How To Mount Rotor Sprinkler On Spike

A quiet rotor sprinkler replaces an impact sprinkler on spike base
I have a couple of Gilmour Metal Impulse Sprinklers on Zinc Spike Bases. They work very well but they can be loud, even after using my technique to make them quieter so I decided to attach a Hunter PGP Adjustable Rotor Head to the spike base.

The gear driven rotor sprinklers are a lot quieter than the impact sprinklers. If you don't already have the impact sprinklers you can just buy the Gilmour Turbine Rotor Sprinkler With Polymer Spike Base and not have to add the rotor head on it. I already had these impulse sprinklers so I decided to convert my impact sprinkler to a rotor sprinkler.

The Hunter PGP Rotor Head is also recognized as one of the better gear driven sprinkler heads out there. These sprinklers are meant for in ground installations but I'll be using them above-ground on spike bases. By the way, if you already have the sprinkler heads you can also buy the Orbit Zinc Step Spike Base to mount it on.

Quieter Than an Impact Sprinkler

Because the sprinkler is gear driven and doesn't use the impact from the swing arm to turn the sprinkler the Hunter PGP is considerably quieter than an impact sprinkler All you hear is the sound of the water spray. Here is a video of my sprinkler installed and running. The hunter PGP has a radius range of 20' to 46' which matches well with the impact sprinkler. Take a look at the video below to hear how quiet it is in action.


Since I already had the spikes from the impact sprinkers, to upgrade my impact sprinkler to a rotor I only needed to purchase the following two items:


The only tool that was necessary was a pair of groove lock pliers

Step 1: Remove Impact Sprinkler Head

The old impact sprinkler head is screwed on to the spike base. It comes off easy by turning it counter clockwise with a pair of pliers.

Unscrewing impact sprinkler from spike base

Step 2: Cut Down Cut-off Riser

The cut-off riser has multiple threaded sections on it. It is used when installing in-ground sprinklers to connect the lateral lines to sprinkler heads. It will also work to connect the Hunter PGP sprinkler to the spike base.

Cut off riser

To get the sprinkler head close to the ground I elected to cut the riser down to the first threaded section. The riser cuts easily with a utility knife.

Cut off riser cut short

The cut section on the left is what will be used to attach the sprinkler head to the base.

Brass sprinkler riser Update: The cutoff riser is designed to be weaker than the other components so it breaks easily. I made the mistake of trying to push the sprinkler spike into the ground by holding it by the sprinkler body and not the metal spike base. The riser snapped. It's designed to do this because the riser is cheaper to replace than the sprinkler body or the other fittings which are either more expensive or more difficult to replace. I'm considering replacing the broken cutoff riser with either a metal or PVC 1/2" to 3/4" reducing nipple which would be more durable. I would need to make sure to be careful handling the sprinkler since it would obviously break before the metal fitting.

Step 3: Attach Riser To Base

The thinner end of the nipple screws into the spike base using a clockwise motion. Make sure the threads are seated correctly because the plastic threads are easy to strip. I tightened as far as I could by hand and then continued with a pair of pliers to get it nice and snug.

Sprinkler riser in spike base

Step 4: Attach Sprinkler Head To Riser

The final step is to screw the sprinkler head onto the top part of the riser. Again be careful to not mess up the threads.

Rotor sprinkler mounted on hose end spike base

I tightened the sprinkler head as much as I could by hand. At this point you're ready to connect the sprinkler to a garden hose, place it where you'd like and adjust the arc and radius to suit your needs. Instructions on how to adjust the sprinkler come with your sprinkler head.
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  1. I saw no mentions of duct tape, bubble gum, or duct tape. Wtf MacGyver??? Nice tutorial. I'm going to do it.

  2. ha :) Maybe you'll be more impressed with how I used to use a rubber band to keep the original impact sprinklers from being so loud.