How to Adjust an Impact Sprinkler the Right Way

How to Adjust an Impact Sprinkler?

An impact sprinkler is a type of sprinkler that typically uses metal spinning disks to release the water, and it offers much more even coverage than a typical sprinkler head. You can install these in your yard as a way to water areas where it is hard or less effective for you to reach with a traditional irrigation system or hose.

Impact sprinkler heads sit on a rotating bearing which allows them to pivot as water flows through for full 360-degree coverage. If you want to tweak your system to change pressure, spray pattern, or arc of the water there are a few options you have.

A simple solution is to control the flow of water at its source. Another option is adjusting different parts of the head like the diffuser pin, movement collars, and deflector shield will allow getting just the right strength and trajectory to suit your needs.

Things You Will Need to Adjust Impact Sprinkler

  • Manual Pressure Water Gauge
  • Bottle Brush
  • Water Vinegar (Distilled)

1: Adjust Water Flow to the Source

There are several ways to affect the flow rate of your lawn sprinkler system. One method is to change the pressure in your water lines. The higher the pressure, the more forceful a spray pattern you’ll get from a single head.

Another way to decrease or increase water flow is by adjusting both the plug and tailpiece. Tighten (clockwise) or loosen (counterclockwise) these two pieces using a screwdriver until it feels just right for your yard. Larger deflectors will lessen the force of an unleashed stream, causing less overwatering and surface runoff, while smaller ones give you greater reach yet cover smaller areas with their spray pattern.

2: Crew the Diffuser Pin

The diffuser pin is largely and anchored to the base of the sprinkler head. If you want to decrease the area that your sprinkler head covers, unscrew it in a clockwise direction until it sits over the water nozzle. For a concentrated stream that will go further, remove it entirely.

3: Lengthen or Shorten the Deflector Shield

To change the arc at which your garden hose water comes out, turn the flat metal square attached to the body of the sprayer head. If you want to water patches of grass nearby or plants next to your house, turn it down so that the stream travels along a steeper downward path.

If you are trying to reach from one end of your lawn or garden to another, turn it up and make sure the stream comes out in a longer, higher arc, this is perfect for watering taller plants or trees.

4: Change Spray Pattern with Friction Collar

Twist the metal collars that wind around the base of the sprinkler head into different positions to determine how high and wide the watering from your sprinkler will go. By adjusting the clamp settings further apart, you’ll create a wider radius for water dispersal.

5: Flip the Trip Pin for Full Coverage

When you don’t want water to end up in the middle of your yard when watering, it’s important to make sure that you remove the trip pin from its holder. Then, rotate the sprinkler until the head gets close enough to the ground so that it can pivot slightly toward it. This will allow for just enough water to get sprayed at a time so as not to flood your lawn in one direction or another.

6: Use Control Dial to Adjust Spray Distance

Some models of an impact sprinkler have the option to adjust their spray distance by using a separate dial on the sprinkler head. These dials work by either tightening or loosening the diffuser pin, thus changing the amount of pressure inside of the nozzle and subsequently raising or lowering the spread and spray pattern from that point.

Tips for Maintaining the Right Setup

Water Source of 15 PSI

When it comes to irrigation options, the area is key. You need sprinklers that shoot out a good amount of water to make sure your plants are getting enough moisture when you water them manually. While the average water pressure for residential areas is between 40-60 PSI, your levels might be lower if you draw your supply from a pump or well.

So, make sure you are using a water pressure of 15 psi for better results.

Use the Right Impact Sprinkler Head

Impact sprinkler systems are usually sold in two different materials: plastic and metal. Plastic heads will be easier to turn but they’re not as durable under pressure and tend to be less expensive than their metal counterparts.

Metal sprinkler heads will cost a bit more but they’re much better able to handle the strain of higher pressures, and they typically won’t need replacing as frequently so it’s a good idea for those who are concerned about environmental impact over time to consider getting a metal head instead.

Periodically Clean Your Impact Sprinkler

A new sprinkler head might not be functioning properly, and it’s probably because it needs to be cleaned. You can first, gently scrub out the inside with a bottle brush, and then go from there. Not only will a good cleanup prolong the life of your sprinkler head, but it may also decrease your water bill.

The reason for this is that you’ll be able to use less water because you’ll notice your sprinklers rotating when they shouldn’t be. Which would mean that it is either cleaning too aggressively or not enough to suit what you need.

If you’ve got your impact sprinkler head set up the way you want it, make a note of where each setting is so that you’ll remember how to water each individual section of your yard.


Are Impact Sprinkler any Better?

An impact Sprinklers are one of the most efficient and fastest methods of watering your lawn. It uses a lot less water than almost any other sprinkler system you can find but still gives excellent results.

The impact sprinkler uses a rotating sleeve to lift and drop the impact sprinkler barrel, forcing water to shoot out in a wide arc. The water rotates with the barrel and creates a pulsating spray that is accurate and covers a large area. Impact sprinkler is a very popular sprinkler system, and most people who use them are very pleased with how they work. If you want to get the most out of your sprinkler system, impact sprinklers might be the answer.

Why Impact Sprinklers Head Stop Working?

If you notice that your sprinkler head won’t move back and forth, it could be caused by a few different factors. Some of them are follow

  • Water Pressure Problems
  • Debris stuck in the sprinkler head
  • Trip Point Problem
adjust an impact sprinkler


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I am Ricky Martin, a seasoned landscape designer, a passionate gardener, and a barbecue enthusiast. With 12 years of experience in building and restoring, I welcome you to my website