Sprinkler Heads

The right types of sprinkler heads and proper arrangements can help you grow a beautiful, lush yard

Sprinkler Heads

Proper arrangement of sprinkler heads is the key to a lush, healthy lawn. While water pressure, frequency of watering and watering times all play important roles, the most crucial component is ensuring even coverage. This guide will teach you the different types of sprinkler heads so you can understand the differences distinct patterns.

Types of Sprinkler Heads

Choose between rotary heads, spray heads, bubblers and more to personalize your irrigation coverage.

Head Design Description Usage

Fixed Spray

  • Small lawns
  • Shrubs
  • Ground cover

Flood/Bubbler

  • Tree wells
  • Planters
  • Shrubs

Gear Driven

  • Medium lawns
  • Large lawns
  • Side lawns

Multiple Stream

  • Medium lawns
  • Ground cover
  • Slopes and uneven
    ground

Pop-Up

  • Small lawns
  • Medium lawns
  • Large lawns
  • Side lawns
  • Gardens

Rotary

  • Medium lawns
  • Large lawns
  • Side lawns

Shrub

  • Ground cover
  • Planters
  • Shrubs
  • Gardens

Installation Considerations

Generally, sprinklers are laid out in a triangular or square pattern to ensure overlap, or head-to-head coverage. The amount of water that the yard receives from a sprinkler stream lessens the father it goes out, so overlapping the streams is necessary to provide even coverage for all parts of the lawn.

Tip: When choosing your sprinkler heads, identify oddly shaped areas and borders as well as sections that may need less water than others (for example, shrubs and trees require less water than grass and flowers).

It's easier to adjust heads to reduce spray distance than it is to dig them out and reinstall them if spray falls short, so err on the side of caution and keep them close. Different types of sprinklers have different flow rates, so install only one kind in a given zone.

  • Avoid installing sprinklers that spray trees directly, as water streams may damage bark
  • Adjust patterns to avoid sidewalks, driveways and other areas you don't want to water
  • Square patterns are best for clearly defined yards
  • Triangle patterns are ideal for irregularly shaped yards

Features

Different types of sprinkler heads come with various features, such as spring retraction, drip irrigation or the ability to water special pattern.

  • Special Patterns: When you need to irrigate small ground cover areas, narrow beds and compacted, slow-absorbing soils, utilize micro spray heads that provide patterns and flow rates suited for these purposes.
  • Spring Retraction: Sprinklers with this feature ensure that pop-up sprinklers return to their underground position automatically as soon as they finish their cycle, rather than relying on gravity to do the work.
  • Wiper Seal: This feature prevents leaks and helps ensure proper retraction for pop-up sprinkler heads.
  • Drip Irrigation: In areas of your yard that conventional sprinkler heads can't quite get to or may prove too powerful for, such as hanging shrubs or delicate gardens, install a drip irrigation system. Drip systems provide slow, steady water in hard-to-reach places without damaging plants and flowers.