How to Find Buried Sprinkler Head? See The 5 Proven Tactics

How to find a buried sprinkler head and bring your lawn sprinkler system to bring harmony again with all sprinklers working?

A sprinkler system can be differently constructed with a variety of zones for different lawns. But due to no usage over time, it can be buried under or covered with muds and grasses. Also, it can happen that the sprinkle head is jammed or not popping out, and you have forgotten the exact location of the head.

In that case, how do you find a missing sprinkler head? In this guide, we have discussed all the possible ways that you can try to locate your lost sprinkler head easily. However, most of these ways are proven and tried by some of our experts at different lawn care programs.

So, let’s know about them.

How to Find Buried Sprinkler Head?

After digging out so many lawn and patio opinions and reviewing some experts’ experiences, we got the chance to present here the guide backed by 5 effective and practical strategies.

Many got their sprinkles head losing problem solved using these techniques. Let’s fix your one too.

1. How to Find a Missing Sprinkler Head with Water?

So, the method title must be reflecting a puzzle. Right? Well, this is the most basic way to find buried sprinkler heads covered by grass or mud. If your sprinkler heads got many days of no running, covered with grasses, and so you can’t find them, this technique is applicable.

  • Turn off all the visible sprinkler head valves. If there is no divot, you can turn the valves off by twisting clockwise. Or if there are divots, then put a screwdriver inside and tighten the valves.
  • Turn the sprinkler system on and make sure all the sprinkler head is running.
  • Now, wait for a few minutes.
  • After some time, check for the wetting on your lawn yard. As the lost sprinkle head is covered, but the water is running, water flow is under the surface. It might be leaking anywhere near around.
  • Check and find out the flooded route and track along with the water line to find the missing sprinkler head.

Pro Tips:

  • Make sure the missing sprinkler head is not capped. Otherwise, you can’t be able to find out the flooded line.

2. How to Find a Sprinkler Head without Water?

Don’t want to make your lawn mushy and t? Want some ways that won’t make your lawn messy? Then try this method to locate buried sprinkler heads.

In this method, what you have to do is check your sprinkler system diagram or the plans chart that was provided at the time of system installation. Try to locate all the sprinkler heads according to that diagram. And finally, find the invisible one.

Things You Need-

  • Some flags to use as heads locator
  • Measuring tape
  • Initial plan chart of the sprinkler system

Well, let’s just make the steps clear here.

  • Check out the sprinkler system diagram and try to locate the heads. You may not be able to locate the exact location of the heads, but you will be nearby close at. So, start with all the visible sprinkler heads.
  • Use the flags and pin on each visible sprinkle head.
  • After defining all the visible ones, check the diagram chart and locate the buried one.
  • Most of the time, these sprinkler valves are installed, keeping a minimum distance from one another. Check carefully; there might be a pattern followed. Follow that routing line and an average space. Then try to find the location point for the invisible one in between these.

This method is useful if you have the correct diagram chart for your lawn irrigation system.

Pro Tips:

  • Look for the spots with brownish, less greenish grasses. This can be the possible location to be the sprinkler head buried inside.

3. How to Find Sprinkler Lines with Coat Hanger?

Don’t you have the plan diagram of the sprinkler system? Also, don’t want to wet the yard? Then, try this method.

So, this might seem a bit awkward to use a coat hanger to locate the sprinkler valves.  But many professionals seem to use this handy and homely technique to find their buried sprinkler head.

We have seen many lawn owners asking how do I find a capped sprinkler head. Well, for them this is the easiest and cheapest way.

According to Physics, there always works a metal to metal strong attraction force that you might feel when holding metal stuff towards another. We will use that formula to find the buried sprinkler valve.

Things You Need-

  • A metal coat hanger rod

Steps are much easier here but need your close attention. What you have to do is-

  • Hold the metal rod very flexibly on your hand.
  • Walk along with the sprinkler system. and hold the rod very lightly on hand.
  • Now, you will feel the energy that turns the rod towards the water pipelines or the sprinkler heads with metal valves.
  • Follow that route and try to locate your buried sprinkler head.

Most professionals seem to fail at this technique to feel the energy. So, this method is kind of tricky. If you can’t feel the energy force, then this method won’t work for you.

Pro Tips:

  • The rod should not be too heavy or thicker.
  • Try to feel the energy applying this on other metal pipes at first. Then, try to find the missing valve.

Alternative to Coat Hanger Rod

You can use any thin metal wire to use instead of the coat hanger. Sometimes, these coat hangers come with plastic wrap that might affect the energy force between metals.

Get a thin wire or two and then mold it in L or Y shaped. Make sure the edge is thinner enough.  Then, try the same steps as shown for the coat hanger.

This technique of working with the metal-to-metal energy force is known as water drowsing. However, you may also see this method called water witching in some lawn care sites or lawn owners.

4. How to Find a Capped Sprinkler Head Using Sprinkler Head Detector?

If you cannot find the buried sprinkler head with any of the methods above methods, use any sprinkler head detector.

By the way, this method might cost you some if you do not own any sprinkler valve detector. You can also hire a sprinkle detector from any sprinkler warehouse or tools rental site. Nowadays, the Armada Pro700 Underground Valve Detector seems to be in the hype of buyers’ choice list.

Why This Deal Worth?

  • Minimized 50-60 Hz sound for a clearer noise
  • Analog meters for easy view
  • Protective for the hard-shell custom casing
  • Manufactured by Kohler brand

Check Price

There is another cheaper alternative that we found very popular among the homesite lawn owners. This is the Kolsol F02 Underground Cable Detector which many find very cool and advanced also.

Why This Deal Worth?

  • Can detect up to 2 to 3 feet deep
  • Comes with earphones for easy hearing
  • Helpful for locating any broken line/leakage
  • White LED flashlight helps in understanding the signal

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So, how to find old buried sprinkler heads with a metal detector? Go through the steps once.

  • Connect the transmitter of the detector to the receiver and turn it on.
  • Now, move with the detector or run the detector along with the lawn.
  • If you already have some idea of the location can try running the device along that route.
  • When it detects the sprinkler valve or any break pipeline, the sound increases.
  • And there you go. Get the location and dig out the grasses or muds to find your lost sprinkler head.

Pro Tips:

  • Make sure the sprinkler heads are capped with a metal valve. If there is no metal valve, you can’t detect the heads.
  • To win over this technique needs some mastering, though. So, better you try on some metals for a couple of hours to master this technique.
  • This won’t work if the metal valve is buried too deep. So, be sure to

5. How to Find Buried Sprinkler Heads Covered by Grass?

Is the sprinkler head covered by grass? Can’t you detect it using a metal detector? Then, the only cheapest option is available for you to dig out the grasses to locate your sprinkle head.

Well, this option is kind of time-consuming and can wet you with your sweat for sure. But if you don’t want to use any of the above methods, then this is the least and cheapest alternative to trying.

Things You Need-

  • A shovel

Oh! You can use this Radius Garden Shovel that many garden or lawn owners find helpful.

Why This Deal Worth?

  • Serrated design reduces pain on the hands
  • V-shaped accessible to tip dirt & muds
  • Sturdy tip effective only for gardening jobs
  • Powder-coated steel tip ensures durability

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So, what you have to do is-

  • Measure your sprinkle head zone and locate the nearer sprinkle head spots based on your observation.
  • Now, take the shovel and rip out the dirt and grass gently to locate the sprinkler head.

Pro Tips:

  • Don’t hit too deep or too rigid. There can be a chance of damaging the water pipes.

You need to work hard really find the sprinkler head by digging the soil. However, there is an effective alternative also you can try that we saw many lawn owners try.

Use a landscape rake lake, the Midwest Aluminum rake, and gently smoothen over the ground surface. It will help rip out the dirt over the sprinkler valves and locate the buried head.

Why This Deal Worth?

  • 36’’ long handle
  • Stable head design
  • Smooth rounded teeth
  • Perfect makeover stuff for the lawn

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But make sure you have a close enough observation of the nearest location of the sprinkler zone.

Wrapping Up

To keep your lawn greenish with time-to-time irrigation, the Sprinkler system with multiple head connections really benefits. But due to not use in Winter or leakage, or covered with the grasses, you might lose the buried sprinkler head.

However, after today’s discussion, hopefully, you now know how to find buried sprinkler head. Besides, some of the experts’ tips will surely benefit you now and then.

So, find the lost one easily and make your sprinkler heads run again to enchant your landscape look.

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