How to Adjust Sprinkler Heads?

How to Adjust Sprinkler Heads?

Having an irrigation sprinkler system prevents you from manually watering your lawn or garden almost daily or whenever required. A sprinkler head belongs to this complex system as a small component.

The sprinkler system should work in such a way that the green area receives the required amount of water. In other words, there should be no under-or over-watering. However, these issues can arise in the form of no water or water puddles if a sprinkler head is not properly adjusted.

Comprehending how to adjust sprinkler heads, as per the requirement, is essential to ensure uniform and sufficient watering across the green area. This is achieved by configuring the desired spraying pattern.

Mostly, you can adjust the head by yourself, as there is no need of extra tools other than a flat head screwdriver and (optional) some pliers. The latter is required if your sprinkler head features clamps that you should squeeze for making the desired adjustment.

Read on to know how to make the desired sprinkler head adjustment. It is truly easier than what you may have thought about it, regardless of the brand or sprinkler type.

What are the best sprinkler heads to use?

Comprehending the Adjustment Basics

The process of adjusting the head depends on the model you are using. Sprinkler heads usually come with a built-in spray nozzle, a small screw using which you can adjust the head. You, thus, only need a screwdriver for loosening or tightening the nozzle until the desired spraying pattern and density is achieved.

Before proceeding, you need to know some basics. First, all sprinkler heads are not adjustable. Second, a few models come with highly exclusive patterns. Third, if there is a screen in the middle of your sprinkler head, it indicates that the arc is adjustable.

rotor sprinklers

Fourth, generally, in case of the over-spraying issue, it should suffice to turn the screw clockwise for decreasing the water pressure. Instinctively, turning the same anti-clockwise would result in higher water pressure.

Fifth, you need to know that there are three primary styles of sprinklers, which also affect how you adjust the sprinkler head. These are spray, rotating, and impact sprinklers.

The spray sprinklers deliver even water streams. On the other hand, rotor sprinklers deliver a single water stream while spinning around. Covering a wide area, an impact sprinkle works like a rotary model but without popping up its head.

You can adjust any of these three types using some pliers and a flat-head screwdriver. In most cases, it is possible to do so even if the sprinkler is watering.

Pop-up sprinkler heads

Adjusting a Basic Spray Sprinkler

This kind of a sprinkler comes with a screw atop the nozzle. The distance between the area from where the water reaches the grass and the nozzle is the radius.

For watering the green areas closer to the nozzle, simply use a screwdriver and turn the screw clockwise. This shall decrease the water pressure and reduce the radius. Do the reverse of this step for making the water reach a far distance.

It is also easy to adjust the spray’s arc distance. The arc refers to the angle or the length on the nozzle’s circumference and is likely to be between 90 and 360 degrees.

To decrease the arc, turn the nozzle clockwise. Similarly, to increase, turn it ant-clockwise. At 360 degrees, the whole circumference will output water.

Basic Spray Sprinkler

Adjusting a Rotating Sprinkler

The procedure for adjusting a rotating sprinkler head usually differs from one brand to another. Most brands employ a special screwdriver or a key to influence dedicated slots on the nozzle’s head, which are linked with the radius and arc.

Using a screwdriver allows adjusting the arc’s angle just as a spray sprinkler. It also allows adjusting the left and right stops, the former indicating the distance to the left up to which the nozzle will spray and the latter indicating the same to the right.

These stops identify the arc’s degree for water output. Using a specific slot on the nozzle’s head and the screwdriver, you can even adjust the radius.

Rotating Sprinkler

Adjusting a Sprinkler Head

On such a sprinkler head, you can adjust both the water output pattern and distance. The simplest way to adjust the distance is to raise or lower the flow at the faucet. This change in the flow is directly proportional to the change in the spray distance.

There are some more ways to adjust the distance, which are as follows:

  • Using the Nozzle: You turn the nozzle’s diffuser screw clockwise to reduce the distance or anti-clockwise to cover more area.
  • Using the Deflector Shield: This part residing by the diffuser screw influences the water’s course. Moving it downward makes the water go down and nearer to the nozzle for covering shorter distances.
  • Using the Control Dial: This part, although not available on all impact sprinkler models, allows controlling the water output distance. To do so, just turn it! Turning it left decreases the distance as well as the pressure.

For adjusting the water output pattern, you need to use the head’s friction collars and trip pin. For configuring a 360-degree pattern, just turn over the pin upright. If you want to set a pattern at less than 360-degrees, just adjust the friction collars and position them at the suitable stop points to get the intended angle.

The pin works by anchoring the collars and enables the nozzle to switch directions when it interacts with the collars. For instance, a collar shall halt the nozzle at the left.

Collars closer to each other mean narrower movement of the nozzle. The farther the collars are from each other, the more is the range. To avoid interrupting the movement, just raise the pin and rest it against the head.

An irrigation sprinkler (also known as a water sprinkler or simply a sprinkler) is a device used to irrigate agricultural crops, lawns, landscapes, golf courses, and other areas.



When it comes to how to adjust the sprinkler head, the exact procedure differs as per the brand and the type of sprinkler. Still, it is easy to do it on your own. It is wise to go through the manufacturer’s detailed instructions for adjusting the sprinkler head by handling the radius and the arc. This is because there could be some specific things to take care of while making this adjustment.

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