How To Remove Broken Sprinkler Risers

Broken Spinkler Riser
The cut-off riser I used when mounting I replaced my impact  sprinkler on a spike base with a rotor sprinkler broke when I was re-positioning the sprinkler and I couldn't get it out. Luckily I found a tool designed to remove broken sprinkler risers and nipples.

The Orbit Nipple Extractor removed the broken cut-off riser portion that was stuck in the hose-end spike base effortlessly.

I previously tried all sorts of tools and methods including plyers, knives and saws to try and remove the threaded portion with no luck. I even wound up cutting one of my fingers pretty badly in the process. The nipple extractor took it out within a few seconds. Once again right tool/right job and things go smoothly.

The Orbit Nipple Extractor costs about as much as a replacement hose-end spike base and I had contemplated just purchasing a new spike base rather than trying to get the broken riser out of it. In the end I decided it would be a good idea to have the nipple extractor in case I ever need it in the future. I decided to stick with the plastic cut-off risers which are designed to break before other components because it's easier/cheaper to replace a riser than it is to replace a sprinkler body or pipe fitting. In the future I might also install a full, in-ground sprinkler system and this tool would be nice to have in case anything goes wrong.

1/2" and 3/4" Orbit Nipple Extractor
The version of the nipple extractor I purchased comes with 2 removable reamers that are used to remove plastic threaded components that have broken while still screwed into their mating pieces. One is for 1/2" risers while the other is for 3/4". Simply choose the appropriate reamer and screw it onto the T-shaped handle. Keep in mind that the reamer is threaded in the opposite direction. It's righty-loosey/lefty-tighty and not righty-tighty/lefty-loosey.

Once you insert the nipple extractor into the broken nipple, press down and slowly turn the handle counter clockwise. The fins of the nipple extractor should dig into the plastic of the riser or nipple creating enough friction to begin unscrewing the riser out of the fitting.

Nipple extractor removing broken riser from sprinkler base.


I had no idea such a tool even existed. I happened to run across the Orbit Nipple Extractor while searching for something else. If only I found it sooner I could have saved myself a couple hours trying in vain to use other means and saved myself the pain and inconvenience of cutting my index finger. I highly recommend anyone that owns a sprinkler system to pick up one of these.
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