There are multiple types of sprinklers and sprinkler heads available. The important factor is to consider what you are buying the sprinkler for. According to Mr. Sprinkler Repair, a sprinkler repair specialist based in Texas, some sprinklers are great at irrigating your lawn and plants, while others can be automatic so you don’t need to worry about watering. Or, you could have been like me as a kid, and had your parents buy you one that you could jump over and run through on a hot day!
Above Ground Sprinklers
First, let’s talk about above ground sprinklers. They are easily attachable to a garden hose. The nozzle has little holes on top that distribute the water. These are the kind that you set up for your kids to play in. These are also the cheapest and easiest to construct of the sprinkler types for purchase.
Above ground sprinklers are good for irrigation as well. They are not as cosmetically pleasing to the eye on the lawn as in-ground sprinklers. They also need to be twisted onto a hose and set out on the lawn when you want to use it. They are also better used on small to medium sized lawns.
There are multiple types of above ground sprinkler spray patterns that you can choose from depending on what you want from it. A fixed spray pattern is exactly that; it sprays water from a fixed spot. The nozzle is usually circular, so the water can spray from 40 degrees all the way to 360 degrees. Home Stratosphere gave an example that setting a fixed spray pattern to 180 degrees and setting it in the corner of your lawn will spray the grass and not the adjacent pavement.
The second type of spray pattern is rotating while spraying water. This would be good to cover a wider area, since the fixed can only spray water so far from its fixed placement. These are the common types you see on front lawns that kids will jump over and through on a hot summer day.
The third type of spray pattern is a micro/misting pattern. This is a smaller type of spray pattern that works well in a flower bed or vegetable patch. It sprays small amounts of water within a small area, and uses less water than the other spraying patterns. So it is the most cost effective.
The next type of sprinklers are in-ground. This type of sprinkler can also be used on home lawns, but can also be used on commercial grounds. It is also the more expensive kind of sprinkler and more complex to set up. Since most of it is underground, the base is larger than the sprinkler itself, so that the sprinkler can retract underground when not in use.
The in-ground sprinkler can also be set up to water automatically rather than needing to be manually set up like the above ground sprinklers. These are great for people who don’t want to worry about watering their lawn or garden. They can set up these sprinklers, and essentially forget about it. Home Stratosphere reported that in-ground sprinklers also last longer than above ground sprinklers. There are also different types of spray patterns with in-ground sprinklers.
Similar to above ground sprinklers, there are fixed, rotating and micro/mist types of spraying pattern. The types work in the same way, except the nozzle goes underground after it’s sprayed for a certain amount of time. These spray patterns are used for similar reasons as they are for above ground, except they are automatic so the owner does not need to set it up every time they use it.
Nozzles that are different with in-ground sprinklers are pop-ups. These are essentially differently sized nozzles that “pop up” out of the ground. There are differentiated by how high they come up out of the ground. Two inches is the smallest, and works best in homeowner lawns. The spray can go from 3 to 15 feet.
The next type of pop up sprinkler is 4 to 6 inches. This is a good sprinkler system for lawns with longer blades of grass, because the sprinkler can still cover the lawn without being blocked. The last pop up kind of sprinkler is the 8 to 20 inches spray pattern. These are good for getting over obstacles like rock patterns, tall shrubs or gardens within a yard.
Whether you purchase an above ground or in-ground sprinkler, either can be used well based on what your needs are. It is important to take into account what you are going to use the sprinklers for, and how much or how little you want to water your yard or garden. Sprinklers can also be simply used for summer fun, in which case a cheaper and less powerful sprinkler would be a better choice. Whereas, if you don’t have a green thumb or are forgetful, it can be more useful to get an automatic sprinkler that will do the work for you. Either way, I hope you enjoy the sprinkler you decide on!