Nelson Pop-Up Sprinkler Adjustment

by Sarah Moore

If a sprinkler is firing in the wrong place or in the wrong pattern, you may need to make some simple changes to its pattern, or you may even need to replace the sprinkler head entirely. Luckily for busy moms on the go, Nelson’s pop-up sprinkler systems are constructed to make adjustments simple, even for those that don’t have a lot of experience with such matters.

1. Sprinkler Head Preparation

Before completing any adjustments on a pop-up sprinkler head, you must first pull the head into position. Because pop-up heads are made to be in a hidden “down” position when not in use, and automatically snap to this position, use a special sprinkler clamp to keep the head in position once you pull it up. Remove the protective or “bayonet” cap by twisting it counterclockwise until you hear a snap; then keep twisting until it stops. At that point it will lift off easily.

2. Nozzle Replacement

Nelson sprinkler systems offer a wide variety of different nozzles, which are not hard to switch out yourself. Begin by using your fingers to pull out the nozzle retaining screw, located on the side of the sprinkler head. You can then remove the current sprinkler nozzle and insert a new one, after which you should carefully push the retaining screw back into place. If this sprinkler head is at the bottom of a slope where puddling may be a problem, insert an ADV disk, or anti-drain valve, which will help reduce standing water around the sprinkler.

3. Degree Regulation

Nelson pop-up sprinkler heads either rotate entirely around, spraying in a full 360-degree circle, or you can set them to rotate only in a partial arc. The smallest radius is 40 degrees, to water just a narrow area, and the largest is 310 degrees, which you might use to water a large area while avoiding a building, for instance. With the cap off, look at the click-set disk on top. If it is black, it will water in a full circle. Turn it over to the gray side to set a limited radius, and slide the collars to the angle of the radius you want.

4. Closing Up Shop

Before you put the sprinkler cap back on, test the system to make sure the diffuser spray is set at the rate you want. If you want the spray to be more diffused, rotate the diffuser screw clockwise, ensuring that the screw is below the level of the plastic in which it is embedded when you’re finished. Then replace the bayonet cap and slowly turn the water on so that the air escapes bit by bit as it is replaced by water.

About the Author

Sarah Moore has been a writer, editor and blogger since 2006. She holds a master's degree in journalism.