A Guide to Sprinkler Head Adjustment
Sprinkler head adjustment may be required in the event of a water shortage. By adjusting the heads of their sprinkler system, homeowners can stop wasting water and at the same time, more efficiently water their lawn and landscaping area. Note that adjustment is not necessarily the same thing as repair. When you adjust sprinkler heads, you are altering the regular course of the sprinklers. To start with, determine the coverage that the sprinkler heads get at ordinary water pressure.
If you want more power, then you could open up the water line full throttle which will give you the highest water pressure. This can result in over-watering, however, not to mention an absence of water in other areas. Understand that sprinkler heads are created to spray in a particular pattern. Traditionally, homeowners install forty-five degree heads near the corners, fifty-degree heads on the lengths, and three hundred and sixty-degree heads in the center. When they spray in combination it produces a perfect "arching" effect. Regardless of adjustment, it is important these patterns meet each other right at the edge, but not overlap. Why? Because overlapping causes over-watering.
How can you see to proper sprinkler head adjustment? Your first option would be to adjust water pressure from the water source. You could choose to expand the range or alter the length of the spray. You could adjust the water pressure at the sprinkler heads directly. You could even use an automated timing device to adjust the pressure and length of the cycle.
When performing sprinkler head adjustment, reposition the heads at proper aiming positions and make sure they are a correct distance from one another. You may have to measure the distance to be precise. You also have to make sure that no trees, shrubs or foliage is getting in the way of the spray. This will compromise the full effect of the system.
When looking into sprinkler head adjustment for pop up sprinklers (the most common type of system) you must manually pull the pop-up out of each head and then find the black tip on the end of the nozzle. Then, you can turn the tip in a counterclockwise fashion in order to increase the angle. You move it clockwise to reverse the angle back to its original position. If the adjustment requires more manual positioning, then you have to find the screw on the top of the nozzle and turn it counterclockwise or clockwise for the same effect.
Sprinkler head adjustment for a "rain bird" sprinkler is slightly different. This irrigation style sprinkler head system has several subsets and several spray head choices that can be adjusted for height, spread and pressure. This sprinkler head adjustment can be made by turning off the water, pinching the sprinkler head manually, and then twisting the outer plastic spray head to either the left or right. This will change the direction of the stream. You can also use a screwdriver to adjust the direction and pressure. The screw is located on the top of the spray head. You simply loosen the screw and then twist it.
Before making some adjustments, always sketch your yard (as a blueprint) and take precise measurements to avoid problems with inaccurate or overlapping streams.