Sprinkler systems are designed to make watering your lawn and garden an easy and efficient task. However, when a sprinkler head doesn’t go down, it can cause frustration and wastewater. A sprinkler head that won’t retract can be caused by several issues, including faulty valves, debris, or damage to the head. This article will provide a guide to help you troubleshoot and fix a sprinkler head that won’t retract.

1. Check the Water Pressure

Low water pressure is one of the most common reasons a sprinkler head won’t go down. When water pressure is low, the water may not have enough force to push the sprinkler head back down into the ground. To check the water pressure, you can use a pressure gauge. Attach the gauge to a hose bib and turn on the water. The gauge will give you a reading of the water pressure. If the pressure is too low, you may need to adjust your sprinkler system or call a professional to help you.

2. Clear Debris

Debris, such as dirt, grass clippings, and leaves, can accumulate around the sprinkler head and prevent it from retracting. To clear debris, turn the water off to your sprinkler system and gently remove the head. Use a hose to wash away any accumulated debris around the head. Once the debris is cleared, reattach the sprinkler head and turn on the water to test if the head is retracting properly.

3. Check the Head for Damage

If the sprinkler head is damaged, it may not retract properly. Inspect the head for cracks, dents, or other signs of damage. If you find damage, you may need to replace the sprinkler head. To replace the head, turn off the water to your sprinkler system and remove the damaged head. Take the head to a hardware store or irrigation supply store to find a replacement that matches the type and brand of your current sprinkler head. Attach the new head and turn on the water to test if the head is retracting properly.

4. Troubleshoot the Valve

If the above steps do not fix the issue, the problem may be with the valve. The valve controls water flow to the sprinkler head and can be a common cause of sprinkler head issues. To troubleshoot the valve, turn the water off to your sprinkler system and locate the valve that controls the affected head. Check the valve for any damage or debris that may prevent it from working properly. If you find damage or debris, clean the valve or replace it if necessary. If the valve appears to be working properly, you may need to adjust the valve’s settings to ensure the proper amount of water pressure reaches the sprinkler head.


A sprinkler head that won’t go down can be a frustrating problem for homeowners. However, following the steps outlined in this article, you can troubleshoot and fix the issue. If you are still experiencing issues after trying these steps, it may be time to call a professional to help you with your sprinkler system. Keeping your sprinkler system in good working order ensures that your lawn and garden stay healthy and hydrated all season long.

Extreme Irrigation and Lawn is a locally-owned and -operated company providing sprinkler system installation and repair in Tulsa. We know how important a lush, beautiful yard is to both home and business owners. We also understand how frustrating a broken sprinkler system or poor drainage can be to your landscaping. Let us help. Get in touch with us to request a free quote.