Home > Pipe & Tubing > When Should I Use Cut-Off Nipples?

Today we’re talking about cut-off nipple risers. Adrian Sanchez here, for Sprinkler Warehouse. Let’s get started.

Cut-Off Nipple Risers Are Used To Connect Sprinklers To Piping

This is a cut-off nipple riser.  They’re used to connect sprinkler heads to a threaded tee or elbow on your piping.  These little guys have lots of options.  I have here the half-inch.  So this attaches a half-inch threaded tee connection up to a standard pop-up sprinkler head. 

Shop All Cut-Off Nipples For Irrigation Spray Heads

I’ve got one here that goes from a half-inch to three-quarter-inch that will get you from a tee with a three-quarter-inch female threaded opening to a standard pop-up head.  Or attach a rotor to a half-inch threaded tee. These come as a three-quarter-inch cutoff riser as well.  So it’ll go from a three-quarter-inch tee connection to a rotor.

Cut-Off Nipple Risers Have A Lot Of Options

The top of a pop-up sprinkler head should line up with the top of the soil.  Cut-off nipple risers were created with a lot of options because your piping is rarely going to be… six inches from the top of the soil at the precise spot where the sprinkler head is going to be installed. 

You don’t want your sprinkler head to be sticking up several inches from the top of the soil so that it can get hit by a lawnmower or become a tripping hazard.  Nor do you want it down inside of a hole several inches below the surface, where it won’t be able to rise high enough to properly water the grass or might get covered by so much soil that it doesn’t pop up at all.

Risers Help Correct Buried Sprinkler Heads By Adding Height

From time to time, as the soil settles or conversely years of grass clippings and soil amendments raise the height of the soil around the sprinkler head, you’ll need to go in and readjust the height of your sprinkler head.  Nipple risers are a cheap way to do that. 

This nipple riser I have in front of me is about six inches long.  One threaded portion will go inside of the sprinkler, and the other threaded portion will go into the top of the tee on your piping.  Most tees have about a seven-eights-inch riser on them. So this cutoff nipple “as-is” will give you just a bit over a six-inch rise off of your piping.

Cut-Off Nipple Risers Can Be Cut To The Perfect Height

To cut the riser I’m going to use this pipe cutter.  I recommend them.  You could use a box cutter.  But, if you do, be very careful.  Using a box cutter to cut these is a good way to cut yourself.  This is why I use the pipe cutter.

If I cut off this little section here, we have a close nipple.  This is a close nipple. Very little space, maybe an eighth of an inch between the sprinkler head and the fitting. You have this piece over here, that will give you about five inches of rising over your pipe.  If you needed this bigger portion, don’t throw away the closed nipple.  You may need it later.  So toss it in with your sprinkler system supplies.

Cut off this one section and you’ve now got a section that’ll give you about four inches of the riser. If you end up with a little section that looks like this. You can throw that away; you can’t use that for anything.

So, if we start by cutting here. This section here will give us a little over three inches of rising.  One more cut and we’ll have a little under two inches of rising. So that’s anywhere from one inch to six inches of choices from a single cutoff nipple.  If you have a different brand of cutoff nipple it may be configured slightly differently, but the same principles apply. But what if the nipple isn’t tall enough?  That’s where these come in.  This is a cutoff riser extension.  I’ve got some here in half-inch and three-quarter-inch.  Once again you can cut to size.

Contact Sprinkler Warehouse To Learn More About Cut-Off Nipples

Remember, Sprinkler Warehouse has everything for your irrigation needs so, your trees, lawn, flower beds, and gardens are lush and beautiful. If you have any questions about our products chat with one of our superb customer service agents on They really know their stuff and they’ll get you squared away. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for helpful tips, tutorials, and general sprinkler instruction. For Sprinkler Warehouse, I’m Adrian Sanchez.  Later irrigator.