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How to Adjust Sprinkler Heads - GardenAware.com

How to Adjust Sprinkler Heads

The automatic sprinkler system is arguably the greatest lawn-watering invention ever made. Whether we are at home or out of town, our sprinklers will water the lawn according to the settings we put in. A downside to this, however, is that the water will often not distribute evenly, causing certain areas of the lawn to receive excess water while other areas are left untouched. Unintended areas, like the sidewalk or road, may also get watered. It is important to know how to adjust sprinkler heads to avoid water wastage and assure that our lawn receives water evenly and appropriately.

Can Sprinkler Heads Be Adjusted to Water the Entire Lawn?

Can we adjust sprinkler heads to water the entire lawn? The short answer is yes. While automatic sprinkler systems are convenient, it is frustrating to see them water just about everything but the lawn or miss critical areas of it. In this article, we will discuss some helpful techniques and tools and show you how to adjust sprinkler heads so that your lawn receives enough water.

Remember that you are paying for the water coming out of the sprinklers. Those water bills are expensive, and you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of what you’re paying for. While it may be impossible to adjust sprinkler heads perfectly so there won’t be any water wastage, there are many ways to limit the waste so your lawn gets the vast majority of the water coming from the sprinkler heads. Let’s use these amazing inventions properly and learn how to adjust sprinkler heads for maximum efficiency.


Current Tools on the Market

Let’s talk about some easy-to-install tools and attachments available on the market that make it easy to adjust sprinkler heads. Much of this depends on the sprinklers you have. First, there is the Orbit 55662 Voyager II Sprinkler Spray Head. This spray head is ideal for medium to large lawns and has an easy-to-adjust spray coverage, ranging from a small section to a full 360-degree angle. Even those small areas on the lawn can receive water easily without the fear of flooding the sidewalk.

Second, there is the Modtek replacement pop up sprinkler head. This Modtek Sprinkler head has an easily adjustable spray distance and degree pattern, which can be modified with a simple twist of the center collar. Because adjustment mechanisms allow for targeted watering, this tool is perfect for both small and large areas. These are specifically for rainbird pop-up sprinklers.

How to Adjust Sprinkler Heads

This is really the meat of what we are here to talk about today. As alluded to earlier, the main reason to adjust a sprinkler head is to ensure proper and even distribution of water over the entire lawn without excess water going onto the sidewalks and roads. Having sprinklers not adjusted properly will cause our lawns to not be as healthy as they should be and create excess water waste. Poorly targeted sprinkler heads may also cause additional water to enter surrounding lawns, creating problems for our neighbors.

Adjusting the sprinklers is practical and economical. This is actually a much easier process than most think and don’t require advanced construction skills or a treasure chest of tools. In most cases, all you really need is a screwdriver and your bare hands. The most important thing to do here is follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for adjusting the specific model of your sprinkler.

If you have a sprinkler head with a small screw on top of it, this is an integrated spray nozzle and we can use the screw to adjust the spray pattern by either tightening or loosening it. In most cases, turning the screw clockwise will reduce the water pressure, while turning it counterclockwise will raise the water pressure.

Pop-Up Sprinklers

Pop-up sprinklers are those which come up out of the ground when they detect water pressure. They are one of the most common types of sprinklers. When adjusting a pop-up sprinkler, turn the system on so it exposes the sprinkler head. Adjust the water pressure and density by turning clockwise or counterclockwise.

If you want to adjust the arc of the sprinkler, locate the socket on top of the sprinkler head, turn it to the right, and hold it. To adjust the angle, first determine the sprinkler you have. Some sprinklers will require you to just rotate the head while others will require you to adjust the whole body. Grab the body and rotate it gently to the desired angle. If the body of the sprinkler is not above the ground, you may have to dig around it a little. Be careful to avoid damaging the pipes underneath.

lawn sprinkler


With an impact sprinkler, it is possible to adjust the arc but not the radius. These sprinklers have clamps, which are easy to squeeze with your bare hands. The first thing to do is to turn the sprinkler head to the left, then squeeze the tab and rotate it until it is against the tab extending from the sprinkler head. You can then move the sprinkler head to the right side and adjust the remaining clamp in the same manner.

A sprinkler’s coverage area should reach to the point of the coverage area of the next sprinkler in all directions. When you have this head-to-head coverage without excessive water spraying outside of the lawn, then you know that your sprinklers are in the correct position. With proper position change, your lawn will receive water evenly and your grass and bushes will turn out beautifully. Although doing these adjustments is a simple process, always refer to the instruction manual of your sprinkler system to ensure proper handling.


We hope that the material provided on how to adjust sprinkler heads has answered your questions. Though sprinklers are a great invention, improperly adjusted sprinklers can cause a lot of frustration. For more information about detailed gardening tips and advice, check out our website for more tips.