How to Adjust a Pop-Up Sprinkler Head? – Complete Guide

Pop-up sprinklers are heavenly! Can you imagine the hassle of dragging hoses and probably damaging your plants whenever you’re watering? Pop-up sprinklers help you evade all that. Within complex sprinkler system, there exist a small part called sprinkler head. As a gardener, newbie or veteran, never commit the mistake of improperly adjusting the distance and angle on the pop-up sprinkler heads. 

You’ll be forgiven for having been part of those who commit that mistake, but not after this read. Fortunately, adjusting a pop-up sprinkler head to get the desired spraying pattern is very straightforward. What’s more, many of these sprinklers come with an adjustment screw that also helps to stop water popping out from its head. As a DIY enthusiast, you should be able to easily adjust a pop-up sprinkler’s head, you just need a flat head screwdriver and maybe pliers.

Reasons for adjusting the pop-up sprinkler head?

  • It helps avoid overwatering and development of puddles. Proper adjustment of the pop-up sprinkler head ensures your lawn receives the right amount of water.
  • It helps in regulation of water pressure. In case of over spraying, turn the screw clockwise to minimize the water pressure. Turning it anticlockwise when you want to increase the water pressure.
  • It enables you to cover the distance you intend to water, get the arc and spray pattern in accordance to your lawn needs.
  • Ensures different areas of your lawn get the appropriate level of water.
  • It’s simple to do and does not necessitate specialized tools to carry out.

the pop-up sprinkler head

Adjustment Tips 

  • If you’re adjusting the pop-up sprinkler head while the water is on, stay out of the water flow.
  • Wear appropriate clothes, you’ll be bound to get a little wet.
  • If your sprinkler doesn’t cover far enough despite all your efforts to carry out necessary adjustments, you might consider to buy another one.
  • Adjust your sprinkler’s head to ensure all part of your lawn gets water.

How to adjust a pop-up sprinkler head?

Just as the name suggests, the head of this popular sprinkler normally pops up from the ground once water pressure is detected. Pop-up sprinklers have varied fan widths ranging from 30 degrees to 360 degrees for selective watering. In case its head goes out of alignment, or you wish to change the location it’s watering, adjusting the pop-up sprinkler head is important.

As alluded here in above, the process of adjusting a pop-up sprinkler head is pretty simple. Importantly, you can adjust a pop-up sprinkler head while the water is off or on. Here is how you do the adjustment on both scenarios.

Adjustment when the water is off:

Turn off the water of sprinkler head

  1. Turn off the water and disable the timer. This ensures the water doesn’t come back while you’re still working on the adjustments.
  2. Using locking pliers grasp the sprinkler’s head and pull it up. Fasten it near its base to keep it raised above the ground as you do the adjustments.Using locking pliers grasp the sprinkler’s head and pull it up
  3. Turn the nozzle clockwise. Do this systematically until the mark on its head gets to the right limit of the site you intend to water.
  4. While holding the sprinkler shank on one hand, turn the nozzle anticlockwise and stop when the marking is at the left-hand limit of the site you want to water.
  5. Release the pliers and let the sprinkler head drop. 

Adjustment when the water is on:

1. When adjusting the spray pattern

  • Turn on the sprinkler’ systems before you begin adjusting the head. This makes the head visible thus enabling you to make any necessary adjustments.
  • Spin the adjustment screw. Use a screwdriver to turn the screw counterclockwise in order to increase the water discharged from the head. This also widens the spray pattern.  To reduce the spray pattern and the amount of water emitted, turn the adjustment screw clockwise.

Use a screwdriver to turn the screw counterclockwise

2. When adjusting the angle

  • Dig around the sprinkler. If your pop-up sprinkler is underground, uncover it using a shovel and then turn the water on.
  • Turn the pop-up sprinkler head. After uncovering it, hold its body and turn it until the water sprays in the desired area. Be careful not to overturn the sprinkler, doing so can break its riser pipe underneath.

3. When adjusting the distance of spray

  • Locate the adjustment screw at the top of the sprinkler head.
  • Turn on your sprinkler system. This helps you see where the water reaches thus informing any necessary adjustment, to go closer or further distance wise.
  • Using a screwdriver or a wrench, rotate the adjustment screw. Do this systematically until you reach your desired distance.
  • Continue running the sprinkler system while observing the lawn in general to ensure the water is reaching all the areas where watering is needed most.

adjustment screw at the top of the sprinkler head

Key things to note when adjusting a pop-up sprinkler head

  • The arc if a pop-up sprinkler depends on the angle formed by the rotating sprinkler. If you install the head in a circle, it waters a circular area as determined by the arc of rotation. For instance, the angle of rotation should be 180if you want to water a semicircular area.
  • The radius of the sprinkler head is determined by the size of the nozzle. The smaller the nozzle, the smaller the radius, and vice versa.
  • Don’t rotate the adjustment screw in either direction more than five rounds. Doing so might result in the damage of your adjustment screw.

Common problems when using the pop-up sprinkler systems:

Sprinkler zones not coming on

Pop-up sprinklers come with specific instructions from the manufacturer. However, in the absence of this, the instructions above will make the process of adjusting your pop-up sprinklers head more than easy for you.

Final Thoughts

There you have it. Quite easy, right! What’s your opinion? Knowing how to adjust pop-up sprinkler head will easily get you the lawn of your dreams. It just takes a little practice, trial and error and within no time you’re able to adjust sprinkler heads and add more confidence in your irrigation system. Consequently, your lawn will be well watered throughout the year with minimal overwatering and wastage.

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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