July 5, 2011

Choosing Sprinkler Spray Heads for Your Underground Irrigation System

When designing an in-ground sprinkler system, there are three main types of sprinkler heads from which to choose. Before deciding on the types of sprinklers you wish to use for your do-it-yourself irrigation system, there are a couple of things to remember:
  • Group similar sprinkler heads together. Do not mix and match different garden sprinkler types.
  • Overlap water sprays so no areas are left unwatered.
The three main types of lawn sprinkler spray heads are large area, medium area and small area. Large areas are considered to be larger than 25 feet by 25 feet. Medium-sized areas are considered to bsmaller than 25 feet by 25 feet. Small areas are considered as flower beds, vegetable gardens, areas with shrubs and trees and ground cover.
The most common large area water sprinklers are gear drive and impact sprinkler heads. Gear driven sprinklers have gear drive rotors that allow for quiet and smooth rotation. They rotate seamlessly across your yard. Impact heads use an impact or anti-backsplash arm for easy rotation. With deflector shields, impact sprinklers spray water only where you need it and prevent water from spraying on sidewalks and driveways.
For medium-sized areas, pop-up sprinklers are quite common. The two main styles of spring-loaded pop-up heads are fixed spray and adjustable spray. Pop-up water sprinklers vary in pop-up height and spraying patterns. Fixed spray patterns on pop-up sprinkler heads come in different spraying patterns such as quarter, half and full circle sprays. Adjustable spray pop-ups usually range from 25 to 360 degrees and adjust to fit your lawn watering needs.
Smaller areas like areas with flowers and shrubs are best served by bubblers and shrub heads. They are use to flood areas with water or provide direct watering straight to the needed source.
If you space your spray heads properly and overlap your water spray, you will have an effective and efficient water sprinkler system. You can create your own underground lawn irrigation system simply and in a cost-effective manner and have a beautiful yard and gardens to show for all your hard work.


Phil Goold is a retired landscaper of 30 years. He loves being outside more than anything else, except maybe pie. He enjoys connecting with other landscapers and gardeners because everyone brings something new and fun to the table. Connect with Phil on Twitter and Google+.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, great points! some good information on your website. Might want to also point our that the best way to ensure there are no dry sport is to triangulate the layout of heads.

    For example if you have lawn that is 40' by 80'|===| you want to put one in the front right corner|===|<, one in the back middle|=^=|, and another in the front left corner >|===| (pointing to the bottom for the corners).

    Also don't forget to put insert nozzles that will lead to an even balance (probably 1.5-2 for corners and 3-4 for the back middle rotors).

    Thanks for the great site. I hope this helps!