Written by Ivy
Dec 28 2022
Sprinklers can eliminate a lot of the watering tasks from your weekend to-do list, but if they aren't directed properly, they won't likely yield the results you're looking for. It's probably time to adjust your irrigation setup if a sizable area of your lawn suddenly turns brown while your sidewalk is always wet.
Whether you want to alter the spray pattern, range, or direction, this guide will demonstrate how to adjust Rain Bird sprinkler heads.
Although there are many different sprinkler head manufacturers, the choices from Rain Bird are regarded as the industry standard due to their capacity to reduce water waste. Many common sprinkler head options don't have any (or very little) pressure regulation, which makes them more prone to misting or fogging and can waste up to one gallon of extra water per minute. If you have 10 or more sprinkler heads running all day, that's a lot of water going down the drain.
On the other hand, Rain Bird sprinkler heads have a cutting-edge pressure regulation system that ensures complete coverage with the least amount of water. Options are available in a variety of sizes and designs, ranging from pop-up spray heads to impact sprinklers, and all are simple to adjust with a few basic tools.
Rain Bird sprinkler heads range in price from $2.50 to $40 per head, depending on the type. Spray heads are generally on the less expensive end at $3 to $6 on average, whereas impact sprinklers cost as much as $40 for just one head.
There are numerous styles of Rain Bird sprinkler heads. Finding the tools and techniques to make the required adjustments will be simpler if you are aware of what you have. Learn more about the most popular choices in the section below.
Spray Heads: Because they don't provide extensive coverage—only between five and 15 feet—these are typically saved for small spaces. Any unsightly irrigation pipes are concealed from view until they are in use thanks to some options that appear when activated. Depending on how far you want the stream to travel, you can adjust the height of some of these pipes, which range from 4 to 8 inches. The stream will be shorter the shorter the pipe. Spray heads do not move automatically, as opposed to rotor heads or rotary nozzles. Instead, they have multiple openings on one side of the head that emit water in a set direction. You must physically move them if you want them to spray in a different direction.
Rotor Heads: With this option, a single stream of water is released from a single opening while it rotates. Because they don't have multiple openings like spray heads, they typically produce less precipitation, but because their streams project water up to 50 feet, they work better for larger areas.
Rotor Nozzles: Combining spray and rotor heads makes up this kind of sprinkler system. It emits water through several openings, similar to a spray head, but it also has a micro-rotor that allows it to move side to side and cover a larger surface area.
Impact Sprinklers: A sprinkler of this type can be adjusted to spray in a variety of directions and patterns, but it can only do so when the water pressure is at least 15 PSI.
A few essential tools are required to complete the project, but you don't need many to adjust sprinkler heads of all sizes and shapes.
Rotor nozzle adjustment tool
The experts advise turning on your sprinkler system before beginning because you can more easily make the necessary adjustments if you can see where and how the water is flowing.
Sprinkler heads need to be adjusted slightly differently depending on their type. Depending on your configuration, follow these instructions.
Prior to making any adjustments, don't forget to turn on your sprinkler system. Once it's operating, put a wrench around the center of your spray head and gently turn it to point in the direction you want. Don't be alarmed if you hear a cranking sound as you do this; it's normal.
You can see that your sprinkler head's top is secured with a screw if you look closely. By turning this screw left or right with a flat-bladed screwdriver, you can alter the length of the water stream.
Watch how far the head turns while remaining stationary to the left. You'll need to move it at the base with your hand or a wrench if it doesn't stop in the desired location. Put your hand at the point where the base of the head and the ground converge to start, then turn to the left to make the necessary adjustments. Grab the base with a wrench and turn it with the tool if you can't move it with your hand alone.
You ought to see a rubber cover over the top of the rotor head with two to three access points. You can modify how far your sprinkler head turns to the right by moving the point on the nozzle's opposite side. Insert a flathead screwdriver or rotor adjustment tool into the access point. The screwdriver should be turned clockwise to increase and counterclockwise to decrease the amount of head movement to the right.
Insert a flathead screwdriver or rotor adjustment tool into the opening where the spray nozzle is located. This access point has a screw inside of it that, when turned clockwise, pushes it down to block the stream and decrease its radius, and when turned counterclockwise, lifts it up and increases its radius.
To change the direction of the nozzle, turn the wrench around the base of the head. Depending on how securely the sprinkler head is installed, you might also be able to do this with your hands.
Using a flatbed screwdriver, insert the tip into the screw that is located above your rotor nozzle. The stream distance can be adjusted by turning either clockwise or counterclockwise.
Color coding of Rain Bird rotor nozzles corresponds to spray radius. An orange head denotes a half-circle radius, a yellow head a quarter-circle, and a blue head a full circle. Rotor nozzles' spray radius can only be changed by replacing the current head with a different one.
You'll see a few metal stops right below the nozzle that can be moved to change the stream's pattern and direction. The stops can be moved to the left or right while the sprinkler is on to make the necessary adjustments. Push the metal pin pointing downward so that it is pointing upward to rotate the head completely.
The deflector will enter the stream and the spray distance will be reduced as you turn the nozzle clockwise. To retract the deflector and extend the spray range, turn the nozzle in a counterclockwise direction.
Pop-up sprinklers can be adjusted with a Rain Bird tool that raises the sprinkler head and clamps around the shaft to hold it extended while you work. Try not to swap out nozzles while the sprinkler is running. In addition to being unable to attach the new nozzle, you might lose the old one.