How to Cap Sprinkler Heads | A Standard Step By Step Guide With Images


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If you have a sprinkler head, then you will suffer many problems regarding the sprinkler head cap. Capping a sprinkler header may be due to many causes, including winterization or freezing or to prevent overwatering. Capping sprinkler saves money and water wastage. To cap, you must know how to cap sprinkler heads. Now I am going to explain to you how you can cap the sprinkler head, to do this, you have to remove the existing sprinkler cap and replace it with a flat cap, or in other cases, you can completely remove the sprinkle head and cap it with a PVC pipe cap.

How to Cap Sprinkler Heads: Tools You Need


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Sprinkler Head Cap

How to Cap Sprinkler Heads

The down steps will guide you on how you can install a cap on the sprinkler head.

Step 1: Installing a flat sprinkler cap:

  • Purchase a sprinkler cap: Find or purchase a sprinkler cap that is compatible with your system.
  • When you purchase a sprinkler head, it comes with its original, compatible flat caps and plugs. These caps will plug up the water and prevent it from dispersed in your garden.
  • In case you can’t find the original cap, then purchase a new flat cap from the manufacturer of the sprinkler head or at a hardware store.
  • There are various sizes of caps available in the market. When you select a cap, you must find a cap that exactly fits the sprinkler head. To make this selection easy, you can carry a sprinkler head or measure exactly its size.

Turn off water from the main water valve:

  • Locate the valve and turn off its pump to prevent water from flowing out while putting the cap.
  • Turn the valve clockwise.
  • The valve is mostly located outside the house.
  • For the sprinkler system, valves are indicated by blue colour.

Clear the dirt:

  • Clear the dirt around the sprinkler head.
  • Dig a 1-2 inch hole around the sprinkler head with a shovel.
  • Put all dirt in a dry place to use it later after putting sprinkler head to refill the hole again.
  • The purpose of making a hole and putting soil outside is to ensure the soil doesn’t enter inside the sprinkler head when you unscrew the head cap.

Remove the cap:

  • Now remove the cap from the sprinkler head.
  • Turn the top of the head anti-clockwise to remove the cap.
  • If you can’t loosen it, use a pair of pliers to loosen it. 
  • Continue unthreading the sprinkler head until it’s removed.

Screw new cap:

  • Now screw the new cap to the sprinkler head.
  • Place the flat cap made for your sprinkler system over the threads on top of your sprinkler head.
  • Turn the tap clockwise to tighten it.

Refill the hole:

  • Now refill the hole and turn on the system.
  • Turn the water supply pump counter-clockwise to turn the water supply on.
  • Turn on the irrigation system to check the cap you installed.
  • Examine from all around to check no water is coming out.
There is one other way through which you can use a sprinkler head without digging.
  • Channel-lock pliers: In this step, you have to use large channel lock pliers to remove the sprinkler’s head cap and riser to show up the cavity and splines. 
  • Insert Screwdriver: In this step, insert the screwdriver into the tool and rotate it counter-clockwise direction. In this way, take out the sprinkler head slowly. At this point, there is a possible chance of dirt into the T-fitting. If the dirt is minimal, then use any water shower to remove dirt. There is one nipple attached to the T-fitting; if the old nipple is in good condition, remove, clean it off, and attach it to the sprinkler head before inserting it back.
The same method you can use for the fire sprinkler head cap, turn it off.
  • 1st of all, locate the fire sprinkler water valve. 
  • Unscrew the cap covering the sprinkler head.
  • Apply anaerobic pipe thread sealer to the threads of the new nipple.
  • Now restore the water pressure by turning on the water valve.
  • Test it as instructed by the manufacturer.

Step 2: Capping with PVC pipe:

Turn off the valve to the sprinkler head source.

  • Turn the water valve counter-clockwise to turn it off to disconnect the water supply.
  • Valve colour is blue, which is an indication of the water supply to the sprinkler head. It’s mostly located on the side of the house on the backside.
  • If you don’t turn off the water when you take off the sprinkler head, it may spray out of the sprinkler when you remove the sprinkler head.

Dig a 13-15 cm deep hole:

  • Now dig a 13-15 cm or 5-6 inch deep hole around the sprinkler head.
  • Use a shovel to make a hole around the sprinkler head.
  • Put the soil on the side to use later.
  • Removing the dirt around the sprinkler makes it easy for you to access and remove the sprinkler head easily.

Unscrew the sprinkler head:

  • Make sure the hole is deep enough, through which you can see the base of the sprinkler.
  • Now pick up the sprinkler tightly and turn it clockwise to loosen it from your sprinkler system tubing.
  • It’s up to you; you can use an extra sprinkler head to replace a damaged sprinkler head or use in another location along with your system.

Screw a PVC cap directly onto the system:

  • While purchasing a PVC pipe, you must measure its size.
  • Typically sprinkler bases are ½ – ¾ inches and 1.3-1.9 cm pipe.
  • Screwing a PVC cap onto your sprinkler base will turn on that specific head.
  • Place the cap on the thread and turn it clockwise to screw it tightly.

Fill the hole:

  • Now refill the hole with dirt and turn on the cap.
  • Go back to the valve. Turn the water on by rotating the valve counter-clockwise.
  • Access your sprinkler valve controller to turn the system.
  • Examine the hole around if the water is coming out, then fix the cap tightly.
  • If the water is not coming out, then it’s correctly installed.
  • One thing you must remember, paying attention to the efficiency of your sprinkler system can pay dividends.
  • One broken head can lose gallons of water in a single cycle.
  • Check regularly. It will save you water and cash.

Similarly, a universal sprinkler shut off cap is also used as drip irrigation with the landscape retro drip adapter. It is the best option if you don’t want to install a sprinkler.


Cost depends on the quality of the cap.

Typical range$131- $380
National Average$250
Lowest price$60
Highest price$700

All of these prices include replacing sprinkler heads, Labour fee, valve replacement, and head cost.

How to Cap Sprinkler Heads: FAQ

Is it OK to cap off a sprinkler head?

Yes, capping the sprinkler head is not bad as it saves money and gallons of water from loss. It spends on you which method you use for capping off. There are two ways to put a cap only on the head or the sprinkler, and the other way is to put a cap on the sprinkler base. Both methods are safe. But if you are placing a cap on the sprinkler head, you must check its condition; if it’s broken, you need to replace it.

How much does it cost to cap off a sprinkler head?

Answer: Cost depends on the quality of the cap.

Typical range$131- $380
National Average$250
Lowest price$60
Highest price$700

All of these prices include replacing sprinkler heads, Labour fee, valve replacement, and head cost.

How do you fix a sprinkler head?

By following steps, you can fix the sprinkler heads:

Step 1: Accessing the sprinkler assembly

  • Cut a 6-8 inches circle into the grass around the faulty sprinkler.
  • Remove the intact grass around the sprinkler using a hand trowel.

Step 2: Replacing the sprinkler head

Step 3: Checking the issues and filling the holes

  • Please turn on the sprinklers briefly to test them.
  • Flush the open water line to clear out the significant clogs.
  • Fill in the hole around the sprinkler
  • Replace the loose section of turf you cut earlier.


To conclude this topic, to avoid any damage and loss to your garden, it’s essential to put a cap on the sprinkler. But if you see the sprinkler head is broken, you can put a PVC pipe cap directly on the sprinkler base or replace the sprinkler head. Sprinkler pipe gives support to the sprinkler base. So it concludes that putting on a cap can save you from many headaches. Now you must learn how to cap sprinkler heads then start your work.

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