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Simple ways to Adjust Sprinkler Heads

Last Updated: 09 June 2021

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Having an irrigation sprinkler system is the best if you want to have a beautiful green mown law all year. You get to water your green spaces and keep a tidy garden at all times. Sprinkler head systems have replaced one of the most tedious chores of having a garden. We are about to discuss how to handle the best lawn sprinkler heads available in the market.

Why We Need to Adjust Sprinkler Heads

Sprinkler head systems have been designed to use just a fraction of the water you used to waste using a hose. These systems have evolved with time. Many of them work with smart systems that we use at home to make our lives easier. In the following lines, we are going to share some guidance about how to adjust sprinkler heads systems manually and using tools.

Many of the best sprinkler heads systems can be adjusted using the necessary tools. Most of the time, you will need a flat-head screwdriver and a set of pliers. Since there are so many brands in the market, you will find some sprinkler systems that require special clamps to squeeze them to be able to rotate them and get desired adjustments.

Why We Need to Adjust Sprinkler Heads?

As we mentioned earlier, by having a sprinkler heads system, you are saving water. It is probably one of the greenest technologies available since it only uses the water it needs for the plants. The problem with these systems is that they tend to lose their calibration, and they need to be adjusted from time to time.

Why We Need to Adjust Sprinkler Heads

With so many sprinkler head types out there is easy to get lost. When your sprinklers are not adjusted, they cause puddles and overwatering that can damage your lawn. We are going to share with you how to adjust sprinklers and the basic set up for various sprinkler systems. Search our guide to see if the system you use at home is included.

How to Adjust Spray-Type Sprinklers

If you have spray-type sprinklers at home, they need to be adjusted to suit any sudden changes in your garden. These systems are one of the most popular lawn sprinkler heads. They are also prone to lose their calibration every three to six months, depending on how old they are. This system only has two types of adjustments: spray angle and spray distance.

To adjust the spray angle, set the position of limit stops to limit the spray to an angle you have chosen. Depending on the model of your device, you will have to arrange a metal clamp, turn a screw, or revolve the head. It’s better to turn the water off to avoid waste

CTKcom Micro Spray Adjustable 360 Degree Water Flow Irrigation Drippers on Stake Emitter Drip System,Pack of 25
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  • Practical, portable and easy to install

How to Adjust Hunter Sprinkler Heads

If you have a Hunter system, these are some of the best sprinkler heads. Adjustable heads are set to spray water at 180°. The sprinklers on Hunter systems can be adjusted with water running. You need to make initial adjustments to the system before getting it installed.

  • Once the system is set, you can adjust garden sprinkler heads using the palm of your hand. You will be able to rotate the switch counterclockwise to your left to complete interrupted rotation cycles.
  • You can rotate the nozzle switch clockwise to the right to get the fixed side of the arc. You need to make sure that the nozzle stays in place for arc adjustments.
  • If you need to increase the arc, you will have to use the Hunter plastic key. Hold the nozzle switch according to your preferences. Then you can turn the key clockwise. Each full turn will increase the arc 90°.
Hunter Industries RTLPGPADJB30X2 Hunter PGP-ADJ, 2-Pack Rotor, Black
  • As Hunter’s original rotor, the PGP delivers unsurpassed reliability, durability, and versatility, keeping it the professional’s choice year after year
  • The 3 GPM nozzle features an adjustable 40° to 360° arc for optimal coverage in a range of applications
  • The PGP-ADJ rotary sprinkler has a pop-up height of 4 inches and a ¾-inch inlet; it can replace any brand of rotor with a ¾-inch inlet
  • Unrivaled water efficiency and uniform distribution keep landscapes healthy and beautiful in any environment
  • Applies water evenly to prevent brown spots from developing near the sprinkler head Fast-forward feature provides quick verification of arc stopping points

How to Adjust Orbit Sprinkler Heads

The Orbit systems work with pop-up spray nozzles that can be managed by the user easily. They can water arcs with a range of 25° to 360°. These low-pressure sprinkler heads can be adjusted this way:

  • If you need to change the arch, you will have to lift the nozzle of the ground using the special Orbit clamp tool around the sprinkler to keep it in place.
  • You can rotate the sleeve of the sprinkler until you have the indicator of the nozzle facing the right side of the space that will be watered.
  • Make sure to hold the sleeve in place and rotate the head only until the indicator is aligned with the left side of the area to be watered.
  • If you need to adjust the spray distance, you will have to turn the screw to the center of the nozzle using a flat-head screwdriver. Make sure to turn it clockwise to lower the range of the spray. If you want to increase it, you have to go counterclockwise.
Orbit Watermaster 55461 Voyager 4-Inch Adjustable Pop-Up Gear Drive Sprinkler Head,2-Pack , Black
  • 2-pack of quiet, dependable gear drive sprinkler heads with consistent and complete water coverage
  • Ideal for medium to large lawn areas, with a spray that adjusts from a 20 - 40 ft. radius in a part or full circle
  • Easily accessible filter built in to protect nozzle from clogging
  • Compatible with all major brands of gear drive rotors, including Rainbird, Hunter and Toro
  • 4 inch pop-up height, with a standard 3/4 inch inlet thread

How to Adjust Rotating Sprinkler Heads

The system can be adjusted much better when it is turned off. Make sure the water is not running and lift the device of the sprinkler from the ground. Make sure to rotate the head clockwise as far as it lets you turn.

  • With the help of a level make sure that the head is parallel to the ground
  • Regulate the fixed side of the arch. Decide if you want the head is fixed to the left or right. Turn the head to ensure that the fixed side of the arch is in line with the starting point. Switch on the Rainer and let it cycle several times.
  • Make sure to turn the adjustment screws clockwise using the turn-screw to get a width pattern. 1/4 turn on the screw will increase the spray width by 45°.
Dramm 15053 ColorStorm Premium 3-Arm Whirling Sprinkler with Heavy-Duty Metal Wheeled Base, Yellow
  • Durable Metal 3 Arm Sprinkler Head
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  • Water coverage up to 38 Feet diameter
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How to Adjust Rainbird Sprinkler Head

If you are wondering how to adjust Rainbird sprinkler heads, you need to switch the system on. You can turn the stem of the system manually until the water sprinkler heads are facing the area you need to irrigate.

  • The Rainbird system also has an adjustment screw located on top of the sprinkler head. You can use it to adjust the sprinkler spray distance at 25% with a flat-head screwdriver.
  • Turn the screw clockwise to get a smaller spray distance. Do the opposite to increase it.
  • You can also adjust the spray pattern using adjustable pattern nozzles to affect the spray direction of the system. You can do this by hand twisting threads on the collar of the sprinkler.
Orbit 55032 1/2" BRS Sprinkler Head, Connection, Silver and gold
  • Covers areas from 20 Ft. to 40 Ft. radius in a part or full circle
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  • 1/2 In. male threaded
  • For outdoor use with cold water only

How to Adjust Pop Up Sprinkler Heads

To Adjust Pop-Up sprinkler heads, you have to make sure water is not running. These automatic sprinkler heads lift the sprinkler from the ground using the central screw that comes with the needle-nose pliers and pullers.

  • Make sure to check the marker on the edge of the nozzle. Angle markings will tell you if the pattern is adjustable. Hold a shank with and rotate the nozzle until the mark is parallel with the right angle.
  • Now you will have to turn the sprinkler shank completely until zero marks are in line with the right side of the area that will be watered. After that, let the sprinkler back on the ground again.
Orbit 55201 Pulse XL Pop-Up Impact Rotor Sprinkler, Waters up to 45 Foot Radius with Fully Adjustable Spray Pattern , Black
  • Area coverage up to 45' in radius- full or part circle
  • Universal - replaces most impact and gear stream heads
  • Extra nozzles included for use in high pressure or low pressure irrigation systems
  • Dual 3/4" and 1/2" threaded bottom inlets, with 1/2" threaded side inlet
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How to Adjust Impact Sprinkler Heads

How to Adjust Impact Sprinkler Heads

The first thing you need to do is rotate collars of the sprinkler under the spray head you can also determine the sprinkler head direction with this method. Make sure to do so while the water is running.

To make contact with trip collars, push the trip to handle down.

Place a collar on the left side of the area that will be watered and the other at the right. The process can be bothersome; it may take a lot of effort. You can make it quicker by having the system running, but you might waste a lot of water.

Rain Bird LG3HE In-Ground Impact Sprinkler with Click-N-Go Hose Connect, Kit, Black
  • Eliminates hassle of sprinkler set-up and removal each time you water
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  • Works with your garden hose via a quick-connect fitting
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  • Set it up just once for all-season operation year after year

How to Adjust a Sprinkler Head Radius

Almost all sprinklers come with a steel hex end. You will have to use the special wrench that is used for radius adjustment using a little screw on top of it. If you turn the screw clockwise in the stream of water, you will decrease the radius. If you go the other way (counterclockwise), you will increase it. The watering radius can be reduced down to 25%. Anything lesser than that will only create a puddle.

Adjustment Tips

  • Before adjusting, always check the Rainer. Get your sprinkle straight in case it is leaning.
  • If the sprays come out in irregular patterns, check nozzles. Maybe they require cleaning or replacement.
  • Adjustment Tips
  • Read manufacturer’s manual guide carefully so that you know for sure how to regulate spray patterns.
  • Don’t forget to visit the maker’s website in case you have any concerns. There must be loads of useful information on using your sprinkle.
  • h3 Adjusting Sprinkler Heads Without Key
  • Only the Hunter system and the Rainbird system can be adjusted without a key. For the rest of the systems on the list, you will need a flat-head screwdriver and some needle-nose pliers. Make sure to have all the necessary tools.


Now that you have all this information, we, here on HandyHomeMaster.com, hope that adjusting your sprinklers is not as challenging as it looked in the past.

If you have something to comment on this guide, we would love to hear back from you in the comment section.

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