Automatic sprinklers overspray
July 27, 2011 10:42 AM   Subscribe

Automatic sprinklers -- My sprinklers spray too far. I know that the adjustment screw should lower the spray radius. I seem to have trouble making this work. Is there a technique that I'm missing? Is there another sprinkler model that has more adjustment? Clarification - I'm not talking about fulls, halves and quarters.
posted by notned to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What model do you have? Hunters, etc. have interchangeable plastic nozzles with different opening sizes, as well as a screw that lowers into the water stream to disperse it.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:52 AM on July 27, 2011

On the traditional whaka-whaka style sprinkler, you generally have a screw that, as you turn it, blocks more and more of the stream of water, giving you a wider spray with less range. Is the screw not properly aligned in front of the stream when fully screwed in, that is, does it block any of the stream when screwed all the way in?

>---| ******

posted by nomisxid at 10:54 AM on July 27, 2011

What kind of sprinkler type, make and model do you have? Possibly they're already adjusted as far down as they can go, and you need to get replacement nozzles/rotors.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:01 AM on July 27, 2011

Yeah, on my RainBird and Orbit pop-ups, range is determined by the type of nozzles you buy.
posted by straw at 11:19 AM on July 27, 2011

If sprinkler specific stuff is not possible, can you not just adjust the line pressure with a restrictor for the ones that spray too far?
posted by Brockles at 11:20 AM on July 27, 2011

Response by poster: OP ---- Rainbird type popups
posted by notned at 11:32 AM on July 27, 2011

Fixed spray heads (mostly used in beds and smaller, narrower lawn areas) usually have a a distance adjustment screw in the center of the top of the head which works by retricting the flow. On many models, the adjustment will only work if there is a filter installed under the nozzle, because the restricting screw works by engaging the top of the filter. So, if this is the type of head you're having a problem with, check for a missing filter. The filters on most Rainbird popups are usually accessed by unscrewing the nozzle from the top of the spray body, but on some models the filter is accessed by removing the the outer threaded ring from the top of the head and removing the whole spray body. The filter will be at the bottom on these. If the filter is there but you still can't get the radius reduced to where you need it, then the solution is to get a smaller radius nozzle for the head (if it is a model that takes interchangeable nozzles) or to replace the whole head.

If the problem head is a rotor (usually found in larger lawn areas), the distance adjustment works by lowering the nozzle-retaining set screw so that it interrupts the spray coming from the nozzle. Some nozzles are designed so that the the distance can only be reduced by a small amount, in which case the only solution is to go to a smaller nozzle for that head.
posted by gimli at 12:14 PM on July 27, 2011

Best answer: Pic of a typical Rainbird spray nozzle and filter. This is the type that needs the filter in place in order to have a working flow adjustment.
posted by gimli at 12:25 PM on July 27, 2011

Response by poster: OP -- This is helpful. So the rainbird information says that you can adjust to a 25% decrease but no more. So I'm over the 25% how can I find these smaller radius nozzles?
posted by notned at 3:56 PM on July 27, 2011

My local irrigation supply companies (two of them) carry a large range of nozzles.

I think the local incarnation of the big box hardware store (OSH, a division of Sears) also carries a range of nozzles, but I've learned to not trust them on irrigation hardware even if it is Sunday afternoon and they're the only thing standing between me and finishing my project because it's guaranteed that I'll be replacing the crap they sell with something else before the next season, and invariably the devices they sell will have some weird threading that makes me need to break out the plastic cement to install the higher quality stuff.
posted by straw at 4:24 PM on July 27, 2011

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