As discussed in Part 1 of this blog post, designing a sprinkler system requires a lot of measuring, planning, and digging. Now you can learn about the fun part: selecting your sprinkler heads. Read on to find out more about the technology you’ll need to water your lawn efficiently and precisely.

A Head Above the Rest

New sprinkler heads are unobtrusive and normally not visible unless spraying water, at which point they pop up above ground level. There are several different styles to choose from, including (but not limited to):

  • Misters: These sprinkler heads distribute fine-beaded water in a 360-degree spray, hence the name “misters.” These are a popular choice for medium-sized yards.
  • Rotary: These styles of sprinkler heads are gear driven, have single spray streams, and are powerful enough to cover wide areas with water—anywhere from 13 feet all the way up to 80 feet. If you have a lot of ground to cover, an automatic system comprising rotary head sprinklers just might be for you.
  • Arc Spray: Arc heads deliver a controlled flow of water at a specific radius and height (the “arc”). These heads are adjustable, making them versatile for any yard type. The various choices of arc heads allow the flow to be constricted or maximized depending on irrigation needs, and they are known for being water efficient.
  • Driplines and Bubblers: Driplines are basically reinforced, perforated hoses that water plants and shrubs near the home’s foundation—you wouldn’t want to spray the sides of your house with a sprinkler just to water your plants. Driplines can be installed just underground or laid out on the ground, usually hidden by dense shrubbery and vegetation. Bubbler heads are small, stand-up devices that deliver a gentle canopy of water for a targeted area. Both are popular choices for watering delicate plants and for use near homes.
  • Impact: The impact sprinkler was the first mass-produced sprinkler head and is still in use today, though not often in residential applications. The advantages of an impact sprinkler include the ability to work with low water pressure and its resistance to clogging, but it will be visible aboveground, meaning you’ll see this type of spray head even if the sprinkler is not engaged.

Controllers and Valve Boxes

What we might call a timer is known in the sprinkler system business as a “controller,” and this is the device that makes a lawn sprinkler automatic. A lawn’s sprinkler system is composed of an arrangement of separately functioning zones, so a controller can activate the sprinkler heads in zones that need water while keeping the sprinklers in wet zones off. A valve box is where the shut-off valves are located, and it will be installed near the sprinkler’s water connection to the home.

But What If It Rains?

If you see rainclouds coming, don’t worry. Automatic sprinkler systems are often equipped with weather sensors that will adjust watering for the current conditions, meaning that if it rains or if the ground is already damp, the sprinkler won’t engage, and your yard will not be overwatered.

Your Sprinklers, Season to Season

Your sprinkler installer will likely offer a yearly maintenance package, sometimes called “winterization” in northern regions or “spring tune-up.” When winter comes and the need for sprinklers ebbs, a technician will flush out the water in your system, making sure the impending cold does not result in burst pipes or damaged sprinkler heads. When the weather starts to warm, a technician will make a house call for your system and check to make sure that there are no problems before the spring restart.

To keep your lawn healthy and green, it’s important to provide the right amount of moisture for your grass. Automatic sprinklers can take the guesswork out of watering your lawn, and they’ll save you time, effort, and money in the long run. Having the aid of automatic sprinklers will allow you to enjoy your beautiful lawn without the stress of having to water it on your own.

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