Fine tune a pop up sprinkler head for the best water dispersion.

How to Adjust Pop Up Sprinkler Irrigation Heads to Change the Water Direction

by Keith Dooley

Although manual sprinklers are easily moved to a desired location in order to create an instant water playground for the kids, when it comes to watering the lawn, moving the hoses around is downright aggravating and time consuming. The alternative is a pop up sprinkler system that takes most of the fuss and muss out of irrigating the grass. You'll no longer deal with dragging hoses, but you will have to do some routine maintenance, such as adjusting sprinkler heads. Lawnmowers and kids playing in a yard sometimes knock an irrigation head out of alignment, but this isn't a huge issue and is fixed in a few minutes time.

1 Choose a time between watering cycles to adjust the pop up irrigation head, or locate the irrigation control box and turn the system off while working.

2 Slide the end of a blade screwdriver under the top of the pop up irrigation head, and gently pry it upward until you can grasp the top. Pull the pop up head upward so it is accessible. Apply more pressure to the top of the pop up head to remove it completely while you work if desired.

3 Locate the diffuser screw on the side of the irrigation head. Turn the screw clockwise to decrease the distance water will travel and disperse the water over a wider area. Turn the screw counterclockwise to increase the distance water will travel and decrease the area over which it will be dispersed.

4 Flip the trip lever on the base of the irrigation head upward to allow the head to travel a full 360 degrees when dispersing water. Flip the trip lever down and use the arc adjustment rings to set the left and right distance the head will travel when dispersing water.

5 Pinch the end of one arc adjustment ring and rotate to the left to limit the left travel of the head. Pinch the end of the other ring and rotate to the right to limit the right travel of the head. Manually move the sprinkler head left and right to get a rough idea of the direction water will be dispersed and adjust the rings as necessary.

6 Push the irrigation head back down into the ground. Wait for the next water cycle or manually turn on the water to the head from the control box to observe the water as it is dispersed on the lawn or landscape. Continue to fine tune the controls, if necessary, until the water is dispersed as desired. Snap the top of the irrigation head back into place if it was removed when you are satisfied with the adjustments.

Items you will need

  • Blade screwdriver

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images