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Re: [Shop-talk] Lawn sprinkler

To: Robert nogueira <>, Shop-talk <>
Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] Lawn sprinkler
From: Brian Kemp <>
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2016 10:46:56 -0700
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Bob - You asked a very broad question with lots of possible answers.  To 
gain a better understanding of sprinklers, I suggest you take a look at
There are other design tools, but this is a good starting point.

For planting areas, I recommend drip irrigation.  For small grass areas 
and irregular shapes, pop up heads are good.  For large grass areas, I 
recommend gear drive rotors as they are quieter than the impact rotors.

If doing it yourself, you will need to find out your water pressure and 
flow.  If you have a contractor doing the work, he should do the same - 
connect a pressure gauge and time filling a bucket.  You will then need 
to plot the area you plan to irrigate and place the heads.  Next, you 
use the available water calculation and flow of the heads to group them 
in zones.  You want each zone to have the same class of sprinkler and 
similar conditions so that the watering needs match.

I recommend staying with a single brand for a given type of sprinkler so 
you can interchange parts if something breaks.

I recommend at least 4" pop-ups if you go that route.  The 2.5" ones 
don't clear the top of the grass unless you have a lawn like a golf 
green and people that have them likely have a lawn full of sprinkler 
divots - grass holes cut with the sting trimmer so the sprinklers will 
actually spray.  The price difference is small.

I recommend sprinkler heads in the lawn area be connected with a short 
length of flexible pipe.  This makes it easier to have the top of the 
head flush with the surface.  It also mean that if someone drives a 
truck over your sprinkler, they are less likely to actually break a 
pipe.  I use Toro funny pipe.

Automatic controllers are great so you can water early in the morning 
while you are still asleep and the water has time to soak in before the 
sun comes up.  Weather based controllers are also a great idea so you 
don't water your lawn in the rain.  They have a sensor you mount on a 
fence or the house that communicates with the controller to stop the 
sprinklers for a period of time after measurable rain or bump up the 
time if it is unusually hot and dry. If you are doing your sprinkler 
maintenance and have a big property, a remote control is really nice so 
you can turn the sprinklers on and off from beside the sprinkler head 
you are working on.

As Jimmy mentioned in his reply, plan for expansion.  At the end of my 
manifolds, I just stubbed out an additional supply pipe with a cap.  If 
I want to add an extra zone, I can just cut the pipe and add another 
riser for the valve.

The sprinkler valve in a properly designed system you be full open when 
running.  Each sprinkler head is normally adjustable.

If you live where it freezes, you want the capability to blow out the 
sprinkler zones to remove the water from the pipes.

If you have a situation where the sprinklers don't seem to spray well, 
look for a leak or broken pipe.

Good luck.  Once they work, sprinkler systems are great.


On 8/13/2016 6:31 AM, Robert nogueira wrote:
> I'm planning on having a lawn sprinkler system installed. I've noted that 
> there are several types of sprinkler heads and would like some input on which 
> type is the best. Any opinions?
> Bob Nogueira
> Bob Nogueira
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