Spray Heads – A type of lawn
sprinkler that is used for covering short to medium length of turf
or garden. They pop-up and provide a continuous stream of water.
Different nozzles can be used to create varying spray patterns.
They should be used in a zone with plants that have similar
Impact Rotors – A type of
lawn sprinkler that is used for covering large distances of turf,
field, or garden. They make a distinct “tooka, tooka, tic, tic”
sound as the arm swings and strikes the rotor body. They can
provide single or multiple water streams to landscaping. Water is
distributed in an arc pattern. These are suitable to use with
Gear-driven Rotors – A type
of lawn sprinkler that is used for covering larger lengths of
turf. They are the most widely used head for medium to large
scale areas. They are versatile, and they operate quietly. These
types of rotors are best used for small commercial sites and large
residential areas. They are very low maintenance and virtually
clog-resistant. They can be used in sloped areas or areas
consisting of clay. Some will come with a nozzle tree.
Wobbler Sprinklers – A type
of lawn sprinkler that rotates off-center, creating a unique
uniform pattern of water distribution. They cover a large area,
and are very durable. Water is delivered in a gentle rain-like
pattern. Separate nozzles can be attached to change the stream of
Shrub-style Sprinklers – A
type of lawn sprinkler that is installed above ground on top of a
pipe called a “riser”. Because they can pose a tripping hazard,
they should only be used in areas of the lawn that are away from
sidewalks and patios, as well as away from areas where children
play. These heads are made of either metal or plastic.
Valves - Control how much
water a zone receives, either manually or by an electrical timer.
They can also be used to turn off your system if there is an
emergency. There are several types of valves, each with their own
unique installation and function. A sprinkler system’s flow rate
determines what size valve is needed.
Anti-Siphon Valves – Manual
or electric valves with built-in backflow prevention. They are
low maintenance because they are installed above ground. These
should be used to keep drinking water safe by installing them in
locations that have sprinkler lines under turf or garden where
pesticides and other chemicals are used routinely. They generally
come in sizes ¾” and 1”. Periodically inspect these valves,
making sure there is no dirt or debris in the opening.
In-Line Valves –
Manual or electric valves that do not have built-in backflow
prevention. They are almost always used along with a backflow
preventer, and are installed underground. They can be made of
PVC, brass, or bronze, but most likely PVC. These should not be
used as a water safety method because they are underground. They
can be installed just about anywhere without being an eye sore.
Backflow Preventers – Prevent
drinking water from being contaminated or polluted. They are
connected to a lawn sprinkler system, and are usually required by
law because they are a good safety device. These devices prevent
fertilizers, pesticides, and animal waste from flowing back into
the potable water supply. They do the job the ON/OFF valves are
not sufficient in performing.
Other Valves – Emergency
Shut-Off Valves are used to turn off the water temporarily for
repairs and/or damage prevention. Drain Valves drain water
from the system for winterizing or for repairs. External Bleed
Valves flush dirt that collects in the sprinkler lines during
repairs or installation. Internal Bleed Valves prevent
water leakage by venting water to the downstream.
Irrigation Pipes – The means
by which water is carried to zones in a lawn sprinkler system.
Pipes come in PVC or flexible tubing. These pipes are used for
above ground and underground sprinkler systems, as well as drip
PVC Pipe – Pipe most commonly
used for residential sprinkler systems. Only pipe that is white
in color should be used, and it is usually sold in length of 10 or
20 feet. Pipe diameters and thickness will vary, but ¾” and 1”
are typically used. This piping runs from the existing water
Poly Pipe – Flexible pipe
used in areas with a colder climate because they are less likely
to receive damage from freezing. It comes in several sizes, and
is black in color. It should not be used for connecting pipe to
the main water line. No glue is required for fittings. It is not
as durable as PVC, so it doesn’t last as long as PVC.
Funny Pipe – Pipe that looks
and feels very similar to poly pipe, but has a different purpose.
It is used between the lateral line and the sprinkler as a
flexible connection. The diameter of funny pipe is a bit smaller
than poly pipe. These are great to install around sidewalks and
Trenching – Manually or
mechanically digging uniform trenches for laying lawn sprinkler
pipes. Trench by hand with a trenching spade. Water the ground a
couple days before so that the soil is soft for digging. You can
also use a trenching machine. They are easier and faster than
trenching by hand. You will be instructed on how to safely and
correctly operate the machine from the rental store.
Control Panel - An electrical
controller that is used for turning on or off a sprinkler system,
and for programming the system’s watering schedule. They are
installed indoors or outdoors. The control panel should support
at the very least the number of zones on the system. Controllers
are very simple to operate, and you can even delay the watering
schedule during prolonged periods of rain.
Pressure Regulator - Reduces
the amount of pressure that enters a sprinkler system. They
maintain the recommended operating pressure of your system. These
prevent leaks, and prevent hoses from bursting. Pressure
regulators should be installed after the timer.
Filters – Mesh screens that
filter sediment, keeping parts of your sprinkler system free from
debris and other elements. The filter is used on the main
sprinkler line, avoiding any dirty water coming contact with the
rest of your sprinkler system.
Automatic Drains – Help
protect sprinkler systems from freeze damage. They divert and
expel water away from structures or areas that drain poorly. The
main types are lateral line drains, mainline drains, poly and PVC
end of line drains, siphon drains, and swing and funny drains.