Picture of Rescue a Watering Can
This is my wife's plastic watering can.  The original sprinkler head cracked and fell off.  I replaced it with standard PVC parts from the local hardware store.

Why bother?  Most watering cans I found on-line were metal with prices ranging from $25 to $50 each.  I made my sprinkler head for about $3.50.
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Step 1: Parts needed

Picture of Parts needed
The red numbers identify each part.  Number 1 is a 1/2 inch male adapter.  Number 2 is 2 x 1/2 inch bushing.  Number 3 is a 2 inch slip cap.  The slip cap has been drilled by me to make sprinkler holes for the water streams.  The slip cap slides over the bushing and makes a fairly tight fit by itself.  You could glue it, but leaving it without glue allows you to remove it later.

Step 2: Fitting the male adapter

Picture of Fitting the male adapter
I intended to make photos of each step, but became so engrossed in the mechanics of making my sprinkler head work that I forgot to take the pictures. 

The factory threads on the watering can spout were 3/4 inch in diameter.  The male adapter slid over them with a close fit.  I drilled a hole about 3/16 inch in diameter through the sides of the male adapter.  Hot glue fills these holes to lock the male adapter on the threads.  I coated the threads on the water can with hot glue and quickly slipped the male adapter over the threads.  I also pressed some hot glue into the two holes I drilled.  The hot glue makes a good seal and very firmly secures the male adapter on the watering can spout.
RoBear61310 months ago

Just for yucks I did a search for "replacement watering can spouts and found this:

Phil B (author)  RoBear61310 months ago
Thanks. It looks like it would work better with a bottle than a big watering can.
askm2 years ago
Thanks for this idea! We had two watering cans without the tops, and decided that it would be worth trying. We did what you said, but put duck tape around the top instead of glue. It worked and now we have two beautiful watering cans!
RoBear613 askm10 months ago

I like the idea of the duct tape (or maybe Teflon plumbing tape?). That way you can take the head off and clean it out, if needed.

Phil B (author)  askm2 years ago
Good for you! If the duck tape ever fails or disintegrates, you can try the hot glue. And, you saved yourself some money. Whenever someone asks about your strange watering can, you can tell them about one of your favorite web sites where people can share things they like to do. Thank you for looking and for commenting.
RoBear61310 months ago

I've noticed the ones in Home Depot are now molded with the head on it; about $8.

So, this will resurrect 2 cans for the price of one. And no landfill space used.

As a "swamp Yankee", I like that.

Bat Signal4 years ago
I picked up the parts today and just tried your fix. I thought the 1/16" holes would be too small, but that was exactly the right call for a light shower that won't batter seedlings. There's a bit of dribble where the adapter meets the spout, so I will be using your hot glue suggestion too. Thanks!
Phil B (author)  Bat Signal4 years ago
Thanks for the report. I am pleased that you can use this. I hope it works well for you for a very long time.
Bat Signal4 years ago
Someone threw away the sprinkler cap to my watering can. I just refused to toss it because I wanted a fix like this. I'm looking forward to trying it. I like the touch with dye and dot for illustration.
Phil B (author)  Bat Signal4 years ago
Thanks. I hope this fix works well for you. It has for us. If the PVC plumbing parts you buy fit more loosely than you want, hot glue fills a lot of voids.
Ahhhhhh Phil. You are such a clever fellow!
Phil B (author)  porcupinemamma4 years ago
Thank you, Lyn. I hope you can use this sometime. How are things in your part of Canada?
We survived an earth quake and a tornato all in the same day. We were without power for more than 24 hours. It's been wild times around here.
Phil B (author)  porcupinemamma4 years ago
Ouch! I can only hope daytime temperatures were relatively comfortable when all of this happened.
rimar20004 years ago
Good work, Phil! Except for extreme exceptions, it is always better to repair a gadget rather than throw it away.
Phil B (author)  rimar20004 years ago
Thank you. I agree.
nickodemus4 years ago
Nicely done!
Phil B (author)  nickodemus4 years ago
Thank you.
Scott_Tx4 years ago
I had the same thing happen to my plastic watering can but it disappeared before I could hack it, I had an old shower head for it.
Phil B (author)  Scott_Tx4 years ago
When I was at the hardware store I looked at shower heads, but they cost more than I wanted to spend and I was not sure yet if the holes were the size I needed. Their threaded nuts were also a smaller diameter than the end of my watering can spout. Thank you for your comment.