Types of Sprinkler Heads to Enhance Your Irrigation System

A sprinkler is a crucial part of any backyard. The unit helps you create a stunning oasis since it irrigates landscaping plants. It also gives your children water fun. That is why you must learn these types of sprinkler heads.

When buying a sprinkler head, you need to consider its mobility, spray pattern, and size. The right type of sprinkler head will ensure that the system offers efficient irrigation.

Sprinkler Head Purchasing Guide

Basics of Irrigation

types of sprinkler heads

Two sprinkler systems include sprinkler heads. The simple above ground set up requires you to buy a sprinkler head that fits onto the hose. Meanwhile, the in-ground one provides automatic irrigation.

Sprinkler Head Parts

types of sprinkler heads

All sprinkler heads comprise body and nozzle. The above-ground systems tend to have a simple platform. Moreover, the nozzle usually features little holes for distributing the water.

types of sprinkler heads

The in-ground sprinkler heads are relatively more complex. They sit underground when the system is not running.

The Selections of Spray Patterns

types of sprinkler heads

The sprinkler heads have different spray patterns. They let the water pump out of the nozzle. The most common spray patterns of sprinkler heads are rotating, fixed, and mist.

1. Impact Rotating

types of sprinkler heads

The rotating sprinkler heads use a mechanical nozzle and will turn over time when in use. They are perfect for covering large irrigation areas. Moreover, they can throw water up to 150 feet.

The rotary sprinkler heads feature adjustable circular spray patterns. They are constructed out of brass or bronze. That is what makes them very durable.

The machinery within rotating sprinkle heads tends to be loud. They are more recommended for commercial sites. Lastly, they need regular maintenance because they employ small moving parts that are prone to malfunction.

2. Fixed

types of sprinkler heads

Sprinkler heads with fixed spray patterns stay the same when the system is activated. They generate multiple thin streams of water that shoot out of a circular nozzle.

The stationary sprinkler heads can cover the planted materials up to 3 to 15 feet. They also allow you to adjust them to fit the designated area. Normally, they range from 40 degrees to 360 degrees.

If you install a sprinkler head with a fixed spray pattern next to your walkway, you may set it in a 180-degree pattern. That way, it will not water your pavement.

3. Rotating: Gear Driven

These sprinkler heads are affordable. They are mostly made out of plastic. That is the reason they are not as sturdy as the impact rotating ones.

They can turn anywhere up to 360 degrees. Moreover, they deliver the water over the irrigation areas with an 18-55 feet radius. For sure, they are suited to commercial sites and large yards.

The gear-driven head’s machinery is placed within the body of the device. As a result, it creates a quiet rotating spray.

4. Rotating: Large Turf Rotor

These sprinkler heads with large turf rotor mechanisms are specifically designed for golf courses, football, and baseball fields. One turf rotor head has a radius of 100 feet.

5. Micro or Misting

types of sprinkler heads

The micro-sprinkler heads are also known as spinners and mini-sprays. They produce a delicate spray pattern and offer spot irrigation to your plants. The mist sprinklers are cost-effective too.

They are perfect for flowerbeds and areas with slow-absorbing soil. Do they not only save water but also promote plant health. Moreover, they include pressure controls, so they will provide consistent irrigation rates.


types of sprinkler heads

Another differentiating factor between sprinkler heads is the elevation. Some sprinkler heads stand out above the ground, while some only pop up when the water is on.

6. Pop Up: Two Inches

types of sprinkler heads


These sprinkler heads are great for underground irrigation systems. The installers usually place them in both commercial and residential areas.

The heads recede into the ground when the system is off. They allow for mowing and prevent trip hazards. Moreover, they are long-lasting and can water up to 3 to 15 feet.

7. Pop Up: Four or Six Inches

types of sprinkler heads

Like the name sounds, these sprinkler heads can pop up to a height of four or six inches. They are a perfect fit for grass lawns and turf areas. Moreover, they offer more clearance above the grass.

8. Pop Up: Eight to Twenty Inches

types of sprinkler heads

Since these in-ground sprinkler heads are taller than the previous ones, they allow for more clearance. Even, they can cover the shrubs and foliage plants. They are suited to elevated planters and organic gardens with vining plants.

9. PVC Vertical Raiser

types of sprinkler heads

You can pair your sprinkler head with a PVC vertical riser to add some elevation. Be sure you do not use this riser in an open space since it can cause trip hazards.

10. Raised

The raised elevation is necessary for any underground sprinkler system. The elevation size should be congruent with your sprinkler head.

11. Settling

Sprinkler heads can retract into the ground. In anticipation of some settling, consider buying a six-inch head or longer. However, if your sprinkler head settles too much, raise it by digging as well as repositioning.

Matching Sprinkler Head to Your Irrigation Needs

You have to pick the product that suits your watering needs. The right sprinkler head will do the job nicely. Moreover, you will not end up having wasted water. The size of your lawn must be taken into consideration too.

Small and Medium Yards

types of sprinkler heads

These areas will benefit from sprinkler heads with micro and fixed spray patterns because they have limited water-throwing distance.

Large Areas

types of sprinkler heads

The gear-driven rotor sprinkler heads are great for both commercial sites and large yards. The circular heads can cover irregularly shaped yards, while the rectangular ones are designed for regular yards with straight edges.

Think Your Yards In Terms of Zones

Your yard may have different zones such as lawn, food garden, and flowerbeds. The plants do not require the same amount of water. Moreover, you should measure each zone and consider the climate as well as the sprinkler’s precipitation rate.

Key Features of Sprinkler Heads

Rain Shut-Off Device

types of sprinkler heads

If you are concerned about water conservation, buy a sprinkler head that boasts a rain sensor. This device will turn off the irrigation system on rainy days.

Special Patterns

types of sprinkler heads

Does your yard require specific spray patterns? This sprinkler head with a spot-specific spray pattern is for you.

Irrigation Kits

types of sprinkler heads

This sprinkler head bundle consists of tubing, timer, and connectors. It certainly eases the buying process.

There you have it, some types of sprinkler heads. You must put the cost, maintenance, and appearance of the sprinkler head into consideration as you shop it.

Gibson Miller
Gibson Miller

General coffee fan. Incurable internet fanatic. Freelance travel trailblazer. Introvert.

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