How to Replace the T-Fitting for a Lawn Sprinkler Head

What You'll Need
PVC Cutters
Tape Measure
Small Amount of PVC Pipe
PVC Primer
PVC Cement

The t-fitting of a lawn sprinkler head is the piece that the riser attaches to. The riser extends upward and connects to the sprinkler head itself. If the t-fitting has been damaged, you can replace it using the following steps.

Step 1: Dig Down to the Fitting

Use the shovel to dig around the sprinkler head and down to the t-fitting. Make a hole wide enough so it extends out from the t-fitting about a foot on either side. This will make enough room to work and allow the pipe to be flexed slightly. Once complete, remove the sprinkler head and the riser.

Step 2: Remove the Damaged T-Fitting

Use the PVC cutters to cut the pipe just to the right of the t-fitting. Now cut the pipe on the left side of the fitting, but about a foot farther away. Remove the cut pipe.

Step 3: Install the New T-Fitting

Apply the PVC primer to the insides of the t-fitting. Apply it to the ends of the supply line in the hole as well. You will be connecting the t-fitting to the right end of the supply line. Apply PVC cement to the inside of the right opening of the t-fitting. Also apply it to the right end of the supply line. Quickly connect the fitting to the supply line by applying pressure and twisting. Make sure the top of the t-fitting is straight up.

Step 4: Add the Coupling

Add PVC primer to the insides of the coupling. When dry, apply PVC cement to the left opening only and to the supply line extending from the left. Quickly connect the two by twisting them together.

Step 5: Measure and Cut

Using the tape measure, figure the distance from the inside opening of the t-fitting to the inside opening of the coupling. This will be the amount of pipe needed to connect the two together. Using a pencil, mark this distance on the piece of small PVC pipe. Use the PVC cutters to cut the pipe at the mark. 

Step 6: Install the Pipe

Apply PVC primer to the ends of the pipe you just cut. Also make sure PVC primer is applied to the inside of the coupling and the t-fitting. Once dry, you can apply the PVC cement. You will be applying the cement to the inside of the coupling and t-fitting, as well as the outside ends of the cut pipe. Working quickly so the cement does not dry, twist the pipe into the t-fitting. Now flex the supply pipe with the coupling upward. Align the ends so that the pipe bends into the inside of the coupling. Once inside, twist the pipe so it is tight.

Step 7: Testing for Leaks

Reattach the riser and sprinkler head. Turn on the sprinkler. Inspect the connections for any leaks. If leaks are visible at the coupling or t-fitting, you will need to start over from Step 2.

Step 8: Finishing up

With no leaks present, you can fill back in the hole.