the home structure behind shrubs or in garden beds with tall shrubs. Almost all sprinkler heads of my customers are level to the ground (below the grass line) and "pop-up" when in use. Gary
  • I would agree with the high pop sprinkler to get over an obstruction. It would go back into the ground and not be a tripping problem, especially when in a traffic area. Sometimes there is an obstruction in the ground that makes it hard to get the sprinkler in the ground, especially the high pops. I don't see any reason in the pictures for them to be sticking up. Not so critical in shrub beds, unless people may run through the area. I can see why he may think it is fine, but it could be a hazard.
  • Southern Trillium LLC Southern Trillium LLC on Jul 14, 2013
    Just curious, when the sprinklers turn on, how high do they pop up? Do they stick up 4 inches, 6 inches, or higher? As others already pointed out, they are available in different heights. If they are 6 inch pop ups, and the contractor wanted them to be elevated to clear an obstacle, they should have installed 12 inch pop ups and had them buried flush to the ground. I am only assuming at this point, but the larger ones do cost more money, and require installing them much deeper in the ground. I see it quite often when a person, or company, used what they had on the truck, or to save money, and tried to make up for the mistake by sticking them up above ground so that when they pop up, they are higher.
  • Teresa D Teresa D on Jul 17, 2013
    I keep forgetting to try to measure the height. I haven't had to turn them on for weeks with all the rain we've been having. Here is a pic of the one near my mailbox. I think it sticks up the furthest of them all. I think he only replaced the heads so whatever I already had in the ground, he used. He did mention that the reason they are sticking up is so they will clear the mailbox ... cable box, etc.
  • Southern Trillium LLC Southern Trillium LLC on Jul 20, 2013
    I am not sure how it is clearing the mailbox, since the post is vertical. I can understand that he may have just changed out the heads with MP Rotator (or similar multi spray, low volume nozzle) . Without them turned on and sticking up on the of the bodies, we don't know how tall they are. The one in this photo could be a 6" body, with half below ground. If it required being higher, they should be changed to 12" bodies, where they can be completely buried flush to the ground, and will then pop up 12" above ground.
  • Kay Adams Kay Adams on Jul 20, 2013
    plant something in the beds...
  • Southern Trillium LLC Southern Trillium LLC on Jul 21, 2013
    Kay, the main argument from Teresa is that she paid a professional to have work done, and she believes it was not done properly.Planting things around the raised heads is covering up someone else's possible mistake. And for Teresa, she feels like the paid professional should have done it right (if what they did was wrong).
  • Kay Adams Kay Adams on Jul 22, 2013
    That was obvious Southern. If she would just Ask or Google the question, "How high should a rotator head sit above ground when not in use?" and she will find the answer after all the medical answers about "rotator cuff injuries".