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americaneon

New Member

Posts: 4

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

1

Wednesday, September 5th 2018, 1:38pm

Replacing old Champion metal heads vs new plastic ones?

Hello,
I have an old sprinkler system installed when my house was built in the 60s. The sprinklers have worked with minor issues over the last 10 years, they are the original old champion metal heads made in usa. I have someone helping me they say they know sprinklers but it's been three months now and I'm not getting anything fixed. I'm told The issue is trying to get the heads off, and difficulty digging them up and putting risers on. Some of the sprinkler heads are deep and need to have risers put on them and maybe new heads. I'm not sure what the right thing is to do. Should I replace the old metal heads with new ones? How hard is it to that? I've paid a couple thousand dollars as it's a new yard maintenance worker who gets a fixed salary every week, was hired in May it's now September. Any help and suggestions would be appreciated, my yard is small, but I have lots of established trees, grass, bushes, etc.

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 2,294

Location: USA

2

Wednesday, September 5th 2018, 2:12pm

Sometimes it's easier to just replace the brass head with a new brass head. There's a few things to consider.
What kind of pipes do you have?
Around here they have systems with this really thin grey pipe and galvanized risers. When you try to unscrew the riser it breaks the pipe.
If the pipes are galvanized, are they in good shape? 3/4" or 1/2" pipe? You can crack the pipe if it's too old.
The metal risers can also break off if screwed into galvanized pipe and fittings. You need the proper tools for a job like this.
It can be done though. I've spent 10 hours unscrewing all the galvanized pipes and installing plastic.
It sounds like your guy isn't interested in the job. Hire a pro.

americaneon

New Member

Posts: 4

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

3

Wednesday, September 5th 2018, 3:01pm

Hi, thanks for the response.
I think they are 1/2", they are the old metal pipes. Yes, they are very hard to get off. What tools are the best to use? I may just give up on the risers and have the heads replaced. What do you recommend?

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 2,294

Location: USA

4

Wednesday, September 5th 2018, 6:20pm

I use a pipe extractor or an easy out at the same time as a pipe wrench. It keeps the riser from tearing.
Sometime's I'll cut the pipe to about 3" to be unscrewed so I can insert the pipe extractor there. Then I use a socket to turn the extractor and at the same time I have the pipe wrench over where the extractor is. The extractor keeps the pipe wrench from crushing the riser. You'll also need a couple of breaker bars.
You'll also need a reamer and a threader just in case the riser breaks off and you can't unscrew the broke off threads. Or the correct size drill bit then rethread the hole.
It pays to be prepared. =)

americaneon

New Member

Posts: 4

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

5

Thursday, September 6th 2018, 9:18am

Thank you! Maybe we'll just change the heads and see what happens, if we really need the risers. I'd like your opinion on what you would recommend a good sprinkler head? I love the old Champion metal heads that say los angeles on them. They've lasted a long time! I know they are old, but plastic stuff seems always to break whenever I upgrade- especially in my kitchen electronics and such. I know sprinklers are different! Please let me know a good sprinkler head option. My yard is small, so they don't need a large spray area. Thanks so much for the help, so glad I found this forum!

americaneon

New Member

Posts: 4

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

6

Thursday, September 6th 2018, 9:21am

Oh, I forgot to ask if there were inside parts that could be replaced on the metal ones. I've heard people mention Orbit on the forum, but it doesn't seem a popular option.

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 2,294

Location: USA

7

Thursday, September 6th 2018, 2:21pm

Champion went out of business. You'll need to use whatever brand's available. Everything's made cheaper these days and the brass pop ups are no exception. But they work just fine. The brass Orbits or Fairway or whatever should fix you up.

If you change to a plastic pop up, I'd go with Rainbird's 1800 series.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,276

Location: Metro NYC

8

Friday, September 7th 2018, 4:04pm

Champion went out of business......
Reports of their demise may have been premature, if their renewed web presence is any indication. (there's a story there, but my knowledge is incomplete, so I won't get into rumor-mongering)

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